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Swede's Jesus pics fuel Serb gay pride fury

Published: 03 Oct 2012 15:08 GMT+02:00
Updated: 03 Oct 2012 15:08 GMT+02:00

An exhibit of a Swedish artist's controversial photographs depicting Jesus surrounded by gay men has prompted calls to ban a gay pride festival in Serbia where Swedish Minister for European Affairs Birgitta Ohlsson is scheduled to speak.

The leader of Serbia's Orthodox Church on Wednesday demanded that Prime Minister Ivica Dacic ban a gay pride parade in Belgrade, dubbing it a "parade of shame".

The event planned for Saturday cast "a heavy moral shadow on our town, our centuries-long Christian culture and the dignity of our family, as the foundation block of humankind," Patriarch Irinej wrote in an open letter to Dacic.

But Dacic faced pressure from another direction, as Sweden announced that its European affairs minister would be the key speaker at the parade in an "act of solidarity" for the event.

Patriarch Irinej said he had written on behalf of the Serbian Orthodox Church and its followers who represented the "dominant majority in Serbia".

"I never thought that I would be forced again this year to... demand the banning of the event with the tragicomic name of 'pride parade' which is really a 'parade of shame'," he added in the letter published on the church's website.

The patriarch also demanded that Dacic take steps to stop an exhibition of photographs by Swedish artist Elisabeth Ohlson Wallin which he called "deeply-insulting" and as provocative of Serbs as images of Muhammad are for Muslims.

"If things are to be shown that associate Jesus with homosexuals, I can't see how it can happen peacefully," he said earlier this week, according to the Metro newspaper.

The exhibition, organized as part of Belgrade Pride Week, features photos portraying Jesus among homosexuals, transsexual people and people with AIDS.

It was due to open later on Wednesday and local media said extremist groups had threatened to target the show.

The photographs, part of Ohlson Wallin's "Ecco Homo" installation, depict a number of modern interpretations of biblical scenes.

It was first shown in Stockholm in 1998, prompting a fierce debate about freedom of expression.

Last year's parade was banned after authorities said ultra-nationalists were planning violent riots and that the security risk was too high.

The far-right groups and other extremist organizations had also used graffiti and Internet messages on hacked sites to threaten this year's event.

However, pressure mounted on Dacic from other side too, as Sweden announced that its Minister for European Affairs Birgitta Ohlsson would be the main speaker at the gay parade.

During her visit to Serbia -- a candidate for EU membership, Ohlsson is also expected to meet government officials to discuss the Balkan state's EU integration and the situation of minorities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and Roma communities, the Swedish embassy in Belgrade said in a statement.

"My presence and speech at the gay pride in Belgrade is an act of solidarity," the statement quoted Ohlsson as saying.

"It is unacceptable that people be persecuted and tormented because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. Gay pride parades are a litmus test if a state respects human rights principles," she said.

In 2010, Serbia held its first gay pride parade in a decade but violent riots followed. More than 150 people, mostly police officers, were wounded in clashes between security forces and ultra-nationalists and hooligans.

AFP/The Local

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Your comments about this article

15:53 October 3, 2012 by bcterry
As we continue to intellectually evolve, the religious bigots of the world continue to lose their fascist dictatorial powers.

It's now time for the gay community to target their parades to take place in the muslim neighborhoods in every city, in every country in the freedom loving Western World.
15:54 October 3, 2012 by Uncle
aaand again

Only neo-nazis behave like hundreds of thousands in islamic countries. Not surprising, given the multiple similarities...
17:49 October 3, 2012 by Rishonim
JC is a prophet to over a billion people. Lest see how many Christiamist will go out to maimed and kill as we have seeing from other religious freaks.
19:09 October 3, 2012 by prince T
Yes @bcterry. Let the gay community evolve to iran and pakistan. No one is talking about dat, is it because we are cowards or something else.
19:35 October 3, 2012 by bcterry
19:09 October 3, 2012 by prince T,

Yes @bcterry. Let the gay community evolve to iran and pakistan. No one is talking about dat, is it because we are cowards or something else. "

Your post is not clear.

What's your point, your not talking about "dat"?
20:30 October 3, 2012 by Svensksmith
I feel so violated I must burn down an embassy....or burn an effigy of Elton John.
23:13 October 3, 2012 by B.olesen
Funny how the same people who support gay rights can unethically support the rights of so many muslims to immigrate into the same country where gay people currently have rights. Same for women's rights and the rights of children. The religion of islam is against all of these things, with death to homosexuals.

How do they reconcile this contradiction? It's okay to be that way if it's only against women, children and gays, but, not if you are white and just don't like gay people? Somebody please explain it to me.
23:42 October 3, 2012 by Uncle
B.olesen

Allow me to point at the elephant in the room.

Socialists who:

1. support gay rights AND islamist immigration

2. Bash Jesus AND are all angry when people insult Mohammad

3. Protect women rights AND fight for the right of burqa

4. Protest against US and Israel AND are quiet about Sudan, Syria, Egypt, Iran, Yemen, Somali, China, North Korea, Congo and Burma.

5. Love the islamic immigration AND avoid to live in immigrant areas

Reconcile the above as follows:

"Them brown people are quite cute, dance a nice belly dance and cook curiously spicy food. But they are a bit stupid and regressed and WE, the intellectuals, are here to teach them, dummies, democracy, freedom and crying during movies.

We will expose these little retards how a NORMAL human being shall sit in a cafe and write memoirs on his/hers (not to forget "hers" of course), Mac Pro. We will bring these half wits here and show them toilets, te-le-phones, caaaars and expect them to become advanced within a week.

As for their women/gay/jews/christians oppression and rape statistics- THEY DO NOT KNOW BETTER! Whites shall know what is acceptable, but not them little Uzbekis, Somalis and other pakis."

You get my drift? These are WAY more racist than the SD, who in fact recognize the cunning, influence and destructive culture, that will not disappear through generations, of these "new swedes". At least SD sees them as a HUMAN BEING, rather than an aggressive down syndrome child.
23:42 October 3, 2012 by truthworthy
I am a Muslim and i am offended by this, just like that stupid film offended me. these bigots must stop insulting respected prophets. Why do they make business of insulting others? If they want to be respected, they should respect others. Specially gays who always complain about insults and discrimination shouldnt be going this way.
00:55 October 4, 2012 by bcterry
23:42 October 3, 2012 by truthworthy I am a Muslim and i am offended by this, just like that stupid film offended me. these bigots must stop insulting respected prophets. Why do they make business of insulting others? If they want to be respected, they should respect others. Specially gays who always complain about insults and discrimination shouldnt be going this way. "

Your religion is bigoted, and so was your prophet, both your religion and your prophet insult everyone who is not muslim, and they both offend every fiber of my being.

Clean up your own act before you point fingers at everyone else.

We don't care about your religion, OR your muhamad, they mean nothing to us, what we care about is ourselves, OUR way of life, NOT the one you bring with you to impose on the rest of us, OUR freedom, OUR right to speak out and criticize any damn thing we like, and you can do absolutely nothing about it.

Protest all you like, threaten us every bloody time you don't get your way, attack all the damn embassies you want, but NOTHING, not a damn thing is going to allow you infringe on our rights. and FREEDOM.

We simply will not allow it.

So either suck it up and live with it, or get the hell out, your choice, because WE DON'T CARE, and keep your bloody religion where it belongs, in your homes or mosques, NOT in our schools, NOT in our government, and NOT anywhere else you wish to impose it on us.
04:51 October 4, 2012 by Richard Head
===Funny how the same people who support gay rights can unethically support the rights of so many muslims to immigrate into the same country where gay people currently have rights. ===

Yeah. Gotta love it, right? Same thing with women, as you said. Lefty women who actually support bringing Muslims to their country when everyone knows that women are treated like garbage in the Muslim world. That's how useless feminists are.
06:57 October 4, 2012 by Uncle
"I am a Muslim and i am offended by this, just like that stupid film offended me"

Oh, really? Dear Al-Shabbab member, who is not offended that his beloved people skin humans alive and then burn them with a tire on a neck is OFFENDED? His soft feelings are hurt? He is sitting and quietly dropping lonely tears in proud insult? Mmm.

How come I do not see demonstrations of hundreds of thousands that tear down stuff? Perhaps they are not as offended as sensitive truthworthy?

I do not think that there is anything in islamic culture that does not offend a modern western person and still ya'll expect from the west to accept you in millions, because you kill each other in pallets and then adapt to your cute traditions, under a threat of "lack of control due to hurt feelings".
13:25 October 4, 2012 by rolfkrohna
Could we have soviet style censorship and insult as this removed please!!

"Comment contains too many upper case characters. Try switching the CAPS LOCK off."

It is my prerogative what caps I want to use.
15:06 October 4, 2012 by prince T
it is ironic that soviet that suppresses religious freedom, oppress chenyan people could be the first to censor the film. they also supress gay rights. is putin trying to win favour from the muslim world in anticipation to what could happen in syria and iran
18:22 October 4, 2012 by bcterry
15:06 October 4, 2012 by prince T,

" it is ironic that soviet that suppresses religious freedom, oppress chenyan people could be the first to censor the film. they also supress gay rights.

Not unusual at all, as freedom and freedom of speech in Russia, have always been highly restricted.

"is putin trying to win favour from the muslim world in anticipation to what could happen in syria and iran "

Is that a question or a statement?
19:36 October 4, 2012 by truthworthy
bcterry you sound like scared? don't worry we won't take your freedom because you have none, you are hostage to bigotry and fear. What you don't understand is how meaningless are people like you. Just worthless.
23:24 October 4, 2012 by Uncle
Scared of islamic "bravery" and "straightforwardness"? No way! There is nothing to be afraid of.

Look at Somalia - from the moment it became islamic, the life became magical! Look at Nigeria and Phillipines, where brave islamists are getting more and more numerous. Nothing to be afraid of at all...

Hell, look at Belgium, where shariah4belgium proposes:

1. To cancel democracy as irrelevant in the happy world of allah

2. Death penalty for gays as an automatic and immediate measure

3. Shariah court and state and ultimate jihad against the enemies of allah (which are all except sunni muslim of course)

No, but otherwise, the fears of bcterry are unfounded and totally imaginary...
04:17 October 5, 2012 by bcterry
@ Trustworthy,

I don't blame you for ignoring my points on your "religion"? and so called "prophet", as there is no denying them.

Instead we get the tired old islam 101 desperate strategy of going right to the personal attacks.

Maybe you guys should get together and come up with a new playbook, because, damn that old one is sure getting boring.
09:18 October 5, 2012 by themoron
themoron says:

Keep on everybody. It is beautiful to read how you are tearing to pieces thy neighbour. Peter vs. John; John vs. Silly; Silly vs. Jesus and Jesus vs. Mahomma. Keep on. Why don't you understand the inner reasons of Serbs for resenting the so-called Ece-Homo exhibition?

"The patriarch also demanded that Dacic take steps to stop an exhibition of photographs by Swedish artist Elisabeth Ohlson Wallin which he called "deeply-insulting" and as provocative of Serbs as images of Muhammad are for Muslims."

This is what is all about. An exhibition that is "deeply insulting" and as provocative of Serbs as images of Muhammad are for Muslims.

For what I have read over and over again, is that some Swedish

"artists" like Vilks and this Ohlson Wallin and other followers, love to provoke in order to sell their "masterpieces".

Is this Ohlson Wallin not the same that just insulted the Royal House of Sweden?

When will be the next exhibition in a church in Sweden of his infamous (for me) Ecce-Homo?

She is already waiting for the sound of the cash register.
03:04 January 24, 2013 by B.olesen
@23:42 October 3, 2012 by truthworthy

I am a Muslim and i am offended by this, just like that stupid film offended me. these bigots must stop insulting respected prophets

first, may I respond with an LMAO - a sentence that started with I am a muslim and I am offended by this. Never saw that one coming. Also at your name, because you don't represent the truth or anything worthy.

Secondly, Jesus is not considered a prophet by Christians, but the son of god. An egregious insult to Christians and Christianity referring to him as a prophet. Therefore your suggestion to 'team up' against people who insult 'prophets', really just another ploy to stop people insulting mohammed, is rejected.

You're a liar, your comment is VERY typical of muslims who normally do everything they can to spit on other religions, trying to act like you're trustworthy when trying to propagate your own agenda. Don't even dare try to compare this to anything you may be offended by when it comes to your false 'prophet' which is EVERYthing. This has nothing to do with you or your religion, so go away.

Also, after reading the rest of the comments, you're a real piece of work, just really really hateful angry - also illiterate. ►you sound like scared

NO but that's what you'd love to think - that's always the accusation, mostly because that's what you really want to be true. Nobody is afraid of you and nobody cares about you and your lies.

@prince T - - - good lord, what are you talking about? you sound a lot like 'trustworthy'
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