Pa. school cancels play about Muslim poet


The story Pa. school cancels play about Muslim poet appears in The Boston Globe. The start of this story from AP follows:

A Pennsylvania school district has decided not to stage a musical about a Muslim street poet after community members complained about the timing so soon after the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

I can’t even imagine what is going through your mind.  What kind of story is their about a Muslim Poet?  Is there a punch line to this blog post?

Wait, for it.  The play about a Muslim poet is the musical “Kismet”.

In the version about this story titled, Western Pennsylvania School Cancels Kismet in Wake of 9/11 Anniversary, they add the commentary:

Musicals like Rent and Godspell have encountered resistance on the school and community levels after their acclaimed Broadway runs, and now the 1953 Tony Award-winning musical Kismet faces a similar destiny in western Pennsylvania.

Yes, it is that “Kismet”.  The very musical my parents were thrilled to see on Broadway before we knew we were supposed to be afraid of musicals about Muslim poets.

I don’t know who thought up the headline  for the story as it appeared in The Boston Globe.  Maybe it was purposely chosen to give you a good shock when you found out what play they were talking about.

According to the AP story:

“Kismet’’ is an Aladdin-style love story set in Baghdad more than 1,000 years ago.

I suppose that movie theaters must now refrain from showing Disney’s “Aladdin” at any time near 9/11.

The irony for me is that I can imagine that many people reading this blog post (including some of my relatives) will be mystified at why I am making such a big deal of this.  To me, it is such a big deal because such blatant racism will seem so totally reasonable to people who claim to abhor racism.

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