Crazy Instances of Misunderstood Political Correctness in Canada

The following photo by a Canadian artist Sooraya Graham was deemed so intolerable by a group of idiot students and a staff member at Thompson River University that it was torn down from the exhibition of student artwork:

(c) Sooraya Graham

The insanity didn’t end there as an idiot from the Saudi Education Center decided to share his unenlightened opinion on how art should be presented:

“The artist didn’t approach the artwork let’s say in a very professional way that can state and can clarify the information and clarify the idea behind the picture,” said centre president Trad Bahabri.

Bahabri said he thinks text explaining the photo’s meaning is needed.

“I’m pretty sure many people misinterpret and many people misunderstand it. I can guarantee that,” he said.

The question I now have is why Kamloops, a town in British Columbia where this entire shameful incident took place, needs an “Education Center” run by idiots of this caliber. One really has to be beyond stupid to suggest that art should be accompanied with explanatory texts telling the spectators what the “correct” response to the art is. I find it sad that this ignoramus just walks around sharing his pathetic excuse for an opinion. This can only happen because nobody laughs in his face when he starts on his ignorant rants.

Notice how this fear of hurting somebody’s feelings only goes one way. Nobody thought twice about hurting the feelings of Sooraya Graham, the artist whose piece was torn down, humiliating its creator in public. Nobody cares about how much my sensibilities as a person who actually has a brain are hurt by the pronouncements of this officious fool from the Saudi Education Center as to how art should be accompanied by “correct” explanations (probably vetted by him personally.) I have absolutely no doubt that I will now start receiving emails and comments by the bucketful as to how I should respect this jerk’s religion or his sensibilities. My religion and sensibilities, in the meanwhile, can take a hike.

I, however, refuse to be one of those toothless Liberals who are terrified of their shadow and can’t articulate the obvious here: religious fanatics who want to place constraints on freedom of speech in Canada are barbaric, backwards, stupid idiots who need to learn respect for the values of the country where they are living at the moment. If your sensibilities are hurt by a work of art, it’s your job to remove yourself from its vicinity. Nobody else is to blame for your sensibilities because they are located inside you and are fully and completely your problem.

19 thoughts on “Crazy Instances of Misunderstood Political Correctness in Canada”

  1. I don’t get it. What’s wrong with the picture? It’s a Muslim woman looking at a bra. Do they really think that Muslim women don’t wear bras? Do they think there is something naughty about a bra? It’s just an article of clothing.

    It’s a good photo by the way. I would be proud to have it on my wall.


  2. Jaime and I were at our favourite gay pub in Victoria when we saw the CBC covering this story. The TV’s volume was off and there were no captions, so we had no idea what was going on, I thought it might have been a story similar to the one I heard about a few months ago about a new law in Saudi Arabia dictating that only women could work in lingerie/underwear stores.
    And you know what? That’s the beauty of art. Without an explanation, you’re allowed your own interpretation. A lot of good art is like a mirror, it reflects back at you what you already have inside. Explanations be damned.
    I wonder if this will play out similarly to how the Piss Christ played out when it was first displayed.


    1. “Without an explanation, you’re allowed your own interpretation. A lot of good art is like a mirror, it reflects back at you what you already have inside. Explanations be damned.”

      – Exactly. That’s precisely what I try to teach my students in my literature and culture courses. They resist at first, demanding a correct interpretation be provided that they can write down and memorize. 🙂


      1. “They resist at first, demanding a correct interpretation be provided that they can write down and memorize.”

        Ah, yes …

        “Your learning experience for today is that this is not supposed to be comfortable for you, so while you are finding new ways to cope, perhaps you will listen to your inner voice who will tell you not to be so fucking uptight.”



  3. Note that the original article never mentions the exact complaints. Why are people taking issue with it? If the Saudi Arabian representative is going to say it’s unprofessional, I should surely hope that he has a reason other than “it just is.” How can it be construed in a way that would make people want to take it down?


  4. >> Notice how this fear of hurting somebody’s feelings only goes one way.

    Liberals have only themselves to blame for this. They do not stand by their people when they commit a faux pas, so they are always running scared. I mean, even if what Rosen said had been truly inappropriate a simple “sometimes things get heated in the middle of a political battle, we know Hilary meant no disrespect” should have sufficed. Instead we had a crucifixion from fellow “holier-than-thou” democrat pundits .


    1. You are SO right!!! I couldn’t agree more. There is no solidarity, no resilience, no holding common ground. Liberals just run scared like headless chickens. That’s why I find it more and more difficult to identify as one.


    2. And to be fair, Republicans right now are at the other end of the spectrum, never admitting a wrong, regardless how much they would benefit from a well timed apology. They already paid a price for this with the Bush defeat three years ago, and they are about to do this again this November if they stay on the present course.


      1. YOU LIE!

        [couldn’t resist re-invoking that marvellous moment from one of the American Congress Critters]



  5. Very Interesting read!!! Its such a odd feeling reading blogs about ur artwork and the stir it was caused, but its a good convo I think. As a Artist and person living in the land of the free its also our job to help educate those who come here that it is a free country. I have had amazing support from fellow students and the University. and many muslims in my community. Its a shame that two people had to really cause this much drama, if the staff memeber (who is muslim and a woman) would have only left the mural alone for another week I doubt anyone would be talking about it. TC. Sooraya


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