Dutch satirist Johan Vlemmix has decided not to perform his latest hit Do the Burqa onstage following death threats.I'm offended too. Lousy green-screening, only one joke, and a dancer in a bikini who is not exactly star material.
The images show a woman wearing a T-shirt which can be instantly converted into a burqa, be it one that does not cover the breasts.
Mr Vlemmix said he had expected some commotion over his song: "I'm not exactly dumb." But he had failed to anticipate the virulence of the reactions: "I really meant it as a joke. Because the burqa is banned in the Netherlands I thought it was fun to offer a carnival alternative for it: the burqa shirt."
Carnival, a colourful, musical and noisy feast celebrated annually in the southern half of the Netherlands, is often used to mock authorities and make fun of social issues by people dressed up or disguised in humorous creations.
He has not only stopped performing the song onstage, Johan Vlemmix has also cancelled the option to order the shirts via his website. But he stops short at pulling the video from Youtube: "I made it because I was convinced it was right, and I refuse to take it down."
It's not the first time that a carnival song by Johan Vlemmix caused a stir. Four years ago people from Poland reacted angrily to his song A busload of Poles, about Polish plumbers flooding the Dutch labour market. But, Mr Vlemmix said, "that was caused by an incorrect translation". Another song of his, about the deadly bird flu virus, also failed to find universal approval. But none of his earlier songs ever led to death threats.
But what is interesting to me is that the video does not make fun of Islam at all. It satirizes an article of clothing that some Muslim women wear, but it avoids any insult to Islam as a faith.