Sydney Opera House drops ‘honour killings’ talk following social media outcry

Sydney Opera House drops ‘honour killings’ talk following social media outcry

LAST UPDATED // Tuesday, 24 June 2014 23:44 Written by // Reg Domingo

The Sydney Opera House has been forced to cancel a lecture exploring the topic of honour killings of women following a public outcry on social media. 

The session, entitled ‘Honour killings are morally justified’ and to be delivered by writer Uthman Badar, was to be part of the annual Festival of Dangerous Ideas.

The program’s release on Tuesday prompted a social media backlash, with many calling on the Sydney Opera House to drop the talk or boycott the venue should it go ahead.

Only hours after it was announced, the Opera House bowed to public pressure and issued a statement on its Facebook page saying the talk has been removed from the line-up.

“The Festival of Dangerous Ideas is intended to be a provocation to thought and discussion, rather than simply a provocation,” the Opera House statement said.


Above: The Festival of Dangerous Ideas. Top image: Uthman Badar

“It is always a matter of balance and judgement, and in this case a line has been crossed.

“Accordingly, we have decided not to proceed with the scheduled session with Uthman Badar.”

The Opera House said the session's title may have been misleading and offered reassurances that the organisation, nor any of those involved with the talk, were not promoting honour killings.

“It is clear from the public reaction that the title has given the wrong impression of what Mr Badar intended to discuss,” the statement said.

“Neither Mr Badar, the St James Ethics Centre, nor Sydney Opera House in any way advocates honour killings or condones any form of violence against women.”

How people reacted on social media


Reg Domingo

Reg Domingo

Reg Domingo is the editor of SX.

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