This bugs the shit out of me. This opera was written by Mozart over 200 years ago. It is a historical work of fiction. How can any one take offense from this?
There is a hard part to this issue, though. If a group of people are constantly subjected to negative stereotypes, they are going to get pissed off after a while. In this sense, I can understand why Muslims are tired of being portrayed as violent extremists. As we all know, Muslims don’t have the market cornered on violent extremism.
On the other hand, we need Muslims to stand up right now and say “We are not going to take issue with performances of works of art created 200 years ago.” History is filled with discrimination of all kinds and it can’t mean that we throw away all of the art from those periods. It’s the same with Tom Sawyer — it encapsulates a mindset of that period and we can and should learn from that. We need to take the good and learn from the “bad”.
We also can’t get so scared of outrage that we all cower in our little shells. Outrage is fine as long as it is non-violent.