One cannot escape Islam anywhere: Salzburg Festival begins with ‘Ouverture Spirituelle’ to Islam

It’a a new trend: Starting the festival with an “Ouveture Spirituelle” devoted to a world religion. In the year this photo was taken, it featured two of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s choral masterpieces, the Missa longa in C major, and the Litanieae de venerabili altaris sacramento, played in the original site of their 1776 debuts, the magnificent Salzburg Cathedral.

SALZBURG, Austria: Salzburg Festival, before the operas, concerts and dances start, for the third year in a row, will be dedicated to a world religion.

Since Friday, Islam has been at the centre of the so-called “Ouverture Spirituelle.”  The program includes scientific discussions, and intercultural and interfaith dialogue.  The focus of this sacred music piece will feature Haydn’s “Creation” followed by Sufi music of Islam.

Director Alexander Pereira wants this to be viewed as symbol “in these times that are not characterized by tolerance.”

The “Haus für Mozart,” a modern concert hall built to recognize Salzburg’s most famous son: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

The content involves a series of events in the “Haus für Mozart”: the art, culture, values and spirituality of Islam.

Theologians, philosophers, composers and politicians will speak about Islam in the European memory and value systems, its mysticism, religious lyrics and spirituality, and the Muslims of the Balkans as a “Challenge for Europe.”

The Director of the Centre for Islamic Theology at the University of Münster, Lisa Khorchide, spoke to the Austrian weekly “Die Furche,” on how mental dependency and lack of reflection create much damage in the Muslim world and among Muslims.

Examples are suicide bombers in mosques, mutual denying of the faith between Sunnis and Shiites and the total sacrifice of individuals for the their grouping. The result are “mental slaves” and “blind loyalties that make people are willing to kill and discredit others, without knowing why.”

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Wow, but I am so glad I am missing this!