UCL students forcibly sensitised to sharia
His Grace has had his differences over the years with Dr Richard Dawkins and the National Secular Society, but on this matter they are quite right. Indeed, if this sinister and illiberal agenda isn’t nipped in the bud pretty quickly, the entire population will wake up one day to find new blasphemy laws in force. And then they’ll be yearning for the long-gone days of the benign Anglican Settlement, when Rowan Atkinson was free to mock ministers of religion in raucous pulpit parody, and the spirit of Spitting Image enlightened closed minds with its biting satire.
It has taken many centuries of religio-political evolution, but liberal democracy has learned to permit expression of the God who laughs (Ps 2:4). So why are the thought police (aided and abetted by government) collaborating on the ascendancy of a god in whom there is no humour? Protests over cartoons satirising Mohammad combined with images of Muslims criticising frivolous aspects of Western culture leave the distinct impression Islam and comedy are incompatible – it is haram. The most concerning thing for Britain is that those Muslims who dare to express humour or satrise aspects of their religion are derided by those who hold to the Puritan School of Islam. Ayatollah Khomeini once said: "An Islamic regime must be serious in every field. There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humour in Islam. There is no fun in Islam."
Well, the students of UCL don’t agree. And this doubtless includes some Muslim students who have no problem at all with the above cartoon. But it appears they are censored, and being forcibly sensitised to sharia. UCL’s Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society have every right to post the cartoon on Facebook. It is taken from from a comic book, Jesus and Mo, Volume 2: Transubstantiated, by a pseudonymous British cartoonist called Mohammed Jones (pseudonymous, presumably, out of fear for his life). It depicts Jesus and Muhammad as flatmates who share jokes together over the occasional pint. But UCL’s Student Union suggested it would be ‘prudent’ to remove it.
‘Prudent’ in the sense of averting physical harm or damage to property?
Apparently, there have been complaints (number undisclosed) from students (identities undisclosed). But instead of engaging in open discussion and debate on the limitations of freedom or the consequences of censoriousness (as one might expect in an august seat of learning), the cartoon had to be taken down.
This advice prompted an online petition to ‘Defend freedom of expression at University College London’, which has attracted the support of Richard Dawkins, who also left a comment stating: "Jesus and Mo cartoons are wonderfully funny and true. They could offend only those actively seeking to be offended – which says it all."
Quite so. It is important to take a firm stand against religious censorship. Indeed, in the context of yesterday's post on our ever-diminishing liberties, it is becoming crucial (quite literally).