“It seems to me that we stand in need of a repertoire of religious jokes and a bold habit of expressing them. However, many Muslims have an exaggerated capacity to feel slighted, and there is scarcely a humorous remark to be made about Islam that will not instantly be read as an expression of hostility. Here too the censors are hard at work, depriving humanity of its natural way of defusing conflict, and forcing upon us all a kind of tiptoeing and apprehensive deference that is in fact far closer to hostility than any robust guffaw.
“Of course, religion is a sensitive topic, and the traditional British response, that it should therefore never be mentioned in polite society, is understandable. But in a world of increasingly belligerent affirmations of faith, the British solution is no longer available. Satire of the kind directed at Tartuffe by Molière is surely what our mullahs deserve. By satirizing them, we come to terms with them; we also distinguish their ludicrous self-righteousness from the gentle path of accommodation that ordinary Muslims want and need.
“What should be our response to this? It is easy to say that we should laugh at it. But losing your career is not a laughing matter; still less is it a laughing matter to be put on a list of targets by the Islamist offense-machine. What is needed, it seems to me, is a seriously rude, arrogant, and well-educated class of journalists, who would lend each other support in ridiculing the pretensions of the censors.
“We had such a class of journalists until recently in England. (…) Alas that most of those journalists are no longer with us…”