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Friday, 13 January 2012

Political correctness and censorship

Oh, dear, it’s time for oversensitivity again. Mo (sorry, Mohammed, pbuh) is depicted with a pint of beer in his hand, so politically correct students get all pompous and silly about it.

I refer to the excellent cartoon series Jesus and Mo, which appears monthly in the Freethinker, has become at least two books, and is to be found online. Your humble blogger has an RSS feed, so he misses not one frame.

Those seeming to be offended are the students’ union at University College London (UCL), the first secular university in Britain.

“UCL was founded in 1826 as a secular alternative to the strictly religious universities of Oxford and Cambridge,” says the National Secular Society in the link above, “despite strong opposition from the Church of England. It was the first higher education institution in England to accept students of any race or religious or political belief and was christened by Thomas Arnold ‘that Godless institution in Gower Street’. It is therefore particularly important to support and defend the right to freedom of expression without religious interference and to make a clear distinction between illegal attacks on individuals because of their religion and ‘offence’ used as a means to stifle this freedom.”

Perhaps anyone choosing to be offended by this ought to see the entire series and engage with the often philosophical conversations that occur among Jesus, Mo(hammed) and the barmaid in the Cock & Bull (with occasional contributions from another Mo, Moses).

See also the Freethinker take on the story here, and sign the petition here.
UPDATE: I'm glad to see that the students' union has now backed off. A victory for free speech!

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