How to think about religious freedom

Nick Spencer cuts through the complexities of religion and law to give a clear and judicious overview of what is at stake.

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One rule for Jesus, another for Muhammad?

15th March 2012

Simple things can be so difficult. Take equality, for instance. Britain now has an Equality Act, to promote that good thing. But when you start looking at what it means in practice, matters get more complicated.

I've been thinking about this because of some media reaction to a conversation I had recently with Mark Thompson, the director general of the BBC, for our Oxford University project on free speech. After we talked about the BBC's broadcast of Jerry Springer: the Opera, which provoked angry protests from evangelical Christians because the satirical musical depicted Jesus as a petulant overgrown baby in a nappy, I put it to him that the BBC wouldn't dream of broadcasting something comparably satirical about the Prophet Muhammad. He replied: "I think essentially the answer to that question is yes."

Timothy Garton Ash | The Guardian 

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