In the Media

Religious hatred is no laughing matter

PUBLISHED December 13, 2004

Did you hear the one about the comedian and the Home Secretary? If it wasn't so serious it would be funny.

It's been suggested by some comics that my proposal to make inciting religious hatred an offence prohibits gags about religion. I think that's a joke. By couching their campaign in terms of freedom of speech, they know they have created a flight of fantasy worthy of the most surreal stand-up. But here's the punchline: nothing I've suggested is an attack on people's rights to legitimately criticise religion or make jokes about it.