What can we laugh at freely?I don't know what it is about Islam. It was born in the 7th Century, so from a Christian historical equivalent, we are in about 1400. This was not a GREAT time for Christian freedom of thought. In fact Europe was about to descend into a series of bloody wars, easily the match for anything the current Islamic civil war is offering us, and let's hope it does not come to match that bit of history.
In any case, we are at a point in the Christian west where The Life of Brian is amusing fare.
Boris Johnson in The Telegraph does a nice job of telling us how we will know when our multiculturalism is working - the key lines:
When is Little Britain going to do a sketch, starring Matt Lucas as one of the virgins? Islam will only be truly acculturated to our way of life when you could expect a Bradford audience to roll in the aisles at Monty Python's Life of Mohammed; and when an unintentionally offensive newspaper article about Islam is requited not with death threats but with the exasperated but essentially kindly letters one might expect from Christians.I fear I will not live to see this day.
UPDATE: I am an atheist. My memory is that I was somewhat mistreated for this by Christians in my relatively defenceless youth; but I was not blown up. In fact I thrived.
And for one other point, that may invite or defend me from calumny, I do know that the history of the first few hundred years of each of these religiions was different. One spread by stealth, the other by the sword. Not really sure what that all means.