BBC 'runs scared' of Muslim jokes

- says Ben Elton

Ben Elton has accused the BBC of banning jokes about Muslims because it is too ‘scared’ of Islam.

The comic says the corporation has shown double standards in allowing jokes about vicars but not imams, because it wants to be politically correct.

Elton said the authorities have a ‘genuine fear… about provoking the radical elements of Islam.’.

He told Christian magazine Third Way: ‘There’s no doubt about it, the BBC will let vicar gags pass but they would not let imam gags pass.’

Elton said the situation was so bad that he was told he shouldn’t even refer to the proverb, ‘If the mountain won’t come to Mohammed, Mohammed must go to the mountain’.

He said the BBC might say this was about moral sensibilities: ‘But it isn’t. It’s because they’re scared.

‘I’m quite certain that the average Muslim does not want everybody going around thinking, ‘We can’t mention you. We’ve just got to pretend you don’t exist because we’re scared that somebody who claims to represent you will threaten to kill us.

Elton said he believed in ‘almost nothing’ and that too much deference was paid to religious people. However, he has sent his children to a church school.

Published: 2 Apr 2008

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