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| 16:48 UK time, Wednesday, 14 March 2007

As Ros wrote earlier, today we were talking about Zimbabwe's neighbour countries and later about satirising religion.

You can read emails and text messages here, and of course post your own comments as well.

Clotilde in Miami writes:

Often Muslims argue "we are modern, we can fit in, our young people are like your young people, they use the internet, we are peace loving, etc"
Being modern is being capable of self criticism, of criticizing one's own group and history

Chris in Montreal, Canada writes:

I refuse to take on other people's taboos. I live in a secular country (Canada). I don't care about the prophet.

Jason in Oregon US writes:

All religions make light of each other. The jokes cease to be funny when it's your religion that's being made fun of. Let's grow up.

Leland from Indiana, US writes:

Religious people do not understand the importance of SECULARISM!!!

George in Kampala, Uganda writes:

President Mugabe is holding a whole nation hostage. May the world act to free the suffering Zimbabweans.

Eric writes:

There is a word to describe those who can't take a joke: "Insecure"
If someone is secure in their own religious faith, what do they care if someone makes a joke about their religion?
Freedom of speech is essential and must be allowed on ANY topic.

Daniel in South Africa writes:

BBC and by relation Britain should stay out of the fray. If South Africa speaks up or any other neighbour that is for them to decide. BBC has been irresponsible in its reporting of the situation in Zimbabwe and holds a lot of power in Africa. BBC should be more responsible with that power. For three days now Zim has been the top story on the BBC – one minute Morgan Tsvangarai is bloody and delirious and the next, you broadcast a “this just in” interview where he is calm and well spoken. Me thinks the BBC is being a little petty. You are playing into Robert Mugabe’s hands.

Stephen writes:

I agree with nick 100%!!... =o)

Sean from Detroit, USA writes:

Take the high road. The phrase 'sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me' applies here.

Blake in Portland, Oregon writes:

NO religion should be respected UNTIL it can accept a critical review of what they believe. The taboo against discussing WHY people believe what they believe must end. The world we live in is too dangerous to let people believe whatever they want without any rational discussion of it.

Jeff in California, US writes:

I'm responding to your feature on satirists, comedians - indeed, public commentators in many platforms - resorting to self-censorship for fear of crossing lines of religious sensitivity.
I feel that speaking out against all flavors of religious icons and attitudes is important in fighting powerful organized religion's restrictions and oppressions around the world. However, it does seem the only creed off-limits from comedy is Islam, for fear of inciting a widespread violent reaction. How sad indeed.

S in India writes:

Media should refrain from caricaturing the religion as it affects the religious sentiments of the people all over the world. I doubt whether media indulging in humour on religion is doing it with an intent of malice.

Shakhoor writes:

Obviously this man has run out of things to write about or wants people to remember he is still a journalist. The history of religion is one of conflict and people standing up for their belief or non belief in the supernatural. If Mr Cohen has got cold feet in this conflict why does not he have the guts to admit it?

Tunde in Nigeria:

Here in Nigeria making jokes about Islam can cost you your life.

Lubna in Iraq writes:

In Iraq there are famous jokes about Saddam Hussein, some of which are related to Islam. When saddam was alive we used to tell the jokes in secret.

Paul in Latvia writes:

Islam has for some ridiculous reason been made free from criticism. It's disgusting.

Steve in US writes:

When people say that Islam requires respect for all religions, why is there so much hatred for Jews and Israel in the muslim world and in their press?

Muhammed in Ghana writes:

It is unreligious to say something that the religion in question preaches against.There is no joke in religion.

Daisy in Uganda writes:

Religion in an inner thing so if someonee makes fun of your faith you should not be offended since your belief will not be affected.

Alex in Nairobi, Nigeria writes:

Mugabe's hanging to power is down to the fact that - like many african and other 3rd world leaders - he cheats elections. election observer missions are a farce which succeed only in rubber-stamping mostly people whom the west wishes to see continue their disasterous rule. only an election and voting system which is unriggable and hacker-proof can save the majority of the world's population from mugabe-like situations. such a system has been developed, but the international community if trying to bury this project.

S in India writes:

What's happening in Zimbabwe is purely an internal problem. Although what's happening over there deserves a downright condemnation, but the international intervention should not end up in creating another Iraq. It will be good for South Africa not to initiate any unilateral action without the mandate of ANC or UN.

Lado writes:

Freedom of any kind has the counter balance of required responsibility.
If you can not be responsible, your freedom will be limited by society.
In the same way religion, or any other ideology for that matter, has to be responsible to benefit from the freedom it enjoys. Criticism is also from its own ideological standpoint, i.e. there is no value free thinking or criticism.
It means everyone has to consider their own motives and ideological stance that also stands under the same critical stance.
Intolerance supported by violence or threat of life is a remnant of the underdeveloped mankind and cultural extremities.


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