At the end of May, I listened to a recording of the BBC Radio 4 Programme, the Newsquiz, online. I have been listening to this programme for as long as I can remember. It is very funny and often quite intelligent. Whatever, I enjoy it.
As part of it, you have to accept that they will make fun of everyone and everything. That's the deal. I accept that, and have laughed with them about all sorts of topics, religious ones included. I have to accept that if we religious people make a mess of it, we deserve to be made fun of.
However, in this broadcast I felt they went too far. Way too far. The joke was about a virgin shark. They joked about Jesus coming again in a fish. I thought this exceeded the bounds of good taste by any standards. Still, I thought just a mild complaint would be enough. I don't like a lot of fuss.
Have you ever complained to the BBC? They make it as difficult as possible. To cut a long story short. I complained via their website. They refused to deal with my complaint. I complained again. Same response. I complained again. They gave me a telephone number. All the while saying they could not give me a specific address to write to and insisting I had to begin from the beginning. The idea is that you lose energy.
I phoned. The person who answered said she hadn't a clue what I was talking about and couldn't waste her time talking to me. I tried to give her the reference, but she refused to take it. I am sure the BBC have the tape of the conversation. I kept saying that all I wanted was for the BBC to take my complaint seriously. After nine minutes, I was told to get off the phone.
We are fair game as are others in the public eye. I think we take it in good spirits most of the time. However, I do not think it is on to make jokes like this about anyone's religion. IT"S NOT FUNNY.
The reason why Muslims are offended by western culture is that it can be offensive. It is often offensive to me as a Christian and, hopefully, to members of other religions too. These sort of comments offend decency.
The broadcasters really are locked in a world of their own.