The Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society at University College London has put the image below from the cartoon, Jesus and Mo, on their facebook page to advertise a weekly pub social. The students union at the University has asked them to remove it as it is offensive. Thankfully the Society has refused and started a campaign against this censorship including a petition here. The petition states:
“In response to complaints from a number of students, the University College London Union has insisted that the UCLU Atheist, Secularist & Humanist Society remove the following image from a Facebook event advertising a pub social. It has done so on the grounds that it may cause offence to Muslim students.
This is a gross infringement on its representatives’ right to freedom of expression taken by members of the first secular university in England. All people are free to be offended by any image they view. This does not give them the right to impose their beliefs on others by censoring such images.
We the undersigned urge the University College London Union to immediately halt their attempts to censor the UCLU Atheist, Secularist & Humanist Society and uphold its members’ right to freedom of expression.”
I have followed the Jesus and Mo cartoon for a number of years and have enjoyed the witty way it raises issues relating to belief systems and religions whilst suggesting the world would be better if we just got on more with each other and not looking at what divides us. Having the main prophets of the two main religions concerned disputing with a barmaid whilst drinking down a pub is, I think part of the charm and wit of the comic strips. Like this blogger I am surprised they have not drawn the ire of those who would ban and censor before.
One of the Islamic societies at the university has issued a statement:
Once a particular act is deemed to be offensive to another, it is only good manners to refrain from, at the very least, repeating that act. In this particular case, when at first the cartoon was uploaded, it could have been mistaken as unintentional offense. When certain Muslims voiced their offense over the issue, for any civil, well-mannered individual or group of individuals, it should then be a question as to the feelings of others and the cartoons should then have been removed.
I could like other bloggers list a number of things I find offensive about Islamic practice, like the treatment of women, gay men etc and undoubtedly once I have asked the perpetrators of those practices to stop they will. Hmmm, didn’t think so. Shows what a weak argument they have. Alternatively I could just follow the response of the fantastic Butterflies and Wheels blog, “Bollocks.”
Showing the power of Jesus and Mo here is an another response to the Islamic association:
On a different note, another artist I discovered by seeing her live at my local music venue (5 minutes walk from my door.) was Anna Calvi. I had avoided looking into her music as it had been the subject of so much hype but I am glad that last Autumn I went to see her. The show was spectacular and I didn’t think three largely static people could give such a powerful show. If she is playing near you go and see her. I’ve also bought the album and play it frequently. She was responsible for dragging me into the 21st century as I bought it as a download; I had bought individual tracks during the last couple of years but it was the first full album I bought that way. I don’t know what it was about last year but most of the things I liked were by women, often very percussion focused. Anyway, enjoy: