I don't know who Rory Bremner is. I do know that he seems spooked.
Bremner was discussing the future of satire with David Frost on Frost on Satire, a BBC documentary. “The greatest danger now is that one of the toughest issues of our time is religion,” says Bremner, as quoted in the Daily Telegraph. He says that, when he’s writing a sketch about Islam, “I’m writing a line and I think, ‘If this goes down badly, I’m writing my own death warrant there.’ Because there are people who will say, ‘Not only do I not think that’s funny but I’m going to kill you’ – and that’s chilling.”
Bremner cites the case of a Danish cartoonist, who isn’t named in the Telegrapharticle, but is likely to be Kurt Westergaard, who drew a cartoon of Mohammed with a bomb in his turban. His life changed after that and other cartoons appeared in Jyllands-Posten, and Muslims reacted with violence.
“If you’re a Danish cartoonist and you work in a Western tradition, people don’t take that too seriously,” Bremner tells Frost in the interview, to be aired Thursday.
“Suddenly you’re confronted by a group of people who are fundamentalist and extreme and they say, ‘We’re going to kill you because of what you have said or drawn.’ Where does satire go from there, because we like to be brave but not foolish.”
This may seem like a very small nit to pick with Islam. After all, we're talking about one yappy performer expressing nervousness over making fun of a religion. Aren't there larger issues-the Israel/Gaza situation, the threat of Iranian nukes, the ongoing Afghan War-that we could be dealing with? All these issues touch on the question of Islam and it's interactions with the West to one degree or another and they seem more pressing than some British jokester's jitters.
I agree that the foreign conundrums involving Islam are dire. In some cases, these are civilizational questions we face. What kind of world will it be when Iran gets the bomb? What lengths must Israel go to in order to ensure it's existence? What if America loses the war against the Taliban? Clearly, these are not mundane policy decisions here, but truly deep concerns.
But none of these issues-as deadly serious as they are-lap so directly upon our shores as the way Islam is practiced within Western nations. Rory Bremner may be one guy, but his reaction to the potential actions of Muslims is to avoid making fun of them. Why does he do this? Because he fears the very real possibility that he will be physically attacked by a Muslim who has taken offense to Bremner's act.
Wrap your mind around that sad state of affiars for a while.
For every cultural relativist out there who wallows in multi-culti feel goodisms, consider the absurdity of extremist Presbyterians kicking the crap out of a comedian who pokes fun at Christians. No matter how much one strains to find a case that fits that general description, one simply can't be found. It doesn't exist, except in the minds of lefty handwringers that kvetch about the oft-feared yet somehow never-occurring anti Islamic backlash coming from psychotic Christian racist teabaggers. Meanwhile, as the Muslim-coddlers worry over non-existent Jesus Freak violence, out in the real world members of the Islamic faith continue to use gangster style threats to cow people into submission and fear.
Remember when liberals complained that Bush's domestic surveillance programs were creating a chilling effect on free speech? It was bullshit of course, but now we have real actual-factual proof that freedom of expression is being severely curtailed in England. Not by the government of course, but by followers of Islam. Where are the leftists beating their chests and writing 10,000 word treatises on the chilling effect on free speech Muslims are creating in Great Britain?
Truth be told, the stifling of criticism of Islam is an existential threat to the West. It might not be as dramatic as a shooting war or foreign policy brinkmanship. However, it affects the general population-both liberals and conservatives-of the Western nations. More importantly, it's probably going to take all facets of the political spectrum pulling together to turn the tide of this new-fangled form of dhimmitude.
Rory Bremner is yet another canary in the coal mine, warning us of the decay that is happening to our culture. Will we mobilize ourselves in time to win?
UPDATE (baldilocks): King Shamus has permission to call me PC.