Responding to the lengthy diatribe by the Rev. Canon Dr Peter Shepherd in regard to the Charlie Hebdo magazine/massacre, I would like to “cut to the chase” and quote former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, who said after the killings: “There is a self imposed de-facto blasphemy law operating in the UK in regard to Islam ... the media should continue to publish controversial religious material even if some parts of society find it offensive”.
I would suggest the former Archbishop is more than qualified to offer a definitive view of this matter.
It must be remembered the magazine spares no religion or politics and is even handed in its satire of them and should continue to do so - after all if something offends you then the solution is simple - just ignore it!
Advocation of appeasement will only serve to embolden aggressive elements within Islam and the “Charlie Hebdo” front page “offensive” image now has iconic international status - and over time just like “Life of Brian” will cause less and less offence.
As for the “clumsy” Pope. Offering a punch to someone who may insult his mother (he meant his religion), was an appalling thing to say and I’m surprised more was not made of his subtext of “offend religion and you deserve a physical response – quite possibly violent” – disgraceful!
Mr A.C. Gaffney
Vicarage Lane, Wilpshire.