• March 8, 2016

    The tensions between freedom of expression and the occasions of its restriction have filled thousands of column inches and hundreds of hours of airtime.

  • February 4, 2013

    Many years ago, during the first weeks of a music degree, I was in the university library researching for an essay on 16th century instrumental writing. A fellow fresher, an Indian student whose English was still not quite up to speed, asked me in a worried whisper: “Excuse me please. What is wirginals?” I showed him an illustration of the instrument in the book before me. The anxiety cleared from his face. “Ah – I see!” He smiled at his own misunderstanding. “Not like Wirgin Mary.”

  • November 2, 2012

    Back in September, there were expressions across the world of what was dubbed 'Muslim rage' by the media, following the tawdry trailer for a film entitled 'Innocence of Muslims' ostensibly intended to defame the Muslim prophet Muhammad and insult the ummah of Islam worldwide. But Dr Harry Hagopian paints a much deeper and wider picture of Muslim discontents and provocations experienced throughout the Middle East and North Africa and elsewhere. Challenging simplistic 'clash of civilisations' theses, he says that what we need is not further disengagement between peoples and cultures, but rather further re-engagement.

  • September 15, 2012

    The General Secretary of the World Council of Churches has expressed great “regret” over the making of a film offensive to Muslims.

  • December 27, 2007

    Christmas is offensive, and always will be, says Jonathan Bartley. It legitimates the undermining of those in authority. But it is also about looking after not just those who are “deserving” of love, but those who appear disreputable and unworthy.