Friday, February 16, 2007

No laughing matter

For Dutch comedians:

AMSTERDAM — Actor and stand-up comedian Hans Teeuwen has launched a solidarity campaign to support his colleague Ewout Jansen, who has been receiving death threats from Muslim extremists because of his jokes, De Volkskrant writes.

Teeuwen says he finds it difficult to unite all fellow-comedians as one force, for many seem to be afraid to speak out for the "freedom of humour". Every comedian's agenda tells you the exact time and place where he is going to perform. One or two phone calls with threats and he cannot perform at ease any more, Teeuwen explains.

....Ewout [is]...calling upon all Dutch comedians to join in filing collective charges against a member of the Amsterdam As Soenna Mosque named Kabli and the mosque's current leadership.

At the end of January, Kabli told student magazine Folia that it was supposedly every Muslim's task to fight back if jokes were made about Islam. Such jokes are called haram (reprehensible). If a comedian, despite having been warned, continues with his jokes, he must be punished or even killed, Kabli said in the interview.

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