Afraid to Criticize Islam?

If there is one thing the various world religions are not known for, it would have to be their tolerance of criticism. Throughout history, we have seen again and again what happens to "heretics" and "apostates," and it generally isn't pretty.

Nick Collins has a thought-provoking article in The Telegraph about political impressionist, Rory Bremner. Bremner, like many comedians I suspect, says that he is afraid to joke about Islam. He describes this sort of self-censorship as an important obstacle for modern comedians. It is not difficult to understand why this would be the case. After all, we've all seen what religious extremists will do out of misguided efforts to defend their religions.

Collins quotes Bremner from an upcoming BBC documentary,
When [I'm] 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.
That really is a sad state of affairs when a political satirist has to worry about being murdered by crazed Muslim extremists for discussing them as he would discuss anyone else. Again, I don't blame Bremner or anyone else who shares his fear. But it does seem that the only way to overcome this problem on a large scale is for the rest of us to increase our criticism (perhaps even mockery) of Islam and any other religion that seeks to stifle criticism.