This Year it’s Shappi Khorsandi

The Indy tells us in a sub-head that ‘This year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe is taking place in a climate of heightened inter-faith sensitivity.’ What a revolting phrase, and what a revolting climate. What a revolting euphemism for a form of thought-control by guilt-trip.

But there are comedians there resisting the sensitivity thing. Go, comedians.

As so often, the bravest, smartest critic of Islamic fundamentalism in town is a woman the fundamentalists would love to claim as “one of ours” and enslave. Last year it was Shazia Mirza; this year it’s Shappi Khorsandi…Shappi is one of the millions of children of the Islamic revolution who – in the face of the Iranian mullahs’ theocratic repression – have become the most articulate, committed atheists in the world…While she is sympathetic to Muslims suffering from stupid social prejudice…she has lashings of righteous contempt for fundamentalists like “that 14-year-old girl who went to the High Court to fight for her right to go to school wearing her sleeping bag”.

Johann (for it is he, seeing the shows and telling us about them) ends on a cautious note: ‘But can the strain of witty atheism on offer on the Edinburgh Fringe ever douse the great fire of religion currently consuming whole continents? I hope – but certainly don’t pray – so.’

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