There are far harder tests of the conflict between freedom of expression and private offence than a pap snap of the Duchess of Cambridge’s breasts. The film Innocence of Muslims, which fuelled the attack on the US mission in Benghazi in which the American ambassador was killed, is also easy to find online. Innocence of Muslims would be hilarious if its consequences were not so grave. This crudely provocative depiction of the life of Mohammed resembles a bad sequence in Game of Thrones. If only the entire Islamic world could turn around, grip its sides and laugh at the idiocy of the boot-polish make-up, the clumsily super-imposed desert backdrops, rather than gulp down this fat-ball of bait.

The Holy War between the Christian Right and Jihadist Islam rages on over the heads of a horrified world and neither cares about those caught in the crossfire, says Janice Turner

Times Opinion today | amoral Jimmy Carr, damp e-books, dress codes & the firecrest

Jimmy Carr

He’s amoral, not immoral, says Janice Turner. And we just don’t like it when comedians turn out to be not very like us at all

Giles Coren went for dinner with him on Monday. So he can’t write about him. It’s e-books instead – they’re not waterproof, apparently


Simon Barnes, award-winning sports writer and birdwatcher, is on the trail of the firecrest


"For any stable European future you need the consent of the people, a shared conviction that it is worth making sacrifices for the idea of Europe. That consensus has shattered." Roger Boyes on the revolutionary spirit of 1989

"With less qualification than Ed Miliband, we celebrate the arrival here of the Polish plumber, the Asian computer engineer and the Slovakian chambermaid," The Times says on immigration

Culture for vultures

Hate sport? Scared of the Olympics? Worry not: it’s like “an ace culture festival with quite a nice sports gala attached”

Dress codes can be useful but not if they suppress self-expression, says Ed Smith

Give our grime kids the respect they deserve, says Radio 1 DJ Annie Nightingale

In case you forgot

England v Italy is on Sunday at 7.45pm. What are you expecting?

(Times Opinion, Saturday June 23, 2012)

Columns - Saturday June 16, 2012

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