Letter: Fatwa or freedom

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Sir: The pronouncement of a fatwa on Terence McNally, the writer of Corpus Christi is an assault on this country's democracy, and Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad has surely stepped within close distance of incitement to murder ("Islamic court condemns author who depicted Jesus as homosexual," 30 October).

We live in a pluralist society in which freedom of opinion is central. One hopes that the churches condemned by the Sheikh for their inaction over Corpus Christi recognise this. And since Sheikh Omar is concerned to defend the honour of Jesus, perhaps he could refer us to where Jesus is recorded as saying that those who disagree with him should be put to death?

Sheikh Omar says the fatwa is to express "the Islamic point of view" (though perhaps there are Muslims who don't agree with him). I have a democratic point of view. I had a perfect right to see and enjoy Corpus Christi and to do so as a Christian. Equally Sheikh Omar has a right not to watch it. We are both free men in a free country.

HOWARD COOPER

Harrow,

Middlesex

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