My Mideast Punchlines: send in the clowns…..

(Don’t forget to download the images to this in your email).

Well, folks, while they say that Mohammed is the most popular boys’ name in Britain, all those new-born baby Mo’s must be thanking their lucky stars they’re not living in Pakistan.

One Karachi businessman found himself charged with blasphemy for putting the business card of an unsuccessful job applicant named Mohammed in the bin. In Pakistan, dozens of Pakistanis are sentenced to death each year under the law, although most cases are thrown out by higher courts and no executions have been carried out. The law, however, is unlikely to be repealed because the government’s ruling party – largely secular – relies on the support of Islamist groups.

And when they were in power, the Afghan Taliban prohibited not only visual images of the Prophet but also foreign TV crews filming any living thing.

Small FistSo what on earth did they show on Afghan TV?Testcard_F The BBC test card,  that’s what – but without the pretty little girl, er, and the cross, of course. They left the clown in situ to remind them of themselves. (The test card will bring back fond memories for all those of a certain age. And don’t say you didn’t continue staring at it in fascination when BBC programmes broke down in the fifties and early sixties. Well, it was better than watching nothing, although I never did get to find out who won the noughts and crosses. The clown, I suspect).

 

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