By Nick Cohen, February 2, 2012
When I was researching You Can’t Read This Book, my study of censorship, an old joke came back to me. “You can be a famous poisoner or a successful poisoner but you can’t be both”.
Successful censorship is hidden. A writer who concentrates on the famous cases misses the point. Censorship everyone knows about is not successful precisely because everyone knows. One can understand the suppression that matters only when one thinks about the books that are never written and the arguments that are never made.
Alarmingly, considering the virulence of its antisemitism, radical Islam is too hot to handle. Its ideology cannot be mocked as those of Christianity and Judaism have been since the Enlightenment. The stories about its prophet cannot be exposed as fables, as with Jesus and Moses. The reason is simple: writers are frightened, above all of violence.
Carry on reading