Ghulam Khan aka Guzzy Bear
FREEDOM of expression is an “important right” and should be “applauded”, but there has to be a level of responsibility, a comedian has said.
Stand-up comic Ghulam Khan, who uses the stage name Guzzy Bear, said he tries to genuinely avoid anything that will cause offence to someone’s religious doctrine. “I do however use lots of characters to satirise certain situations,” he told EE.
“I find people respond better to an accent or impersonation than if I did the same joke in my own voice.”
He said what happened in France was a complex issue and to say it was “a random” act by two unhinged individuals would be “a lazy assertion”.
“France has seen tension build over a period of time, with bans on the Niqab and some of the Muslim population being marginalised in their own nation. It is true that freedom of expression is a very important right in western democracies, however with this comes a level of responsibility.
“Where something is explicitly prohibited by any religion, to undertake it would evidently cause offence, and in this case was partly to blame for the horrific deaths of innocent journalists.”
Khan believes freedom of expression is for any person to be able to express how they feel, “with humility and reasoning”.
“I think you can say anything you like in our modern society, providing you do so in a way which does not impose upon another’s right to disagree without fear of retribution,” he explained.
“Religion has been utilised in such a divisive way that offence can be caused at the smallest of things. I still need to go shopping at Aldi, I could do without being shanked (knifed) in the bread aisle because of a joke I’ve said.”