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One reviewer called The Book of Mormon "decadent" and I know what he meant. It does seem the epitome of a corrupted culture that you have to import alien ideas to laugh at because you are too terrified to lampoon the alien ideas in your own midst. You could get someone to write The Book of Muhammad. I would happily write it myself. But we would not find a theatre, and even if we did the theatre would not find an insurer, so the show would not go on. Mormon, like both Rowans, really belongs to another era.

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One place also not hard to lampoon is Toronto. I arrive late at night on a delayed flight. It is sludgy, early-1970s ugly and my hotel tries to charge me hundreds of dollars as an advance deposit for a two-night stay. I end up wrangling with the reception clerks at what is my 4 am.

The hotel's misguided fire alarm does not go off until I have stepped into the shower. After all the guests walk down hundreds of steps and gather, strangely attired, in the snow we do not even have the consolation of seeing the hotel's receptionists burning to death.

But the next day is brighter. I decide I like Canadians. They are kind, friendly and regularly note that I share a name with one of their currently celebrated ice-hockey players. This latter truth begins to make me nervous about some of the media bookings I have agreed to during my stay.

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It remains curious what shocks people. Last month a Saudi Arabian court came in for international criticism for allegedly sentencing a man to surgical paralysis, a report the country has denied. Many people mentioned it to me as evidence of the Holy Kingdom's backward attitudes towards law and order. Yet only days earlier — around Easter time — Saudi Arabia actually beheaded and then crucified a man. I am not in favour of paralysis or crucifixion, but remain bewildered over what the current rules of outrage exactly are.

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Tom Weller
May 30th, 2013
11:05 AM
Though I agree more satire about the prophet Muhammad would be extremely welcome. I don't think the subject lends itself to the musical format too well. Indeed music is banned in Islam. Also Trey Parker and Matt Stone grew up around Mormans, living in the state next to the homeland of the faith. So they did what all good comedians have done and wrote about what they know. The two explain their reasoning in choosing The Morman religion over others in many interviews easily found on YouTube. Enjoyed the article on the whole though.

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