He doesn”€™t so much blame Korzen, to whom he refers as an “€œold gasbag,”€ but rather Soloway, who’s a “€œhorrible person,”€ “€œself-aggrandizing,”€ and an opportunist who”€™d “€œdo anything to get her name on TV.”€

The overall point here is that this is a tale with four Jewish actors”€”Korzen the bitter scold, Hayman the comedian, Zimmerman the guy who stood up, and Soloway the opportunist. The bitter scold accused the comedian of insulting the sacred. The comedian didn”€™t back down, and another man responded by purposely being even more blasphemous. And the opportunist responded by trying to get as much PR for the “€œblasphemy”€ as possible.

A scene like this would never play out in the Muslim world. Imagine a Muslim artist at a popular theater drawing a cartoon of Mohammed having sex with a pig. After an old Muslim lady starts wagging her finger, another Muslim berates the old bag with readings from Pam Geller and Pastor Terry Jones, while a Muslim producer feverishly works to get the most exposure for the blasphemy, knowing that it might be her ticket to fame and fortune …

Yeah, that’s not going to happen. The impulse to explore the boundaries of the profane, to push the envelope when told to stop, and to attempt to profit from the entire thing, is part of what has made and continues to make Jews a driving force in the field of entertainment.

You want to know why there are more Sheinbergs and Cohens and Goldsteins in Hollywood than there are Ali Husseins and Abdullahs and Al-Fayeds? It’s not discrimination; it’s a cultural thing. On average, Muslims are more likely to be hobbled by superstition, and by fear of reprisals for defying taboos.

Don”€™t get me wrong; Jews can push political correctness (and, in Europe, laws that stifle free speech) as good as the next guy. But my point remains: among today’s Muslims, you will never see anything comparable to what happened at the Hudson Theatre in 2003.

Need proof? Dean Obeidallah, popular Muslim comedian and Daily Beast columnist, wrote a January 10th op-ed for CNN.com in which he assured his fans that he has “€œnever told jokes mocking the Prophet Mohammed, nor have I told jokes mocking Jesus, Moses or any other religious figures. And now after the [Charlie Hebdo] attack, I’m certainly not going to go out of my way to write jokes about those subjects.”€

Obeidallah’s perfectly entitled to stay in safe, PC territory. I”€™m just glad that there are comedians who actually do go “€œout of their way”€ to write jokes about subjects that are deemed verboten. What happened at the Hudson Theatre in 2003 was a damn good thing. Makes me proud to be a Jew. Now, where’s my bacon-wrapped shrimp? It’s Friday night, and I”€™m hungry.


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