BBC CHIEF SAYS ISLAM SHOULD BE TREATED MORE SENSITIVELY THAN CHRISTIANITY
Thompson was responding to criticism from comedian Ben Elton, who accused the BBC of being scared to make jokes about Islam.
Asked whether it was correct that the BBC "let vicar gags pass but not imam gags"...he admitted it did take a different approach to Islam, which has 1.6 million followers in Britain, compared to its approach to the Church of England or the Roman Catholic Church.
Mr Thompson said: 'What Christian identity feels like to the broad population is a little bit different to people for whom their religion is also associated with an ethnic identity which has not been fully integrated...'There's no reason why any religion should be immune from discussion, but I don't want to say that all religions are the same. To be a minority I think puts a slightly different outlook on it.'
Mr Thompson insisted the state broadcaster would show programmes that criticised Islam if they were of "sufficient quality".
The BBC faced accusations of blasphemy from Christians after airing Jerry Springer -The Opera, which portrays Jesus Christ as homosexual.
Thompson's admission was met with derision by Christian and media groups.
Stephen Green, director of Christian Voice, said: 'Mr Thompson seems to be saying that because Islam is a minority religion it should be treated with kid gloves.
'This is ridiculous. All religions should be treated with equally and with the same approach. I think the reality is that the BBC treats coverage of Islam and Muslims differently because it is terrified of offending them. It is political correctness. The BBC is simply not bothered about offending Christians despite the majority of this country being of that faith.'
Compiled from various media sources.