Most people, that is. Not Damian Thompson, the editor-in-chief of the Catholic Herald who also blogs for the Telegraph. Here's a selection of his thoughts on God Trumps, entitled "Humanist attack on religions chickens out of criticising Islam":
The New Humanist website carries a set of "God Trumps" cards mocking all the major world religions. Except one. Can you guess which it is? Yup, the religion of peace. A religion so peaceful, in fact, that the humanists make a nervous joke out of their decision not to criticise it . . .
. . . The next card is "Muslim". The text reads: "Ultimate trump card. No jokes can be made here! Well done to the extremist section of this faith for making it impossible to have any kind of reasoned debate, or even a good-humoured debate around this subject. You trump everyone - even the integrity of this feature."
I'll say. It is perfectly possible to have a reasoned debate about Islam, unless you are a politically correct coward. Islam has its "weapon of choice" - several, actually - and also some doctrines just as "daffy" as those of Christianity. Heard the one about Mohammed's night journey to Jerusalem?
And if you're going to joke about Henry VIII's divorce, which the Anglican card does, why not throw in a reference to Mo's child bride? But, you see, that would risk offending Muslims. And we can't have that in a feature dedicated to satirising religions, can we?
There's lots we could say about this, but we thought we'd let Christina Martin do the talking, since she devised God Trumps:
While most people are seeing God Trumps for what they are, i.e. a joke, a small minority are getting their panties in a flap, bless them. The most vocal being Damian Thompson, Editor of the Catholic Herald no less, and a blogger for the Telegraph – they truly don't come any more uptight than that.
I don't mind that he (and the many people who added angry comments to his piece) didn't like the God Trumps. Humour is subjective. But what isn't subjective is his nonsense accusation that the Muslim card was a cowardly cop-out. The reasons for this are four fold. Yes four fold, take that Damian!
Firstly, I wrote it, so I should know. And I can exclusively reveal that I composed the Islam card as I did because I thought it would be funny. Sorry to pull the rug out from underneath all that the sabre rattling but it really is that mundane.
Secondly, it comes down to my childhood experiences of playing Top Trumps 'Ghouls and Ghosts' in the playground everyday for a year. The demon card had a hundred points for everything and would beat all of the other cards. Accordingly when I started composing this piece I thought, "Who holds the ultimate trump?" Originally it was going to be the Pope as he seems to be able to charge around getting his own way completely unchallenged, and he has the whole Papal infallibility thing going on, but I thought it would be a better satire to use it on Islam.
Which brings me to point number three – that it's a satire. A satire of the way society deals with the issues surrounding Islam. People pussy foot around them, I don't like it either, hence my rather pointed remark on the card about it being bad for society at large.
And finally, point number four – how much of a cop-out can it really be if the card name checks extremists, says they're ruining free speech and is illustrated with a picture of a mad mullah? Far from shying away from the issue I think we did a good job of confronting it head on, in a humorous fashion. And that's the whole point of the piece. Nobody gets any special treatment. They all get equally mocked. Each of the cards use broad societal generalisations to comic effect. The overall message being – isn't all of this nonsense?
Update: And thanks to Mr Thompson God Trumps has now been listed on Islamophobia Watch, although they don't actually say whether they think it is Islamophobic. They just take Thompson's word for it that we'd "chickened out" of criticising Islam. Whether that means that we're Islamophobic, Thompson's Islamophobic, or no one's Islamophobic I just don't know.