Religious Watch logo
 Home World of Intolerance News: 2005  2006  2007  2008  2009  2010  2011  2012  2013  Latest
 Campaigns Family Abuse RSS:   Headlines Feed
 Forum Clerical Abuse Email: webmaster@religiouswatch.com
 


31st January

 Update: Un-banned and Re-banned...

Meanwhile Muslims bomb cinemas in protest at being depicted as terrorists
Link Here  full story: Vishwaroopam...Indian spy thriller attracts protest for depicting muslims as the baddies

vishwaroopamVishwaroopam is a 2013 India crime action thriller by Kamal Hassan.
With Kamal Hassan, Pooja Kumar and Andrea Jeremiah. YouTube icon IMDb

Muslims protesting against Kamal Haasan's film Vishwaroopam hurled petrol bombs at two theatres in Tamil Nadu where the movie was scheduled to be screened on Wednesday following the High Court staying the ban imposed by the State Government. There are no reports of injuries. Glass panes at the theatres were shattered.

Meanwhile, Kamal Haasan met with representatives of the Muslim community and later told newspersons that he had come to an amicable settlement over the dispute that rose from his using verses from the Quran in Vishwaroopam:

This film is not against Indian Muslims. It is in support of Indian Muslims. There seems to be some confusion over the use of Quranic verses and I am willing to edit out these references.

Meanwhile Madras High Court re-instates ban

The problems for Vishwaroopam increased after the Madras High Court Wednesday set aside the single judge's interim order that allowed screening of the film in the state. Hearing the appeal made by the Tamil Nadu government against the single judge's order, a two-member high court bench set aside the former's order.

The high court bench chaired by Justice Dharma Rao has nullified the revocation of the ban on the film by Justice K. Venkataraman Tuesday. Rao said:

The film stays banned as of now and it can't be screened across Tamil Nadu.

Meanwhile the Vishwaroopam ban is unacceptable, says chief censor

Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chairperson Leela Samson says that the ban on Vishwaroopam is unacceptable:

This is hounding of an artist, a man who is an icon of Tamil Nadu. We are sensitive to issues. The group objecting to 'Vishwaroopam' have the freedom not to view it. We will object to the language used by the lawyer representing the Tamil Nadu government against the censor board.

It is absolutely unacceptable. We have certified hundreds and thousands of films but only with 'Vishwaroopam', people find, it has not been done with due diligence? This is an infringement on freedom of expression.

 

31st January

  United Sikhs Recommend...

Australians lads' mag, The Picture
Link Here

pictureThe religious group, United Sikhs, has been 'offended' by an article titled Turban Legend in Australian lads' mag, The Picture .

The article uses an image of a Nihang Sikh, a centuries-old warrior with hands clasped in prayer, as a back drop for a display of nude models. United Sikhs commented:

The entire magazine displays raunchy nudity and is replete with foul, irreverent and inappropriate language and the tone ridicules the dumalla (turban) and Nihang Sikhs.

United Sikhs is of the view that the publishers have breached both Federal and State criminal, civil and human rights laws. We are lodging a complaint with the Australian Human Rights Commission.

United Sikhs is activating its Legal Team to issue formal legal notices to the publishers, printers and distributors and to launch the necessary legal action under Federal, States/Territories laws including the Australian Human Rights Commission;

United Sikhs supports and advocates for the democratic right of all Australians to free speech... [BUT] ...Such a right comes tempered with responsibilities to fellow ethnic and culturally diverse Australians.

United Sikhs calls on all Australian MPs to stand up and publicly condemn irresponsible and morally offensive publications such as this article and to call on the publishers to exercise common decency, restraint and responsibility towards fellow ethnic and culturally diverse Australians.

United Sikhs calls on all Australian Governments to review, revise and refine legislation and processes in response to, and to curtail the conduct displayed in, publications such as this.

 

30th January

 Updated: Goodies and Baddies...

Malaysia joins Indian states in banning the Tamil spy thriller Vishwaroopam
Link Here  full story: Vishwaroopam...Indian spy thriller attracts protest for depicting muslims as the baddies

vishwaroopamVishwaroopam is a 2013 India crime action thriller by Kamal Hassan.
With Kamal Hassan, Pooja Kumar and Andrea Jeremiah. YouTube icon IMDb

Kamal Haasan's controversial film Vishwaroopam has been banned from local cinemas in Malaysia a day after its release following a directive from the Home Ministry, much to the disappointment ethnic Indians in Kuala Lumpur.

Film distribution company Lotus Fivestar AV's director R Ramalingam said the ministry told him to stop screening the movie on Friday. The film, which opened in Malaysia on Thursday, had played to full cinemas before being removed from the theatres.

Vishwaroopam has been passed by the Central Board of Film Censors but has been temporarily banned in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu for two weeks amid allegations by the Muslim community that they have been depicted negatively in the movie. Haasan has taken the matter to the Madras High Court and a decision is pending.

The film is playing in the state of Kerala but cinema goers are having to brave muslim protests.

Sri Lanka has ordered a delay in the release in favour of a review by censors.

In the UK the film has been passed 12A for cinema release after 11s of category cuts. The BBFC commented:

Company chose to remove two moments of bloody violence in order to obtain a 12A rating. An uncut 15 rating was available.

VISHWAROOPAM is a thriller in the Hindi and Tamil languages about a woman unsuspectingly married to one of India's top secret agents. It is rated 12A for moderate violence.

There are a number of fast-paced fights and shoot-outs. Although there are some heavy blows and bullet impacts, little is shown in terms of injury detail, with the focus instead placed on the spectacular and generally unrealistic fight choreography. For example, in one scene the hero uses a Japanese sword to defeat his attackers, cutting off one of their hands. There is no detail of this but the hand is briefly seen flying through the air.

VISHWAROOPAM also contains infrequent mild bad language and mild sex references. There is also some sight of hard drugs, but this occurs within a clear anti drug context.

Presumably the baddies are muslim terrorists and hence the complaints about negative depictions from the muslim community.

Update: Unbanned by the Madras High Court

30th January 2013. See article from thehindubusinessline.com

madras highcourtIn a major relief to film makers, the Madras High Court has lifted the ban imposed on the movie Vishwaroopam by the Tamil Nadu government after it courted controversy over its supposedly anti-Muslim content.

The judgement paves the way for the screening of the movie however there are indications that the state government may prefer an appeal.

The court reviewed and accepted the film censorship procedures resulting in the UA certificate (PG) issued after 1:08s of censor cuts. The state's case seemed to be that the decision was taken by an examining committee rather than the full board.

The Tamil Nadu government had banned the screening of the film in the face of opposition by some Muslim outfits, who claimed that the movie portrayed their community in a negative light. It seems that this claim is due to the spy thriller baddies being fictional muslim terrorists.

Update: Meanwhile in Milton Keynes

30th January 2013. See article from miltonkeynes.co.uk

vishwaroopam-1Angry Muslims staged a protest against a supposedly Islamophobic film outside Milton Keynes' Cineworld cinema.

The group were protesting the UK release of the controversial Indian film Vishwaroopam , which is currently showing in British cinemas. Campaigner Mustapha Zamaan felt the film fuelled negative views against Muslim people and should be banned from British cinemas. He said:

We know there's a number of American films against Muslims but it's a lot different in Indian culture, where they trust film actors like gods. This worship leads to films like this creating racial tension and that's why it's been banned in India. Ideally we want it pulled here too, but we might be a bit late.

We respect freedom of expression... BUT ...this film is hate speech that portrays Muslims negatively.

Update: Unbanned in Malaysia

21st February 2013. See article from jagranjosh.com

The Malaysian Authorities on 19 February 2013 lifted the ban imposed on the screening of the Tamil movie Vishwaroopam , directed and produced by Kamal Haasan for public screening.

Earlier on 24 January 2013 the authorities approved the screening of the movie in Malaysia but following the directives released by the Home Ministry that the content of the movie portrayed Islam in a negative light, the approval was withdrawn.

The movie received a go-ahead in Malaysia after the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) and the National Censorship Board studied the movie from all aspects including religious and security fronts and gave a green signal to its screening.

 

30th January

 Update: Free Expression Sentenced to Death in Absentia...

Egyptian court upholds death sentences in absentia against the makers of the Innocence of Muslims
Link Here

Egypt flagA Cairo tribunal has upheld death sentences passed on seven Egyptian Coptic Christians in absentia for their involvement in the anti-Islam film, The Innocence of Muslims, a judicial source said.

The muslim world descended into violence at protests against the film when it made the news last September.

All of those sentenced to death are film makers who are currently living in the United States. Terry Jones, an American pastor based in Florida who is said to have promoted the film and who had also been sentenced to death in absentia, had his sentence reduced to five years in jail by the tribunal.

 

30th January

 Offsite Article: Saw: The Documentary (Extreme Version)...

Link Here
Jigsaw is alive and well... and employed in the Iranian 'justice' department Iran employs gruesome machine for the public amputations of victims fingers (and more?)

See article from observers.france24.com

 

30th January

  Church gets its Revenge...

Philippines Artist jailed for protesting in a church against the church's opposition to a reproductive health bill
Link Here

Noli Me Tangere Jose Rizal A Manila court has found tour guide and well known artist Carlos Celdran guilty of offending religious feelings when, dressed like author Jose Rizal, he stood in front of the main altar of Manila Cathedral during an ecumenical service, shouted and raised a placard with the word Damaso on it.

Damaso is a hated character in Jose Rizal's novel Noli Me Tangere, which depicts the abuses of friars in the years of Spanish rule.

Trial Court Judge Juan Bermejo Jr. sentenced Celdran to a minimum of two months and maximum of one year in prison for violating Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code.

Celdran was protesting against the Church's opposition to the reproductive health (RH) bill then pending in Congress. The measure was passed into law last year.

Judge Bermejo cited a law which penalizes anyone who, in a place devoted to religious worship or during the celebration of any religious ceremony, shall perform acts notoriously offensive to the feelings of the faithful. An act is considered offensive to a religion when it is directed against religious practice or dogma or ritual for the purpose of ridicule, as mocking or scoffing at or attempting to damage an object of religious veneration.

Celdran said he was not surprised by the court's decision and that he suspected it was payback for his vocal stance against the Church position on the RH measure.

Celdran said his legal team was preparing to appeal the decision, adding it set a bad precedent and that he was ready to take his fight all the way to the Supreme Court.

 

30th January

 Offsite Article: No alcohol allowed on the streets near this shop...

Link Here
Telegraph publishes a talking point article about 'white flight' from the London suburb of Acton, in search of euphemistic 'good schools' elsewhere

See article from telegraph.co.uk

 

29th January

  Wall of Censorship...

Jewish group offended at political cartoon criticising Netanyahu's policy on Palestine
Link Here

scarfe cementing peaceThe Board of Deputies of British Jews has been 'offended' by a political cartoon making a point about Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu's policies. The group said it had complained to the Press Complaints Commission.

cartoonist Gerald Scarfe, depicts Netanyahu building a brick wall containing the blood and limbs of Palestinians. It has the text: Israeli elections. Will cementing peace continue?

The cartoon was published in the Sunday Times, and proprietor Rupert Murdoch has apologised for a grotesque, offensive cartoon saying that Gerald Scarfe did not reflect the opinions of the Sunday Times.

The paper's acting editor, Martin Ivens, said in a statement that insulting the memory of Holocaust victims was the last thing I or anyone connected with the Sunday Times would countenance . Ivens is set to meet representatives of the Jewish community this week to discuss the controversy. In a statement, the Sunday Times said the cartoon was aimed at Netanyahu and his policies, not at Israel or Jewish people.

Scarfe told the Jewish Chronicle that he very much regrets the timing of the cartoon. He said he had not been aware that it had been published on Holocaust Memorial Day.

 

28th January

  The only thing christians Care about is a miserable life...

Christian group sponsor parliamentary group clearly with the aim of criminalising paying for sex
Link Here

care christian action logoA group has been set up in parliament presumably with the intention of further repressing the sex trade in the UK. The All Party Parliamentary Group on Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade (APPG) include anti prostitution campaigners such as Fiona Mactaggart. 

Note that despite sounding like a government group, this whole project is financed by CARE (Christian Action Research and Education): a well-established mainstream Christian charity providing resources and helping to bring Christian insight and experience to matters of public policy and practical caring initiatives, according to themselves.

The stated goal of the group is:

To raise awareness of the impact of the sale of sexual services on those involved and to develop proposals for government action to tackle individuals who create demand for sexual services as well as those who control prostitutes; to protect prostituted women by helping them to exit prostitution and to prevent girls from entering prostitution.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade is launching an inquiry to assess the current UK legal settlement surrounding prostitution, and to identify how legislation to tackle demand could safeguard those in danger of sexual exploitation and abuse.

The group have launched an online Call for Evidence, a misnomer as they are just asking for opinions and feelings, no evidence at all. They have also created an online survey which reveals the intentions of the group in a series of leading questions with an assumption that those surveyed will support a ban on buying sex.

This is not the way to make a serious inquiry or hold a consultation. The online questionnaire is not long. Skip if you want to from the introductory palaver to where the questions begin. You may answer anonymously. You may answer as an individual. You may be anywhere in the world.

The deadline for responses is Monday 4 February 2013 at 16:00 .

 

28th January

 Updated: Realisation...

Baroness Warsi reveals a survey showing just 24% of people consider Islam to be compatible with a British way of life
Link Here

sayeeda warsiFewer than one in four people now believe that following Islam is compatible with a British way of life, Britain's most senior Muslim minister will warn today.

Highlighting for some reason unpublished research showing that a majority of the country now believes that Islam is a threat to Western civilisation.

Sayeeda Warsi will say that underlying, unfounded mistrust of Muslims is in itself fuelling extremism. [It may well be fuelling extremism but why unfounded? Surely news from muslim countries of easy offence and rapid recourse to violence, barbaric justice and the reprehensible treatment of women must be at least part of the reason for the mistrust].

Warsi said in a press release

My fear is that seeing one community as the 'other' is a slippery slope that will enable extremists to advance their twisted interests unchecked.

In her speech to a support service for those who have suffered anti-Muslim attacks Warsi will say new data supports the evidence of widespread anti-Muslim feeling in the UK. She will cite new research by academics that shows that just 23% of a representative sample questioned said that Islam was not a threat to Western civilisation. And just 24 per cent thought Muslims were compatible with the British way of life, with nearly half of people disagreeing that Muslims were compatible.

Warsi will claim that not enough leadership is being given by politicians to tackling Islamaphobia and 'misconceptions' about Islam in the UK.

Anti-Muslim hatred is a form of prejudice and there should be no place in Britain for this prejudice, she will say.

It would be a more powerful message from a non-Muslim, someone for whom this is not personally painful.

The fact is that everyone should have an interest in this issue.

It's not just a matter for Muslims or a matter for people of faith. It's a matter for everyone who cares about Britain being the modern, equal, fair society that we want it to be.

Baroness Warsi will pledge further Government support for combatting all types of Muslim discrimination.

 

Offsite: Full text of Warsi's speech to MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks)

26th January 2013. See article from gov.uk

 

Offsite: Massive amount of comments on Huffington Post argue that distrust of muslims is earned and cannot just be attributed to negative press coverage

26th January 2013. Thanks The LibertyPhile

Baroness Warsi thinks the Media is fuelling Anti-Muslim hatred. The British public don't seem to agree. They think the Media is doing its job, reporting the world as it is. They blame Muslims themselves.

Her speech was covered in a Huffington Post article and it has so far attracted over 1500 comments, an enormous number. They overwhelmingly disagree with the Baroness. Nearly 90% think she is wrong.

The comments themselves should be required reading for every British politician. An edited selection can be found in an article from islamsurveyed.blogspot.co.uk

  • Strongly disagree with Warsi          68%
  • Disagree with Warsi                      20%
  • Neutral                                       5%
  • Agree with Warsi                           2%
  • Strongly agree with Warsi               5%

 

Update: French survey similarly reveals that 74% find islam to be intolerant and incompatible with social values

26th January 2013. See article from ansamed.info

France flagA new survey by Paris-based Ipsos research company on Thursday showed 74% of French respondents believe the Muslim religion is intolerant and incompatible with their social values.

The survey, published on the Le Monde newspaper website, also showed eight out of 10 French people believe the Islamic religion tries to impose its views on others, 10% believe a majority of Muslims are fundamentalists, and another 44% believe a many but not all Muslims are fundamentalists. (without quite being able to define fundamentalism).

 

Offsite Extract: German survey similarly reveals that only 19% believe that islam is compatible with German culture

28th January 2013. See article from dw.de

Germany flagOver a period of ten years, the University of Bielefeld carried out a survey, which dealt with different aspects of attitudes to Islam. The survey showed that the mistrust of Islam is relatively widespread in Germany. Only 19 percent of Germans believe that Islam is compatible with German culture.

That is the lowest (figure) that we found in Europe, says social psychologist Andreas Zick, who led and evaluated the study.

The survey also showed that 46 percent of all Germans say there are too many Muslims in Germany, and around 30 percent had specific concerns, for example, terrorist attacks.

 

28th January

  Extreme Intolerance...

Iran jails US man for 8 years for preaching christianity in homes
Link Here

Iran flagAn American pastor from Idaho has been sentenced to eight years in one of Iran's harshest prisons for preaching Christianity in Iranian homes.

Saeed Abedini, a US citizen who was born in Iran, has been held since September and charged with threatening the national security of Iran.

The American Center for Law and Justice, which is working with Abedini's family to free him from Iranian custody, says the pastor led house churches in the Islamic nation in the early 2000s, when the state did not consider such activities a threat.

The ACLJ, a legal advocacy group founded by televangelist Pat Robertson, reports that Revolutionary Court Judge Pir-Abassi convicted and sentenced Abedini after a hastily-called court hearing. The ACLJ says that Abedini was beaten and tortured while in Iranian custody. He and his attorney were allowed to attend just one day of his trial, which began on January 21.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and the State Department have both called for Abedini's release, thought the Iranian government has clearly ignored the request.

 

25th January

 Update: High Flying Censor...

EgyptAir to further censor its in-flight movies after senior politician gets easily offended
Link Here  full story: Sharia in Egypt...Threatening nightlife and tourism

egyptai logoEgypt's national airline said it will analyse its onboard movies to make sure they respect Egyptian values and customs , following a complaint by a senior Muslim Brotherhood member who 'took offence' at a film screened during one of its flights.

EgyptAir said the film had been turned off at the request of Ahmed Fahmy, the speaker of Egypt's upper house of parliament and a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood's 'Freedom' and 'Justice' Party. In a statement, EgyptAir said he had expressed reservations about one of the scenes in the movie.

Local media identified the film as Arees Mama, or Mother's Suitor , a decades-old movie starring the Egyptian actress Nelly.

The case is likely to fuel concerns about the extent to which the Muslim Brotherhood, which propelled President Mohamed Mursi to power in an election last year, could use its new position of power to curb freedom of expression.

 

25th January

  Maybe Biting Off More than He can Chew...

Spanish performance artist believes in provocation and artistic freedom
Link Here

abel azcona eating a koran The navarran (an autonomous community of Spain) performance artist Abel Azcona is receiving threats as a result of is work Eating a Koran , in which he swallows pages from the Muslim book.

This is described as part of a project about religious fundamentalism and the necessity to feed ourselves with fiction, lies and fear . This work is composed by an installation, a performance and a video production, in which the artist spends 6 hours eating a Koran as a critique of religious radicalism. Azcona explains:

I believe in freedom of speech, provocation, and artistic freedom, and I will surely continue doing it today, tomorrow, and forever. I believe in art as a tool for critique and for setting up debate about identity policy.

 

24th January

 Update: Maybe Contributing to 'Mistrust'...

Nigerian muslim extremists murder 23 people for breaking sharia law
Link Here  full story: Boko Haram...Nigeria's Taliban terrorise christians

Nigeria flagIslamic extremists suspected to be from the Boko Haram group have launched another wave of attacks in Nigeria, killing at least 23 people who they deemed to have been breaking Sharia Law.

The two separate attacks occurred on Monday and Tuesday in north-east Nigeria, and targeted people selling pork, which Muslims are forbidden to eat, and a group engaged in gambling, which is also against Islamic law, BBC News reported.

Boko Haram has made it their mission to turn Nigeria into an Islamic state and drive out the nation's Christians, who make up half of the country's population, by any means necessary. In the last few years they have bombed churches, killed pastors and gunned down close to 1,400 people since 2010.

 

24th January

  Maybe Contributing to 'Mistrust'...

Nonsense about getting easily offended by a Jabba the Hutt Lego toy based on Star Wars
Link Here

LEGO Star Wars 9516 Jabbas Lego has been ludicrously accused of racism by a Turkish community who claim a toy is offensive because it is based on a mosque. The critics claim that the Jabba's Palace model, part of Lego's Star Wars range, offends Muslims as it resembles the Hagia Sophia mosque in Istanbul

Members of the Turkish Cultural Community of Austria group also accused the toy manufacturer of depicting Asians as having deceitful and criminal personalities . The group has released a statement calling for an apology from Lego for its cultural insensitivity.

Dr Melissa Gu nes, General Secretary of the Turkish Cultural Community, said that Lego had been contacted with an official complaint. A statement posted on the organisation's website refers to Jabba the Hutt as a 'terrorist' and says that:

He likes to smoke hookah and have his victims killed. It is clear that the ugly figure of Jabba and the whole scene smacks of racial prejudice and vulgar insinuations against Asians and Orientals as people with deceitful and criminal personalities.'

Lego's Katharina Sasse said:

The Lego Star Wars product Jabba's Palace does not reflect any actually existing buildings, people, or the mentioned mosque. The Lego mini-figures are all modelled on characters from the movie

We regret that the product has caused the members of the Turkish cultural community to come to a wrong interpretation, but point out that when designing the product only the fictional content of the Star Wars saga were referred to.

 

23rd January

 Update: More Serious Issues...

Ofcom put Takbeer TV on notice of sanctions for repeated abuse of the Ahmadi community
Link Here  full story: Ofcom on Religion...ofcom keep religious extremism in check

takbeer tv logoGlobal Khatm-E-Nabuwat Movement
Takbeer TV, 9 June 2012, 22:00
Khatm-E-Nabuwat
Takbeer TV, 3 July 2012, 22:00

Takbeer TV broadcasts religious and general entertainment content mainly in Urdu, directed towards the Sunni Muslim community, and is available on the Sky satellite platform.

Ofcom received a complaint about the following two programmes:

  • Global Khatm-E-Nabuwat Movement which was a two and a quarter hour phone-in programme, where a four-person panel answered telephone callers' questions on issues of Islamic theology. The complainant considered that the programme encouraged callers to make derogatory and extreme statements about the Ahmadi community
  • Khatm-E-Nabuwat which was a two hour programme that showed the proceedings of a symposium on Islamic themes held in Luton. The complainant considered that the programme contained statements that were derogatory about the founder of the Ahmadi movement, Mirza Ghulum Ahmad, and members of the Ahmadi community more generally.

Example

Caller: These Qadianis, you want to bring them to Islam, the disease [of not being a true believer in Islam] has gone deeper into them and you are treating their sickness; Allah will reward you for this. These are naïve people; they do not know what Mirza Ghulam Qadiani was.

Ofcom considered:

  • Rule 4.1: Broadcasters must exercise the proper degree of responsibility with respect to the content of programmes which are religious programmes.
  • Rule 4.2: The religious views and beliefs of those belonging to a particular religion or religious denomination must not be subject to abusive treatment.

Ofcom Decision; Breach of Rules 4.1 and 4.2

We considered that the broadcaster did not exercise the proper degree of responsibility with respect to the content of these two religious programmes. The programmes were, therefore, in breach of Rule 4.1 of the Code.

We considered that both the programmes subjected members of the Ahmadi community and their beliefs to abusive treatment and therefore were in breach of Rule 4.2 of the Code.

In recording the breaches of Rule 4.2 in this Finding, we noted that this case followed earlier breaches of Rule 4.2 recorded on 18 June 2011 against the Licensee. These earlier breaches concerned five editions of the programme Tafheem Al Masyal, broadcast between October 2010 and March 2011, which also contained a number of derogatory and abusive references to the religious views and beliefs of the Ahmadi community.

We are greatly concerned that Takbeer TV has broadcast further programmes including content that constituted abusive treatment of the Ahmadi community, despite specific assurances given directly to Ofcom by the Licensee that it had improved its compliance processes to address Ofcom's concerns.

In light of these previous assurances and Code breaches, Ofcom regards the current breaches of Rules 4.1 and 4.2 of the Code as serious.

Ofcom therefore puts the Licensee on notice that we will consider these breaches for the imposition of a statutory sanction.

 

23rd January

 Updated: Muslim Patrol...

Videos show vigilante group harassing people in a muslim area of London
Link Here  full story: Sharia Law in the UK...Shariah tribunals operating in Britain

muslim patrol video Londoners are reportedly being intimidated by a gang of hooded vigilantes who confiscate booze and order women to cover up in Muslim neighbourhoods.

Police have launched an investigation into the group, who call themselves Muslim Patrol, after footage emerged showing the men in vigilante mode harassing passers by, the Daily Mail reports.

In one scene the men are heard calling white women naked animals with no self-respect .

In another scene, the men snatch alcohol from people in the street claiming it's evil .

The group has filmed its antics and uploaded videos on YouTube. The most recent video was uploaded on Sunday.

Shot on a mobile phone, the latest footage shows a number of men intimidating people for various reasons shouting this is a Muslim area towards non-muslims.

Update: Low Scale

20th January 2013. See article from islamophobia-watch.com

In reality, it is clear that the video was shot in Tower Hamlets, near to the East London Mosque.

Nor is there a gang harassing the citizens of Tower Hamlets over their alcohol drinking or way of dressing. As Richard Bartholomew has pointed out, the patrol appears to consist of just two individuals, one of whom is holding the mobile phone with which the video is taken. There is moreover no evidence that they are connected to Choudary's minuscule band of nutters or indeed that they are part of any extremist network at all. Their behaviour was no doubt upsetting for the people they targeted, and hopefully they will be identified and charged with harassment, but if a couple of prats pulling a single Candid Camera type stunt constitutes a serious attempt by Islamist extremists to control London streets then words have lost all meaning.

Update: Another more intimidating example

22nd January 2013. See article from islamophobia-watch.com

The Commentator provides an update on its "Muslim patrol" report with a more recent video, also apparently from Tower Hamlets, in which the self-appointed mutaween target a man they take to be gay.

The harassment recorded here is significantly more unpleasant and intimidating than in the first video, and we can only hope that the people responsible are quickly identified, arrested and prosecuted.

However, it is almost certainly the same two individuals who are involved in this most recent video, one of whom carries out most of the actual harassment while the other records the victim's response on his mobile phone.

Update: Arrested

23rd January 2013. See article from guardian.co.uk

Two men have been arrested after a series of incidents in London saw members of the public harassed by self-styled vigilantes who posted footage of their activities online. One included a clip showing a man being subjected to homophobic abuse.

The Metropolitan Police said that two men were arrested in connection with a series of incidents that took place over the course of 12-13 January in east London. Videos of the incidents were later uploaded onto YouTube.

A 22-year-old man was arrested in Acton on Sunday while a 19-year-old man voluntarily attended an east London police station on Monday.

A Met spokesperson said: The pair were arrested on suspicion of GBH and Public Order offences and have been bailed to return to an east London police station on a dates in February and March pending further enquiries.

The Metropolitan Police Service takes these incidents very seriously and is pursuing various lines of enquiry with a view to identifying and prosecuting the individuals concerned.

 

22nd January

 Update: Serious Issues...

Ofcom considers sanctions against Sangat TV for panel discussion where participants congratulated knife attackers
Link Here  full story: Ofcom on Religion...ofcom keep religious extremism in check

sangat tv logoProgramme about the attack on Lieutenant-General Brar
Sangat TV, 1 October 2012, 19:40

Sangat TV broadcasts religious and general entertainment content in English and Punjabi, primarily directed towards the Sikh community in the UK, and is available on the Sky digital satellite platform.

A complainant alerted Ofcom to a discussion programme on Sangat TV, stating that the programme was congratulating the attackers of Lieutenant-General Brar.

The discussion programme concerned an attack that had taken place on 30 September 2012 on Lieutenant-General Brar. It was reported that whilst on a visit to London Lieutenant-General Brar and his wife had been attacked in a central London street by four men. Despite suffering knife injuries, Lieutenant-General Brar survived the attack.

Lieutenant-General Brar had been the commander of the Indian armed forces who led Operation Bluestar, the Indian Army's controversial military operation against the Golden Temple at Amritsar in June 1984. The Golden Temple is highly revered as a sacred site by the Sikh community, and Operation Bluestar was aimed at removing a number of Sikhs, who were arguing for an independent Sikh homeland, and who were occupying the Golden Temple at that time. It is reported that, according to the Indian Government, 400 people died in the operation, including 87 Indian soldiers. However, these figures are disputed as being too low by some members of the Sikh community.

Ofcom noted that this half-hour programme consisted of eight panellists, including a presenter, discussing issues surrounding the attack. It was broadcast the day after the attack on Lieutenant-General Brar. Eg:

If they [who assaulted Lieutenant-General Brar] were Sikhs, I congratulate them.

Ofcom considered that these statements raised issues warranting investigation under Rule 3.1 of the Code, which states that:

Material likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder must not be included in television or radio services.

Following the broadcast of this programme, Sangat TV said that:

We realise that the comments of this programme were in non-compliance [with the Code] and we were unable to control the live broadcast. This was a highly exceptional situation, and when considered in isolation or out of context may make it look inappropriate.

Ofcom Decision

Ofcom found the programme to have breached Rule 3.1 of the Code. The breach of Rule 3.1 in this case is a serious contravention of the Code. Ofcom views any incident where a licensee has allowed content to be broadcast that is likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder as a significant contravention of the Code.

Ofcom therefore puts the Licensee on notice that we will consider this breach of the Code for the imposition of a statutory sanction.

 

22nd January

  A Gathering of Intolerants...

Britain hosts talks about coordinating international action against religious intolerance
Link Here

Ragged Union JackBritain will tomorrow host high-level talks aimed at coordinating international action against religious intolerance. Representatives from the US, Pakistan, Indonesia and the Vatican are due in London to take part in the talks, hosted by Baroness Warsi. It is seen as an opportunity to begin a dialogue between countries before problems arise and to co-ordinate international responses.

A Government source said:

This is about getting a core group of ministers who can pick up the phone when things happen. You saw with the protests over the Innocence of Muslims film and the killing of the US Ambassador in Libya how quickly and dangerously things can deteriorate.

 

19th January

 Updated: Slavish Outrage...

Django Unchained action figures cause a little 'outrage'
Link Here

NECA Django Unchained Action Figure Action figures depicting characters from Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained are sparking a little 'outrage' in the US.

The National Entertainment Collectibles Association partnered with the Weinstein Company to release eight-inch tall figurines for sale on Amazon. However there is no sign of them on Amazon at the moment, so presumably they have been pulled.

Najee Ali, director of the advocacy group Project Islamic Hope, told AP that the collectible line of movie merchandise is a slap in the face of our ancestors and is hoping for their removal from the market. He feels the plastic personifications of the characters in the film trivializes the horrors of slavery and what African Americans experienced.

As the racial debate over Django Unchained continues, the movie is raking in big bucks at the box office. With over $108 million accumulated domestically, Tarantino's latest is on pace to become his biggest success yet at the box office.

Update: 'Outrage' adds to collectability

19th January 2013. See article from cinemablend.com
See example being offered at US Amazon for $699.99

The Weinstein Company, the production company behind Django Unchained has backed down in the face of the film's most unexpected controversy.

The nutter group, Project Islamic Hope, had asked for the movie's action figures be banned claiming that the dolls trivialize the atrocities of slavery. The group's leader Naji Ali said:

I actually enjoyed the movie, but we cannot support this type of commercialization.

The LA Times reports that Reverend Al Sharpton's National Action Network joined the clamour and called for supporters to boycott the collectible figures.

The Weinstein Company has responded by withdrawing the figures:

In light of the reaction to the Django Unchained action figures, we are removing them from distribution. We have tremendous respect for the audience and it was never our intent to offend anyone.

Of course the ban has resulted in the figures becoming even more collectible and the prices on Amazon have rocketed to several hundred dollars.

 

19th January

 Offsite Article: Banged up for banging on?...

Link Here
The arrest of an EDL leader for ranting against Islam on Facebook should worry anyone interested in freedom.

See article from spiked-online.com

 

17th January

 Update: A Hammer Blow to Religious Tolerance...

Extremist mob of 5000 demolishes church in Egypt
Link Here  full story: Copts in Egypt...Egyptian christian copts denied religious freedom

burning churchHundreds of Muslims came out of mosques with hammers and destroyed a social services building belonging to the Coptic Church while chanting Islamic slogans. Security forces arrived after the building was completely razed.

The building in the village of Fanous, Tamia district in Fayoum province, had all the necessary government permits; it had a reception hall on the first floor and a kindergarten on the second.

But the Muslims insisted that it would become a church. A meeting had taken place beforehand between the village mayor and elders from Muslim and Coptic sides and it was agreed that only the first floor was to remain and the second be demolished.

Mosques in surrounding villages called on their microphones this afternoon on Muslims to go and help their Muslim brethrens in the village of Fanous, because Christians were building a church.

According to rights activist Nader Shukry of Maspero Coptic Youth Organizations, nearly 5000 Muslims took part in demolishing the church property with their hammers, while shouting Allahu Akbar.

He said no one was arrested, not even the imams who called on Muslims to demolish the building; their calls fall under the crime of enticement to violence.

 

16th January

  Why can't we read the Scientology book Going Clear in the UK?...

Because of Britain's anti freedom of speech libel rules
Link Here  full story: Scientology Censors...Scientogists quick to litigate against critics

Going Clear Scientology Hollywood Prison Just the title of Lawrence Wright's Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief tells you more than many books on the subject. Going Clear is a veritable book of revelations on L Ron Hubbard's sci-fi religion, exhaustively detailing its history, its methods and the depth of its weirdness.

Or so we're told. While Going Clear goes on sale in the US and the rest of Europe this week, you can't buy it in Britain. Not because it threatens national security, or features royal breasts, but because of our uniquely obliging libel laws.

Unlike in other countries, under English and Welsh law the burden of proof in defamation cases rests exclusively on the defendant, which means that if someone sues you, it's up to you to prove that it's true. If that someone is, say, a pharmaceutical company, or a church that believes in space people, then you're in for a long, expensive time in court, even if you win (legal costs here are up to 140 times higher than international norms). Hence Transworld's decision not to publish. The legal advice was that Going Clear's content was not robust enough for the UK market, they say.

 

16th January

 Offsite Article: Mali music ban by Islamists crushing culture to impose rule...

Link Here  full story: Sharia in Mali...Rebels use to exert their brand of repression
Rebels' clampdown driving music, from Tinariwen's desert blues to Toumani Diabates kora melodies, underground

See article from guardian.co.uk

 

16th January

 Update: European Court Sorts Out the PC Pecking Order...

Gay discrimination trumps religious rights. Health and Safety trumps religious rights. But in the absence of any trump cards, christians at least have the right to wear a cross at work.
Link Here  full story: Religious Incompetence...Letting religion get in the way of doing a job

Bling Jewelry Crucifix Pendant Stainless The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled in the cases of four UK Christians who claimed to have suffered workplace discrimination because of their faith.

Their stories are all different, but the landmark case centred on whether religious principles had a place in the modern British workplace.

In January 2013, European Court of Human Rights judges found in her favour.

Lillian Ladele

Marriage registrar Lillian Ladele worked for Islington Borough Council in London. When civil partnerships were legalised in 2004, Miss Ladele refused to conduct them, saying it was against her religious beliefs. Lillian Ladele Miss Ladele claimed Islington Council had discriminated against her

The European judges rejected her claim. The Court considered that the most important factor to be taken into account was that the policies of the applicants' employers, to promote equal opportunities and to require employees to act in a way which did not discriminate against others

Gary McFarlane

Relationship counsellor Mr McFarlane was sacked by his employer, Relate Avon, after saying he objected to giving sex therapy guidance to same-sex couples.

Employed by the national counselling service in May 2003, the former church elder from Bristol claimed his religious beliefs meant he could not promote gay sex.

ECHR judges agreed with earlier rulings and dismissed his claims. Again the court found that employer's anti-discrimination policies were the most important fact.

Shirley Chaplin

Former nurse Mrs Chaplin was asked not to display her cross necklace by her then employers, the Royal Devon and Exeter Foundation NHS Trust.

They also claimed during the case, in 2009, that the 56-year-old's necklace breached health and safety guidelines, because it could be grabbed by a patient and potentially hurt Mrs Chaplin. Shirley Chaplin Mrs Chaplin had worn the cross necklace on the wards for 30 years

European judges rejected Chaplin's legal action. The court felt that the hospital managers were best placed to decide on health and safety issues and that restrictions were not disproportionate.

Nadia Eweida

Eweida - a Pentecostal Christian of Egyptian descent - went home from a job as a check-in worker for British Airways (BA) at Heathrow Airport after she refused to conceal her silver cross necklace. She was told her silver cross necklace breached uniform policy

The 59-year-old from Twickenham, south-west London, left work in October 2006 after she was told her necklace breached BA's uniform code.

At the time, the airline had banned the wearing of any visible item of adornment around the neck, but this was changed in 2007 to allow staff to display a faith or charity symbol with the uniform.

She decided to sue BA on the grounds of religious discrimination, but lost her case at an employment tribunal and on appeal

The European Court of Human Rights judges found in her favour. In the absence of discrimination or health and safety issues, her religious rights weighed above the employer's desire to promote its corporate image via a uniform and dress code.

No doubt Eweida will be thanking the heavens for small mercies.

 

12th January

  Priest blames vandalism and antagonism to religion on Jimmy Carr and the media...

Nothing at all to do with gay hatred, opposition to life saving condoms, paedophile clerics, violent intimidation and bad attitudes to women then?
Link Here

Jimmy Carr Being Funny DVD A priest has criticised comedians like Jimmy Carr for ridiculing Christianity, blaming the lack of respect for the faith on the vandalism of a nativity crib scene. Father Michael Daley, Parish Priest of Our Lady and St Joseph Catholic Church, is angry at the theft of Joseph's figure in the crib:

It's been in that public street for the last 30 years, people see it as a symbol of Christmas - the people who come to mass are saddened by it, but it's just indicative of the times, where there is a lack of respect for the religious symbols.

Referring to Jimmy Carr on The Big Fat Quiz of the Year, Daley commented:

He made a comment about people going off to midnight mass to worship an invisible man. He's a comedian but there doesn't seem to be any sensitivity to people's beliefs nowadays, it's offensive.

He might think it's amusing to vilify the Christian faith but it permeates into the consciousness of people, there's nothing wrong with free speech but sometimes it goes too far.

I'm not saying he has anything to do with the crib scene but it creates a consciousness, you are bordering on free speech but Christians seems to fair game at the moment.

 

12th January

 Update: Fighting for Poverty...

Philippines catholics challenge a new law making birth control available for all
Link Here

Philippines flagA Catholic couple has asked the Philippines' top court to stop a historic birth control law in the first of many legal challenges as promised by church leaders.

The petition was filed at the Supreme Court by lawyer James Imbong and his wife, who claim the law signed by President Benigno Aquino was unconstitutional.

Imbong's mother Jo, who is representing the couple in the case and is the lawyer for the influential Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, claimed that:

The state has no business entering the bedroom. This law corrupts Philippine culture, mainly the emphasis we put on family values and marriage, taking care of children and parenting.

The Philippine constitution guaranteed the protection of the family and in passing the law the government overstepped its powers , Jo Imbong claimed, not thinking that maybe helping families to be kept to an economically viable size may be the best protection of all against poverty.

The law requires government health centres hand out free condoms and birth-control pills, benefiting tens of millions of the country's poor who would not otherwise be able to afford or have access to them. It also mandates that sex education be taught in schools and public health workers receive family-planning training.

 

11th January

 Update: Divine Decree...

Sultan of Senegal bans non-muslims from using the word 'Allah'
Link Here  full story: Oh My God...Only muslims can use the word Allah in Malaysia

sultan selangorThe Sultan of Malaysia's Selangor state has banned non-muslims from using the word 'Allah' claiming that it is a sacred word exclusive to Muslims.

A statement from the Islamic Affairs Council of the Selangor state says:

Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah made a decision and decreed that the word 'Allah' is a sacred word specific to Muslims and it is prohibited to be used by any non-Muslim in Selangor.

This fatwa includes unspecified stern action against those who disobey the decree

The Malaysia's Council of Churches (CCM) will have not of it. They said they will continue to use the word Allah in the Malay version of the Bible:

Many indigenous communities in our nation have incorporated this word in their everyday language. That being the case, we shall continue this practice, and call on all parties to respect this fundamental right.

 

10th January

 Update: Throwing the Book at Another Blasphemy Victim in Pakistan...

10 years in jail for misquoting a religious verse
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Pakistan...Blasphemy laws used for personal vendettas

Pakistan flagA jusge has jailed a victim of Pakistan's blasphemy laws for 10 years and imposed a fine of Rs200,000 on Tuesday evening.

Ghulam Ali Asghar was arrested on Nov 17, 2011, on a charge of blaspheming the religious character Mohammed by misquoting a Hadith in Punjabi language.

 

6th January

 Update: Inciting Censorship...

OIC calls on the French government to censor Charlie Hebdo magazine
Link Here

OIC flagThe French government should take appropriate action against a magazine that's publishing new caricatures of the religious character Muhammad, according to the secretary general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said the publication, which is part of a series on the life of Islam's last prophet by French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, should abide by the provisions, particularly those in the European Union context, on incitement to hatred and violence .

The OIC is an inter-governmental organization of 57 muslim states. It called on Muslims around the world to exercise restraint.

 

6th January

 Offsite Article: FGM - unreported, ignored and unpunished...

Link Here  full story: Stop FGM...The nasty world of female genital mutilation
Ten years after new legislation, still no one has been charged

See article from independent.co.uk

 

5th January

 Update: What's in a Name?...

The continuing campaign in Malaysia to ban christians from using the religious character name, Allah
Link Here  full story: Oh My God...Only muslims can use the word Allah in Malaysia

Malaysia flagSome 30 members of the Penang Muslim Network (JMPP) staged a peaceful demonstration in George Town in Malaysia to call for clarification that christians are banned from using the religious character name, Allah.

The group claimed that the PAS party leader Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa had condoned the use of the word Allah by christians n a church dialogue at Butterworth two years ago.

The protesters also gathered to condemn Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng who brought up the issue of using Allah in Christianity recently. They converged in front of the mosque in Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling with numerous placards, taking Lim to task for stirring up the controversy among Muslims and non-Muslims and supporting apostasy.

The group had pledged to collect signatures from Muslims to oppose the adoption of Allah by non-Muslims before handing it to Lim by hand.

 

3rd January

 Updated: Comic Biography...

Charlie Hebdo magazine set to publish comic strip biography of Mohammed
Link Here

Charlie Hebdo logoThe French magazine, Charlie Hebdo, plans to release a comic book biography of Mohammed's life on Wednesday.

The weekly magazine has previously published cartoons featuring the religious character Mohammed and has therefore wound up a few muslims resulting in its offices being firebombed and destroyed by terrorists.

Charlie Hebdo's publisher Stephane Charbonnier said the Mohammed feature would be educational, and that it was an attempt to defend free speech:

Before having a laugh about a character, it is better to know him.

I don't think higher Muslims could find anything inappropriate.

The biography was put together by a Franco-Tunisian researcher known only as Zineb..

Update: Published

3rd January 2013. See article from independent.co.uk

Charlie Hebdo was duly published as stated. Jerome Taylor took a look and commented in the Independent:

The few pages I have seen so far -- and I must admit it's not the whole book -- clearly pokes fun at the Prophet as much as it supposedly informs the reader about his life.

As a baby, for example, he appears naked rather frequently and there's one page where he is suckling on multiple breasts. Now Charlie Hebdo might argue, well, babies are often naked and the Prophet was indeed fed by multiple wet nurses. But you nonetheless get the impression they're looking to get a rise (which, sadly, they may well get).

 

3rd January

 Update: Sidelined and Side-Saddled...

Indonesian city demands that women ride side-saddle on motorcycles
Link Here  full story: Sharia in Indonesia...Starting with alcohol prohibition

side saddleWomen in the Indonesian city of Lhokseumawe have been banned from riding astride motorbikes because of ludicrous fears that it distracts men drivers.

Civic leaders in the second largest city in Aceh province say they are clamping down on un-Islamic practices. Mayor Suaidi Yahya said:

Women sitting on motorbikes must not sit astride because it will provoke the male driver. It's also to protect women from an undesirable condition.

It's improper for women to sit astride. We implement Islamic law here.

 

2nd January

 Update: Crippling Attitudes...

7 people murdered in Pakistan seemingly in continuing attacks on a polio vaccination campaign
Link Here  full story: Vaccination Against Religion...Clerics preach distrust of vaccination

Pakistan flagGunmen on motorcycles sprayed a van carrying employees from a community center with bullets, murdering five female teachers and two aid workers.

The director of the group that the seven worked for says he suspects it was the latest in a series of attacks directed at antipolio efforts in Pakistan. Some extremist muslims oppose the vaccination campaigns, accusing health workers of acting as spies for the United States and claiming the vaccine is intended to make Muslim children sterile.

Last month, nine people working on an antipolio vaccination campaign were shot and killed.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the latest shootings.