Archive for May, 2007

Iran accuses Persepolis of Islamophobia

Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis shared the jury prize at Cannes this year, causing much consternation among Iranian officials.

The film is based on her autobiographical graphic novel of the same name which offers a satirical take on oppressive life under the theocratic regime after the Iranian revolutoin.

Mehdi Kalhor, the cultural adviser to president Ahmadinehad, says:

Islamophobia in Western drama started in France, and producing and highlighting the anti-Iranian film ‘Persepolis’ in Cannes falls in line with Islamophobia.

(He is probably referring to Voltaire’s Mahomet)

Other officials claim that it is part of a US-led conspiracy to encourage reformist forces in Iran.

Falwell’s spirit lives on in Poland

tinky winky

The BBC reports that the government spokesperson for children’s rights in Poland has ordered an investigation into the Teletubbies.

Like the late Jerry Falwell before her, Eva Sowinska is concerned that Tinky Winky (the Purple One) might be a sinister attempt by the Homosexual Lobby to turn innocent heterosexual toddlers into marauding sodomites. She has ordered psychologists to investigate.

She told a magazine:

I noticed he was carrying a woman’s handbag. At first, I didn’t realise he was a boy.

As Ms Sowinska is Polish she can perhaps be forgiven for not knowing that Tinky Winky is a boy’s name.

UPDATE: (31 May) It seems that international ridicule can sometimes have a positive effect. A spokeswoman for Eva Sowinska has confirmed that the investigation into Tinky Winky’s sexual preferences will be dropped.

They are fictional characters and have nothing to do with reality.

British comic stirs it up in Berkeley

A British comic’s humorous YouTube rant against Islam has caused ructions in California. Berkeley city council leaders condemned Pat Condell‘s five-minute monologue – one of a series on the subject of religion – as “stunning” because of its “stereotyping and bigotry of the tone and the language”.

Commissioner Elliot Cohen described it as “insulting, degenerating and racist”. Degenerating?

Condell’s views are certainly robustly expressed, but not racist (Islam is not a race). He makes the point that the increasingly shrill demands of various religions are largely the result of vocal Muslims getting their way via threats of violence:

they’ve shown everybody else what can be achieved by bullying and intimidation, so now every crackpot in the country feels entitled to respect for their precious beliefs.

He describes fundamentalist Muslim men who oppress women as “primitive pigs whose only achievement in life is to be born with a penis is one hand and a Koran in the other” – which seems fair enough.

Condell has received death threats from Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Tower Hamlets. This is the video in question:

YouTube has a history of removing anti-Islam videos, and banning the creators. So let’s see how long this one stays up for.

NZ Christ-crunchers sue South Park

bloody mary
The South Park Bloody Mary episode continues to get cassocks in a twist around the world, the latest victims being Bishops in New Zealand who have brought their case to the High Court.

They had previously complained to the Broadcasting Standards Authority, but the complaint was thrown out.

Bloody Mary features a statue of the Blessed Virgin miraculously “bleeding from her ass” and inspiring pilgrimages from around the world. Pope Benedict makes an appearance to declares that the statue is actually bleeding from its vagina, and is therefore not a miracle because “chicks bleed out of their vaginas all the time”.

More cult trouble for Panorama

A Panorama documentary investigating sex-crime cover ups by the Vatican, the headquarters of a Christian sect known as Catholicism, has been blocked by Italy’s public broadcasting corporation, RAI.

On Saturday the Italian bishops’ newspaper Avvenire branded Sex Crimes of the Vatican as “fit only for the dustbin” and said the producers “should bow their heads and ask forgiveness”. The head of the RIA parliamentary committee, urged the director general not to allow the screening because to do so would turn the public network into an “execution squad read to open fire on the church and the pope”.

The documentary caused protests when it was shown in the UK last October, prompting Cardinal Cormac “Vile Hypocrite” Murphy-O’Connor to complain to the BBC’s director general.

UPDATE: (May 23) Reuters reports that the documentary will go ahead in Italy on the condition that the Church is given a right to reply. This is not enough to satisfy Mario Randolfi, the right-wing politician heading the censorship campaign. He calls it a “Pontius Pilate solution”:

This will permit a media trial against the Catholic Church

He did not explain why if the Church is innocent it should be worried by a “trial”.

“Sex Crimes of the Vatican” is currently the number 1 download from YouTube Italy. Well done Mario Randolfi!

UPDATE (June 1) RAI aired the documentary last night, to protests from the usual quarters.

Calls to ban “obscene” Bible in Hong Kong

sealed bible

Hong Kong’s Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority (TELA) has received over 800 complaints about the Bible. Campaigners are hoping to have the Holy Book reclassified as “indecent”, which would mean only those over 18 could buy it and it would need to be sealed in a wrapper with a statutory warning notice.

The campaign seems to have been started when an article in a student newspaper asking readers if they had ever fantasised about incest or bestiality was deemed “indecent” by the Obscene Articles Tribunal. A website, Truth Bible, was set up detailing the various acts of violence and pornography contained in God’s Perfect Message To The World, as well as its numerous contradictions, absurdities, failed prophecies, inaccuracies and plagiarisms. The website is in Chinese, but has a disclaimer in English in its masthead:


TELA in as yet undecided on whether or not to rule against Yahweh’s Inerrant Word, but a local protestant minister is phlegmatic:

If there is rape mentioned in the Bible, it doesn’t mean it encourages those activities. It’s just common sense … I don’t think that criticism will have strong support from the public.

UPDATE (May 18) A passing commenter informs us that complaints about the Bible have now exceeded 2,000 (the student paper received only around 200), but TELA has so far refused to refer the case to a tribunal. Complaints have been made to an ombudsman about TELA’s double standards.

UPDATE: (May 19) The Telegraph today confirms yesterday’s update. The reason given for exonerating the Bible was:

The Bible is a religious text which is part of civilisation. It has been passed from generation to generation

Recycled outrage from The Daily Mail

The Daily Mail has shamelessly recycled a story about Channel 4’s The Virgin School.

December 2nd, 2006 Daily Mail reporter Paul Revoir wrote a piece on the show. This was the opening paragraph:

Channel 4 sparked outrage yesterday after it was revealed it is
making a new show which will feature a male virgin being taught how
to have sex.

Yesterday, May 16th 2007, he wrote another piece. This was the opening paragraph:

Channel 4 sparked outrage after it screened a new show which featured a male virgin being taught how to have sex.

The article goes on to recycle much of the same material. It even uses the same “beggars belief” John Beyer quote which MWW reported the first time round. Quality journalism.

Farewell to Falwell, by Hitchens

A fitting and elegiac tribute:

Scientologists may sue BBC

The Church of Scientology, a sinister pay-as-you-go cult invented by a third-rate science fiction writer, may sue the BBC and officially complain to Ofcom as a result of last night’s Panorama.

The director John Sweeney was successfully “bull-baited” by top Scientologist Tommy Davis while filming the documentary in the USA, resulting in him bursting into a screaming fit of rage. The video was posted on YouTube by the CoS as part of a propaganda counter-strike against the BBC. Sweeney has since apologised for his outburst.

You can still watch the programme on the BBC website (for now). If you do, you will understand what made Sweeney blow his top. The constant goading of the preposterous, preening Tommy Davis would have tried the patience of Xenu.

Censoring the facts

As the religious censorship scene is rather quiet on the domestic front of late, let us turn our eyes westwards to the campuses of the USA for a moment. David Thompson reports on an extraordinary act of suppression at Tufts University, Massachusetts.

A conservative student newspaper, The Primary Source, has been found guilty of causing “harassment and creating a hostile environment” because it published a spoof advert during Islamic Awareness Week. The advert, quoted in full below, listed a few facts which put Islam in a negative light.

Arabic Translation: Submission

In the Spirit of Islamic Awareness Week, the SOURCE presents an itinerary to supplement the educational experience.

MONDAY: “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.” – The Koran, Sura 8:12

Author Salman Rushdie needed to go into hiding after Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeni declared a fatwa calling for his death for writing The Satanic Verses, which was declared “blasphemous against Islam.”

TUESDAY: Slavery was an integral part of Islamic culture. Since the 7th century, 14 million African slaves were sold to Muslims compared to 10 or 11 million sold to the entire Western Hemisphere. As recently as 1878, 25,000 slaves were sold annually in Mecca and Medina. (National Review 2002)

The seven nations in the world that punish homosexuality with death all have fundamentalist Muslim governments.

WEDNESDAY: In Saudi Arabia, women make up 5% of the workforce, the smallest percentage of any nation worldwide. They are not allowed to operate a motor vehicle or go outside without proper covering of their body. (Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2001)

Most historians agree that Muhammed’s second wife Aisha was 9 years old when their marriage was consummated.

THURSDAY: “Not equal are those believers who sit and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit. Unto all Hath Allah promised good: But those who strive and fight Hath He distinguished above those who sit by a special reward.” – The Koran, Sura 4:95

The Islamist guerrillas in Iraq are not only killing American soldiers fighting for freedom. They are also responsible for the vast majority of civilian casualties.

FRIDAY: Ibn Al-Ghazzali, the famous Islamic theologian, said, “The most satisfying and final word on the matter is that marriage is form of slavery. The woman is man’s slave and her duty therefore is absolute obedience to the husband in all that he asks of her person.”

Mohamed Hadfi, 31, tore out his 23-year-old wife Samira Bari’s eyes in their apartment in the southern French city of Nimes in July 2003 following a heated argument about her refusal to have sex with him. (Herald Sun)

If you are a peaceful Muslim who can explain or justify this astonishingly intolerant and inhuman behavior, we’d really like to hear from you! Please send all letters to

The judging panel of faculty and students responded positively to complaints from the Muslim Students Association, who were offended by these facts.

To quote Stephen Fry, SFW?