Archive for October, 2007

Motoon acquittals in Algeria

El Kahbar reports on the acquittal of three TV managers and six journalists who aired the Motoons at the height of that crisis.

The prosecutor had sought 5- and 3-year prison sentences against the defendants, but the court decided that the intention was not to ridicule Mohammed and they were freed.

Presumably if they had intended to ridicule Mohammed the decision may have been different.

Buddhists finally offended

For the first time in MWW’s nearly-three years of blogging religiously-inspired censorship, the Buddhists have made the news.

St Giles Street Gallery in Norwich was visited by the police following complaints about a statue of the Buddha with two polished eggs and a golden banana in his lap. They threatened to seize and destroy the statue until a compromise was reached and it was turned to face away from the window.

Members of the Norwich Buddhist Centre were among several complainants. Spokesman Tom Llewellyn said:

It is crass and inappropriate and I don’t think it has much value or imagination.

Rise above it, Tom!

Colin Self, the sculptor, defended the work saying it was designed to show how easy it was to cause offence.

The gallery owner, David Koppel, is defiant:

Morally I am totally convinced that this work should be allowed to be seen and it is my intention to continue to display it as prominently as possible.

I will be back in Norfolk next week and I will be taking legal advice. I have no qualms about being arrested and, if necessary, I will allow them to take me away as a protest in favour of artistic freedom.

Good on you, David.

Flemming Rose stuff

Jyllands-Posten editor Flemming Rose has an interview with Reason Magazine in which he talks about reactions to the Motoons crisis.

He covers many angles, including the case’s uniqueness (“Never before in modern times, on such a scale, have Muslims insisted upon applying Islamic law to what non-Muslims are doing in non-Muslim country”), his disappointment at the reactions of most European leaders (Tony Blair and Jack Straw “behaved disastrously”, only EC Presidend Manuel Barraso came out clear), the latest Modog furore (almost all Danish newspapers published the Vilks cartoon), and the current welfare of the 12 cartoonists (all okay, but still under police surveillance).

Random quote (there are many good ones):

Those people who say, “you offended one billion people,” or “you offended a weak minority,” they lack the understanding of the raw power game that was at play here. This had very little to do with insulting religious sensibilities, though it was being used by influential groups and regimes in the Middle East to stir up emotions. It was a very well planned and executed operation. It was not spontaneous in any way.

Also, on his blog, he talks about his reaction to the news that one of the four defendants in the Odense terror case allegedly planned to drive a remote-controlled car bomb into his house.

The defendant – a Danish-born convert to Islam – is claiming that he was only joking. Flemming Rose’s wife is apparently not amused.

(Hat tip B&W and The Comics Reporter)

Dog Shit doesn’t get the point

Stephen “Dog Shit” Green wants to achieve the impossible and stop young people from being naturally attracted to each other’s choice portions and dangly bits.

While chastity until an age at which a young person is more “responsible” (whatever that means, in reality) is an ideal, we know it is an unrealistic goal.

But Dog Shit has been sounding off again after a bit of a silence – bemoaned recently on this blog – and he’s now been wheeled on to comment on whether boys as well as girls should be vaccinated against the sexually transmitted disease that causes cervical cancer in women.

It’s called the human papilloma virus, and can be transmitted to unvaccinated partners.immunisation.jpg

Ministers in the UK reckon around 700 lives a year can be saved by giving the jab to girls aged 12 – but Cancer Research UK say boys aged 12 and 13 should have one, too, because maximising the number of recipients would increase immunity across the population, according to a story on

“Not vaccinating boys will increase the risk that homosexual men will become infected,” Dr Anne Szarewski of Cancer Research UK told GP magazine.

Ah! That’s it. That’s why Stephen Green’s had a say. The magic word “homosexual”. It’s all making sense now. No wonder he’s so eager to do his bit for fine, upstanding Christians. (Psst. The man protesteth too much, methinks.)

While there’s controversy over whether the programme should stick to girls and leave boys out of the reckoning, that’s on scientific grounds, and not the job of this blog to opine on. What DS is talking about is the usual Christian chastity thing.

It’ll lead to more sexual activity among young people, he reckons. Er, like, it’s not happening already?

“Giving the vaccine to boys as well as girls would simply encourage promiscuity among boys,” he is quoted as saying. “What these vaccines do is bring about a false sense of security.

“Boys are simply going to think, ‘I’m all right now’ and will take more risks. Surely a better way would be for schools to put more effort into promoting a lifestyle of chastity.”

Well, quite right, Stephen. Every 12-year-old boy has heard of the human papilloma virus and just can’t wait to have an inoculation against it. None of them have been going about doing what boys do once a new hormonal agenda takes over in their young lives.

Ah, but of course. DS would want it taught from a biblical perspective. And how old were girls in those far-off idyllic days when they became mothers?

Muslims and free speech

The estimable Sunny Hundal has a good article on CiF today explaining why the religious in general – and Muslims in particular – should embrace the principles of free speech, even if it sometimes hurts.

Freedom of speech and expression has allowed minorities in the UK to dress in the ways they want to, live how they want to and practice their own beliefs within the law.


While Jews and Christians have become more politically astute in realising that creating a stink only backfires in their faces, most Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims are woefully immature in this regard. Free speech is especially important for minority groups because when there is a crackdown through legislation on “unpopular” thoughts, it usually affects them disproportionately. It’s about time they realised this.

Go read it all.