Archive for April, 2008

Bad “Bishop” resigns from CCTV

“Bishop” Michael Reid, leader of Michael Reid Ministries and founder of the pro-censorship group the Christian Congress for Traditional Values, has resigned after admitting that he has had an affair.

Both the MR Ministries and CCTV websites have been taken down and replaced with contact details.

The CCTV has been providing us here at MWW with pleasingly whacky Christian fodder since its inception in March 2005. But they really showed their hateful side with their Gay Aim: Abolish the Family campaign which included posters and a video.

How nice that their leader has proven to be a hypocrite as well as a buffoon.

(Thanks to Bartholomew)

Wilders cleared of “spreading hate”

Radio Netherlands reports:

The Hague – A judge has ruled in a case against MP Geert Wilders brought by the Dutch Islamic Federation that Mr Wilders is not guilty of spreading hate, although his statements are provocative. The Islamic Federation wanted a judgement on the Freedom Party’s leader after he compared the Qur’an to Mein Kampf. However the judge ruled that members of parliament have to be able to express their opinions strongly.

Note that this is not about Fitna, but rather a comment he made last year when he called for the Koran to be banned.

UPDATE: (20.00) A Hague court has refused to ban Fitna, correctly deciding that Wilders’ right to free speech allows him to criticise the Koran. The case was brought be the Netherlands Islamic Federation, who thought is should be banned because it was insulting to Muslims. Duh.

Beyond Fitna – Iran’s answer to Wilders

In a hilarious display of childishness, an Iranian organisation called “NGO Islam and Christianity” has begun production of a filmic response to Geert Wilders’ Fitna which will show how the Bible incites Christians to violence.

Fars News Agency reports:

Beyond Fitna focuses on the orders given to worldwide Christians in the (distorted version of) Bible for stoking violence, committing genocide, attacking others, beheading and burning women and children who have been taken into captivity.

The documentary recycles film clips from crimes committed by extremist Christians under the inspirations of the said Bible teachings, and aims to provide a response to the allegations made by Pope Benedict XVI, who called Islam a religion of violence after misunderstanding certain Organic verses.

That’ll get the Christians onto the streets calling for boycotts against Iran and prosecution of the film’s producers. Oh, wait. No it won’t.

We haven’t seen such a shaming example of playground tit-for-tat since the an Iranian organisation set up the Holocaust cartoon competition in revenge for the Danish Motoons.

The world laughed at them that time, too. Will they never learn?

Visions of Ecstasy invited to resubmit to BBFC

The director of the only film to be banned in the UK on the grounds of blasphemy has been invited by the British Board of Film Classification to resubmit his work with a view to permitting its release.

Visions of Ecstasy, directed by Nigel Wingrove, was refused classification in 1989 because the BBFC considered its mix of soft-porn and religion might offend the Anglican church. The decision was eventually upheld by the European Court of Human Rights. Now, with the blasphemy law due to be repealed in June, Craig Lapper of the board’s examining body has asked Wingrove to have another go.

So far, Wingrove appears undecided whether or not to resubmit the film.

Here is a synopsis, taken from the Melon Farmers’ summary of the ECHR case:

The action of the film centres upon a youthful actress dressed as a nun and intended to represent St Teresa. It begins with the nun, dressed loosely in a black habit, stabbing her own hand with a large nail and spreading her blood over her naked breasts and clothing. In her writhing, she spills a chalice of communion wine and proceeds to lick it up from the ground. She loses consciousness. This sequence takes up approximately half of the running time of the video. The second part shows St Teresa dressed in a white habit standing with her arms held above her head by a white cord which is suspended from above and tied around her wrists. The near-naked form of a second female, said to represent St Teresa’s psyche, slowly crawls her way along the ground towards her. Upon reaching St Teresa’s feet, the psyche begins to caress her feet and legs, then her midriff, then her breasts, and finally exchanges passionate kisses with her. Throughout this sequence, St Teresa appears to be writhing in exquisite erotic sensation. This sequence is intercut at frequent intervals with a second sequence in which one sees the body of Christ, fastened to the cross which is lying upon the ground. St Teresa first kisses the stigmata of his feet before moving up his body and kissing or licking the gaping wound in his right side. Then she sits astride him, seemingly naked under her habit, all the while moving in a motion reflecting intense erotic arousal, and kisses his lips. For a few seconds, it appears that he responds to her kisses. This action is intercut with the passionate kisses of the psyche already described. Finally, St Teresa runs her hand down to the fixed hand of Christ and entwines his fingers in hers. As she does so, the fingers of Christ seem to curl upwards to hold with hers, whereupon the video ends.

Nigel, we want this up on YouTube forthwith!

Until then, readers will have to make do with this:

UPDATE: (21:30) In what could be taken as an example of the insouciance with which the mainstream media is now treating the idea of blasphemy – at least as far as Christianity is concerned – the print version of this Observer story is illustrated with a still from the film. It shows a comely young St Teresa straddling the crucified Saviour in what appears to be the act of sexual congress.


Indonesia tells YouTube

The Indonesian Information Minister Mohammad Nuh has written to YouTube, demanding that it remove Fitna. If it does not comply, the Indonesian government and ISPs will block access to the video sharing site.

YouTube, whose record in the area of religious censorship is spotty, have so far responded well:

The diversity of the world in which we live — spanning the vast dimensions of ethnicity, religion, nationality, language, political opinion, gender, and sexual orientation, to name a few — means that some of the beliefs and views of some individuals may offend others.

There have been 3 days of protest outside the Dutch embassy.

Wilders himself wants to edit his movie to remove copyright-violating material. He used Kurt Westergaard’s Turbomb cartoon without permission, and the cartoonist is not happy:

I don’t want my drawing to be used in something that I don’t know anything about. Had Mr. Wilders contacted me, we could have talked together and I could have found out what he wanted with the drawing.

For a Muslim reaction to Fitna which does not involve petulant foot-stomping, read Reem Maghribi’s article over at Pickled Politics.

Wilders has put Muslims in a position to defend their religion and offer alternative explanations for the Quaranic verses which the film has quite dramatically and uncomfortably linked with heinous acts. Muslims must react accordingly. Not by being insulted and angered but by joining the discussion.