Archive for September, 2008

Sherry Jones demands apology

The author of The Jewel of Medina has called on the professor who arguably started all the controversy to “take back her words”.

Random House had sent a review copy of the book to Professor Denise Spellberg, hoping for a quote to put in the blurb. Instead, the witless academic branded it “softcore pornography” that constituted a “declaration of war” and sent a hysterical note to her Muslim colleague.

The author Sherry Jones now says,

She used the most inflammatory language she could possibly have used. If you want to incite heated emotions from any religious group you just use the word ‘pornography’ in the same sentence as their revered figures.

She ought to take back her words because it is in no way an accurate description of my book. There are no sex scenes in it.

I have not dishonoured the Prophet. I wrote it with the intention of honouring him.

Meanwhile, swivel-eyed Muslim fanatic Anjem “How dare you?” Choudary said on the Jeremy Vine show that the book was on insult to the “prophet’s” honour, and therefore merits the death penalty.

Fortunately, the recent attempted fire-bombing has not affected the publication date, according to Jones’ agent Natasha Kern.

Wafer desecrators make Catholics go crackers

Catholics are up in arms against YouTube for allowing Eucharist-desecration videos to be shown.

Hot on the heels of PZ Myers’ Great Desecration (in MWW’s opinion, one of the finest blog posts in the history of the internet) come the YouTube violators – abusing holy crackers for the amusement and edification of the world.

Here’s one right here, from a chap called Dominique who has a steady supply of consecrated wafers, enabling him to perform a desecration a day:

A stunned Msgr. C. Eugene Morris, professor of sacramental theology at Kenrick Glennon Seminary in St. Louis says,

I don’t know what to say. I am outraged that YouTube is tacitly supporting this and giving this behavior an audience.

Even more amusingly, there is an organisation by the name of International Crusade for Holy Relics (warning: bad website) whose director Thomas Serafin rants,

YouTube has to be held accountable and stopped. If Catholics don’t take a stand right now, they can expect such outrages to continue. […] Christ died on the cross for us. The least we can do is defend him in cases like this.

He is talking about a mini-Pringle.

Firebombing at Jewel of Medina publishers

Three or four men have been arrested for the unsuccessful firebombing of The Jewel of Medina’s British publisher’s office.

Martin Rynja’s home in Islington, which also serves as the offices of his publishing company Gibson Square, was attacked in the early hours of Saturday morning. It is suspected that a petrol bomb was pushed through the letterbox.

Nobody was hurt, and arrests have been made. Two of those arrests were made outside the house itself. Did the idiots hang around to watch the fire?

UPDATE: The Times report suggests that the police anticipated the attack, which would explain why the arrests were made so quickly.

Emily Mapfuwa never visited Jesus’ penis exhibition

As reported in The Freethinker, Emily Mapfuwa, the offended Christian trying to prosecute the Baltic art gallery for exhibiting a Jesus-with-a-penis statue, never actually attended the exhibition.

She just read about it in the papers. Probably The Sun, which illustrated its story with completely different statue of Jesus-with-a-penis from a completely different exhibition.

So it is likely that she’s prosecuting the gallery for exhibiting something they didn’t exhibit, in an exhibition she never attended.

Jesus died for her, you know.

Michael Dickinson gets off scot free

Good news from Turkey, where a court took about 20 minutes to decide that collage artist Michael Dickinson did not commit the crime of insulting the Turkish prime minister.

<b>Good Boy</b>: Tayyip Erdogan as a dog

Good Boy: Tayyip Erdogan as a dog

We have blogged about Dickinson getting into trouble for insulting world leaders as far back as 2005, when his website was shut down for portraying Geoge Bush Jr with a cruise missile shooting out of his arse.

This case was about Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose head Dickinson is fond of pasting onto the body of a dog. The judge decided it was art, and not insulting.

The judge read out a testimonial letter from Professor Mehmet Ozer, an art teacher at Marmara University saying that in his opinion the collage ‘Good Boy’ was more an example of political criticism rather than an insult.

He said as Turkey was trying to join the European community a collage such as mine should not be held as a crime.

So I’m free, without even a fine. I’m very relieved to have it all over now after having lived under the shadow of the charge for the last two years.

Congratulations, Mr Dickinson.

Brian available in Torbay

After nearly 30 years of banishment, The Life of Brian is finally being allowed into the Devon town of Torquay.
Roger Saunders, the manager of the surviving Pythons company, Python (Monty) Ltd, which owns the rights to the Python films and television series, said they were ecstatic that Life of Brian was no longer banned in Torbay, even though they were not aware that it had been.

Channel 4 rejects jihad comedy

Erstwhile comedy genius Chris Morris has had his would-be suicide bombers sitcom rejected by Channel 4 on the grounds that it is unsuitable for prime-time audiences.

This is in spite of the fact that the product was “carefully researched to ensure it would not be offensive to Muslims”.

If Morris went to such lengths not to cause offence, the end product was unlikely to have been very funny. We will, however, get a chance to find out – as the project may go ahead under Film4.

Self-censorship strikes Danish animation

The director of a new adult comedy animation from Denmark has admitted that he was afraid to lampoon Islam in the movie, although other religions are freely made fun of.

Thirty year old Thorbjørn Christoffersen, one of the directors of Journey to Saturn, said the scriptwriters had intentionally exempted the one Muslim character from religious satire because of fears for the directors’ safety.

It’s unfortunately been impossible to make fun of the Muslims’ religion. I think we make many jabs at the person Jamil in the film, but it’s correct that we’re not touching his belief. It’s simply too sensitive an area, that I can’t take the responsibility to get involved. I certainly need to think of both my family and my workplace. I’m not a fighter, and I don’t like to have raging Muslims knocking on my door.

I 100% support that people should be able to make fun of everything. but this is not about special consideration for Muslims, it’s about consideration for myself and my family.

The film is an adaptation of the late Danish satirist Claus Deleuran’s strip cartoon.

The author Kaare Bluitgen, whose difficulty in finding an illustrator for his book about Mohammed led to the Jyllands-Posten Motoons farrago, said he found Christoffersen’s attitude “disappointing”. He thinks Deleuran would have had no qualms about satirising Islam:

I am sure that if Claus Deleuren was alive today he would have made the 13th Muhammed cartoon, and it would have been the funniest of them all. Therefore it disappoints me if people push political correctness even here.

The current Justice minister Brian Mikkelsen is also sad:

It’s sad it it’s become so that individual artists censure themselves out of fear of religious fanatics. We have in Dnemark a strong and good tradition of satire, also in connection with religious subjects. And we should hold fast to it.

Christoferssen is unrepentant:

I don’t see this as my or the film’s problem. I will not necessarily be a tool in a campaign, just because I make a cartoon film. At the design studio we all felt concerned by threats against the Muhammed cartoonist, which I completely support, but at the current time I think that it will be dumb to repeat the demonstration. Moreover, I don’t believe in the confrontation model, as I believe that the Muslims with enough time will adapt to Denmark’s standards.

From the trailer, the film looks quite good. Even if they didn’t have the guts to satirise Islam, they certainly have a go at the flag-burning anti-Denmark fanatics who took to the streets over the Motoons.

Danish source.

Guzzanti off the hook (but Pope still bound for Hell, sodomy)

The Italian comedian who was threatened with prosecution after suggesting that Pope Benedict the Whatever would end up in Hell, tormented by “very active poofter devils”, will not be charged after all.

Sabina Guzzanti made the prophecy at a rally in Rome, provoking the ire of the public prosecutor, who was today refused permission to proceed with charges. Angelino Alfano, the Italian Minister of Justice, said he decided not to allow charges to be filed because he knew “the depth of the Pope’s capacity for forgiveness”. Isn’t that sweet?

He also said that Guzzanti had “accepted full responsibility” for her remarks. What was she going to do? Claim that she was possessed by demons?

Anyway, that’s that little episode over. They tried to punish a comedian. They failed. Nothing more to see here, folks. Move along now. Move along.

The Jewel of Medina back on the shelves in Serbia

<b>The Serbian 'Jewel'</b>: Isn't she a bit young to be wearing eye-liner?

The Serbian 'Jewel': Isn't she a bit young to be wearing eye-liner?

In a dramatic u-turn, the publishing house which removed all copies of The Jewel of Medina from bookshops at the first sign of protest from a self-appointed, self-important mufti has apparently grown a pair, and put the novel back on the market.

Beobook publishing company director Aleksandar Jasic explained his change of heart by saying it would be “good for Serbia’s Muslim community” – and besides, since the withdrawal the book, became available on the black market for twice the price. Clearly, Beobook couldn’t stand the sight of profits getting into the hands of pirates.

Whatever the reasons, it is pleasant to note that the triumphant crowing of Serbian Muslim “leader” Muamer Zukorlic was all a bit premature. He had said,

I expect that no one will ever again with any publication insult Muslim sanctity. The Jewel of Medina will not have its second edition.