Archive for March, 2009

James Randi blocked by YouTube!


Veteran woo-slammers, The James Randi Educational Foundation, have mysteriously had their YouTube account suspended. It is not yet known why, but the reasons are almost certainly nefarious. Creationists? Uri Gellar? Someone who regards any critique of their particular brand of woo as “hate speech”? It’s anyone’s guess at the moment.

You can complain here.

UPDATE: (3 April) It’s back. No explanation as yet.

UPDATE: (4 April) It was a matter of copyright violation.

UN “defamation of religion” fight goes on

In spite of the recent redraft of the outcome document erasing references to defamation of religion and Israel, many still fear that the OIC are not going to give up the fight to have their metaphysical opinions shielded from nasty words. Reuters reports that

Some 200 secular, religious and media groups from around the world on Wednesday urged the United Nations Human Rights Council to reject a call from Islamic countries for a global fight against “defamation of religion.”

Meanwhile, a Number10 petition has been set up:

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to ensure that the UK Government uses all of its powers to reject and, if possible, veto any attempt at the United Nations to limit free speech in relation to religion and any associated attempt to criminalise the criticism of religion and encourage other governments to similarly reject/veto any such attempt.

Sign it here.

(Hat tip Nullifidian)

UPDATE: (27 March) They went and adopted it anyway. They’ve been doing this every year since 1999. As Roy Brown of the International Humanist and Ethical Union points out, such resolutions are not binding, but they are permissive. That means they legitimise repressive legislation by the human-rights abusing governments who endorse them.

The fight for the Durban draft document goes on.

Pope condom-head toon condemned

<b>Knob head</b>: Chief biscuit-muncher not shown sufficient respect

Knob head: Chief Biscuit-Muncher not shown sufficient respect

This is the Peter Brooks cartoon which prompted Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor to pen an angry letter to The Times.

I was appalled at the tasteless cartoon depicting Pope Benedict XVI. No newspaper should show such disrespect to a person who is held in high esteem by a large proportion of Christians in the world. To pillory the Pope in this way is totally unacceptable.

And it’s not just the Murph who is exercised by the recent outcry prompted by Pope Benedict the Whatever’s criminally irresponsible remarks about condoms. The Catholic church in Italy has officially rejected the mockery.

Angelo Bagnasco, the country’s top bishop:

We will not accept the Pope being made the object of mockery and offence, in the media or elsewhere.

He represents for everyone a moral authority, which this journey has made people appreciate even more.

How hurtful. You offer up some sincere and heartfelt mockery and they throw it back in your face.

(Hat tip The Freethinker)

Wilders may face French court for speech made in New York

If they are trying to make a free-speech martyr out of a largely undeserving politician, they are certainly going about it the right way.

A French human rights group is trying to take the Dutch politician Geert Wilders to court over a speech he made in New York last September. Lawyer Yassine Bouzrou lodged a complaint on behalf of the ” Collective against Islamophobia”. It is currently being considered by the state prosecutor.

Bouzrou complains that Wilders had said such things as

aris is now surrounded by a ring of Muslim neighborhoods


Many neighbourhoods in France are no-go areas for women without head scarves

Says Bouzrou:

Wilders says in that speech also that one in three French Muslims supports suicide attacks. With that he suggests that one in three French Muslims is a potential terrorist. Where he does he get all of this? How did he get ot it? Wilders makes serious accusations which are based on nothing.

So, Bouzrou, what you do is refute those allegations if you are able. You do not try to get the speaker sent to prison for up to a year for saying things you do not like.

The prosecutor cannot let this case go to court. The idea that a Dutchman can be prosecuted in France for saying something perfectly legal in the United States is simply too absurd to contemplate.

Europe is not Jordan.

If this goes through, the United States should issue speeding tickets to every driver in France.

Original article in Dutch, with thanks to Islam in Europe for the translation.

Vatican will call for boycott of “Angels and Demons”

The Telegraph reports that prequel to Dan Brown’s preposterous The Da Vinci Code looks set to be subject to a boycott by the Vatican.

Angels and Demons stars Tom Hanks, once again playing Harvard professor Robert Langdon. His mission this time is to save the Vatican from being destroyed by a canister of anti-matter.

Which raises the obvious question: why?

Norway: Koran art exhibition forced to close

Click the image to see more of Ahmed Mashhouri's work

Click the image to see more of Ahmed Mashhouri's work

Hours after a poster exhibition in the Telemark county library was opened to the public, it was physically attacked by three Muslim women, prompting the library to remove it from show.

Iranian artist Ahmed Mashhouri’s rather classy productions placed quotes from the Koran alongside his own graphics.

My aim is not to insult anybody and their faith. It’s to get a better understanding of the laws found in the Quran. These laws perhaps fit better in the old days, but today they just seem inhuman. I hope that my works will be a wake-up for my dear coreligionists,

Not everyone agrees. One of Mashouri’s students, Abdulkadir Mohammed, invited to the relocated exhibition in Porsgrunn, said:

I’m insulted. Is it necessary to create blasphemy and hate in this way? One must be careful with art.

He particularly objected to the verse 2.223 written above a woman’s bare breast. The verse reads:

Your wives are a tilth for you, so go into your tilth when you like, and do good beforehand for yourselves, and be careful (of your duty) to Allah, and know that you will meet Him, and give good news to the believers.

Right. On one hand we have a Koranic verse which has been used to support centuries of oppression, cited as an excuse to perpetuate female servitude and even marital rape. And on the other hand we have an image of a woman’s breast. One of these things is certainly sullied by the juxtaposition. But it’s not the one that Abdulkadir thinks.

Wikileaks is offline – Was it the Australian government?

The Australian government’s ridiculous attempts to police the internet on behalf of its citizens may have taken an even more sinister turn. Wikileaks, the whistle-blowing anti-censorship site which the Australian Communications and Media Authority added to its blacklist recently, has now gone offline completely.

Wikileaks carried a pdf document puporting to be a complete list of ACMA blacklisted sites. Is this the reason for Wikileaks’ sudden disappearance? We do not know for sure. But we suspect it won’t be down for long.

In the meantime, if you want to see the blacklist which the ACMA don’t want you to see, you can download the pdf here.

UPDATE: (14:08) It is back.

UPDATE: (15:17) Wikileaks informs us the downtime was due to a “deluge of traffic and a DDOS attack over the leaked australian censorship list”. You can donate to their cause here and help keep them online in the face of popularity.

UPDATE: (20 March) The latest list of ACMA blacklisted sites has now been leaked.

UPDATE: (16:55) Australia’s clumsy censorship attempts sink further into farce, as it is revealed that a dental surgery and a tuck shop are included on the ACMA blacklist.

Defamation of religion passages dropped from Durban II document

Excellent news from the UN, where threats by the European Union to join the US, Italy, Israel and Canada in boycotting April’s anti-racism conference, Durban II, have resulted in a victory over the OIC. Passages relating to “defamation of religions”, as well as perceived anti-semitic references to the Palestinian territories and Middle East, have been dropped from the meeting’s draft declaration.

Durban II may not turn out to be such a farce after all.

UPDATE: (March 19) Despite the big improvement in the draft document, there are still some “red lines crossed” . According to the American Jewish Committee’s useful “Durban II Countdown” website:

the Dutch, for instance, demand that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation be condemned, and the U.S. doesn’t want a full reaffirmation of the 2001 Durban Declaration, which accused Israel of racist practices.

The Dutch have submitted their own proposal which adds new language affirming the importance of free expression, and the inadmissability of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Good luck with that one, you Dutch.

BT closes Catholic website after MP complaints

The website of a bunch of demented Catholics has been shut down by BT after complaints by a group of MPs, who claimed it was anti-semitic.

A look at (catchy strapline “Combating the antichristic conspiracy of the Khazar ‘Jew’ supremacists in honour of the Sacred Head of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Seat of Divine Wisdom.”) via the WaybackMachine confirms that it is indeed amazingly anti-semitic – but in such an extreme fashion that it is more likely to provoke gales of laughter, rather than hatred.

Under a photo of the Turin Shroud is their mission statement:

Most Sacred Head of Jesus, Temple of Divine Wisdom and Providence against Error, preserve us from those who conspire against Thee. Mercifully deliver the bullying antichrist Jews from their delusions, and save their poor souls from the dread fires of eternal Hell.

The first article on the Wayback-preserved site is entitled “Various Nations Will be Annihlated”, and begins

So spoke Our Lady of Fatima in 1917, warning us of the many temporal punishments that would ensue should the ecclesiastical hierarchy spurn Her heavenly requests. Ninety years have now passed. Our blind, apostate hierarchy considers the Message of Fatima even more irrelevant to this century than they did to the last. As a consequence, all the nations of Christian Europe, long since internally corrupted by Ashkenazi-Jew supremacism (via its gentile arm Freemasonry), are now set for extinction. Nations formed by Divine Providence over hundreds of years will formally fall to these Judeo-Mongols from Khazaria and their satanic federal Europe. Since these nations have rejected Christendom, Heaven will now give them over to Satandom.

About 50 killjoy MPs, led by John Mann (Lab), sought to deprive the public of this goon-show quality source of biscuit-munching comedy by tabling the following Early Day Motion:

That this House notes the vile and anti-Semitic nature of the website; notes that it is run by a known fascist and seeks to inspire hate against the Jewish community amongst others; understands that according to Nominet’s WHOIS service it is based in the United Kingdom through ISP provider Plusnet in contradiction with that organisation’s own hosting policies and remains available to be viewed by the world; calls on Plusnet to stop hosting the website content; and calls for the domain name to be revoked and believes that those who are writing, commissioning and uploading vile hate speech should face the full force of the law.

The loon in charge of the website is one Timothy Johnson from Sheffield, and he’s rather miffed. He believes the actions raise concerns about civil liberties and the free discussion of controversial and provocative subjects on the internet. Whatever your opinion of the dribbling cracker-necker’s religious convictions, you have to admit he has a point.

If MPs and ISPs think we need protecting from this kind of drivel, it won’t be long before the whole country is given over to Satandom.

(Hat tip: Pickled Politics)

Did New Scientist censor anti-creationist article?

Eyebrows are being raised at the pulling of an article called “How to spot a hidden religious agenda” from the New Scientist’s website. All that remains of the NS book reviewer’s analysis of tell-tale creationist tropes in supposedly scientific books and articles is a notice reading

New Scientist has received a complaint about the contents of this story. It has temporarily been removed while we investigate. Apologies for any inconvenience

Speculation is rife. Was it simple a case of hurt religious sentiments, in which case the magazine and its editor deserve all the backlash they get? Or was there a more sinister libel claim by one of the cretinists mentioned in the article, which would be more forgivable, but still hard to understand as it doesn’t take a lawyer to see that there is nothing remotely actionable in there.

What is more, the article appeared in the print edition of the magazine.


You can read the full text here.

UPDATE: (18:06) A new notice in place of the removed article confirms that this is a legal matter. We predict the article will be up again soon. (Thanks to the New Humanist for noticing.)