Archive for September, 2009

Blasphemy Day sees launch of new Irish Atheist campaign

Atheist Ireland have today launched a fresh campaign for a secular Irish constitution. This new aim complements the existing campaign to repeal the Irish Blasphemy law.

The campaign has one common aim that transcends any other differences we may have: that all Irish citizens, of all beliefs and none, can live together in equality, with the State being neutral on matters of religion.

They’d appriciate it if you sent them a message of support.

Here’s the MWW contribution to Blasphemy Day International. A Motoon-headed Shiva in a Yahweh-dissing t-shirt committing the “unforgivable sin” of blaspheming the Holy Spirit (Mark 3:29).

Beat that!

Bye bye Beyer, hello Viv

Mediawatch-UK, the increasingly irrelevant activist group after which this website was named, has confounded pundits by appointing a relative unknown as its new Director. Vivienne Pattison has up to now created barely a ripple in the cesspool of pro-censorship activism, so it will be interesting to see what she brings.

Unlike Beyer’s mini me, The Boy Turtle, Vivienne is an unknown quantity. Does she, like Beyer, form her most deeply held opinions on the basis of a fundamental confusion between correlation and cause? Does she share his way with words, or can she string together a coherent sentence? As a former accounts director at a public relations company, she looks to be in a different league.

Here at MWW we extend our congratulations to Vivienne Pattison on her appointment, and wait eagerly for her contribution to the UK’s cultural conversation.

Oh, and bye-bye John. Enjoy your retirement.

Brussels art installation forced to close

<b>Magic carpet</b>: Click the heels together three times you'll wake up in Mecca

Magic carpet: Click the heels together three times you'll wake up in Mecca

An art installation in a Brussels shop window has been forced to shut down early because of the violently negative reaction it provoked in some passers-by.

Mehdi Lahlou-Georges’ exhibit took up the whole of the shop floor with an array of Muslim prayer mats. Each mat had a pair of men’s shoes next to it, except one which was occupied by a spot-lit pair of stilettos.

The shop window had stones thrown at it and was spat at before it was boarded up by the owners. Although the religion of the vandals is not known for sure, the artist seems to have his suspicions: he says that the Muslim community did not understand the message of his work.

He is apparently unaware that there is a significant portion of the Muslim community which takes pious delight in claiming offence at any given opportunity.

(Hat tip: Islam in Europe)

Westergaard to speak at Yale

Perhaps the widespread criticism of Yale’s decision to publish The Cartoons that Shook the World has stung the university and the Press into face-saving action. News is filtering through that Kurt Westergaard, the cartoonist responsible for the iconic Turbomb cartoon of Mohammed, has been invited to speak at on the campus on October 1st (next week).

Which is nice. But what happened to Yale’s self-declared fear of stoking Muslim violence?

Wilders trial set for January

Dutch politician Geert Wilders is due to appear in an Amsterdam court in January on charges of discrimination and inciting hatred. His anti-immigration movie Fitna, plus articles and letters in the Dutch press where he compared the Koran to Mein Kampf and called for it to be banned, are cited by prosecutors.

Wilders has said that he wants to put Islam on trial, and is thinking about bringing some interesting witnesses for his defence:

That is why I am considering calling on radical imams and other idiots as witnesses.

Will he bring Abu Bakri from Lebanon? He was quite impressed by Fitna, saying “it could be a film by the Mujahideen.”

It will be an interesting trial.

Marmite for the weak

BoingBoing has a story highlighting “Vegemite’s stupid and clueless linking policy.” You cannot actually access their website without first agreeing to this. It includes the proviso:

You are also prohibited from linking the Site to another website in any way whatsoever.

Vegemite? Pfft. Everyone knows it’s just Marmite for wimps.

Australian $cientologists call for censorship

Last year the Australian Human Rights Commission called for submissions for their “Freedom of Religion and Belief in the 21st century project.” Among the 1937 responses was one from the Church of Scientology (PDF download), who spotted the opportunity to call for drastic across-the-board censorship laws to protect them from criticism and scrutiny.

Their recommendations are summarised at the end of the document:

Recommendation 1: The implementation of Criminal and Civil Restrictions on Religious Vilification.
Recommendation 2: Restriction on Anonymity on acts of Religious Vilification:
2.1 Websites created with primary purpose of inciting religious vilification shall be removed or their access to the Australian public restricted.
2.2 Creators of websites whose primary purpose is the incitement of religious vilification shall be prevented from concealing their identity.
Recommendation 3: Restriction on Religious Misinformation and Misrepresentation known or reasonably known to be untruthful in the Media
Recommendation 4: Include a form of Bill or Charter of Rights into the Australian Constitution, which prevents the Commonwealth from making any law, which ‘directly, indirectly or incidentally’ prohibits the free exercise of religion to the extent of such prohibition

That last recommendation is about protecting the Co$ from taxation and immigration restrictions on their members.

It looks like Anonymous has got them on the run!

Sabina Guzzanti’s Pope diss

You have probably heard that Penn and Teller released a magnificent “Bullshit” episode about the Vatican last month. If you haven’t seen it, you should.

A lot of it centre’s around Italian comedian Sabina Guzzanti, who got into trouble with the Vatican last year for saying the Pope would end up being sodomised in hell. They tried to prosecute her, but when it became apparent that they couldn’t they decided to “forgive” her.

The Bullshit video contains footage of the incident, which took place at a rally in Rome. It hadn’t been freely available before. It is now:



within 20 years the Pope will be where he ought to be — in Hell, tormented by great big gay demons, and very active ones, not passive ones.

We suspect he wouldn’t mind that much.

Danish party issues counter apology demand to Saudis

The demand by a Saudi law firm for printed apologies for the Motoons was clearly the last straw for the right-wing Danish People’s Party. They have now issued a counter-demand to Muslim countries (link to Googlish translation).

The party’s spokesman on social affairs believes they have a lot to apologise for:

There’s stoning, there’s flogging, there’s Sharia law. there are many of the problems we see in Denmark with some of the descendants and refugees we’ve taken in. And not just in Denmark, but also in other Western countries there’s massive integration problems and problems with crime.

And we can also go back to more historical things, where they performed ethnic cleansing in the name of Islam

He goes on to explain that he thinks it is ridiculous for Muslim countries to demand apologies for the Motoons:

Therefore we play the ball over to the other side of the court and say that they should get a grip on things in their own backyard before they begin to blame others for things and issues which basically are not very serious.

(Hat tip: Islam in Europe)

Arab European League to be charged over Jewtoon

The BBC reports that the an organisation known as the Arab European League is to be prosecuted in the Dutch courts for publishing this cartoon, deemed offensive to Jews:

As we reported last month, the AEL republished this cartoon on their website in protest at the prosecutor’s decision to dismiss a case against Geert Wilders’ Motoon, while simultaneously judging that their Jewtoon was “punishable.” The judgement was justified by explaining that the Motoons targeted Mohammed, not Muslims, whereas the above cartoon attacks Jews as a group.

Unfortunately, this is the kind of situation which inevitably arises wherever anti-free speech Holocaust denial laws pertain. Legally, the prosecutor has a strong case, but it is understandable that a group such as the AEL sees injustice in it.

Having said that, AEL chairman Abdoulmouthalib Bouzerda has come out with a hilarious example of the kind of solipsistic paranoia which is sadly symptomatic of much of modern Islam:

Freedom of expression is only a pretext to make life bitter for Muslims… and if [they] try to bring this hypocrisy to light, that right is denied them.

Yes, that’s right Abdoul. It isn’t really the cornerstone of democracy and a prerequisite to progress. Freedom of expression is just something we invented to annoy Muslims.