Archive for May, 2010

Vilks’ lecture gets go-ahead

Good news from Sweden, where Lars Vilks has been invited to have another go at giving his lecture at Uppsala University.

The first time he tried to deliver his lecture on freedom of expression and art, he was rudely interrupted by a handful of Islamists baying “Allahu akbar” (he isn’t). There were three arrests.

The Department of Philosophy’s director of studies, Rysiek Sliwinski said,

Violence and intimidation will not silence people at the university or elsewhere in society.

Spanish artist faces hefty fine for cooking Christ

The New Humanist brings our attention to a bizarre story from Spain. A popular songwriter, Javier Krahe, and the TV station which interviewed him in 2005, face possible fines of 192,000 and 144,000 euros for the crime of showing stills from a video he made in 1978 which showed a woman cooking the body of a Christ she had cut from a crucifix.

The villains of the piece are those troublesome Catholic cretins, and Javier Maria Perez-Roldan of the Tomas Moro Centre, who have crossed our radar several times before (atheist buses, blasphemous photos, defamatory gay pride parades, and a toy guitar for the Pope, respectively).

A translation from Público gives us the transcript of the video above:

Let’s take a gaunt Christ for every two persons. Remove the spikes and take the body from the cross, which will be left aside. The stigmas can be stuffed with bacon. Uncrust with warm water and dry carefully. Abundant butter will be spread on the Christ, which will be then placed on an ovenproof dish, over a bed of onions. Spread over it some salt and pepper, other spices and fine herbs can be added to suit your taste. The mixture is to be left in a moderate fire oven for three days, after which He will get out on his own.

The singer himself is shocked but hopeful:

My lawyer estimates that the trial will not be held before Christmas, but we believe the case will be dismissed due to insufficient arguments.

There are also two Spanish language Facebook groups set up to support him: liberty and creativity: no to the prosecution of Javier Krahe, and Me, I eat Christ raw.

Fingers crossed that this case will be another expensive drain on these censorious organisations’ funds.

South Africa – another toon, another tantrum

The South African Globe and Mail was today beset by tiresome, bullshit-believing cretins with an inflated sense of self-importance. Resident cartoonist, Zapiro, had drawn a cartoon, and the newspaper had published it:

Before publication, the The Council of Muslim Theologians had gone to court in an attempt to block it, but they were turned down.

Ihsan Hendricks, the Council’s president, has no sense of irony:

It seems to be provocative in many ways on the very eve of the World Cup in South Africa, when we need peaceful co-existence and co-operation amongst religious communities in South Africa. What is behind this agenda?

Having kicked up the stink in the first place, Hendricks is now putting on a display of diplomacy:

We have called for calm in the Muslim community.

The Muslim community, however, have other ideas. The newspaper has been receiving threatening phone calls all day. Zapiro himself, whose real name is Jonathan Shapiro, got one from someone called Mohammed: “Which Mohammed is that?” he asked, before the caller became abusive.

Asked about the offence his cartoon caused to Muslims, Zapiro replied:

They should get over it.

Hear bloody hear.

I don’t regret doing the drawing. It was one of the safest of its kind. It poses the question and it has some empathy with those Muslims who feel others are too fanatical. If we can’t express opinions in a democratic society, we really are in trouble.

His editor, Nic Dawes, is standing behind the decision to publish:

In my view no cartoon is as insulting to Islam as the assumption that Muslims are incapable of reacting to a challenging image with anything but violence. I know that Muslims share our constitutional values, and are capable of having the most robust, angry and painful conversations in rigorous and peaceful fashion

The Guardian’s report of this story is helpfully illustrated with a photo of demonstrators in Pakistan. Wouldn’t the cartoon itself been a bit more useful?

UPDATE: (25 May) The Mail & Guardian set an example for the rest of the world’s press by insisting that there will be no apology for publishing the above cartoon.

Now Pakistan blocks YouTube

The BBC reports that YouTube is the latest site to be banned by Pakistani authorities.

The Pakistani Telecommunications authority said the move came only after “all possible avenues” had bee used to “avoid appearances of derogatory material available on their websites”.

“Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” provokes demos in Pakistan

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Pakistan to protest against “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” and call for a boycott of Facebook, where the event is being promoted.

Yahoo has a nice gallery of the sexually segregated protests.

Here is MWW’s contribution to the fun:

The Prophet Mohammed, yesterday

Pakistan blocks Facebook’s “Draw Mohammed Day” page

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has instructed all ISPs to block the “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!” Facebook page.

The international Motoon-making day was inspired by death threats received by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone after they made fun of the fact that everyone was afraid to draw Mohammed.

The reason given for the Pakistan ban is that the event is

a plot to hurt the millions of Muslims around the world.


UPDATE: (19 May) The Islamic Lawyers’ Forum of Pakistan is now pushing for a blanket ban on Facebook.

UPDATE: It appears the petition has succeeded, and Facebook will be blocked in Pakistan until the 31 May. The judge also urged the Foreign Ministry to “raise the issue at international level”.

Arson attempt on Lars Vilks’ house

Breaking news of an arson attempt on Modoggie artist Larks Vilks’ house. is our only source at the moment, and the translation is fuzzy, but it appears that Vilks not at home when a window was smashed and petrol poured into the room.

This comes in the same week as the assault on him at a lecture (see below).

Reuters has the English story.

Christian preacher arrested (video)

From the homosexuality-obsessed Chrisitian Institute (Q for the CI: Do you really think Jesus thought about it as much as you do?), we have a hidden-camera video of the shameful moment when street preacher Dale McAlpine was arrested.

Coming in the wake of the prosecution of atheist cartoon-leaver Harry Taylor (about which, of course, there were no protests from the CI), this shows the other side of the coin. Yes, McAlpine’s sense of morality has been perverted by his superstitious beliefs, but he was not inciting violence or promoting hatred. He was merely expressing his irrational opinion that homosexual activity is “sinful”. That should be allowed.

Let the fool speak, that his folly may be revealed unto all who hearken unto him.

UPDATE: (15 May) Charges against McAlpine have been dropped.

Lars Vilks attacked while giving lecture

The Swedish artist famous for his Modoggie drawings has been headbutted while giving a lecture on freedom of speech in Uppsala University.

A local newspaper reported rather prissily that “the atmosphere in the lecture theatre became rowdy after Vilks showed a film with sexual content.” In fact, if you watch the video of the event (now gone), it is clear that the flashpoint occurred when Vilks showed some pictures from Soora Hera’s “Allah-o-gaybar” series (blogged here), depicting two half naked men wearing Mo-masks.

The lecture was obviously attended by a few idiots waiting for the opportunity to kick off, which they duly did at the first opportunity. The video shows that man who attacked Vilks was not the only violent one.

Fortunately, the artist was not injured.

UPDATE: (12 May) According to The Washington Post Vilks now acknowledges that he was not headbutted by a protestor, but accidentally collided with a security officer who leapt to defend him from his would-be attacker. Three people were arrested over the incident.

Vilks remains commendably defiant:

What you get is a mob deciding what can be discussed at the university. […] I’m ready to go up again. This must be carried through. You cannot allow it to be stopped.

Knuckle, line, and wind approached by latest Dr Who

Vivienne “Nanny” Pattison, the new leader of smut-busting TV monitors Mediawatch-UK, has been aroused by the latest Dr Who episode in which the timelord’s flame-haired assistant makes a pass at him.

Amy Pond’s overt sexual advances towards the innocent Doctor were made during the pre-watershed primetime screening of the popular show.

The enraged Nanny told The Sun:

The scene was slightly out of place in a children’s programme. I thought it sailed pretty close to the wind.

In other places, she went even further in her condemnation:

I think you would say it went quite near the knuckle.

Possibly some innuendo goes over the head of children and there had obviously been some care taken, but it went very close to the line.

Holy cow! If this what she’s like when the knuckle, line, and wind are approached in a family TV show, how is she going to react when things get close to the bone?