Archive for June, 2010

Pakistan’s blasphemy monitor

A court in Pakistan continues the trend of insulting the intelligence of that country’s entire population by ordering seven major websites to be monitored for “blasphemy”. Offending links appearing on Yahoo, Google, MSN, Hotmail (?), YouTube, Amazon and Bing will be blocked, apparently without affecting the main website.

In addition to those seven major sites, another 17 lesser known domains have been blocked.

Facebook was not one of the mentioned sites, in spite of the fact that a court is investigating the possibility of prosecuting its founder, Mark Zuckerberg for blasphemy – an offence which carries the death penalty or life imprisonment.

The crackdown is based on Section 295-C of the penal code which refers to the

Use of derogatory remarks etc, in respect of the Holy Prophet … either spoken or written, or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly.

Another ad gets Catholics mad

This time it’s an ice-cream manufacturer that has upset the biscuit-munchers with an ad which contains religious imagery.

The Advertising Standards Authority has received 40 complaints about the Antonio Federici poster depicting a pregnant nun about to tuck in to some posh dairy-based dessert

because it mocks the virgin birth of Jesus.

Here it is:

This is not the first time Federici has got into trouble with the ASA. Last June it was ordered not to republish an ad with featured a nun and a priest about to kiss. The judgement concluded that it breached COP Code 5.1 (decency):

We considered that the portrayal of the priest and nun in a sexualised manner and the implication that they were considering whether or not to give in to temptation, was likely to cause serious offence to some readers.

Here’s that one:

They’re getting offended rather a lot these days, the Catholics. If they weren’t Catholics, they wouldn’t be offended so much. An obvious answer presents itself.

Catholics get World Cup Hyundai ad pulled

A 30-second commercial which aired in America during the USA v. England World Cup game has been pulled because of complaints from Catholics.

The Hyundai ad, it was claimed, mocked the Eucharist by showing worshippers receiving slices pizza instead of the traditional communion crackers. At one point a football was shown sporting a Crown of Thorns.

Fr Marcel Taillon, a priest in Rhode Island, said:

This ad is an outrageous affront to Catholics and a mockery of our most sacred beliefs and practices.

Hyundai has stopped running the ad.

The unexpected response created by the ad… prompted us to take a more critical and informed look at the spot. “Though unintentional, we now see it was insensitive.

Sadly, MWW has been unable to find a copy of the ad.

Danish singer gets egged for being called Medina

Islam in Europe has a helpful report on an egging received by a female singer popular in Denmark, who had the temerity to call herself by the same name as a city in Saudi Arabia.

Medina on stage Click the pic to see the video

Medina, Denmark’s queen of pop, apparently took her name after a visit to a numerologist, not thinking that it might offend a certain section of the population. At an open air concert in Ishøj on Saturday, she was showered with eggs by a group of Muslim boys.

One of the eggers explained the logic behind his actions:

Men can go in t-shirts and shorts and show bare skin. Girls can’t do such things in Islam. Medina is a holy city for Muslims, and therefore she should change her name… when she has a name that is so significant in Islam and does a video where she shows her ass to the public, she makes the religion look like crap.

No, you silly boy. It is you who makes the religion look like crap.

Watch the video. If you do not speak Danish, you won’t know what she’s saying – but it is clear that she gives these clowns a right old bollocking.

UPDATE: (11 June) Here is a translation of that bollocking (thanks to Maggie in the comments):

Somebody obviously haven’t been brought up properly. It’s really disrespectful to the people who have come here to have a good time to fuck it up like this. It’s fair enough if you don’t like my music that you’ve come here to throw rotten eggs or whatever. Bur your parents should be ashamed! Don’t ruin it for those of us who are feeling happy and having a good time. That sort of behavior is fucked up!

Christians rail at proposed new Comedy Central show

Comedy Central, which recently censored a South Park show because of death-threats from Islamists, has enraged Christian groups with a still-hypothetical show based on the adventures of Jesus Christ in modern-day New York.

The hilariously named Citizens Against Religious Bigotry – an amalgam of various nut-job fundamentalists including Bill Donahue of the Catholic League – are demanding that Comedy Central abandon their plans to make “JC” and have written to advertisers asking them to boycott the station.

Their main argument is that there is a “double standard” involved, because other religions are not mocked equally. Essentially, they are expressing their wish that Christianity should enjoy vicarious protection from mockery – a protection only given to Islam because of the violent propensities of a small-but-significant number of its followers. They see the benefit Islam gets from threatening violence, and want the same benefit for themselves without actually threatening violence.

Sorry guys. You’re going to have to be murderous as well as stupid to get away with that one.

They have done a service, however, by making an amusing compilation of some of Comedy Central’s un-Christian irreverence:

SA’s Globe & Mail issue motoon apology

South Africa’s Globe & Mail, which last week published a cartoon by Zapiro featuring Mohammed talking to a shrink, has issued an apology to the various Muslim groups after a meeting  last week.

Here is the official statement:

The M&G communicated to the meeting its regret for the harm caused by the publication of the cartoon, and apologises for the effects thereof. The newspaper in no way intended to cause injury, or to associate itself with Islamophobia, which it repudiates in the strongest possible terms.

We have learned an enormous amount since the publication of the cartoon about the depth of reverence in which Muslims hold the prophet. We invite community leaders and ordinary readers to communicate their devotion in our pages, as some have already begun to do.

In light of the injury caused by the cartoon we are reviewing our editorial policies on religious matters broadly, and the depiction of the prophet in particular. This review process will be informed by consultation with religious leaders including, but not limited to, the United Muslim Forum of South Africa. We commit during the review period to honouring the prohibition on representation of the prophet.

Any final policy that emerges from the review process will be informed by the experience of the past week, and by what we now know of the depth of feeling in the Muslim community on this matter.

The M&G is committed to editorial independence and press freedom. We are guided by the Constitution and our own values of social justice in dealing with South Africa’s diverse religious and secular communities.

So, an apology for “injury” caused and an undertaking to refrain for further Motooning until a review is complete. It is not as bad as it could be. Indeed the editor Nic Dawes claims to be “delighted.”

The South African Muslim groups have done something quite remarkable. They have transformed what was merely a very good cartoon into a brilliant piece of situational art. The cartoon claimed Mohammed’s followers had no sense of humour, and they played their role to perfection – demonstrating the essential truth of the original by their reaction, and doubling its impact as a work of satire. And, of course, ensuring that it reaches a far greater audience than it ever would have had they simply ignored it.

Brilliant. Just brilliant.