Archive for July, 2006

Indonesian journalist charged for Mo-toons

mad kids
It must be Mo-toon prosecution season. Now the BBC reports that Teguh Santosa, the online editor of an Indonesian newspaper, has been arrested and charged with

publicly expressing a feeling of hostility and hatred towards a religious group.

Back in February he posted 3 of the Jyllands-Posten cartoons on Rakyat Merdeka Online.

According to Reporters Without Borders, who are calling for the charges to be dropped, he was threatened with more serious charges if he contested the accusation.

He has now been released, but he still faces court and a possible jail term of 5 years.

Mosque of Paris sues over Mo-toons

hebdo front page
Just when you thought it had all quieted down – AP reports that the Mosque of Paris has filed a suit against the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.

The newspaper published all 12 of the original Jyllands-Posten Mo-toons on February 8, in an issue devoted to Islam. Its front page boasted a huge image of a weeping Mohammed, titled “Mahomet débordé par les intégristes” (Muhammad overwhelmed by fundamentalists). He is saying “C’est dur d’être aimé par des cons” (It’s hard to be loved by morons).

Now leaders of the Paris Mosque are taking action, claiming that the publication was

deliberate act of aggression aimed at offending people of the Muslim religion in their attachment to their faith.

Yes, it’s called satire – and it predates Islam by over a thousand years. May you be laughed out of court, Mosque of Paris.

Bloody Bible ad – other Christian groups join in

The Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship has sent out a circular informing its readers how to complain about the “hurtful, antagonistic, and above all, false” GPA ad in the Independent (see below).

They suggest complaining to Scotland Yard, the ASA, the Press Complaints Commission, and the Independent newspaper.

These clowns are particularly concerned with freedom of speech when it comes to preaching about the sins of homosexuality (and they have the right to do so), but as soon as someone dares suggest that their homophobic religion might lead to violence against homosexuals, they are the first to squeal for protection.

Brain death

The Sun has conjured another story out of nothing by means of a single phone call to John Beyer of Mediawatch-UK. Beyer’s breathtakingly inane comments on a Channel 5 show enabled reporter Derek Robins to begin his piece:

TV watchdogs have panned a Channel Five documentary about a woman being cryonically frozen.

The program, Death in the Deep Freeze, is about a cancer sufferer who dies and is cryogenically frozen. Calling Massah John:

There’s a feeling of sensationalism about the whole thing. It’s giving people false hope that this process actually works when there is no proof it does.

said the Christian smut-campaigner.

I would question whether this programme is in the public interest as cryogenics is very much experimental.

So because the science of cryogenics is “experimental” (as is any other branch of science, by definition), it is not in the “public interest” for it to be shown?

Christ on a bike.

Manly Mormons muscle in on Melrose movie melee

Jerry Springer: The Opera continues to provide entertainment with its first public as a film in the border town on Melrose. MWW has already reported on the local vicar’s reaction. Now a spokesman from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has joined the attack.

His name is John Grant, and he speaks thusly:

Is there no-one manly enough and with enough leadership and gumption in those councils involved in maintaining decency in our communities that can speak up for the silent majority, which I believe still exists amongst us?

We think it’s pretty manly of The Wynd theatre owner to have the gumption to put the show on in the first place. Indeed, going to see the show is in itself an act of great manliness – except for the women, in whose case attendance would be a great femininity enhancer.

Felix Sear, the owner, has put up a virile defence of the show, saying it simply continues the tradition of barrier-breaking productions by the theatre, which have included date-rape, full-frontal nudity, and actor urinating on stage, and sexually-explicit action. Council Chairman “Big” Willie Windram also spoke out for the show, claiming that the people of Melrose were culturally sophisticated and would be “quite chuffed” that their town was hosting the first public screening.

The red-blooded John Grant was having none of that, branding Mr Windram’s comments as “weak and pathetic”. He tackled Felix Sear’s comments too:

It is utter drivel for him to talk about creative people and their work, and to link that to shows he promotes about date rape, full-frontal nudity and actors urinating. The pages of newspapers are full every week of these acts and they are all criminal in the eyes of our courts.

Note his muscular use of the non-sequitur.

Despite his complaining that there is noone manly enough on the council to do something about the performance, Grant insists that he is “an advocate of free speech”.

Gay police under investigation for “faith crime”

gpa ad
From the BBC: The Gay Police Association is under investigation for an alleged “faith crime”. In a recent advert in the Independent, the GPA claimed that they had recorded a 74% increase in homophobic incidents “where the sole of primary motivating factor was the religious belief of the perpetrator”. The advert shows a bible next to a splash of blood.

A single complaint from the public prompted the investigation.

The demented homophobes at the Christian Institute are also up in arms about it, claiming in an email newsletter that the ad was “virulently anti-Christian”, “grossly offensive” and “wholly unsubstantiated”. They urge readers to complain to the Advertising Standards Authority.

… violence or abusive behaviour towards any person – homosexual or otherwise – is totally incompatible with the Christian faith. A violent person cannot be a Bible-believing Christian.

In exactly the same way as no true Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge.

MWW will be watching closely. If this results in a prosecution, it will mean that it is illegal to suggest that religious belief can sometimes lead to violence.

Here is the text of the advert:

In the last 12 months, the Gay Police Association has recorded a 74% increase in homophobic incidents, where the sole or primary motivating factor was the religious belief of the perpetrator.

Verbal abuse and physical assault against gay men and women is a criminal offence and should always be reported to the police.

Discrimination against gay people in the workplace is also unlawful and should be reported to employers, who have a duty of care to prevent it.

Homophobia can never be justified and must never be tolerated.

UPDATE: Pink News has more, with quotes from Stonewall, Outrage, and GALHA.

UPDATE: (21/07/06) According to the BBC, in a report on the ongoing spat between the GPA and the Christian Police Association, the complainer was the Rev George Hargreaves. This is the guy who penned Sinitta’s 80s pop masterpiece “So Macho” and stood as a Scottish MEP candidate in Skye for the fundamentalist party Operation Christian Vote.

Brick Laners try to block filming

The Guardian reports that a small group of Brick Lane residents are so incensed at the allegedly “racist and insulting” nature of Monica Ali’s Brick Lane that they are willing to resort to violence to prevent it being filmed in the area.

A self-appointed spokesman for the Bangladeshis of East London, Abdus Salique, has vowed that they will do “anything it takes”, absurdly claiming the book is

a violation of the human rights of the community.

Poor Abdus seems to be labouring under a misconception. Communities do not have human rights. Only individual humans do.

Asians in Media magazine points out that the protestors are in a minority, and that the upcoming film has received widespread local support. Hundreds of would-be actors lined up for auditions.

Rohin at Picked Politics has more.

Channel 4 Wank-a-thon

MWW waits in eager anticipation for John Beyer to toss off a few choice quotes about this one.

Such a pity the event is taking place in Clerkenwell, and not Jodrell Bank.

UPDATE: Well, we didn’t have to wait long. The Sage of Ashford is positively beside himself with rage, and is calling for government intervention. We just hope he hasn’t shot his bolt too soon:

We call on the Secretary of state for Culture, Media and Sport Tessa Jowell to intervene to make Channel 4 scrap this tasteless idea

C4 is a public service broadcaster though it is funded by adverts and I think it could be breaking its licence agreement with the Government.

Advertisers should withdraw their funding and force C4 to drop the programme.

I’m lost for words. It’s a terrible idea, C4 is capable of doing superb programmes but this isn’t one of them.

It’s bringing TV standards down once again.

Let the fools speak

al grr
MWW’s favourite comedy Mohammedans, Al Ghurabaa have come joint-first in the race to be banned under new terrorism legislation, along with the hopefully-named Saved Sect. Both groups’ websites are still up and running at this time.

As reported by the BBC, it will be an offence to belong to these groups, encourage support for them, or wear clothes suggesting support.

This is a bit of a shame. As the angel Jibril said to me the other day:

Let the fool speak, so that he may reveal his foolishness unto the world.

The Al Ghurabaa spokesman, Anjem Choudray, is a case in point:

We are not allowed to target anyone in this country because we live with them. Our life and wealth is protected.

But I feel that with these new laws which are now being introduced, if you are going to ban ideological and political movements like Al-Ghurabaa and the Saved Sect, than that situation, I think, is going to be affected.

Time to hide away your favourite “I (heart) Anjem Choudray” T-shirt now. It could get you arrested.

Church brands pope a Nazi

Charlotte Church, that is. The young Welsh diva has already upset a few people even before her Channel 4 chat show has aired. Insulting guests, dressing up as a nun and swallowing ecstasy pills like communion wafers, and calling the incumbent leader of the Roman Catholic church a Nazi – all in the pilot for the show.

This “Crazy Chick” could be one to watch.

(Thanks, Andrew)