Archive for September, 2006

Charlie Hebdo, France Soir win Motoons case

ActuaBD reports that a case brought against the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, and France Soir has been ruled “irrecevable” (inadmissable) by the Tribunal correctionnel de Paris.

The case was brought by the Federation of African Islamic Associations, Comoro and Antilles islands (FFAIACA) against the newspapers for publishing some of the original Motoons, plus some of their own. They were charged with incitement to racial hatred.

The judge’s ruling was presumably based on the fact that Islam is not a race.

Charlie Hebdo is not out of the woods yet, however, as there is still a lawsuit pending brought by four other Muslim Associations, including the Grande Mosque de Paris. This recent case sets an encouraging precedent.

France is the only European country in which Motoons publishers have been subjected to court cases.

(Hat tip The Comics Reporter)

Brussels, Carey fan flames. Musharraf calls for legislation

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey has called on Muslims to address “with the great urgency” their religion’s association with violence. No doubt someone will respond by slapping a fatwa on his disrespectful ass.

The European Commission has also come out in favour of the Pope. Commission spokesman Johannes Laitenberger condemend the recent outburst of Muslim aPopelexy as “disproportionate” and “unacceptable”:

And generally speaking, I can also say that reactions which are disproportionate and which are tantamount to rejecting freedom of speech are unacceptable and let me conclude with this: freedom of speech is a cornerstone of the EU’s order as is the freedom and respect of all religions and beliefs, be it Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism or laicism

By contrast, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has called for a ban on the “defamation of Islam”.

It is imperative to end racial and religious discrimination against Muslims and to prohibit the defamation of Islam. […]
It is most disappointing to see personalities of high standing oblivious of Muslim sensitivities at these critical moments.

Day of anger

The apology from the former-Nazi pontiff has failed to quell the rage of several Muslim groups. Anjem Choudary, of the banned Al Ghurabaa, has called for the death penalty for the Pope:

The Muslims take their religion very seriously and non-Muslims must appreciate that and that must also understand that there may be serious consequences if you insult Islam and the prophet.

The boy Choudary really does take himself very seriously, doesn’t he?

Meanwhile, friend of Livingstone and influential Qatari scholar Yusuf “Throw gays from clifftops” al-Qaradawi has called for a day of anger, saying that the Pope had not really apologised. That’s on Friday. He also called for the offending remarks to be censored from the original lecture.

Hilariously, in his latest statement the faux-pas-prone Papa seems to have angered a few Jews as well! We expect there will be riots, burning effigies and fire-bombings from angry young Jewish men very soon.

Oh wait. No we don’t.

Pope to Muslims: Sorry you’re stupid

Although some sources are reporting that the Pope has apologised to the world’s Muslims, this is unlikely to prove sufficient to appease the violent protestors who are protesting about being called violent.

A senior Vatican official states:

The Holy Father is very sorry that some passages of his speech may have sounded offensive to the sensibilities of Muslim believers and were interpreted in a way that does not correspond in any way to his intentions.

In other words, if you had understood what he was actually saying you wouldn’t have been offended, you idiots.

The furore has reawakened our old friends the Muslim Action Committee. Leader Faiz Siddique withdrew his head from his rectum for long enough to splutter to the Daily Mail:

the Pope should categorically distance himself from such beliefs and offer an unreserved apology for the obvious offence that was caused.

A leading Turkish cleric has branded the Pope “in the same category as Hitler and Mussolini”. But as yet, there have been no crowds of marauding Catholics burning effigies and firebombing mosques. The Pope may be a hypocrite and a fool, but some Muslims are beyond parody.

UPDATE: (17th Sept) The Pope has reiterated the apology in person:

I am deeply sorry for the reactions in some countries to a few passages of my address at the University of Regensburg, which were considered offensive to the sensibility of Muslims

Reactions have been predictable.

MOL “high”

If the Religious Policeman was still maintaining his Muslim Offence Level, reaction to the Pope’s recent lecture would have caused him to upgrade it from “Guarded” (“We are quite offended, because people are generally picking on us”) to “High”:

Meaning – We are extremely offended by a particular individual or country
Non-Muslim response – That individual or country must apologize

What the head of an organisation responsible for the Crusades, the Inquisition, and several million preventable AIDS deaths thinks he is doing by contrasting Christianity’s “reasonable” God with the more violence-prone and “above reason” Muslim version of the same is anyone’s guess. But it’s fun to watch the followers and leaders of these two great, mutually-blaspheming, religions duke it out.

UPDATE: Our own MCB has also put its oar in, as expected. Mohammed Abdul Bari was his usual diplomatic self:

One would expect a religious leader such as the pope to act and speak with responsibility and repudiate the Byzantine emperor’s views in the interests of truth and harmonious relations between the followers of Islam and Catholicism.

We would hope that the pope will clarify his remarks without delay

“Or you’ll have to deal 2 billion Muslim terrorists,” he did not add, this time.

Iranian Holocaust cartoon exhibition flops

According to The Independent most Tehranians are simply not interested in the Holocaust cartoon exhibition, with visitor numbers down to around 50 per day.

The exhibition, which was supposed to be a celebration of free speech, coincides with President Ahmadinejad’s closing down of a daily newspaper, Sharq, for publishing a cartoon of him as a donkey:

mad donkey

Beyer spins Ofcom survey to reflect own agenda


Ofcom recently published the results of “An investigation of current attitudes and behaviours towards programme information“. Basically, were people being given enough information about what was coming up on their TV screens to be able to make an informed decision about whether or not to watch it?

The results were pretty unremarkable, with a majority considering that the current information sources were “adequate”. Half of those surveyed expressed “some level of concern” regarding “offensive content” (the older the viewer, the more concerned they were, and females were more likely to take offence), but over half claimed that pre-transmission information helped reduce the chance of offence.

“Massah” John Beyer of Mediawatch-UK, however, does not want information. He wants censorship:

[Ofcom’s] own Communications Market reviews for the last two years show that a majority believes there is too much violence and bad language. The vital question the public is entitled to know is what regulatory measures Ofcom will now bring forward to reduce programme content that they know causes offence and how their Broadcasting Code will reflect these public concerns. Clearly the Code is not sufficiently robust.

Ofcom’s approach is sensible. Give adults enough information to allow them to decide what they want to watch. Beyer, whose main concern is to protect old ladies from accidentally viewing violence and bad language, does not believe you are capable of making such decisions for yourself.

(Thanks to Dan Factor)

Information publishes Holocaust toons

The BBC reports that Information, a Danish newspaper, has published six of the Holocaust cartoons from the Iranian competition. The editor used them to illustrate a story on the Tehran exhibition. He consulted the chief rabbi in Copenhagen before doing so.

At the time of reporting editor has not been imprisoned or threatened with beheading.

Some Muslim organisations in Denmark have voiced their objections, saying that one should not pour scorn on historical fact. However, it is unclear whether they are objecting to the cartoons themselves or their publication.

Meanwhile, the Observer notes that Danish exports have been hard hit by a Muslim boycott following the publication of the Motoons. There has been a 15.5% drop in total exports between February and June, with trade to the Middle East falling by half.

(Thanks to Nordish Portal for the translation)

Dutch priest Madonna hoax bombs

A 63-year-old Dutch priest was so offended by Madonna’s mock crucifixion on her Confessions tour that he decided to try to stop her Amsterdam concert by causing a bomb scare.

Unfortunately for the unnamed God-botherer, he was arrested almost immediately because he made the call to the emergency services from his home telephone. Prosecutors say he will probably get away with a community service sentence.

(Thanks to Andy Gilmour)

Christian Institute and the BNP defend Christian Voice

Colin Hart, director of the dementedly homophobic Christian Institute, has jumped to the defence of Stephen Green of Christian Voice. The CI has been careful in the past to distance itself from CV, but Green’s arrest has prompted them to speak out:

It is noticeable that police never arrest Muslims who make remarks about homosexuality,

said Hart. That’s right, Colin. Don’t let awkward facts, such as the police investigation into Sir Idiot Sacranie’s homophobic remarks, get in the way of your tiresome “they-wouldn’t-dare-treat-Islam-like-this” argument.

Meanwhile, the British Nationalist Party also express their support, noting that there they share much common ground with Green’s Christian Voice organisation:

There is an interesting introduction on the Christian Voice Web site which broadly echoes the BNP’s national outlook; this suggesting that there is much common ground between the pro-Christian BNP and “conservative” Christians – despite what the liberal bishops and cardinals would have the world believe!

CV have tried to distance themselves in the past from the BNP, especially when the latter joined them in their anti-Jerry Springer: The Opera campaign.