Nutter News

 2004

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30th December   A Dumb News Story!

From Ananova

Blonde jokes are set to be banned in Hungary after blonde women staged an angry protest outside parliament.

The protestors handed in a petition claiming they were being discriminated against in every walk of life by bad taste blonde jokes.

And spokeswoman Zsuzsa Kovacs said: Blondes face discrimination in the job market, in the workplace when they get a job, and even on the streets. People are banned from discriminating against Jews, or blacks, so why not grant blondes the same protection.

The petition was handed to the equal opportunities minister Kinga Goncz asking her to investigate whether jokes about blondes fall into the same category as religious discrimination.

The petition was just short of the 100,000 needed to force Parliament to debate the matter but Goncz's deputy who spoke to the crowd pledged the government would act to stop any discrimination.

Blondes - real and bleached - protested outside the ministry as the petition was handed in, waving banners with slogans like 'We're blonde, not stupid' and Love us for our minds.

 

27th December Revolutionary Institutionalised Nutters Party

From CBS News

Alarmed by glimpses of sweaty citizens in the buff, the city council in the Mexican city of Villahermosa has adopted a law banning indoor nudity, officials confirmed on Wednesday.

The regulation, which takes effect on Jan. 1, calls for as much as 36 hours in jail or a fine of $121 for offenders

We are talking about zero tolerance ... for a lack of morality, said city councilwoman Blanca Estela Pulido of the Revolutionary Institutional Party, which governs the state and city.

Opposition party councilman Rodrigo Sanchez said in an interview that the measure, part of a larger series of prohibitions, tramples on the rights of the citizens by taking laughable measures such as contemplating penalties for citizens who walk around nude inside their houses.
I have no idea how you detect the naked. You'd have to have a big operation to try to bring it under control.

Pulido said she was confident that citizens who catch a glimpse of offenders would report them to police -- though the law also threatens jail for peeping Toms.
The majority of houses have a lot of ventilation and we give ourselves the luxury of going naked. Because we walk past the windows, you see a lot of things.

 

21st December

  Beyond Mere Incitement to Religious Hatred

From The Observer

A second woman convicted of crimes against morality in Iran is facing imminent execution by being buried up to her chest and stoned, Amnesty International said last night.

She was convicted of adultery and is due to be stoned to death this month in accordance with Iran's severe penal code.

Amnesty issued an urgent warning that time was running out  and urged the international community to tackle Iran over its executions of women and child offenders. In August another mentally ill girl, 16-year-old Atefeh Rajabi, was hanged in a street for having sex before marriage.

Iran has executed at least three child offenders in 2004 and 11 others are believed to have been sentenced to death, according to Amnesty. Under the penal code, girls as young as nine and boys as young as 15 can be executed.

Campaigners in Iran are compiling a petition against the execution, which they will present to the United Nations. Another group, the International Committee Against Stoning, is to meet officials of the European Union tomorrow in an attempt to build diplomatic pressure on Iran over the imminent execution of Hajieh Esmailvand, whose sentence for adultery was upheld by the supreme court and changed from death by hanging to death by stoning, before Tuesday. The man with whom Hajieh had the affair, who was 17 at the time, has been sentenced to death by hanging.

Mike Blakemore, of Amnesty International UK, said: 'Time is running out for Hajieh, but it's still not too late. People in the UK can help stop these executions by writing to the Iranian authorities, letting them know that people around the world will not sit idly by and let this happen. But these horrific cases are just the tip of the iceberg. Every day women are subjected to terrifying violence, repression and abuse. Violence against women is a human rights atrocity and one we must tackle urgently.'

 

20th December   Violence Rules

As always, nutters who blame the world's ills on the media are those most likely to back up their views with threats, intimidation and violence

From The Scotsman

An MP today condemned theatre censorship “by the mob” after a controversial play which sparked a mini-riot among Sikhs was abandoned.

Labour’s Alice Mahon hit out after the management of the Birmingham Repertory Theatre announced it had pulled further performances of Behzti because it could not guarantee audience safety after protests turned violent on Saturday night.

Mahon (Halifax) told the Commons: I think this is an extremely serious matter as the police are the ones who should guarantee the security of theatre-goers and the Sikh community have said they cannot guarantee there won’t be more violence. Are we to have our theatre censored by the mob who will decide what we watch and what we don’t watch?”

Sikh demonstrators unhappy at the play’s depiction of murder and sexual abuse taking place in a fictional temple damaged doors, smashed windows and set off fire alarms.

 

19th December   Incitement to Religious Hatred

Yet more actions that speak louder than words and incite hatred of the Sikh religion.

The threats and violence could soon be handled under a new law against incitement to religious hatred. However it is clear that nutters would also use such a law to try and harangue those making minor criticisms. We surely therefore then need a new law to protect human rights and freedom of speech against those that threaten and intimidate in the name of religion.

From the BBC

Hundreds of Sikh demonstrators protested outside a Birmingham theatre against a play depicting sex abuse and murder in a temple. Five police officers were hurt during struggles at Birmingham's Repertory Theatre on Saturday night. Two men were arrested and a handful of demonstrators attempted to storm the theatre during the performance of the play, entitled Behzti (Dishonour).

A theatre spokeswoman said negotiations will continue with the Sikh community. The characters in the play are not intended to be representative of the Sikh community, the play is a work of fiction and no comment is being made about Sikhism as a faith.

The theatre has been the scene of several protests by members of the Sikh community, angered by author Gurpreet Bhatti's depiction of murder and sex abuse. The protesters claim the play mocks their faith. The Sikh leaders had asked for the setting to be changed from a temple to a community centre.

The play's author has revealed threats had been made against her and she had been advised by police not to say anything in public.

Saturday night's protest turned violent at 7pm as around 400 people gathered outside the theatre and a small group tried to storm the theatre. The situation on Saturday was brought under control but around 100 protesters remained outside as talks took place with police and management. None of the audience were said to have been hurt.

Earlier in the week, the three main political parties on Birmingham City Council said they were worried about the effects of the play after being contacted by local Sikh community leaders. Five people were arrested after several protests were held outside the building earlier in the week.

In a statement, the Birmingham Repertory said:
The REP has been transparent with leaders in the Sikh community about the content and nature of the play in discussions over the last few months. It has agreed to provide audiences with a statement written by those community members who do not approve of the play.The theatre has also made efforts to ensure positive representation of Sikhism as a faith in its programme notes. Equally the characters in the play are not intended to be representative of the Sikh community. They are works of fiction characterising the fallibility of human nature and the injustice and hypocrisy that exists in the real world.

 

15th December   Tolerance is in the Execution not the Rhetoric

I wonder if the new offence of inciting religious hatred is reflexive. Perhaps the UK Government could prosecute the Iranians for inciting people in Britain to hate Islam.

From The Telegraph

A 19-year-old Iranian girl with a mental age of eight who was forced into prostitution by her mother has been sentenced to be flogged and executed for 'morality-related' offences, Amnesty International said yesterday.

The human rights pressure group has asked Iran's supreme court to stay the execution. The girl, named only as Leyla M, had suffered a "litany of abuse", it said Sold into prostitution at the age of eight, she has experienced horrific sexual violence. We will not stand by mutely and let Leyla become the fourth child to be executed in Iran this year." Leyla, who was born in the central Iranian city of Arak, was sold by her family to an Afghan man to become his "temporary wife", aged 12. The man's mother became her new pimp, according to an Iranian newspaper report.

Two years later, Leyla became pregnant and received 100 lashes before being sold on to a 55-year-old man who continued to force her into prostitution. The sentence was passed on the basis of a confession from Leyla despite her mental age.

Iran, as a party to the international Convention on Civil and Political Rights, has undertaken not to execute anyone for an offence committed when they were under 18.
(They probably also hold that Islam is a tolerant religion!)

 

9th December   New Line Nutters

Based on an article from the BBC

The director and screenwriter of the film adaptation of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials is to remove references to God and the church in the movie. Chris Weitz said the changes were being made after film studio New Line expressed concern.

The books tell of a battle against the church and a fight to overthrow God.

They have expressed worry about the possibility of perceived anti-religiosity, Weitz told a His Dark Materials fans' website.

Pullman's trilogy has been attacked by some Christian teachers and by the Catholic press as blasphemy. The award-winning trilogy - Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass - tell the story of Oxford girl Lyra Belacqua. She is drawn into an epic struggle against the Church, which has been carrying out experiments on children in an attempt to remove original sin. As the books progress the struggle turns into a battle to overthrow the Authority, a figure who is God-like in the books.

Weitz, who directed American Pie and About A Boy, said New Line feared that any anti-religiosity in the film would make the project "unviable financially". He said: All my best efforts will be directed towards keeping the film as liberating and iconoclastic an experience as I can.

Weitz said he had visited Pullman, who had told him that the Authority could represent any arbitrary establishment that curtails the freedom of the individual, whether it be religious, political, totalitarian, fundamentalist, communist, what have you.

There are a number of nutter websites which attack the trilogy for their depiction of the church and of God, but Pullman has denied his books are anti-religious.

His agent told the Times newspaper that Pullman was happy with the adaptation so far.
You have to recognise that it is a challenge in the climate of Bush's America.

 

26th November   Minister of Blame

Has anyone noticed that the fear of crime is rising in proportion to the increasing numbers of MPs in various flavours of parliaments.

Based on an article from Edinburgh News

Pornographic images in the media, on public transport and on the internet have been blamed for violence against women in Scotland.

On the UN international day of action to eliminate violence against women, the Executive called a debate to consider the reasons behind high levels of domestic abuse, rape and sexual assault against women.

The shameful shadow Minister of Blame Christine Grahame yesterday cited a report that one in five young men and one in ten women thought that violence against women was acceptable and pointed the finger of blame at the media and entertainment industries. She said: The violence of pornography is there for all to access whether on the bus, the video, the magazine, the web.

It is here young men and women are subjected to the influences that make them devalue each other’s sexuality, contaminating respect for each other as people and cannot be detached from violence in all its forms against women.


Grahame welcomed Executive plans to set up an expert committee on tackling violence against women and urged them to include the issue of pornography.

 

23rd November   Expressing Nutter Views

From Mediawatch-UK

The Sunday Express is today calling on the Government to bring back the official TV censor, after finding six programmes in a week which may have been in breach of broadcasting rules. Even though these programmes may have flouted the rules, on either bad language or excessive violence, no action by the broadcasting regulator, Ofcom, can be taken until a complaint is lodged. After complaints about some TV programmes, calls were made for the Government to reintroduce the process of “previewing”, where programmes are initially submitted to the broadcasting regulator for approval.

Last week, the broadcasting pressure group mediawatch-uk and senior Tories, including former shadow Home Secretary Anne Widdecombe, backed the call … When the Government drafted a new Communications Bill, the Culture Secretary, Tessa Jowell, said that previewing was not Government policy. A spokesman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport said censorship was purely a matter for Ofcom, not the Government. We appointed an independent regulator to deal with these issues. If people have concerns about programmes then the system has been set up so that they can complain to Ofcom. The isn’t a matter for ministers, it’s a matter for the regulator and we are satisfied with the way it is working.

John Beyer, director of mediawatch-uk said: The way Ofcom has been constituted means that the way television is regulated is like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. People do not know that they are going to be offended until after the event. Ofcom recently suggested the introduction of a ratings scheme similar to the British Board of Film Classification but we wonder how it will do this if it has no powers to preview programmes. Who is to decide whether a programme is suitable for a nine-year-old or a 99-year-old? Between the demise of the Independent Television Commission and the Broadcasting Standards Commission and the introduction of Ofcom there has been a deliberate pushing back of the boundaries. Ann Widdecombe said: We have to review the whole procedure. We have got to have a system that is proactive rather than reactive. There is no point in people complaining after they have been offended. The Government must change the rules.

Should our TV viewing be censored?

The Sunday Express, 14/11/2004, asked for readers views about calls for sexually explicit shows, such as Channel 4’s planned Sex Inspectors to be censored by the broadcasting regulator Ofcom before they go on air. The response was YES: 90% NO: 10%

John Beyer, speaking today, said that the results of the Sunday Express reader’s poll are most encouraging and indicate once again just how far broadcasters are out of touch with viewers. This rather confirms our suspicion that there is an agenda to normalise scenes of explicit and graphic sexual intimacy on mainstream television. No doubt the pornographers will use this latest series to justify their argument that the present prohibition on ‘R18’ and R18 standard material should be swept away.

 

21st November   Road to Nutterdom

The Melon Farmers have been hoaxed with this one

Based on an article from the Hoosier Gazette

John Hostettler, the Congressman representing the 8th district of Indiana, has been convinced by local religious nutter groups to introduce legislation in the House that would change the name of an Interstate 69 extension to a more moral sounding number.

There are plans to extend the interstate from Indianapolis through southwestern Indiana all the way through Texas into Mexico in the coming years.  While most believe this highway will be good for the state’s economy, religious nutters believe “I-69” sounds too risqué and want to change the interstate’s number.

Hostettler, a proponent of the interstate extension, agrees.  Every time I have been out in the public with an ‘I-69’ button on my lapel, teenagers point and snicker at it.  I have had many ask me if they can have my button.  I believe it is time to change the name of the highway.  It is the moral thing to do.

As a matter of fact, naming the highway’s extension I-69 is a violation of the Interstate Highway System’s rules for numbering roads.  Interstates numbers are to increase from west to east.  If the extension through southern Indiana is named I-69, then 69 will be west of I-65, a direct violation.

Naming the road I-63 not only follows numbering guidelines, it doesn’t have the sexual undertones that I-69 has, says Hostettler, It is a win-win situation.

The change will more than likely be introduced in committee when Congress convenes after the first of the year

 

9th November   Nutters are Created Not Evolved

From The Guardian

A suburban American school board found itself in court yesterday after it tried to placate Christian fundamentalist parents by placing a sticker on its science textbooks saying evolution was "a theory, not a fact".

Atlanta's Cobb County school board, the second largest board in Georgia, added the sticker two years ago after a 2,300 strong petition attacked the presentation of "Darwinism unchallenged". Some parents wanted creationism - the theory that God created humans according to the Bible version - to be taught alongside evolution.

Shortly after the stickers were put on the books, six parents launched a legal challenge, with the support of the the American Civil Liberties Union. It started yesterday. I'm a strong advocate for the separation of church and state," one of the parents, Jeffrey Selman, told the Associated Press. I have no problem with anybody's religious beliefs. I just want an adequate educational system.

The controversy began when the school board's textbook selection committee ordered $8m (£4.3m) worth of the science books in March 2002. Marjorie Rogers, a parent who does not believe in evolution, protested and petitioned the board to add a sticker and an insert setting out other explanations for the origins of life. It is unconstitutional to teach only evolution,The school board must allow the teaching of both theories of origin.

This year Georgia's schools superintendent, Kathy Cox, removed the word "evolution" from the state's science teaching standards, but she quickly backtracked after receiving nearly 1,000 complaints.

In 1987, the supreme court ruled that creationism was a religious belief that could not be taught in public schools along with evolution. Since then creationism has been repackaged as the theory of "intelligent design". This contends that life on Earth results from a purposeful design rather than random development and that a higher intelligence is guiding this process. Pennsylvania's Dover area school board has already voted to teach intelligent design.

The hearing in Georgia will have to establish whether intelligent design is in fact a religious theory; and if so, whether the stickers which mention neither intelligent design, nor religion by name, violate the separation of church and state.

 

27th October   Stone Cold Hearted Justice

From The Bangkok Post

A pregnant Nigerian teenager appeared before an Islamic court yesterday to hear her lawyer launch an appeal against her conviction for adultery, for which she was sentenced to be stoned to death.

Hajara Ibrahim, 18, sat quietly in a makeshift cubicle in the simple one-storey hall housing the Upper Sharia Court in Dass to hear her counsel challenge a ruling that she should be publicly flogged and put to death.

The lawyer argued that the Oct 8 judgement was invalid because Ms Hajara had not consummated her marriage before sleeping with her boyfriend and conceiving a child and was thus innocent of the capital crime of adultery.With these arguments we pray to God to quash the lower court judgement and acquit the accused, he told the hearing, as Ms Hajara's father and her alleged lover looked on.

What we are saying is that sharia should be implemented properly as prescribed by Islam and devoid of any doubt, he declared.

Judge Mohammed Mustafa Umar agreed to study the evidence and adjourned the court until Nov 10, when he will pass judgement.

Afterwards, the heavily pregnant teenager said that she felt encouraged by the hearing, and hoped that she might escape torture. I'm confident of winning the appeal. I'm confident of my lawyer, she said.

If Ms Hajara convinces the judge that she was never properly married then her offence could be reduced to one of fornication, and she would face 100 lashes rather than a death sentence.

Ms Hajara is the latest woman to be swept up into northern Nigeria's stumbling attempts to replace the region's poorly administered secular criminal justice system with Islam's strict sharia law.

 

24th October   Sing a Song of Nutters

Base on an article from The Telegraph

Nutter groups and MPs are calling on the Government to prevent a new film depicting real sex being screened in Britain's cinemas. The film, made by the British director Michael Winterbottom, features penetration, masturbation and oral sex between the actors Kieran O'Brien and Margot Stilley.

The BBFC announced last week that it was giving an "18" certificate to the film Nine Songs and would not be insisting on any cuts.

Campaigners last night said that the board's decision would open the floodgates to hardcore pornography on the big screen. The shameful Ann Widdecombe, the Conservative MP, urged David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, to force the board to reconsider. It seems to me that the British Board of Film Classification has thwarted the will of Parliament and disregarded its own guidelines. It is not the board's role to allow pornography to enter the mainstream. This is something that David Blunkett should take a look at.

John Beyer, the director of Media Watch UK, an organisation that represents a handful of viewers and listeners, said: I think this is yet again a case of the board moving the goalposts on its own guidelines.

Three other films - Ai No Corrida (1991), Romance (1999), and Intimacy (2001) also feature images of real sex. None of these, however, are as explicit as Nine Songs, which features 35 minutes of unsimulated sex.

Michael Winterbottom, whose previous films have included Welcome To Sarejevo, Jude and 24 Hour Party People agreed that other directors might follow suit with real sex scenes but insisted that this did not mean there would be hardcore pornography on screen.

He said that the inclusion of real sex had given the film a depth and relevance that it might otherwise have lacked.There is nothing in the film which I think people should not be allowed to see. I did not want to make a film that was only available in a sex shop or alongside pornography. I wanted to make something an audience could engage with.

Michael Winner, the director of Death Wish and The Wicked Lady, said that adults should be free to make up their own mind about the film. No one is going to suffer from seeing this film. No adult is going to be debased or harmed, he said.

A spokesman for the BBFC said that the board's consumer advice will make it clear that the film contains frequent, real sex so that anyone offended can avoid going to see it. Some people may find such explicit images shocking or unexpected in a cinema film.The board has concluded, however, that in this case adults should be free to choose whether or not to see the film. The film does not raise issues of harm or sexual violence. The film's exploration of the relationship provides sufficient contextual justification for the Board to pass the work uncut at '18'.

A spokesman for the Home Office said: The British Board of Film Classification is independent. This is not a matter for the Home Office.

 

17th October   Spiritually Acceptable Porn Browsing

I presume that with a couple of word substitutions, the prayer can be adapted to also make people feel good about destroying peoples homes and life.

From Reuters a while back

An Israeli rabbi has composed a prayer to help devout Jews overcome guilt after visiting porn web sites while browsing the Internet.

Please God, help me cleanse the computer of viruses and evil photographs which disturb and ruin my work..., so that I shall be able to cleanse myself (of sin), reads the benediction by Shlomo Eliahu, chief rabbi in the northern town of Safed.

Eliahu, quoted by Israel's largest daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, said he had responded to a deluge of queries from Orthodox Jews worried that the lure of Internet sex sites was putting family relationships at risk.

The rabbi recommends that Jews recite the prayer when they log on to the Internet or even programme it to flash up on their computer screens so they are spiritually covered whether they enter a porn site intentionally or by mistake.

 

10th October   Whose Ethics are Ethical?

Perhaps we need a list of ethically unsound banks that pander to nutters

Based on an article from Mathaba News

At a public meeting in Edinburgh recently, nutters decided to hand out postcards with the words "Porn Peddler's Bank" graffitied over a Halifax Bank of Scotland logo.

The cards are being distributed to nutter groups across Scotland and, once completed and returned, will be formally presented to the bank at the end of October.

Christine Harper, nutter spokeswoman said the loan had undermined the commitment of HBOS, which was formed by a merger of BoS and Halifax, to equality and its aim of supporting women in business.
She said: We are urging people to close accounts with Halifax and Bank of Scotland while this loan is in place. We're saying: 'Vote with your feet and close your account. Otherwise, you are unwittingly supporting, by default, the porn industry'.

The Bank of Ireland and HBOS incurred the nutters wrath in March this year when it emerged that they had helped finance Remnant, a company established to buy the pornographic titles in Mr Desmond's publishing empire.

The Bank of Ireland later attempted to disassociate itself from the loan after protests by Irish nutter groups and the Catholic Church.

BoS refused to recall the loan but issued a public apology and promised to review its lending policy.

A spokesman for the bank said yesterday:
Bank of Scotland was very open about the position it was adopting on this issue when it arose over six months ago. We apologise for any offence this particular loan decision may have caused some of our stakeholders. A key banking principle, and one which we believe the vast majority of people will understand, is that, once a loan is made, banks need to stand by their customer. When we make a promise, we keep it and that is what we are doing in this case.

 

30th September   Oh No, a Naked Breast

From The Guardian

Residents of Liverpool - the city that bred Yoko Ono's late husband, John Lennon - lodgedYoko Ono and a picture of a large breast complaints about her photograph of a naked woman hanging from a war memorial, which have now been taken down.

The giant banner depicting a naked breast was put up on the former St Luke's church as part of the Liverpool biennial modern art festival.

Ono's image, entitled My Mummy Was Beautiful, stood over the steps of the church which was left as a shell after it was hit by Nazi incendiary bombs.

 

 

 


Local councillors welcomed the decision to remove the image from the memorial, saying organisers had been forced to bow to public pressure. I'm delighted that it has been removed, said Joe Anderson, the leader of the Labour group.
I find it appalling that the picture was put in a place which offended people. St Luke's is a war memorial and many people felt it was being desecrated with this picture.

But the organisers of the biennial denied caving in. They said the banner had been moved from its original position to replace one of the same size that had been blown down at the nearby Bluecoat arts centre.

 

27th September   Assemblies of Nutters

Given a repressive idea, one doesn't have to scratch much below the surface to find the influence of nutters

From The Register

A conservative Australian party is demanding a levy on all internet users to fund a AU$45m blockade on smut and general web nastiness at server level, news.com.au reports.

Family First - which holds seats in South Australia - has close ties to the Pentecostal Assemblies of God and reckons that: As a society, we have acknowledged the need to regulate other media and prevent porn peddlers from accessing children and adolescents. The ban would hit disturbed, aggressive or sexualised behaviour and would see users stump up AU$7 to AU$10 per year.

Family First acknowledges that their plan may have the result of putting cost pressures on some of the smaller ISPs but claims that most of them are dispensible anyway. Indeed, the party says that adequate competition could be maintained with 30 ISPs rather than the hundreds in existence now. The net tax is essential, it insists, and the destruction of most of Oz's service providers is a small price to pay to protect children.

Family First's proposal cites a recent study by the Australia Institute which found many teenagers had been exposed to internet pornography, and questioned the effectiveness of the existing system of internet regulation. We suspect that this is none other then the eye-opening probe into Aussie smut which actually concluded that net porn is good for you. This particular study caused an almighty punch-up fuelled by moral indignation and fury, and it appears that Family First has now quite startlingly co-opted the findings for its own porn-busting crusade.

 

25th September   Catholicism Under Threat from Education

From The Scotsman

The Scottish Catholic Church has called for an immediate review of all sex education in Scottish schools and branded much of the teaching material now in use as "pornographic".

After examining teaching aids recommended for use in primary and secondary schools, obtained by the Evening News, the Church has called for a comprehensive review of what children are being taught in the classroom about sex.

Books and videos which are on recommended teaching lists for primary schools show images of sexual organs and couples having sex, feature videos of real childbirth, and include such topics as the clitoris.

The decisions on which of these teaching materials to use is up to individual headteachers.

John Deighan, the Church’s parliamentary officer, branded some of the material pornographic and said the content and context of most of it was unsuitable for the age group for which it was intended, lacking in any social or moral context, and unnecessary for the classroom.

The assessment comes a month after Scotland’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, clashed with the Scottish Executive over its plans for sex education, accusing it of intending to give the lessons to children as young as three.

Deighan today criticised booklets produced by a group called Health Wise, which form part of the sex education material, for their unsuitable tone and an apparent attack on morality and "embarrassment" about sex, which he said protected children. Lessons which taught children as young as five words such as clitoris were "totally inappropriate".

He also criticised the "obsessive biological detail" of many of the lessons, asking why a primary school child should be shown images more suited to a fourth-year science lesson. I fail to see what educational benefit can be derived from discussing the clitoris with five-year-olds or showing children of that age detailed biological drawings of sexual organs. Material dealing with same-sex couples and bisexuals is also inappropriate, as I think most parents would agree, for children of that age. It will do nothing except confuse them about sex and about what normal standards of sexual practice are.

When children ask where babies come from, they want to hear ‘from mummy’s tummy’ or ‘from God’. They don’t want a complex science lesson with gruesome pictures, some of which could be quite traumatic at that age.

The material also deals frankly with masturbation, telling children what it is and debunking some of the myths about it. Deighan said the way the information was presented did not give children any moral or social context in which to put it. They are discussing masturbation with young children almost in a way to encourage them to try it. We discuss these issues in Catholic schools but we try to teach them that it is a bad habit to get into.
(Not such a bad habit as listening to nutters like Deighan)

 

25th September   Catholicism Under Threat from Cartoon

From The Guardian

The BBC last night bowed to a wave of complaints by Catholics and announced it would drop its yet-to-be transmitted adult cartoon series Popetown.

The 10-part satire apparently featured an infantile Pope voiced by the comedian Ruby Wax, bouncing around the Vatican on a pogostick. It had been scheduled for broadcast a year ago, but was constantly postponed while executives considered what to do.

A fortnight ago BBC spokesmen were still saying it would be shown on BBC3, though for months others at the corporation had privately forecast that it would be dropped.

Stuart Murphy, controller of BB3, said in a statement that the series had been dropped on editorial grounds: After a lot of consideration and consultation, balancing the creative risk with the potential offence to some parts of the audience, we have decided not to transmit the programme. Despite all the creative energy that has gone into this project and the best efforts of everyone involved, the comic impact of the delivered programme does not outweigh the potential offence it will cause. It has been an extremely difficult and complex decision to make. There is a fine judgement line in comedy between the scurrilously funny and the offensive ... unfortunately once we saw the finished series it became clear that the programme fell on the wrong side of that line.

Jana Bennett, BBC director of television, said she was sorry the show would not be seen, but did not defend it: I think this decision is the right one.

The corporation had been subjected to a campaign of criticism by Catholics since the series was announced last year.

Already angered by what they saw as the pursuit by Radio 4's Today programme of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the Archbishop of Westminster, for his alleged mishandling of the issue of paedophile priests, the Catholic faithful took Popetown as part of a concerted BBC agenda to attack their church. They bombarded the corporation with complaints, and several bishops objected.

Though no complainant had seen the series, it was even attacked on Today's usually relentlessly anodyne Thought for the Day religious slot. The Catholic commentator Clifford Longley accused the BBC of inciting ill-feeling - after which his regular appearances ceased for a while.

All may not be lost for the series, however. The BBC said it would hope to recoup some of the costs by selling the programmes on and through video sales.

 

5th September   Dummies in Iran

From Reuters

Iran's moral crackdown has widened its focus from stylishly dressed women to curvaceous shop-window mannequins, a newspaper reported recently.

Morals police have banned shopkeepers from showing unveiled dummies and lingerie in their windows. And men were now forbidden to sell women's underwear, the Sharq newspaper said. Using unveiled mannequins that reveal their bodies' curves is banned, it quoted part of a new police manual as saying.

Shops breaking the rules risk closure and losing their trading licenses.

Lawmakers are debating an Iranian dress code, advocated last month by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who called for a national costume that avoided European models. A national costume will be designed for men and women based on Islamic and national criteria, conservative deputy Fatemeh Alia was quoted as saying.

 

26th August

  Barbarism in Iran

Amnesty seem to only focus on the girl's age. Surely this barbaric execution should be condemned whatever the age of the girl

From www.Amnesty.org.uk

Amnesty International today expressed its outrage at the reported execution of a girl believed to be 16 years old for “acts incompatible with chastity”. Ateqeh Rajabi was reportedly publicly hanged on a street in the city centre of Neka, northern Iran, on 15 August 2004.

Amnesty International is alarmed that this execution was carried out despite reports that Ateqeh Rajabi was not believed to be mentally competent, and that she reportedly did not have access to a lawyer at any stage.

During the trial the judge allegedly severely criticised her dress, harshly reprimanding her. It is alleged that Ateqeh Rajabi was mentally ill both at the time of her crime (having sexual relations outside of wedlock) and during her trial proceedings.

It is also reported that although her national ID card stated that she was 16 years old, the Judiciary announced at her execution that her age was 22. Ateqeh Rajabi’s co-defendant, an unnamed man, was reportedly sentenced to 100 lashes. He was released after this sentence was carried out.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:The killing of Ateqeh Rajabi reads like a catalogue of the most appalling human rights violations. The public hanging of a child, believed to be mentally incompetent, after a trial in which she reportedly had no lawyer, and all for the crime of ‘acts incompatible with chastity’. It totally beggars belief. The death penalty is cruel and inhumane at the best of times. But to hang a child flies in the face of all that is humane, not to mention Iran’s obligations under international law.”

The execution of Ateqeh Rajabi is the tenth execution of a child offender in Iran recorded by Amnesty International since 1990.

Amnesty International has urged Iran’s judicial authorities to halt further executions of child offenders - people who were under 18 years of age at the time of the offence. This is to bring Iran’s law and practice in line with requirements of international human rights law.

Amnesty International believes that the execution of Ateqeh Rajabi underlines the urgent necessity that Iran pass legislation removing any provision for the execution of child offenders, thereby preventing further execution of children and bringing Iran into line with its obligations under international law.

The organisation is also urging the authorities to clarify whether Ateqeh Rajabi had legal representation and whether a legally approved doctor deemed her psychologically fit to stand trial.

A bill to raise the minimum age for execution to 18 was reportedly under consideration by the Iranian parliament in December 2003. However, the bill is not believed to have been ratified by the Guardian Council, Iran’s highest legislative body.

As a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Iran is bound not to execute child offenders. Both treaties provide that capital punishment shall not be imposed for offences committed by persons under 18 years of age at the time of the offence.

 

15th August

  Buffy Complaint Rebuffed

From Boston.com

Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Will & Grace passed the indecency test at the FCC on Monday as the agency rejected complaints against the popular TV shows filed by two conservative-leaning interest groups.

The complaints filed by the Parent Television Council and Americans for Decency were dismissed in a 5-0 vote because the commission found the shows didn't violate its indecency regulations. Both shows were aired in primetime.

The PTC, one of the more active groups on the indecency front run by L. Brent Bozell, complained to the commission about an episode of "Buffy" that aired April 22, 2003, on WDCA, a UPN affiliate in Washington. In the episode, the characters Spike and Buffy fight before having sex, according to the order.

The commission noted that there was no nudity and there was no evidence that the activity depicted was dwelled upon or was used to pander, titillate or shock the audience, the commission said in a release.

Americans for Decency, a Phoenix-based group run by T.C. Bundy that claims as its mission statement that it wants to "reduce sexual violence and victimization" by "educating about the danger and harm of pornography," contends that a single episode of Will & Grace that aired March 31, 2003, on Fox Affiliate KSAZ in Phoenix was indecent. In the episode, a "woman photographer passionately kissed (a) woman author and then humped her (what she called a 'dry hump')," according to the order.

While the commission did not say that a "dry hump" is always within the bounds of the commission's rules on broadcast propriety, the panel did note that both characters are fully clothed, and there is no evidence that the activity depicted was dwelled upon, or was used to pander, titillate or shock the audience.

 

13th July

  4 Nutters

From Mediawatch UK

mediawatch-uk is today calling on the Office of Communications to withdraw Channel 4 TV's licence and on advertisers and sponsors to withdraw funding.  Speaking today, John Beyer, mediawatch-uk's Director, said: 

In the last few weeks Channel 4 has shown a succession of standards-busting programmes which are sleazy and offensive in the extreme.  On the 7 June the channel screened 'Cathouse 2: Back in the Saddle' which was a return visit to the largest American legal brothel.  The programme included scenes of prostitutes playing with and inserting battery-driven dildos.  Throughout June it repeated 'Porn: A Family Business' showing scenes of pornographic film making as well as constant obscene language.  On 14 and 15 June it screened 'Sex with Strangers' about 3 couples who engage in "swinging" showing 'five-in-a-bed-sex-romps' - and this at a time when STI's among the middle aged are rising fast.  On 21 June, the channel repeated 'Animal Passions' about people who engage in sexual relations with animals - an illegal activity in Britain!

In addition to these programmes Channel 4 has recently shown a number of films, such as, Goodfellas, Trainspotting and Crash, which have included violence, sexual conduct and streams of obscene language.  Other programmes like 'Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares', 'Bo Selecta', 'Wife Swap' and of course 'Big Brother', which has also seen rioting take place, give the impression that the English language has been destroyed completely! 

This is undermining educational standards and, ironically, communication skills. Parliament has spent many months drafting and scrutinising the Communications Act 2003 and it is clear from this that broadcasting standards do matter.  Channel 4 is showing a complete disregard for civilised values and contempt for standards.  Since the Secretary of State will not intervene it is time for those who regulate and fund the channel to act decisively for the common good.

 

4th July

   Traditionally Intolerant

From IC Birmingham

Birmingham's first Muslim lingerie shop has been targeted in a hate attack - for looking too much like a "porn parlour". Sister's Secrets in Balsall Heath was petrol-bombed just days after opening last week.

The arrival of the store on Taunton Street has angered Muslim traditionalists who are suspicious about its blacked-out windows, alarmed door and suggestive name.

Its strict women-only policy has also heightened fears that it could be an adult shop selling porn and sex toys.

One local said last night: I don't have a problem with a shop that sells underwear like Marks and Spencer. But this looks like a seedy porn parlour. A lot of local Muslims are upset because they can't see what's inside. Some women who've gone in say it sells very sexy underwear, lacy basques and thongs in all kinds of colours. One or two think that in itself is degrading to Muslim women."

Birmingham Central Mosque, which does not object to the shop, confirmed it had been inundated with complaints.

We have received complaints that certain individuals believe the public may mistake the lingerie store for a sex shop because of how it's portrayed," said a spokesman.This may not reflect positively on the sisters who are visiting this store."

Last night owner Umm Zakariah, 31, from Balsall Heath - a Muslim who wears the traditional veil and full-length gown in public - vowed the attack would not drive her out of business.

"We're not sure exactly what was thrown because it happened in the middle of the night But we think it was probably a petrol bomb. It was thrown at the shop's sign which bears our name, Sisters Secrets. This makes us think that traditionalists rather than younger folk were responsible.

 

22nd June

  Liberal Spain, Illiberal Bullies

From The Telegraph

The Pope denounced Spain's new liberal agenda yesterday, demanding that the Madrid government respect the religious and cultural traditions of the country's Roman Catholic heritage.

He delivered the dressing-down in an audience at the Vatican with Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the new socialist prime minister.

Zapatero, who has pledged to legalise same-sex marriages, relax abortion laws and institute fast track divorce, was told it was the duty of Spain to "conserve moral and cultural values, as well as its Christian roots".

In their 15-minute private meeting, the Pope also said he hoped that the Spanish government would give due attention to ethical values that are so rooted in the religious and cultural tradition of the population.

The new Spanish leader gave no sign of backing down on his package of radical reforms. Zapatero, who had travelled to Rome specifically to see the Pope, said afterwards the talks had been "cordial" and an "open relationship" would be maintained.We are going there with the will to listen but the Vatican must realise there is a new government and that this new government has positions, said Miguel Angel Moratinos, the Spanish foreign minister.

Vatican sources said the Pope made clear his displeasure with Zapatero's intention to turn Spain into the first predominantly Roman Catholic country to relax laws on same-sex marriages, divorce and abortion.

Both Zapatero and Moratinos made clear that they would not follow the previous conservative administration's policy on adhering to the Vatican's codes on sex and marriage.

Zapatero's reforms include developing embryonic stem cell research and freezing an education bill that favoured Catholic religious teaching in schools.

 

15th June

  Bully Bolly

I wonder how many times tolerance appears in the major holy nutter texts of the world...Presumably none. I think it must be a word that was invented in the swinging sixties and had never been heard anywhere in the world before that era.

From Reuters

Policemen will guard dozens of cinemas across India today to deter violence after a Hindu hardline party vandalised movie theatres to protest against a Bollywood film about a love affair between two women.

Police officers will be posted outside dozens of cinemas on Tuesday, including many swanky multiplexes, that are showing the Hindi film Girlfriend in Bombay, New Delhi, the northern towns of Lucknow and Varanasi and the central town of Bhopal.

On Monday, nearly 100 student activists of the Hindu right-wing Shiv Sena smashed window panes, tore up posters and burnt effigies at a theatre showing Girlfriend in Bombay, the capital of India's hugely popular Bollywood film industry.

Shiv Sena members said the movie went against the grain of Indian culture by portraying scenes of lovemaking between two women. They also attacked a theatre screening the film in the northern Hindu holy city of Varanasi.

There were no injuries in either incident.

Recent films by some Bollywood directors have featured unconventional treatments of such themes as adultery, usually handled in strictly traditional ways by commercial Hindi cinema. Fire, a film by Indian-born director Deepa Mehta, also drew the ire of Hindu hardliners in 1998 because it featured a relationship between two women. Sceenings were later halted.

Members of the Shiv Sena said they plan more protests over Girlfriend. We'll not allow such a film to be screened, Arun Pathak, a leader of the group, told Reuters by telephone from Varanasi. What one does in the bedroom and bathroom should not be displayed publicly.

The film has been passed by the Censor Board, Dharam Singh, a senior government official in Varanasi, said by phone.We will deal with troublemakers firmly. We've deployed enough police outside movie halls.

 

10th May

  Bare Faced Offence

Perhaps we need a planning regulation that requires that religious establishments are not allowed to be located within 200 metres of anything that they may potentially find offensive.

From the BBC

An advert for women's underwear has been criticised after it was put up on billboards near two mosques.

The poster, for Wiltshire-based company Sloggi, shows four women wearing only G-strings and high heels, alongside the slogan "It's string time".

But complaints were made after the image was put up next to mosques in Leeds and Bury, Greater Manchester.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received two complaints but ruled it was not meant to cause offence.

The ASA said the "nakedness shown in the poster" could offend Muslims if placed near a mosque or a place of worship.

Triumph International, which owns the Sloggi brand, claimed it told its contractors to avoid using poster sites near mosques.

The company was told by the ASA to "take more care with the placing of similar posters" in future.

 

27th April

  Addicted Nutters

I wonder what part of the brain lights up when nutters set about denying their fellow man the pleasures of life.

From Brigham Young University

A Utah-based non-profit nutter organization wants to use new technology to prove that pornography is addictive and hopes the public will help.

The Lighted Candle Society wants to use functional magnetic resonance imaging [MRI] to generate research to scientifically prove pornography is addictive. To raise money for the research the organization is hosting a fund-raiser Wednesday.

John Harmer, chairman of the Salt Lake City-based Lighted Candle Society, has been leading a battle against the pornography industry in the courts since 1964. The society is an organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of moral values.

Harmer plans to use the information gained from the MRI to prosecute producers of pornography in the same manner the tobacco industry was prosecuted.

If we can use the MRI studies to prove that pornography is addictive, much in the same way that violence has been found to be addictive in previous research, then we can hold them [the pornography industry] financially liable for the harm they are doing, and virtually cripple the industry, Harmer said.

Cline said he thinks using the MRI is a successful way to further the studies dealing with pornography addictions. We need to know what happens to the brain, and what this addiction process does, When you are aroused, the CT [computerized tomography] scan lights up like a Christmas tree.

Research on how the brain reacts to addictions has been conducted for tobacco and other harmful drugs, but MRI research into pornography is relatively new. Previous information on the addictive nature of pornography focused on actions caused by the compulsive habit, including sexual perversions, which can lead to sexual deviations, Victor Bailey Cline said.

Cline, who will speak at the fund-raiser, is a psychotherapist who focuses on marital and family counseling. Considered an expert in the field, Cline has met with thousands of people to discuss their problems with pornography addiction. Cline said obscene images viewed during adolescence act as a gateway to many serious sexual addictions that can lead to criminal activity in some cases. It starts first in fantasy, and then always leads to some kind of reality,

 

27th April

  Abstaining from Life

Observing the killing, maiming and torture inflicted in the name of the US, religion & George Bush, I would suggest that the only abstinence should be that of 'American morality'.

Based on an article from The Independent

America's moral right, backed with massive funding from George Bush, is to target British teenagers in a mission to protect their virginity.

The Silver Ring Thing movement, which preaches a gospel of sexual purity before marriage, will this week launch a seven-city tour of the UK and Ireland. A young crew of virgins will be flown over to spread the word.

The moral message from across the Atlantic will coincide with the launch of a campaign by British politicians and religious leaders to tone down sex education in schools, because they say it is encouraging young people to experiment with sex too soon.

Up to 20,000 young Americans are said to have bought the Silver Ring Thing's $12 silver-coloured rings, which pledge the wearers to a life of pre-marital chastity, supported with programmes of Bible classes and the endorsement of Erika Harold, Miss America 2003.

Now the group is focusing on this side of the Atlantic. With the highest rates of teen pregnancy in Western Europe and rising levels of sexually transmitted infection, Britain might seem a natural target for its marketing.

The group's road show features lights, music, stand-up comedy and a rap track titled, "Oh no, don't give it away ..." It will target audiences in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow, Belfast and Dublin at the end of June.

There was little surprise last year when Britney Spears, the one-time pin-up girl for teenage virginity, came crashing down from her pedestal, admitting to something more than chastity with boyfriend Justin Timberlake.

Despite that very public fall from grace, the US abstinence movement is thriving. Last year it received $120m from the federal government and, of that, the Silver Ring Thing received $700,000 - by far the largest single grant.

Some have accused it of scaremongering about the scale and risk of sexual infection. There is no such thing as safe sex, said the evangelical nutter who heads the group, Denny Pattyn, as he prepared to fly to Britain last week. Prominent on the movement's website is a book called Epidemic: How Teen Sex Is Killing Our Kids.

He described the group's silver ring as a reminder for when you're in the back seat of the car and you're tempted, and you need that extra inspiration.

The Silver Ring Thing, based in Pittsburgh, is prominent among a range of US abstinence programmes, which include True Love Waits, once associated with Ms Spears. The Silver Ring Thing also wants a piece of the $1.5bn allocated by the Bush government to combat Aids in Africa.

In Britain, teen pregnancy and infection are major concerns for campaigners, churches and the Government, which launched a sex education strategy in 1999. Pregnancy rates have fallen, but sexually transmitted infection rates are rising sharply.

The deputy director of the conservative think-tank Civitas , Robert Whelan said it was "scandalous" abstinence approaches did not form part of government strategy. The few groups that do exist in the UK, such as Love For Life, receive no official funding.

A meeting, to be hosted by Catholic Labour MP Geraldine Smith, has been set up next month to promote an overhaul of sex education. Publicity for the meeting, to be held on 15 June, praised the work of campaigns such as the Silver Ring Thing. Behind the meeting is Dr Hans Christian Raabe, a GP who who believes the young should abstain from sex before marriage . He is a member of the Manchester-based Maranatha Community, a Christian congregation which has also campaigned vigorously against cannabis.

But whether such an openly evangelical approach will work is a different matter. British sex educators warn that the "just say no" method is at best ineffective, and at worst dangerous.

A 2001 study from Columbia University, published in the American Journal of Sociology, suggested that abstinence pledges do prolong virginity for a year or two, but that nine out of 10 pledgers end up breaking the promise. Worse still, when they do, they are less likely to use contraception.

 

27th April

  Malaysian Laughing Stock

From Yahoo News

A Malaysian couple caught by enforcement officers holding hands in a public park have been charged in court with indecent behaviour, local media said.

Ooi Kean Tong, 22, was charged Wednesday for allegedly hugging and kissing his girlfriend Siow Ai Wei, 20, in a Kuala Lumpur park, the New Straits Times reported.

Ooi pleaded not guilty to the charge of indecent behaviour and his case will be heard in court on July 21. If found guilty, he could face a maximum fine of 2,000 ringgit (526 dollars) or a year in jail or both.

Siow will be served with the summons next week, the report said.

The couple were caught on August 2 last year by city hall officers responsible for enforcing local government regulations.

The case provoked a public outcry at the time when the couple said they were only holding hands and alleged that they were issued a summons because they had refused to bribe the officers, who were charged with corruption in January.

Non-governmental organisations and government politicians have decried the move, saying it would make Malaysia the laughing stock of the world and affect its booming tourism industry.

 

21st April

  Stunted Opinions

From The Mirror

A boy of 10 became engulfed in flames as he tried to copy a TV stunt. Joe Armstrong suffered 18 football-sized blisters and will be scarred for life after repeating a sick prank from cult show Jackass.

Michael Davies, 15, was videoing the youngster jumping over a bonfire with other friends to post on his "stunts" website. But Joe caught fire when petrol was squirted into the flames. His mum Allison Hughes said: If Michael hadn't put Joe out so quickly the hospital say he would have died.

The shameful Burnley MP Peter Pike and Mediawatch UK are calling for the MTV show - recently screened on Channel 4 - to be banned.

But MTV said: Jackass is only shown after the 10pm watershed. There are warnings throughout the programme.

 

16th April

  New Zealand Nutters

From Reuters

A group is trying to get DVDs and videos of Kill Bill restricted, months after the movie finished its cinema run.

The Society for the Promotion of Community Standards has asked the New Zealand Film and Literature Board of Review to reconsider Chief Censor Bill Hastings' R18 classification of the film. They want an even tighter restriction for the DVD and video versions.

Hastings attached warnings that the movie contained explicit violence and offensive language.

Kill Bill, directed by Quentin Tarantino and starring Uma Thurman, starts with the slaughter of a wedding party in a rural chapel. The bride, played by Thurman, escapes with her life. After waking up from four years in a coma she plots her revenge.

Although the society's application for more restrictions was submitted in November, the board only considered the matter this week.

It was not clear what new level of restriction the society was seeking.

Society secretary David Lane said the certificate application was fast-tracked by the censor's office, so his group was unable to have input into the classification. Hastings' decision was not published till after the movie had been in cinemas for four weeks.

Although Kill Bill had now completed its run in cinemas, Lane said it was important for the society to continue its case, as video and DVD versions were due to be released in April to coincide with the world premiere of Kill Bill Volume 2.

Spokeswoman Pamela Fleming said the board had reserved its decision after a two-hour hearing this week. There was no date set for its release, though board members were conscious of the need to deal with the matter as speedily as possible, she said.

 

8th March

  Kissing Tolerance Goodbye

From Reuters

content area

Couples caught kissing passionately in public in Indonesia could spend five years in jail.

Members of parliament in the world`s most populous Muslim country have proposed an anti-pornography bill that includes a ban on kissing on the mouth in public.

I think there must be some restrictions on such acts because it is against our traditions of decency, said Aisyah Hamid Baidlowi, head of a parliamentary committee drafting the bill. Heavy kissing could carry a maximum penalty of five years in jail or a 250 million (15,000 pounds) rupiah fine. Anyone caught flashing would face similar penalties.

The bill also proposes bans on public nudity, erotic dances and sex parties, with jail terms ranging from three to 10 years. Watching such shows could lead to two years behind bars.

Indonesians have long followed a moderate version of Islam, although an emphasis on Muslim practices and identification with Islamic traditions have grown stronger in recent years.

Public displays of affection are frowned upon by many, though prostitution is rampant in many parts of the archipelago.

 

28th February

  Brother Nutters

From Reuters

Several hundred Islamists held a rally in Bahrain Friday to protest against the television reality show Big Brother produced in the Gulf Arab state, complaining that the program was un-Islamic.

"Stop Sin Brother! No to indecency!" chanted the protesters. The Arabic version of the show -- which isolates a group of young people in apartment-like studios for weeks and monitors them constantly with cameras -- has drawn large audiences internationally.

Police blocked a road leading to the house where the show is staged on the small Amwaj island, near the capital Manama.

The program, broadcast across the Arab world by MBC satellite channel, has raised eyebrows despite efforts to take into account Muslim sensitivities. Separate living and sleeping quarters for male and female participants have been introduced, as well as a prayer room.

Parliament Deputy Chairman Adel al-Moawada, who has led a campaign to question Information Minister Nabeel al-Hamer about Big Brother in the assembly, attended the peaceful rally.

We don't want such programs because our families will be influenced. Our children would think that living together without being married is acceptable in Islam, one protester said.

Pro-Western Bahrain, headquarters of the U.S. Fifth Fleet, has often seen demonstrations against the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and Washington's perceived pro-Israeli policies. There have also been protests against Western-style performers deemed immoral by Islamists.

 

21st February

  Wicked Nutters of Southwark Cathedral

A follow up to the tale of obtaining a sex on the premises licence in the face of opposition from the nutters of Southwark cathedral.

From www.London-se1.co.uk

Club Wicked has withdrawn its licence applications and is leaving the Tooley Street venue. Club Wicked events will now be held monthly at other venues whilst the club in SE1 is rebranded Atlantis.

According Club Wicked owner Brian Sheridan, writing in Southwark News, his Club Wicked will not return to the site under London Bridge. Sheridan says that he has granted a 5-year operating licence to experienced licensee Mark Bambridge.

Plans for Atlantis include an application for a lap dancing licence.

 

1st January

  Holy Mariah

From Ananova

Muslims in Malaysia are calling for Mariah Carey to be banned from performing in the country because she's "vulgar".

Leader of the Pan Malaysian Islamic Party's youth wing Ahmid Sabki said: Everyone knows Mariah Carey presents herself in a sexy, unacceptable and almost vulgar manner. She's not an appropriate role model for young Malaysians.

Carey is due to perform in Kuala Lumpar on February 22 after receiving official permission.

But Sabki criticised the decision, he said: Allowing such concerts promotes and condones values that are totally contrary to our way of life and our culture ..like freedom and fun). He also claimed the concert fell on the start of the Muslim New Year.

Western entertainment is popular in Malaysia but has come up against much opposition.Many Hollywood films featuring sex, violence and swearing, such as Austin Powers have been banned because of fears of the influence over Malaysian youth.

 

1st January

  A Dozen Nutters

Based on an article from CNN Money

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers and World Wrestling Entertainment action figures are three of the brands on this year's "Dirty Dozen" most violent toys, a children's advocacy group.

This is the eighth annual list of most violent toys compiled by the Maryland-based nutters The Lion & Lamb Project, which warns parents what not to buy for their children for the holidays.

Executive Director Daphne White said the group is primarily concerned about violent messages stemming not only from toys but also from television, movies, videos, music lyrics, arcade games and video games.

The Dirty Dozen We're worried about violence being marketed to children as fun and entertaining, White told CNN/Money. Our list is a little different this year because it highlights the 'brands' that are marketed to children through a combination of toys, video games, DVDs and other items.

Our children are now moved along from the cartoon violence in 'Ninja Turtles' to the cold-blooded murder in 'The Matrix Reloaded' in just a few short years, White said, adding some of the toys in the group's list have violent themes and are marketed at kids as young as age 3.

Responding to the Lion&Lamb list, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) said in a statement released Monday that pre-holiday news conferences regarding various alleged hazards in children's toys have become an annual event at which some groups try to establish a direct, causal connection between societal violence and specific types of toys.

The TIA's response also included comments from child development expert Jeffrey Goldstein, author of Why We Watch: The Attractions of Violent Entertainment, claiming that accusations about individual toys promoting violence does not stand up to academic scrutiny.

The group also took issue with Power Rangers Ninja Storm video game.

Like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, this is another television-generated brand with the message that the best way to solve problems is through violence, White said, noting that while Power Rangers are portrayed as good guys they solve problems by fighting.

Also on the list are the WWE Training Day action figures and the WWE Smackdown! video game. The group also warned parents about The Hulk, The Matrix and X-Men movies, DVDs and related toys and video games.

About The Hulk toy, the group said the stuffed green toy looks friendly and harmless as the Jolly Green Giant but is based on a PG-13 movie about rage.

The X-Men video game is marketed to children age 6 and up, but has been released along with a PG-13 movie, Lion&Lamb said, noting the video game box urges users to "use lethal combo attacks" and "prepare to meet your makers."

The Matrix video game is rated T for teens, yet is based on an R-rated adult movie, the group said. This game features a "sniper mode" and allows players to "ride shotgun, shooting from passenger's seat, it said.

 

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