Chocolate Easter Nutters...
Jesus exhibition is cancelled
Based on an adrticle from Christian Today see
Catholics have been predictably
outraged by a New York art gallery, which was to have exhibited a
sculpture of Jesus Christ – made entirely of chocolate.
The sculpture was to have been part of the galleries Easter
exhibition. The chocolate figure stands at 6ft tall (1.8m) and shows
Jesus naked hanging on the cross. Unlike usual images of Jesus
hanging on the cross, the chocolate sculpture depicts Jesus without
In the US, the Catholic League has been left outraged by the plans.
The organisation’s head has described the sculpture as one of the
worst assaults on Christian sensibilities ever. Catholic League
head Bill Donohue said: The fact that they chose Holy Week shows
this is calculated, and the timing is deliberate.
Donohue called for the public to
boycott the gallery as well as the hotel which hosts it.
The sculpture, My Sweet Lord, created by artist Cosimo
Cavallaro, was to have gone display from Monday in Manhattan’s Lab
The creative director of the
gallery, Matt Semler, told the BBC that the organisers were
considering all their options following a wave of complaints via
email and telephone to the gallery.
Unfortunately the director of the
hotel housing the gallery was not so resistant and decided to cancel
the exhibition. Matt Semeler resigned in protest of a 'catholic
suggests media violence is the catalyst for biblical doomsday
Thanks to Ollie
Thought you might be interested in
this twisted new novel, The Tyranny of Ghosts. It is written by
Tom Davies, ex-Observer columnist "Pendennis", now born-again nutter and sometime writer for The Society for Promoting Christian
From and advert in Saturday's Guardian:
As violence floods our cities and
our kids are stabbing one another in the streets [speak for yourself
mate]...these demons are but the images of violence which are pouring
out of all arms of the media...the modern media has become the very
engine of global lawlessness, and, in its rise, Biblical prophecy is
The media has become an active
catalyst in most modern atrocities and the truly thrilling conclusion
to be drawn from the emergence of such a great gathering of global
evil can only be that God is finally preparing the world for the
return of the Son of Man.
I wonder if John Beyer has a copy on
his bedside table?
Thursday 29th March
10pm Channel 4
John Beyer recommends Wedding Belles
Thanks to Dan
From News of the World
Spanking nuns, pervy priests, OAPs
on Viagra, and necrophilia...
This is why Mediawatch-UK are calling for Channel 4's controversial
Wedding Belles to be pulled.
However, the broadcaster WILL cause outrage this week by screening
the two-hour film, penned by Trainspotting author Irvine
It includes plenty of weird sex, graphic drug use and mindless
violence. There's an old man on Viagra having sex with a dead woman
before being pleasured by a nun. She then gives a priest oral sex at
the pulpit, a spanking with a ping-pong bat and then murders him in
Media Watch director John Beyer slammed Wedding Belles as
want the right not to be ridiculed
From Catholic Online
threatens religion and believers with insult, discrimination,
persecution and injury that stands in contradiction to the promise
of freedom hailed by democratic societies, said a Vatican
representative to a United Nations body here.
In a March 22 address to the fourth special session of the U.N.
Human Rights Council, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, head of the Vatican
permanent observer mission of the Holy See to the UN, called the
international body to protect the freedom of religion, of
expression, of conscience, of worship in private and in public and
respect of religious convictions for believers of all faiths and for
non-believers alike within the context of other human rights.
Abuse of rights of believers, even outright violence against
them, state restrictions, undue impositions and persecution, public
insult to religious feelings, unfortunately persist and call for
remedy, he said.
Democracies must beware of the drive to set aside the respect of
concrete religions in the interest of granting the rights of
religious freedom and freedom of expression, he said.
One cannot consider the ridicule of the sacred as a right of
freedom, the archbishop said.
He urged that the council, which reviews human rights of all 191
U.N. member states, take up the issue of developing mechanisms or
instruments that would defend the message of religious
communities from manipulation and would avoid a disrespectful
presentation of their members.
The Vatican, he said, sees evidence of anti-religious fanaticism
that denigrates religion or, generally, the faithful of a religion
by attributing them responsibility of violent actions done today or
in the past by some members of that religion.
The nuncio said that “legitimate criticism” of actions by some
religious followers must not become license to insult or unjust
defamation nor into offensive mockery of its revered persons,
practices, rites or symbols.
Religious offense, especially when directed to a minority within a
society, is a form of coercion against believers that makes the
profession and public practice of religion more difficult, he added.
Rose wins the inaugural Sappho prize
Based on article from Herald Sun
The Danish newspaper editor who
published controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in 2005 was
awarded a free press prize for his "determination and courage."
The Danish-based Free Press Society awarded Flemming Rose the
inaugural international Sappho Prize, worth $3,568.
Lars Hedegaard of the Free Press Society said the prize honoured a
journalist who combines excellence in his work with courage and a
refusal to compromise. Hedegaard compared the pressure placed on
Rose and his newspaper to apologise for publishing the cartoons to
those voices calling for the appeasement of Nazi Germany at the dawn
of World War II: Decisive to our decision was Rose's courage to
print the cartoons and to stand his ground under the worst storm any
journalist has ever endured.
Norwegian human rights activist Hege Storhaug will present Rose with
the award on behalf of the Freedom of the Press Association at a
public ceremony on March 27.
fine for nonsense satire about nonsense religion
Based on article from Herald Sun
watchdog has fined the director of MTV Networks Baltic for airing
Popetown, a cartoon series that pokes fun at the Roman Catholic
The Radio and Television Commission voted unanimously to fine Marius
Veselis 3000 litas ($1435).
The cartoons, which depict the Pope as a rotund 77-year-old obsessed
with his pogo-stick and surrounded by toys, provoked a storm of
nutter criticism in Lithuania, where 80% of the population is Roman
The commission made its decision after the Inspector of Journalists'
Ethics, Romas Gudaitis, said Popetown should be banned
because it portrayed the clergy as destructive and incited religious
MTV Lietuva spokeswoman Ema Segal said Veselis would appeal: We
have aired the series in all the three Baltic states, but it caused
such a reaction only in Lithuania. MTV said Gudaitis's stand was
an attempt to limit freedom of expression and thought, and rejected
suggestions that Popetown insulted Catholics: This is just
an artistic satire and nothing more. We neither attempted to mock
religion nor God himself.
Veselis said in a statement last month that the reaction to
Popetown had unmasked Lithuania as a sort of half-medieval,
half-communist, sick culture.
Hard Target, New Jack City and Raw Deal on BBC1, Cliffhanger on
ITV1, Natural Born Killers on Channel 4, Bad Boys, Dirty Harry,
Heat and Young Guns on Channel 5
Ban porn, ban TV violence, ban fun, ban life
Thanks to Shaun
I wonder if this will be as
popular as the road pricing petition.
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to
Ban ALL Pornography: We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to
make possession, production, & the sale of ALL pornographic material,
It has been running for 2 months,
publicised by the BBC,
...and still only has 43 votes... 43 nutters methinks...
I notice John Beyer hasn't signed it
yet. It would be interesting to see if he would sign it, and support the
banning of possession of ALL pornography ?
I presume that this includes 18 rated material, and girlie magazines of
the type which if not found in your teenage son's bedroom you might
begin to worry about him a little....
I am not sure even Beyer would go that far..
As you say, the level of "support" for something as draconian as this,
Beyer: Too too much violence on
Thanks also to Dan who spotted that the
Birmingham post had wasted space on a longish article from John
Screen violence and its effect on
Is there too much violence on television? Is there a connection
between the violence shown on television and the increasing violence
and aggression in our society? I think there is....
lose their case against French satirical magazine
From The Times
A Paris court has acquitted the
editor of a satirical French weekly sued by two Muslim groups for
publishing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, in a case seen as a
test for freedom of expression.
Applause broke out in the courtroom at the announcement of the
verdict, which ruled that three cartoons published by the weekly
Charlie Hebdo in February 2006 were not insulting to Muslims.
The Paris Grand Mosque and the Union of Islamic Organisations of
France took Philippe Val, the Charlie Hebdo editor, to court for
reprinting cartoons that sparked angry protests by Muslims
They argued that the images drew an offensive link between Islam and
terrorism and asked for 30,000 euros in damages.
Val welcomed the ruling and said it
would open a much-needed debate among Muslims in France. If you
believe as we do that Islam is perfectly compatible with French
democracy, such a debate is a blessing, he said.
The court ruled that two of the cartoons were absolutely not offensive
to Muslims. One, reprinted from Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten, showed the
prophet standing on a cloud, turning away suicide bombers from paradise
with the caption 'Stop, stop, we ran out of virgins'.
The second, by the French cartoonist Cabu, showed Muhammad sobbing,
holding his head in his hands and saying: It is hard to be loved by
fools, under the caption Muhammad overwhelmed by fundamentalists.
On the third cartoon, showing Muhammad wearing a turban shaped as a
bomb, the court’s ruling was more nuanced. The court decided that the
caricature could potentially be insulting to Muslims but that the
context of its publication in Charlie Hebdo made clear there was no
intention to offend.
The president of the Union of Islamic Organisations of France, Lhaj
Thami Breze, said following the hearing that he intended to appeal
because we are unhappy with the verdict.
But Christophe Bigot, a lawyer for the Paris Mosque, said that his
client would not challenge the court's decision.
The trial was seen as an important
test for freedom of expression in France and large crowds crammed into
the Paris courtroom during hearings last month to hear the arguments put
by both sides.
attacks Hollywood over movie portrayal of Persians
From the BBC
The Historical war epic 300 has
been criticised as an attack on Iranian culture by government figures.
The Hollywood film is an effects-laden retelling of a battle in which a
small Greek army resisted a Persian invasion.
Javad Shamqadri, a cultural advisor to Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad, said it was plundering Iran's historic past and
insulting this civilization. He branded the film "psychological
warfare" against Tehran and its people. But said that Iranian culture
was strong enough to withstand the assault: American cultural
officials thought they could get mental satisfaction by plundering
Iran's historic past and insulting this civilization.
Daily newspaper Ayandeh-No carried the headline "Hollywood declares war
on Iranians". The paper said: It seeks to tell people that Iran,
which is in the Axis of Evil now, has for long been the source of evil
and modern Iranians' ancestors are the ugly murderous dumb savages you
see in 300.
to the Gallery...
harangue US video rental chain
The American Family Association is
pushing a nationwide boycott of Movie Gallery in an effort to stop the
video rental chain from offering hardcore porn.
The nutters claim in a press release: Behind the public image, Movie
Gallery makes millions of dollars from videos of despicable sex acts…
AFA has documented the atrocities endured by employees and managers,
plus stories by parents of children who have been exposed to hard-core
porn in Movie Gallery stores.
Led by family-values nutter Donald Wildmon, AFA has been attacking the
video store chain for several years. When Movie Gallery announced its
acquisition of Hollywood Video, Wildmon's group took out a full-page ad
in USA Today alerting readers that your family's next trip for a
video could become an introduction to the world of hardcore pornography.
AFA also organized a protest rally at Movie Gallery's headquarters in
Porn makes up about 5% of Movie Gallery's business, a company rep told
people are expected to listen to these nutters for moral advice!
From The Telegraph see
The Church of England is facing an
embarrassing test case over whether mobile phone masts on steeples are
illegal because they can relay pornography.
The church's highest court is to hear an appeal after a diocesan judge
ruled that churches were "wrong in law" to facilitate the
transmission of pornography, even in a slight or modest way.
Many parishes have cashed in on the mobile phone boom by charging
telecom companies thousands of pounds a year to put antennae on their
towers or steeples. Even Guildford cathedral has a mast under its golden
angel weather vane.
They were encouraged by official Church guidance, which acknowledged
that immoral material can be transmitted by the new technology but
argued that any "ill" was outweighed by the benefits.
However, critics said mobile phones can now transmit dangerously obscene
internet images and the church should dissociate itself from such
technology, especially after the General Synod condemned media
exploitation last month.
The contentious issue has now reached the Archbishop of Canterbury's
800-year-old Court of Arches, which is due to hear an appeal against the
ruling by the diocese of Chelmsford's consistory court within weeks.
court rules against allowing phone masts
From The Times
Churches throughout England could lose
thousands of pounds in revenue after a church court ruled against a
mobile phone mast because it would facilitate access to pornography.
Churches can make more than
£10,000 a year in rent from mobile phone
companies which can be a vital aid to offsetting running costs and
repairs. But the mobile phone cash cow is now in danger after an
ecclesiastical judge in Chelmsford, Essex, ruled against an application
to install a mast in the tower of St Peter and St Paul in Chingford,
The parish is to appeal to the Church’s highest court, the Court of
Arches, which is the provincial court for the Canterbury Province and
sits at St Mary le Bow Church in the City of London. If the Court of
Arches upholds the Chelmsford ruling by the diocesan chancellor George
Pulman, QC, the Church’s entire policy on the masts could be at risk.
Local objectors who oppose the aerials on health grounds are often
unsuccessful because of the lack of scientific evidence of harmful
radiation. But the Chelmsford case has given them a new moral platform
from which to fight the masts because of the new 3G or third-generation
phones which can access the internet, enable films to be watched and be
used for online gambling.
In his judgment Pulman concluded that some of the material to be
transmitted is not consistent with the Christian use of a church.
He said the original concept of a mobile phone was to enable two people
to talk to each other. But now they could be used to download a vast
range of obscene images, pornography, pictures of real or simulated
child abuse and other material from the internet.
He said he considered it wrong for the Church to facilitate transmission
of pornography, even in a slight or modest way. It is equally wrong
for the Church to gain financial advantage, even in a slight or modest
way, from the transmission of pornography.
The Church of England is awaiting the decision from the Court of Arches
with concern. A spokesman said : Whatever the decision, an awful lot
of people are going to study it very carefully. If a clear decision is
made one way or the other, it is going to impact on the whole process.
Sex with God...
object to the brush off
From christian Post
Comedy Central repeated an episode of
the Sarah Silverman Program in which the female comedian has sex
The installment, titled Batteries, features a “one-night-stand”
with a “Black God,” whom Sarah Silverman tries to brush-off the morning
Many Christians disagree strongly with the rebroadcast, noting that the
content is extremely insensitive and degrading toward their religion.
One such group, the Timothy Plan, has urged Christians to boycott the
network’s parent company, Viacom, and pull out from all investments with
them. The Timothy Plan is a mutual fund that avoids investing in
companies that profit from or support things like pornography, abortion,
non-married lifestyles, anti-family entertainment, as well as companies
involved in promoting issues contrary the teachings of the Bible.
To air and rebroadcast a program, comedy or not, that depicts the
main character having sex with God brings Viacom’s anti-Christian
vitriol to an all time low, said Arthur Ally, president of the
Timothy Plan, in a statement. Christians and culturally conservative
Americans alike should be appalled by the sheer blatancy of this heresy.
Anyone with any semblance of basic Judeo-Christian values should find
this type of programming offensive, added Ally in his statement.
Silverman is best known for her stand-up comedy. She typically deals
with topical humor and satire, mild or serious societal taboos, and
controversial topics such as racism, sexism, and religion.
Housewives More Desperate...
channels pulled in Kashmir after threats
There will be no more Desperate
Housewives for residents of Indian Kashmir. They will have to do
without Friends reruns, too.
Four foreign television channels have been pulled from the air in
Indian-controlled Kashmir after Islamic militant groups demanded cable
companies stop airing "obscene" shows, cable operators said.
As militants have asked us to stop airing obscene channels, we've
suspended broadcasting English channels like HBO, Star Movies, Star
World and Sony Pix, said Muzaffar Ahmed, a TV cable operator in
Srinagar, the summer capital of India's Jammu-Kashmir state.
Two militant groups in a telephone call to a local news agency, Current
News Service, advised TV cable operators to drop channels that the
groups say spread obscenity. The groups, Al-Badr Mujahedeen and Al-Madina,
did not specify which channels they were referring to.
The content of the channel's broadcasts in India is already pretty tame
compared to other countries in order to comply with India's stringent
censorship laws. Obscenities are bleeped out and hints of nudity
blurred. Other scenes are cut entirely.
Cable operators were taking no chances. Last year, a bomb blast rocked
the office of a cable TV provider in the town of Sopore, 30 miles north
of Srinagar. One person died in the explosion and the company's
third-floor office was badly damaged by the blast. The lone cable
operator in the town later halted telecasts.
Easily Offended at Clare...
Satirical student magazine winds
up Cambridge college
Based on an article from Cambridge Evening News
A student at Clare College in
Cambridge was in hiding today after printing satirical Mohammed cartoons
in a student magazine. For his own safety and that of others, the
student, who is British, has been taken out of his current accommodation
and put in a secure place.
The article is said to be so inflammatory [doesn't
take much to wind up the easily offended] the undergraduate has
been taken to a secret location for his own safety.
Senior college officials were locked in urgent talks about how the
material came to be published and what action to take against the
student at the centre of the row.
A university spokesman said police had
been made aware of the incident. But a police spokesman said: This is
a matter for the university authorities to deal with.
The student magazine, Clareification, printed a cropped copy of
one of the famous cartoons of the prophet Mohammed next to a photo of
the president of the Union of Clare Students. The cartoon was captioned
with the president's name and vice versa.
There was also comment suggesting one was a violent paedophile
and the other was a prophet of God, great leader and an example to us
The paper had been renamed Crucification for a special edition on
religious satire. The front page included headlines stating:
Ayatollah rethinks stance on misunderstood Rushdie.
Easily enraged students have bombarded the Union of Clare Students with
complaints and vice-president of the university's Islamic society
described it as "hugely offensive" and "crude unabashed prejudice."
In a rare move, Clare College fellows have called a Court of Discipline
which will sit in judgment on the youth responsible for sparking what is
being regarded as one the most embarrassing incidents for the university
In a statement issued by Clare College, senior tutor Patricia Fara said:
Clare is an open and inclusive college. A student produced satirical
publication has caused widespread distress throughout the Clare
community. The college finds the publication and the views expressed
Stand Up for Free Speech...
Secular Society write to easily offended Clare College
From the National Secular
Staff and students at Clare College
should make a stand for free speech instead of backing those who would
destroy it, says the National Secular Society (NSS).
Reacting to news that a student who published a satirical issue of the
student magazine that poked fun at religion is to be disciplined, Terry
Sanderson, President of the NSS said: We are shocked that the staff
and even the students union at this supposedly liberal college have
joined the attack on this student because he had the temerity to poke
fun at religion. Free expression is such a precious commodity and is
under such ferocious attack at present from religious interests that it
is disgraceful that no-one is standing up for this young man’s right to
be rude about religion – even about Islam.
Sanderson has written to the master of Clare College, Professor Tony
Bader and to the Senior Tutor, Patricia Fara as well as the president of
the Students Union, Calum Davey, as follows:
We write after seeing reports in
the local Cambridge press indicating that a contributor to your
student magazine Clareification faces disciplinary action for having
printed items that some people thought were “offensive” or
If these reports are true, we wish to register our profound
disquiet that a supposedly liberal college has reacted in this way.
The reaction risks undermining one of the most precious and
important rights that we have in this country: freedom of
Satire aimed at religion is no different to satire aimed at any
other ideas and should not be punished or restrained. The freedom to
poke fun at those who take themselves too seriously is a time-honoured
tradition in this country. Regrettably, it is rapidly being eroded
by cases like this. We urge you to think again and stand four-square
behind the satirists, instead of disciplining them.
We would like to remind all concerned that satirising religion –
even if that religion is Islam – is not racism, as this episode has
been dubbed. Religion and race have very different characteristics.
We would have heartily joined the condemnation if the satire had
been racially motivated, but according to the reports we have read,
the issue of Clareification in question was devoted to religious
We would like to draw your attention to a case that is pending in
France at the moment, in which a satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo,
has been brought to court by an Islamic organisation for
re-publishing the Danish cartoons that are at the centre of so much
controversy. In the French case, academics, artists and politicians
of all hues have rushed to the defence of the magazine. Letters of
support and statements defending free speech have been issued by
some of the most influential people in the country – including Mr
Sarkozy, who is potentially the next President of France.
Your own reaction – as reported – does not bear comparison with the
principled French reactions. It sides with the oppressors and
censors who are doing so much to retard open debate in academe and
We call on you to support the publishers of the magazine and to tell
the would-be censors that their protests have been heard but that
they will not prevail. Without the freedom to debate, discuss and,
yes, mock, ideas and ideologies, there can be no informed political
discourse. Satire is an indispensable tool in the operating of a
truly free society.
Harassment, Alarm and Distress...
question students about the ridicule of religious nonsense
From Index on
Spotted by MediawatchWatch
Magazine detailed at Harry's Place
The controversy over the publication
of one of the now infamous Jyllands Posten Mohammed cartoons in a
Cambridge University student publication has taken on a new seriousness,
after two students were questioned under caution by Cambridgeshire
The students, understood to be the editor and guest editor of unofficial
Clare College magazine Clareification (renamed Crucification for an
issue focused on religious satire) were interrogated under Section 5 of
the Public Order Act (“harassment, alarm or distress”).
Police confirmed to Index that the students were questioned last Friday,
and a file has been sent to the Crown Prosecution Service, which will
decide whether to press charges against the students in the coming
The magazine, circulated for free among Clare students, contained
several articles ridiculing religious belief, and the front-page
headlines Katie Lin-O-Scopes more reliable than Bible (a
reference to the magazine’s spoof horoscope column) and Ayatollah
rethinks stance on “misunderstood” Rushdie.
The editorial stated ‘I hate Islam’. The Mohammed cartoon appeared on
the back page, juxtaposed with a picture of Clare’s student president
with the caption One is a prophet of God, a great leader and an
example to us all. The other is a violent paedophile.
Earlier, Cambridge University had signalled that it considered the
matter finished with. A spokesman for the university said the student
who had guest-edited the publication had been disciplined, but that
there was no prospect of him being sent down.
Long Live Satire...
support of Clareification and freedom to poke fun at nonsense
From The Guardian see
by Sue Blackmore
A Cambridge student is in hiding
because he dared to print one of those infamous Danish cartoons and have
a laugh at Islam's expense. Yet if offended Muslims want people to stop
laughing at them, this latest incident will only have backfired.
OK it's offensive, and funny, and
that's what satire is all about. But the magazine apparently provoked
anger in Cambridge, with enraged students complaining in droves. A
second-year student said these were some of the most offensive things
I've ever seen. The president of the university's Islamic society
said I found the magazine hugely offensive ... freedom of expression
does not constitute a freedom to offend.
I say to him - oh yes it does, and you should be ashamed of yourself.
You didn't have to read the magazine. You didn't have to spread the news
about it. And you certainly didn't have to encourage other Muslims to
believe that claiming to be offended gives them the right to stop the
rest of us having a laugh. Yet you did so.
The freedom to laugh and poke fun at
things we disagree with is fundamental to freedom of thought.
And freedom of thought is fundamental to education, scholarship, and
learning - all the things that Cambridge University should be standing
up for. Great thinkers and scientists are always offending people by
overthrowing the dogmas and false beliefs of the past. People were
offended at the thought that earth was not the centre of the universe;
they were offended at the idea that mountains and rivers were created by
natural processes; they were offended at the idea that species were not
immutable and they were offended at the suggestion that we humans might
be descended from apes. Happily, in the end the evidence overwhelmed
I hope the same will happen with these claims, and society as a whole
will not let religious believers claim a right not to be offended. When
I contacted the college the master told me that the student has not been
reprimanded and the disciplinary process will determine whether he has
infringed any regulations. I sincerely hope he has not and that the
college will offer him and his magazine their support. The freedom to
think, to argue, and to laugh at silly ideas must be allowed to
The general synod
General Synod exploiting the gullible by blaming porn
A small edit and even the Melon farmers could join the
demand that the government: sets up an inquiry to determine whether
standards of behaviour are being fatally eroded by constant subjection
to religious suggestions and images promoting the exploitation of other
From The Guardian
The Church of England's general
synod is to debate calls for tighter controls on pornographic videos
and broadcasts because of fears that viewers are being exploited.
A motion from the church's diocese of Lichfield is demanding that
the government sets up an inquiry to determine whether standards of
behaviour are being fatally eroded by constant subjection to
suggestions and images ... promoting the exploitation of other human
The diocese is warning that negative and degrading images are
putting public safety at risk. In a background paper to synod
members in advance of the debate at Church House in London on March
1 it claims:
Standards of taste and
decency are changing ... the retort: 'If you don't like it,
switch it off' ignores the danger that such films pose to
society ... the British Board of Film Censors ... is making
pornography easier to access by giving hardcore material 18
certificates. And material which previously would have been
classified 18 is now being classified as 15 ... material
previously classified as 15 is now being classified as 12.
The boundaries are continually being pushed back. If you
continue to walk closer and closer to the edge of the cliff you
must eventually either stop or fall off. Those pushing the
boundaries in the media show no sign of doing either.
What appears to have spurred
concern is the 18 certificate given to a DVD called Destricted,
described as porn by the film-maker and photographer Sam Taylor Wood
who was involved in making it.
Exploiting the Gullible...
guys, give the gays a break.
There's plenty of others to blame
Believers in nonsense
unsurprisingly spout nonsense about the BBFC
I agree though with: "standards
of human behaviour are being fatally eroded by constant subjection
to suggestions and images promoting the exploitation of other human
From the Daily Mail
The Church of England yesterday
warned that the spread of hard-core sex and violence in films is
"fatally eroding" standards of behaviour.
It questioned the increasingly liberal decisions by film censors and
accused them of allowing wider and younger audiences to see
pornography and violence.
The Church called for new thinking about the effects of negative
and degrading images on public safety.
The attempt to put pressure on film censors and broadcasters at the
Church's parliament, the General Synod, follows efforts by senior
bishops to defend marriage and to do more to uphold Christian
beliefs. The Synod heard that "standards of human behaviour are
being fatally eroded by constant subjection to suggestions and
images promoting the exploitation of other human beings".
Church leaders named a series of films, including Destricted,
9 Songs, Baise-Moi, and Intimacy, which they
said had been allowed a wide adult audience by being granted 18
certificates, but which in the past would have been restricted under
R18 certificates to being shown in private clubs and to being sold
on DVD in sex shops.
They blamed the BBFC for allowing such material to reach general
The Rev Richard Moy said: There have been numerous cases where
defence barristers have asked judges to consider in mitigation that
the defendant's actions were influenced by watching pornography. And
yet the BBFC is making pornography easier to access by giving
hardcore material 18 certificates. And material which
previously would have been classified 18 is now being classified 15.
And material previously classified as 15 is now classified as 12.
How can we ask children and young people to behave in a socially
responsible way if, through the media, we celebrate and revel in
exploitation and abuse?
The Synod voted unanimously to condemn the exploitation of the
humiliation of human beings for public entertainment.
A previous president at the BBFC, Andreas Whittam-Smith, who passed
two of the criticised films - Baise-Moi and Intimacy, is now
a senior Church official in charge of the its financial wing. He
told the Synod that the films, however they were marred by their
sexually explicit content, they had something to say. He said
regulators felt bound to reflect what they believe is the public
mood and added: It is only the Church's teaching . . . which can
have an influence and change things.
Top of the league
in gun murder
is interesting to note that Thailand make a particular point of
censoring guns from films & TV. Just possibly there may be other factors
at play beyond media portrayal!
(per million of population
over a period of 2
- South Africa: 720
- Colombia: 510
- Thailand: 312
- Zimbabwe: 49
- Mexico: 34
- Belarus: 32
- Costa Rica: 31
- United States: 28
- Uruguay: 25
- Lithuania: 23
(32nd UK: 1)
Beyer takes topical opportunity for a rant
Thanks to Dan who spotted a Mediawatch-uk press
In the light of recent shootings in
South London and the “Gun Summit” at Downing Street last week, John
Beyer, Director of mediawatch-uk, is calling upon broadcasters and film
makers to embrace a much more socially responsible attitude to their
portrayal of the use of firearms in their productions.
We believe that this level of fictional violence shown on television,
which is consistent with our findings for the last 12 years, is
unacceptable and irresponsible. The people most responsible for
promoting a culture of violence in which the criminal use of guns is
portrayed more often than any other fictional violence are the film and
television industries. From this quarter there has been a deafening
silence and certainly no publicly announced undertakings to stop or even
reduce the visibility of guns or other offensive weapons. The regulator,
Ofcom, too has been silent despite the findings of their own research
which states that 56 per cent of people say there is too much violence
on television. (The Communications Market 2006, page 269)
In this age of “joined up” government and the trend for multi-agency
approaches to problem solution the influence of film and television
cannot be ignored nor can the industries remain aloof or beyond
criticism for the culture of violence to which they have contributed. We
call upon the film and broadcasting regulators to urgently review their
film and programme policies, their codes and guidelines and ensure that
the depiction of the use of firearms and other offensive weapons is
curtailed forthwith. We welcome the emphasis now being placed by
politicians upon family life and good role models. However, this must
extend to film and television programme makers who must play their part
in sustaining citizenship and civil society rather than setting models
of behaviour that contribute to society’s problems and undermine
attempts to deal with them.
We also call upon the Culture Secretary, Tessa Jowell, to take steps
to ensure that the terms of the Communications Act 2003, which states
that “material likely to encourage or to incite to crime or to lead to
disorder is not included in television or radio services”, are properly
enforced in the public interest.
A Scourge of Nutters...
release documentary detailing the rise of porn
From X Biz
Anti-porn group CP80 and film company
Living Biography have joined forces to release Traffic Control, a
new documentary that details what it calls the rampant rise in Internet
pornography and the fight to stop it.
CP80, which is the group behind the TruthinPorn campaign that seeks to
move all adult sites into a single, clean Internet port, released the
film at the end of January to coincide with a resolution from the Utah
House of Representatives urging the U.S. Congress to do more to curb
I can't tell you how many stories I've heard, how many lives I've
seen destroyed by pornography, Rep. Bradley Daw, the resolution’s
sponsor, said. This is an absolute scourge on our society.
Ralph Yarro, founder of CP80, called the Utah resolution the shot
heard around the world. Yarro added that Utah is one of seven states
with similar resolutions on the table, adding that Oregon legislators
will soon debate a measure that would label Internet pornography a
public health emergency.
The film details the experiences of Shelley Lubben, a former porn star
turned anti-porn activist who used the stage name Roxy, as she battled a
drug and alcohol addiction and contracted herpes while working in the
adult entertainment industry.
protest against BBC's The Verdict
on an article from
There was a protest against the BBC
programme, The Verdict, at BBC TV Centre, White City on
Sunday 11th February 2007
Representatives from the London Feminist Network and Justice For Women
protested The Verdict, a staged rape trial with a celebrity
jury, real legal personnel and actors for claimant and defendants.
The organisers said: We asked the BBC to withdraw The Verdict
but they have chosen to go ahead and further trivialise the trauma that
rape victims undergo. For victims of rape, justice is very rare indeed
and the conviction rate continues to fall.
We asked to see the producer of The Verdict and a representative
of the BBC came to speak with us. We formally lodged a complaint in
person and again asked the BBC to withdraw The Verdict.
As to whether the programme did trvialise rape, here's on opinion
from The Guardian see
The programme was often good;
often, dare I say, valuable viewing, apart from the grimly
inexcusable way in which the camera lingered on the (unblinking,
honest, thoughtful) face of Sara Payne during graphic sexual
testimony. Thanks: we'd got the link. But far from exploiting or
demeaning the idea of rape, it gave a timely and necessary lesson,
to those who could sit through the anguished details and the
well-acted tears, of the opacity which surrounds the reporting and
prosecution of rape in this country, and the vagaries, ill and
necessary, of the jury system. Hardly anyone, for instance, could
have been left unaware, after this week's staging, of the
staggeringly small number of reported rape cases which result in
convictions. 6%, nor, as crucially, of the guts and support
needed to even make that report in the first place.
Nor could viewers have been left untouched by the anguish of this
jury, even this staged jury, grappling with the burden of proof:
tearful, exhausted, fraught by the end, reluctantly going for 'not
guilty' despite strong instinct. Patsy Palmer, Jennifer Ellison and
Honor Blackman looked shell-shocked by the end, torn by the thought
they might come down on the side of the wrong - well, yes, actors,
but you had begun to forget that, a little. Along the way we got
some great slices of real real life: the nosy, dozy usher; the
gossipy clerk; the barristers still awarding themselves, 40 years
away from the desk at the front of the class, points for cleverness;
a peppery old ex-judge, wise beyond his 194 years, a lifetime spent
grappling with the same dichotomies filling the jury room with sound
Green Issues the Usual Bollox...
prepare for Life of Brian musical
on an article from ic Wales
Christian nutters in Wales have
reacted angrily to plans to turn Monty Python's Life of Brian
into a musical.
It is nearly 30 years since the Monty Python film, satirising the life
of a man mistaken for Jesus, provoked condemnation from church and
chapel congregations around the world who claimed it was blasphemous. A
ban on screening it in Swansea cinemas stood for 17 years and was only
lifted in 1997.
But yesterday campaigners vowed to hold fresh protests should the
proposed new musical ever be staged in Wales or the UK.
Their ire came as it emerged founding Monty Python member Eric Idle has
written a "comic oratorio" called Not The Messiah (He's A Very
Naughty Boy), which will premiere in Toronto in June.
Stephen Green, Carmarthenshire-based head of nutter group Christian
Voice, last night vowed to keep Not the Messiah out of the UK.
Green, who led mass protests against Jerry Springer: The Opera,
said, We would certainly be opposing such a blasphemous and
scurrilous piece of work. With it being loosely hung around Handel's
masterwork, it has got to be offensive to anyone who values music as
means of expressing great ideas. If he brings that to Britain or
Wales he can expect protests. He might not even get it off the ground
here because we've been forearmed.
Richard Lewis, an independent councillor serving the Gower area, was one
of those who voted to impose the ban back in February 1980. He said
recently: We were right as a city council to ban Life of Brian. My
views have hardened very much. I feel this latest musical is part of a
continual drip feed of knocking religion and Christianity
post their Valentines message
From News 4 Jax
Billboards around the city are urging
people to stop looking at pornography in the name of love. The messages
showed on up on five of the daily billboards that are located around
The billboards have the message:
Her gift for Valentine's Day -- stop
looking at porn. XXXChurch.com
Instead of the chocolates, flowers,
stuffed animals, cards or even dinner out on the town, the founder of
the Web site XXXChurch.com Craig Gross said he had another idea: It's
just to tell guys, especially, not to have the make-believe
relationships with porn stars, but to concentrate on their marriages and
their relationships with their loves ones.
Porn is everywhere. It is all over the Internet. There are some 400
million pornographic Web pages. We want people to talk about this issue,
Bishop rails at mobile phone porn
Definition of religious thinking: Nonsense In,
From The B.C. Catholic
Vancouver Archbishop Raymond
Roussin, is expressing great concern about Telus Mobility’s decision
to offer cell-phone pornography.
Canada’s second largest phone company started offering pornographic
photos and videos to its customers last month, and confirms it has
been receiving complaints from supposedly upset customers.
Archbishop Roussin said, Telus Mobility has crossed the line which
brings the problem of the accessibility of pornographic material
further into the public realm.
He noted that considering the problems pornography is causing in
society the move is especially ill-considered. Given the increasing
awareness about the problem of sexual addiction to pornography
through Internet access, and the abuse that this perpetuates of
vulnerable persons, Telus’s decision is disappointing and
The archbishop plans to raise his concerns with parishes and schools
throughout the Archdiocese of Vancouver. He is also considering
directing Catholic institutions to terminate their contracts with
as Opposed to Free Speech...
contend in French court that the Mohammed cartoons were racist
Based on an article from
The row over Danish cartoons of
the Prophet Mohammed will be replayed in a French court next week
when two influential Islamic groups sue a Paris satirical weekly for
inciting hatred against Muslims by printing the caricatures.
The two Muslim associations aim to show that reprinting the cartoons
was a provocation equal to anti-Semitic acts or Holocaust denial
that are already banned under French law, Dalil Boubakeur, rector of
the Paris Grand Mosque, said recently.
The weekly Charlie Hebdo, which put out a special edition with the
cartoons, argued religions are not beyond criticism and letting
Muslims censor the media would curtail a basic right.
During the cartoon controversy, offended Muslims demanded an apology
and a ban on criticising Islam. President Jacques Chirac accused
Charlie Hebdo of willfully provoking Muslims.
France's five million Muslims make up Europe's largest Islamic
minority, but there was little unrest here during the controversy
because the French Muslim Council (CFCM) urged people to back the
legal option rather than street protests.
A Paris court will hear the case next Wednesday and Thursday and
issue its ruling at a later date.
Boubakeur, who is also head of the CFCM, said one cartoon, which
showed Mohammed with a bomb for a turban, was especially offensive
because it had the Muslim profession of faith on the turban and thus
aimed at all Muslims and not just terrorists.
Szpiner, a prominent Paris lawyer, said the Grand Mosque's complaint
was not about blasphemy because it singled out only two of the 10
cartoons printed by Charlie Hebdo as racist: We admit that one can caricaturise the Prophet,
he said, expressing a view contrary to a widespread belief in
the Muslim world that images of Mohammad are forbidden: No French court would
accept an argument based on that Muslim belief. The issue is
not the principle of caricaturising the Prophet, but a racist
aggression against French Muslims, telling them they are terrorists.
Boubakeur hoped the case would show France needed tighter laws to
protect against Islamophobia. The Grand Mosque suit is based on a
law against insulting a group on religious grounds. But he opposed a
specific hate-speech law for Muslims or anything like a recent law
France passed making it a crime to deny that Armenians suffered
genocide in Ottoman Turkey in 1915: We're thinking about a general law, not just one for Jews, one for
Armenians and one for Muslims, One can have differences
of opinion about religion, but one cannot spout hate because hate
Caricatured as a Brave
Sarkozy supports freedom of satire
Nicolas Sarkozy, the centre-Right
frontrunner for the French presidency, yesterday earned the ire of
Muslim groups when it emerged he backed a satirical magazine's
publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
Lawyers acting for the magazine Charlie Hébdo, which is being
sued for defamation by two Muslim groups for reprinting
controversial Danish cartoons, read out a letter from Sarkozy, the
interior minister, in which he said he preferred too many
caricatures to an absence of caricature.
I am eager to lend my support to your newspaper, which belongs to
an old French tradition, that of satire, wrote Sarkozy.
Having very often been the main target of Charlie Hébdo, Sarkozy
added that he backed it in the name of the freedom to laugh at
The court erupted into laughter when the lawyer read out Sarkozy's
name, followed by his campaign slogan, together, everything is
possible. But his statement provoked the wrath of the official
French Council for the Muslim Religion, CFCM, an Islamic umbrella
group that Sarkozy helped create four years ago.
Furious at what it saw as government interference, a spokesman for
the CFCM said last night that the comments were "unacceptable" and
that its heads were considering resigning en masse in protest.
It's out of the question for a minister for religious affairs to
take such a position. There's no neutrality, Abdallah Zekri
The CFCM was set up to represent the estimated five million Muslims
Later Sarkozy, who was in Toulon yesterday, reiterated his support
for the magazine: I am not in favour of any kind of censorship,
whether of men, ideas or religions.
state stands behind freedom of speech
A state attorney Thursday called
for the dismissal of a court case brought by French Muslims against
a satirical weekly that printed caricatures of the Prophet Mohamed,
saying the cartoons denounce terrorists' use of the Muslim faith but
do not damage Islam.
The trial, which opened Wednesday, has drawn nationwide attention in
a country with Europe's largest Muslim community and a strong
commitment to freedom of expression and secularism.
The publication and its director, Philippe Val, are charged with
publicly abusing a group of people because of their religion.
Val risks a six-month prison sentence and a fine.
The state prosecutor, whose role in court is to defend French law,
argued in favor of the magazine, which on Feb. 8, 2006, printed
three caricatures, two of them reprints of those carried by a Danish
newspaper in 2005 that stoked anger across the Islamic world. One
caricature was an original.
It is not faith in Islam that was stigmatized by these
caricatures. It is not an attack on religious convictions as such,
said prosecutor Anne de Fontette. Instead, she argued, the
caricatures denounced terrorists who pretend to be acting in
(Islam's) name or in the name of the prophet.
Another presidential candidate, centrist leader Francois Bayrou,
testified for the weekly, calling freedom of expression the
central pillar of the society in which we live. It protects us all,
believers, nonbelievers, agnostics.
The French Council for the Muslim Faith complained that the case has
taken on a political character.
A verdict is expected March
Date of Verdict
Verdict now expected March 22nd
Voice start blasphemy proceedings
From Christian Voice
A criminal action for blasphemy
against Mark Thompson, Director General of the BBC, and producer
Jonathan Thoday has begun in respect of Jerry Springer the Opera.
Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice, laid information
before Horseferry Road Magistrates this morning, Monday 8th January
2007. It is two years to the day since the broadcast of the musical on
BBC2 and six months to the day from when it finished its tour in
Brighton last year.
Counsel Mark Mullins and instructing solicitor Michael Phillips made
oral submissions to District Judge Caroline Tubbs to support the
application for a summons to be issued in a private prosecution of the
two executives. All the tests which had to be applied before a private
prosecution can begin appeared satisfied, and Mullins explained to
the judge the complexity and necessity to gather evidence which had led
to an interval of two years between the BBC2 broadcast and the
initiation of proceedings.
The District Judge reserved her decision for later this week.
Stephen Green said afterwards: There is a ancient law against blasphemy in this land because the law
believes it should not occur. It is as simple as that. If artistic
people do not where or how to stop as they push against the boundaries
of decency, then the law must step in and tell them.
In this present case, it appears prime facie that a most odious and
wicked blasphemy was perpetrated against Almighty God and the Lord Jesus
Christ. Clearly, justice must be done. No-one, be they ever so
influential or wealthy, can be above the law.
We await the decision of the Judge and ask for prayer so that: "Thy
will be done, in earth as it is in heaven." Indeed the very first
petition of the Lord's prayer is: "Hallowed be Thy name." The holiness of God's name is at the root of this case. There is a long
way to go yet, but the first step was taken today.
Nonsense Thrown Out...
Voice silenced in the courts
Christian Voice's attempt to bring a
private blasphemy case over Jerry Springer: The Opera has been
thrown out of court.
Horseferry Road Magistrates rejected the criminal action brought by
Christian Voice over the BBC’s airing of the controversial show two
Campaigner Stephen Green was trying to level blasphemy charges against
the corporation’s director-general, Mark Thompson, and producer Jon
Thoday at Avalon. The show’s creators, comedian Stewart Lee and composer
Richard Thomas, were not involved in the action.
Before the case, Green said: If artistic people do not where or how
to stop as they push against the boundaries of decency, then the law
must step in and tell them. In this present case, it appears prime facie
that a most odious and wicked blasphemy was perpetrated against Almighty
God and the Lord Jesus Christ. Clearly, justice must be done. No one, be
they ever so influential or wealthy, can be above the law.
the Exempt Card...
thinking behind failed blasphemy case
Press release from Christian Voice
A summons for a private prosecution
for blasphemy against Mark Thompson, Director General of the BBC, and
producer Jonathan Thoday in respect of Jerry Springer the Opera
was refused late on Friday 12th January by Horesferry Road magistrates.
District Judge Miss Caroline Tubbs decided that a ruling in judicial
review which went against the Christian Institute had prejudiced
criminal proceedings for blasphemy, and that the production was covered
by an escape clause in the Theatres Act 1968.
Solicitor Michael Phillips said:
In essence, as to whether a
summons should be issued, the leading case is that of Ian Charlson.
In that case it was held that there are four main questions for a
Magistrate to consider. Those are (1) whether the allegation is an
offence known and if so whether the essential ingredients are
present, (2) if the offence is out of time, (3) whether the court
has jurisdiction, (4) whether the informant has the necessary
authority to prosecute. In addition, it must be considered whether
the prosecution is vexatious.
(1) District Judge Tubbs held that blasphemous liable is an offence
known to law. However, prosecution, she said, is prevented because
of s2(4) of the Theatres Act 1968: No person shall be proceeded
against in respect of a performance of a play, or anything said or
done in the course of such a performance - (a) for an offence at
common law where it is of the essence of the offence that the
performance or, as the case may be, what was said or done was
obscene, indecent, offensive, disgusting or injurious to morality.
She held that the application falls within this provision.
(2) She also held that the essential ingredients of the offence are
not prima facie present. As the High Court considered the case in
the Judicial Review brought by the Christian Institute: I have
made a judicial assessment as to whether the presence of the
essential ingredients of the offence are prima facie present. I am
supported in that view by the decisions of the Administrative Court
and the GPCC [the BBC's internal Governors' Programming Complaints
Commission -Ed] in this very play. I do not find it credible that
they would have come to their respective decisions if the
performance / programme they considered in great detail, with
Christian religious sensibilities in mind, in fact contained the
essential ingredients of an even more serious matter - a criminal
offence of blasphemous libel.
In essence, those were the main reasons why she refused to issue a
Stephen Green has asked Phillips to
proceed with an application to the High Court to review the District
Judge's decision and he will make a further statement in due course.
Censorship Or Else...
are ready to perform a peaceful dialogue
with anyone who opposes this. BUT if they
listen to us, we will use our 'notorious' way.
Indonesian Programmes have ruined their children
Pacific Media Watch
A hardline Indonesian Muslim
group, the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), have expressed support for
the Indonesian Film Censorship Body (LSF) and called for an
expansion of its power.
Jafar Sidik, a FPI co-chairman We encourage LSF to expand their
power not just on films, but also on TV programmes that have ruined
FPI's stand came in reaction to an campaign launched by young
Indonesian artists and filmmakers in the past few weeks for the
dissolution of Indonesia's censorship institution, which they
accused of discouraging freedom of expression in Indonesian films
We are ready to perform a peaceful dialogue with anyone who
opposes this (increased censorship) idea, Sidik said: But if
they don't listen to us, we will use our notorious way.
The hardline FPI is known for its violent attacks against bars,
nightclubs and other establishments it considers "anti-Islamic."
Hounded by Nutters...
call for investigation into filming of Hounddog
Based on an article from the BBC
Twelve-year-old actress Dakota
Fanning is the focus of nutters over a new movie, Hounddog,
that depicts her being raped by a teenage boy.
US religious groups are calling for a boycott, saying Fanning's
appearance in the film is tantamount to child abuse.
Director Deborah Kampmeier has defended the film, saying issues like
child rape need to be discussed in public: This issue is so
silenced in our society. There are a lot of women who are alone with
The criticism began before the film was screened, with the New
York-based Catholic League calling for a federal probe into whether
child pornography laws were violated during filming.
Ted Baehr, chairman of the Christian Film and Television Commission,
also believes the rape scene falls foul of the law.
Fanning herself played down the controversy following the film's
premiere: It's not a rape movie. That's not even the point of the
film. It's not really happening. It's a movie, and it's called
acting. I'm not going through anything. And for me, when it's
done it's done. I don't even think about it any more.
During the rape scene, only Fanning's face, neck, shoulders, hand
and foot appear on screen. Much of the scene takes place in
darkness, punctuated only by the sound of Fanning's screams.
Prosecutors in two states said on
Jan. 26 that they found nothing illegal about a movie shot in North
Carolina and screened last week at Utah’s Sundance Film Festival.
Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, who watched the movie last
week with his state’s child sexual exploitation law in hand, said
his concerns didn’t materialize on the screen.
None of the things on the Internet that people were saying about
it were true, Shurtleff said. Not only does it not violate the
statute, I think it’s a good message for people on the subject.
The opinion is shared by the district attorneys in the two North
Carolina counties where Hounddog was filmed last summer.
Rex Gore, the Brunswick County district attorney, said there was no
evidence that the scene constituted “sexual activity” under North
Carolina law, so child exploitation didn’t occur. Even if a film
contains simulated sexual activity, Gore said, it doesn’t cross the
line into obscenity as long as the film has serious artistic value
or is protected speech.
That outcry led state Sen. Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, to begin work
on legislation that would require any film seeking North Carolina’s
15% tax credit for television and movies to receive script approval
from the state. Berger said the state should ensure its citizens
aren’t subsidizing what many may consider inappropriate.
Placing 'Dead Men Don't Rape' Stickers...
accusing the Melon Farmers of misogyny!
Thanks to Dan & James
It seems that The Melon Farmers
have been labelled as misogynists by nutters on a site called
But I wouldn't take too much
offence, as the term seems to apply widely to all who don't believe
in their rather extremist views. Surely the vast majority of the
Reading The Porn Detectives
site led to an illuminating page:
Reclaim The Night: The Feminist Vengeance of Sparkle*Matrix, Bea and
The 'Dead Men Don't Rape'
stickering and the ensuing discussion suggest that saying they hate
men is something of an understatement.
Media Portrayed as the Bad Guys...
Concern at media portrayal of muslims
Based on an article from The Telegraph
After the war,
every Hollywood bad guy seemed to be German. With the onset of the
Cold War, they became Russian. Now the blockbuster bogeyman is
The oxymoronic Islamic Human Rights Commission said films as diverse
as The Siege, a portrayal of a terrorist attack on New York,
the British comedy East is East and Disney’s Aladdin
are reinforcing impressions that Muslims are violent and dangerous.
The reports claims Raiders of the Lost Ark also exhibited
“cultural stereotypes” and East is East, a story of an
Anglo-Pakistani family in Salford, with its wife-beating husband
fits into many of the negative perceptions people have of Muslims.
The study entitled The British Media and Muslim Representation:
The Ideology of Demonisation argues that all these “negative
stereotypes” along with negative portrayal in the media affect the
general perception of Muslims and has a crucial role in influencing
detrimental public views.
A survey conducted as part of the research revealed that Muslims in
Britain felt negative images of their faith on the big and small
screen had consequences in their daily lives. Those interviewed
found a direct correlation between media portrayal and their social
experiences of exclusion, hatred, discrimination and violence.
As well as deep unease with big screen portrayals, the research also
claimed there was a perception of “unashamed bias” in the media
against Muslims, with 62% believing the media to be Islamophobic and
16% describing it as racist. Only 4% considered its representation
The report, which involved interviewing more than 1,125 Muslims in
England, Scotland and Wales, concluded that there was evident from
all genres that they contained negative stereotypes about Islam and
The Pope Plays Lemmings...
pope considers media sex & violence to be a perversion
From CNET News
Benedict XVI voiced his opinion on games from the Vatican, saying
that violent or sexually explicit games are a "perversion" and
As part of the annual papal message for World Communications Day,
the theme of which was Children and the Media: A Challenge for
Education, the pope talked about the media's effect on children,
paying particular attention to games and films.
Any trend to produce programs and products--including animated
films and video games--which in the name of entertainment exalt
violence and portray antisocial behavior or the trivialization of
human sexuality is a perversion, all the more repulsive when these
programs are directed at children and adolescents, the pope
Pointing toward the media's growing influence on youth, he said the
media can support a family's education of children provided it
promotes fundamental human dignity, the true value of marriage and
family life, and the positive achievements and goals of humanity.
He called upon media leaders to safeguard the common good, to
uphold the truth, to protect individual human dignity, and promote
respect for the needs of the family.
A Veneer of Hypocritical Piety...
Dei whinge about Waking the Dead
Based on an article from the Daily Mail
religious sect, Opus Dei has accused the BBC of portraying its
members as "murderers, thieves and adulterers" in over a popular
The secretive Catholic organisation lodged an official complaint of
defamation after the award-winning drama, Waking the Dead
showed an episode featuring a murder investigation of a Opus Dei
In the drama, a spurned Opus Dei member exacts revenge on his lover,
a married woman, also a member of the sect, by shooting her and his
love rival to death in what the organisation has called
gratuitous scenes of sex and violence.
The episode entitled The Fall also sees the fictional head of
Opus Dei being portrayed as a shadowy figure pursuing wealth and
Last night a spokesman for the community, which the former Education
Secretary Ruth Kelly is a member of, accused the corporation of
copying ideas from the Hollywood blockbuster Da Vinci Code,
whose plot also revolves around a murdering Opus Dei member.
Jack Valero said: In this programme Opus Dei was portrayed as an
organisation of murderers, thieves and adulterers who justify and
cover up evil actions while hiding behind a veneer of hypocritical
piety and penitential rituals of self-flagellation. The three
characters were portrayed as members are self-serving hypocrites
whose main reason for belonging to Opus Dei is depicted as being
their wealth. This portrayal is lifted from the Da Vinci Code, a
book and film which claimed – against all evidence - to be based on
The religious organisation has also accused makers of the two-part
BBC 1 drama shown on Sunday, January 21 and 22 of breaching the
corporation's strict guidelines on religious prejudice.
Valero added: Members of Opus Dei are Catholics, they are not
going around killing people, having sex with married people and
making money. It is a completely false portrayal. Whilst the BBC
chose to create a fictional bank for the programme, it chose not to
create a fictional religious organisation. We believe that it
is irresponsible of the BBC, as a public service broadcaster, to
have perpetuated that prejudice, in breach of its editorial
guidelines. Opus Dei is not an anonymous corporation but a family
with feelings and values.
Last night a BBC spokesman said: We are unable to comment as we
are yet to receive the complaint. There have only been four
complaints from the viewers about the show.
most comprehensively homophobic legislation ever proposed
From Pink News
legislation currently being debated by politicians in Nigeria could
be the most serious crackdown on the rights of gay and lesbian
people since the Iranian revolution.
The Prohibition of Relationships Between Persons of the Same Sex,
Celebration of Marriage by Them, and for Other Matters Connected
Therewith, is the title of the bill.
It has been approved by the Nigerian Federal Executive Council and
is now before the National Assembly. It is expected to be passed and
become law shortly.
The president, Olusegun Obasanjo, controls the Executive Council and
his Nigerian People's Party has a majority in the both the Senate
and House of Representatives. Although a centrist party, they derive
most of their support from the Christian south of the country, and
the Anglican church played an active role in promoting this
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell contacted PinkNews.co.uk to
draw attention to the nature of the new legislation, which has the
active backing of other Christian churches in Nigeria, the most
populous country in Africa: The bill outlaws almost every
expression, affirmation and celebration of gay identity and
sexuality, and prohibits the provision of sympathetic advice and
welfare support to lesbians and gay men. This draconian
measure will outlaw membership of a gay group, attending a gay
meeting or protest, advocating gay equality.
Donating money to a gay organisation, hosting or visiting a gay
website, the publication or possession of gay safer sex advice,
renting or selling a property to a gay couple, expressions of
same-sex love in letters or emails, attending a same-sex marriage or
blessing ceremony, screening or watching a gay movie, taking or
possessing photos of a gay couple, and publishing, selling or
loaning a gay book or video.
The new law carries an automatic five year jail sentence for those
who break it.
protests of governments and human rights activists, the Nigerian
government have pressed ahead with the new laws, which are in
contravention of various international treaties. Homosexuality is
already illegal in the country. Nigeria's criminal code penalises
consensual homosexual conduct between adults with 14 years
The Anglican Church, who have a huge powerbase in Nigeria, have been
key in promoting this bill. The church has been increasingly vocal
about its disapproval of the position of women and gay men in the
English and American churches.
The bill currently being debated in the Nigerian parliament, is
the most comprehensively homophobic legislation ever proposed in any
country in the world," said Peter Tatchell: We appeal to gay
and human rights groups worldwide to take urgent action to press the
Nigerian government to uphold international human rights law and to
drop this draconian legislation.
terrorist storylines criticised
From the BBC
The TV drama, 24, is under fire
from Muslim groups in the US, which say the show's latest storyline
The Council on American-Islam Relations said: Repeated association of
acts of terrorism with Islam will only serve to increase anti-Muslim
The current series begins with Islamic terrorists waging an 11-day
campaign of suicide bombings across America. TV network Fox said it had
"not singled out any ethnic or religious group for blame in creating its
characters". 24 is a heightened drama about anti-terrorism,
the statement continued. Over the past several seasons, the
villains have included shadowy Anglo businessmen, Baltic Europeans,
Germans, Russians, Islamic fundamentalists, and even the
(Anglo-American) president of the United States.
I do realise it's a multi-dimensional show that portrays extreme
situations, said Sireen Sawaf from the Los Angeles-based Muslim
Public Affairs Council: But I'm concerned about the image it ingrains
in the minds of the American public and the American government,
particularly when you have anti-Muslim statements spewing from the
mouths of government officials.
Television Council claim an increase in US TV violence
From TV Week
A report issued today by the nutters
of the Parents Television Council said TV violence since 1998 has
increased in every prime time slot, with violent incidents up 45% during
the 8 pm hour, 92% during the 9 pm hour and 167% during the 10 pm hour.
On average, the networks show 4.41 instances of violence per hour.
Federal Communications Commission
member Michael J. Copps is urging leaders of the cable and broadcast
industries to convene an industry summit to discuss reining it in. Copps
questioned whether former FCC chairman Newton Minow description of TV in
the early 1960s as "vast wasteland" has morphed into "a vast, violent
PTC president Tim Winter said: We are not calling for a ban on
anything...BUT...We are calling for some responsibility
and restraint by broadcasters.
The commissioner urged National Association of Broadcasters President-CEO
David Rehr and National Cable and Telecommunications Association
President-CEO Kyle McSlarrow to convene the summit to discuss the issue
of violence and warned that if broadcasters don't step up and self
police I don't think anyone will be surprised if Congress decides to
catholics to sue MTV over Popetown
The catholic church in Lithuania plans
to sue MTV Lietuva over Popetown.
Lithuanian Bishops’ Conference President Sigitas Tamkevicius told
Reuters: We are going to lodge a complaint in court because we
believe that the rights of the faithful were violated by this mockery.
The Popetown series is not only an insult to the pope, but to
all the catholics of Lithuania.
Rome, back with even more blood
From The Telegraph
A corpse being given breast milk from
a nursing mother, a blood-soaked soldier carrying a head through the
streets and a slave being tortured to death - these are the scenes that
await viewers of the new series of Rome, the BBC’s controversial
hit drama. Despite the protests that greeted the first series, the
producers have opted for even grittier scenes at attract viewers. One
programme insider said that the intention was to make Rome into
an ‘ancient world version of The sopranos, the successful US
drama littered with swearing and violence … The new series, like the
first, is also notable for numerous scenes of nudity …
However, the decision to persevere
with the recipe of sex and violence drew criticism yesterday. John
Beyer, the director of mediawatch-uk, the viewers’ campaign group, said:
I think it’s a shame that the BBC is simply offering the same kind of
thing in this series as in the last. I assume that the BBC hopes the
controversy will bring big audiences, but the controversy can’t sustain
a programme which has little else to offer.