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15th December

 Update: Prohibiting Criticism...

Newspaper cartoon criticising Islamic State held as blasphemous in Indonesia
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Indonesia...Blasphemy applied to slight deviations of belief
jakarta post is The Jakarta Post has defended the publication of a cartoon criticising Islamic State (IS) militants, after its editor was arrested for blasphemy.

The cartoon shows a flag similar to ones used by IS with the words there is no God but Allah , and a skull and crossbones.

The Post, a leading English-language daily, said the cartoon was meant as a critique of the use of religious symbols in acts of violence.

But some Muslim groups said the cartoon was offensive towards Islam. The Post apologised and retracted the cartoon on 8 July, saying it regretted the error in judgement .

But later police named the Jakarta Post's editor-in-chief, Meidyatama Suryodiningrat, as a suspect for supposed religious defamation.

Rights group Amnesty International has condemned the move by police. In a statement the group said the incident went against President Joko Widodo's commitment to press freedom in Indonesia.

 

14th December

  Religious Censors...

Indian sikhs to set up a unilaterally imposed film censorship board to ensure that movies and books provide positive propaganda for the religion
Link Here
sgpc logo India Sikhs are attempting to unilaterally impose a new Sikh film censor board on Indian films to force them to portray the religion and its followers in a positive light.

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) will constitute a Sikh Censor Board to clear movies and books touching on the Sikh religion, history and culture. The board will ensure that films, books and entertainment provide positive propaganda for the religion. SGPC President Avtar Singh Makkar said,

The proposed board is aimed to ensure that the movies made in the future are in accordance with the Sikh 'rehat maryada' (code of conduct). The board will have 11 members, including Sikh intellectuals, historians and experts from various fields, film experts and lawyers.

Akal Takht Jathedar (High Priest) Gurbachan Singh said:

The SGPC was asked to constitute a censor board. Any movie or book related to Sikh history and culture has to be examined to avoid any controversies in the future.

However the unilateral imposition of religious censorship may not have any legal basis whatsoever.

Central Board of Film Classification (CBFC) member Chander Mukhi questioned the legal sanctity behind the proposed censor board by SGPC. He said:

What legal status do they have? Under which law will they enact this board? CBFC is enacted by the Parliament. Any other organisation will come up tomorrow and try to set its own censor board. We have different panels to watch the movies before they are released. The members are different every time. Any objectionable part in the film is cut down.

Makkar admitted that the board would have no legal sanctity:

Filmmakers who don't seek approval from the board would be responsible if there is any controversy. There have been instances in the past when films had to face strong protests.

 

13th December

  Deeper Thought Required...

New Zealand manager arrested for an ill advised use of Buddha imagery in a Burmese bar promotion
Link Here

buddha headphones A New Zealand bar manager has been detained in Burma for using a commonplace image of the Buddha wearing headphones in a promotion. Police claimed the promotion was an insult to the Buddhist religion.

General manager Philip Blackwood, owner Tun Thurein and manager Htut Ko Ko Lwin were detained for police questioning and the bar was shuttered after a complaint by an official from Myanmar's Religious Department.

The Facebook posting for the newly opened V Gastro bar , a tapas restaurant and nightclub in a Yangon embassy area, showed a psychedelic mock-up of the Buddha wearing DJ headphones to trail a cheap drinks night this Sunday, AFP reported.

The bar deleted the post and wrote an apology on its Facebook page: Our intention was never to cause offence to anyone or toward any religious group. Our ignorance is embarrassing.

 

3rd December

  Violence is Acceptable, Sexy is Not...

Audience member at Indian TV studio slaps presenter for wearing short dress
Link Here
gauhar khan Indian TV presenter and model Gauahar Khan was left audibly traumatised after a member of the audience at a TV competition she was presenting at got up and slapped her for wearing revealing clothes.

Akil Malik took 'offence' at Khan's cutaway outfit as she presented the grand finale of singing competition Raw Star at Film City in Mumbai. He then got up out of his seat to threaten and assault her live on air. He explained: Being a Muslim woman, she should not have worn such a short dress.

Malik was arrested and charged with molestation.

 

26th November

  Playing the Morality Game...

Major New Zealand store bans 18 rated games and DVD
Link Here
warehouse logo New Zealand's Warehouse group of stores won't sell any 18 rated games and DVDs in future, saying it wants to promote family values.

Chief executive Mark Powell says the decision was made to remove such games and DVDs from its 92 Warehouse and 77 Noel Leeming stores after controversy surrounding the recently released Grand Theft Auto V . He claimed it was driven by feedback from customers and the community, and its guiding principles, which include making New Zealand a better place to live. He spouted:

This feedback has formed part of what has been an ongoing internal review, to ensure that the products we range reflect our brand values of family, children, and community,

Bob McCoskrie, director of the moralist campaign group, Family First, spewed:

It is completely unrealistic to believe that young people will not be influenced in their attitudes and behaviours by constant exposure to this type of gaming and DVD material.

So-called 'entertainment' and freedom of expression should never be at the expense of the safety of our community, appropriate emotional and moral development of our children, and promoting acceptable attitudes towards women, violence and law enforcement.