An evangelical preacher who described Islam as satanic and heathen is to be
prosecuted for insult.
Speaking to his congregation in north Belfast on 18 May, McConnell said:
A new evil had arisen and there are cells of Muslims right throughout Britain.
Islam is heathen, Islam is satanic, Islam is a doctrine spawned in hell.
In a statement, Northern Ireland's Public Prosecution Service (PPS) said the firebrand preacher had refused to accept a lesser punishment which meant the case would not have gone to court. A spokespersector said:
I can confirm that following consideration of a complaint in relation to an internet broadcast of a sermon in May 2014, a decision was taken to offer an individual an informed warning for an offence contrary to the Communications Act 2003.
That offence was one of sending, or causing to be sent, by means of a public electronic communications network, a message or other matter that was grossly offensive. The offer of an informed warning was refused by the defendant and accordingly
the matter is now proceeding by way of a summary prosecution in the Magistrates Court.
Pastor McConnell initially defended his remarks made during a sermon at his Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle last May but, following a huge public outcry he apologised for any offence or distress caused.
Offsite Comment: A disgraceful use of the Communications Act
New Look fashion store in Tunbridge Wells has removed a shop mannequin after a few people whinged about an unrealistic
mannequin with a very slim waist.
One shopper was so 'disgusted' she took a photo of it and posted it online. It sparked a few whinges claiming it presented an unrealistic and unhealthy body image for young girls.
Marg Oaten, of Seed - Eating Disorders Support Services, told ITV News Meridian:
I thought this mannequin was hideous when I saw it. These retailers need a reality check about what they are portraying. It is a harmful body image. It can destroy people.
New Look responded in a Facebook statement:
We hear and understand your concerns and I'm pleased to tell you that the decision has been made to remove the mannequin from display at the Tunbridge Wells store at Longfield Road with immediate effect.
We are also going to start an investigation to ensure this style of mannequin isn't used in any other stores or is removed as appropriate.
At New Look we would never want to encourage women to aim for an unhealthy or unattainable image or life style.
When BBC Films announced it was to remake Swallows and Amazons, it stressed that the production would stay true to Arthur Ransome's classic. At least as far as political correctness would allow. The pluckiest of the Walker children has been
renamed after it was decided a character called Titty would offend the easily offended, and so the character has been renamed Tatty.
Ransome based the characters on a real-life family, the Altounyans. One of their number, Mavis, was nicknamed Titty after the Joseph Jacobs' children's story Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse.
Christine Langan, head of BBC Films, alluded to the ludicrous political correctness and commented that the film harks back to a pre-health and safety generation .
Gardeners have ridiculed the BBC after a presenter apologised for Alan Titchmarsh using the term bastard trenching on the Breakfast Show . Titchmarsh used the term while explaining the practice of double digging, a technique used to
improve soil drainage. He said:
There's also another name for it, which sounds dreadful, it's called 'bastard trenching' and by the end of it you realise it's a very fitting name for it.
Moments later, presenter Louise Minchin told viewers:
We just have to apologise for some of the language that was used in the last couple of minutes.
Titchmarsh protested saying:
Oh no, no, no, no, it's a term in a gardening book. I shan't repeat it, but it's not offensive at all.
Gardeners and viewers expressed their incredulity at the BBC's apology, with some rightfully noting the BBC as utterly ridiculous and pathetic .
Titchmarsh said he had been bemused by the BBC's apology but added that he was rather heartened that almost everybody said 'oh, how ridiculous' as that was my reaction as well.
A BBC spokesprat defended the show's decision to apologise to viewers for using a gardening term:
For those viewers who had missed Alan Titchmarsh's earlier explanation regarding the gardening term, we decided to say sorry as courtesy in case there was any offence caused.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has decided that Delfi, an Estonia-based news website, holds responsibility for defamatory
comments made by anonymous readers.
Access, a digital rights organization, weighed in on the decision, calling it a worrying setback. Furthermore, the organization argues that the ruling contradicts the European Union's E-Commerce Directive, which protects intermediaries that
employ notice-and-takedown mechanisms to deal with user comments.
Access noted that Delfi's case received disappointing rulings from other courts, even though Estonia has adopted the EU's E-Commerce Directive. Access says that it denounces the ECHR's ruling, stating that it creates a worrying
precedent that could force websites to censor content.
The ECHR defended its ruling by citing the extreme nature of the comments which the court considered to amount to hate speech, the fact that they were published on a professionally-run and commercial news website.
The Center for Democracy & Technology notes:
Holding content hosts liable for their users' speech is a shortcut to censorship for governments and private litigants who cannot easily identify an anonymous speaker or seek a judgment against her. The threat of liability creates strong
incentives for content hosts to preview and approve all user comments, and to censor with a broad brush, limit access to their services, and restrict users' ability to communicate freely over their platforms. In a world where all online speech is
intermediated by web servers, news portals, social media platforms, search engines, and ISPs, the collateral consequences of intermediary liability are potentially enormous.
Jilly Cooper's novel Rider is a tale of saucy goings-on in the Cotswolds showjumping set with an iconic cover showing a woman holding a riding crop, with a man's hand place firmly on her derriere.
But in these politically correct times, the image has been sanitised on the new cover for the latest edition, much to the disapproval of Jane Warner, owner of the bottom in question.
The former Page 3 model, said changes to make the image less provocative were a damn shame and showed there was nothing naughty but nice any more :
To me it is pointless, it is too PC. It seems a sign of the times -- things are going that way, things are more sanitised.
In the 1970s and 1980s there was a lot of fun then but it was harmless fun, it was just nice. I think now there's always a slur to it, there's always something people think is wrong or rude or pornographic when it's not.
It is one of (Jilly Cooper's) naughtiest novels so what is wrong with that picture? Why change it? They should leave it as it was. My bottom is quite curvy but in the picture on the new cover it seems flat. I think men prefer curves.
On the new cover her bottom has been slimmed down and the hand of the man grasping it has been moved upwards to near her hip. The close-up shot has been replaced with a wider version which reveals her waist and the top of her riding boots.
Author Marian Keyes spoke for the politically correct saying it showed society was more enlightened and more respectful and more responsible about women's bodies , adding: They're not people's property.
Cardiff bus company, New Adventure Travel Limited (NAT Group), got a little more publicity than expected for a series of adverts on the
back of their buses.
The adverts featured men and woman, implicitly shirtless behind signs reading: Ride me all day for £3
Charlotte Church, the singer, is among those who lambasted the company for the supposedly: abhorrent and hugely offensive advert. Church was among those who whinged on Twitter after the company posted pictures of the adverts on the social
A few did see the funny side and even congratulated the company on drawing attention to themselves.
The company issued a statement:
In view of the reaction to our bus advertising today we wish to set out our position:
Firstly we have stated that our objectives have been to make catching the bus attractive to the younger generation. We therefore developed an internal advertising campaign featuring males and females to hold boards to promote the cost of our daily
The slogan of 'ride me all day for £3' whilst being a little tongue in cheek was in no way intended to cause offence to either men or women and, if the advert has done so then we apologise unreservedly. There has certainly been no intention to objectify
either men or women.
Given the volume of negativity received we have decided to remove the pictures from the back of the buses within the next 24 hours.
Posters asking commuters if they are beach body ready are under investigation after a few people whinged to
the advert censors ASA after seeing the posters on London's Tube network.
Alongside a picture of a woman in a bikini, the adverts for dietary company Protein World ask: Are you beach body ready? in capital letters.
A few hundred people signed an online petition calling for the posters to be banned. The petition whinged:
Protein World is directly targeting individuals, aiming to make them feel physically inferior to the unrealistic body image of the bronzed model, in order to sell their product.
A spokeswoman for the Advertising Standards Authority confirmed on Monday that it had received 33 complaints about the campaign. The spokeswoman said typical complaints have included claims the advert is offensive , harmful and that the
posters promote the idea that only one type of body is fit for the beach .
Protein World said in a statement that it would not remove the adverts from the Underground network, adding:
It is a shame that in 2015 there are still a minority who aren't focusing on celebrating those who aspire to be healthier, fitter and stronger.
Update: The beach body unready are massing in Hyde Park
Thousands of beach body unready people have signed an online petition for the posters, for Protein World weight-loss products, to be banned from London Underground stations. Others have organised a taking back the beach protest, set for London's
Hyde Park on Saturday .
The Advertising Standards Authority said it had received 216 complaints with the general nature being that the ad is offensive, irresponsible and harmful because it promotes an unhealthy body image .
The Facebook page for Saturday's demonstration at 3pm reads: Are you a size 24? Come on down, beautiful!!
The online petition reads:
Protein World is directly targeting individuals, aiming to make them feel physically inferior to the unrealistic body image of the bronzed model, in order to sell their product. Perhaps not everyone's priority is having a 'beach body'.
Update: Transport for London takes down Protein World posters
A controversial ad campaign featuring a bikini-wearing model that asks Are you beach body ready? is to be
removed from London Underground ahead of a planned mass protest this weekend.
Transport for London said the ads promoting Protein World weight-loss product will be replaced from Wednesday because they have come to the end of their three-week contract period. It is coming to a natural end, a spokesman said, adding that the
campaign did not contravene TFL's advertising standards.
More than 200 people have complained about the ads to the ASA. The advert censor is meeting Protein World on Wednesday to discuss its advertising policy.
A taking back the beach protest has been organised to take place in London's Hyde Park on Saturday. More than 400 people are expected to attend. By midday on Tuesday more than 50,000 people had signed an online petition calling on Protein World to
take down the ads.
Britain's PC censors of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have weighed in and banned the Protein World's Beach Body Ready adverts.
The advert censors announced that the posters are immediately banned on grounds of 'concerns' about weight loss claims, and that the ASA has launched a follow up investigation to consider the political correctness issues. The ASA said:
We've met with Protein World to discuss its Are you beach body ready? ad campaign.
It's coming down in the next three days and, due to our concerns about a range of health and weight loss claims made in the ad, it can't appear again in its current form.
Although the ad won't appear in the meantime, we've launched an investigation to establish if it breaks harm and offence rules or is socially irresponsible.
We will now carefully and objectively explore the complaints that have prompted concerns around body confidence and promptly publish our findings.
Meanwhile the Change.org petition calling for the ads to be removed has now reached about 60,000 signatures.
Offsite Report: The Beach Body Unready in Hyde Park
Student Union censors and university chaplains ordered a sketch featuring Mohammed cut from a student comedy
show, because it supposedly caused great offence.
Bath Impact , the student newspaper, reports that union officials said the censorship decision had been taken to maintain the inclusivity of the university and to avoid complaints. However, it has emerged that chaplains were involved in the
Union's decision, and that they had denounced the scene as graphic and offensive.
The Comedy Writing, Improvisation and Performance Society (CWIPS) staged a performance called The Bible According to CWIPS . But just four hours before the opening night a union official who attended a rehearsal told the society that a
sketch depicting the religious character Mohammed, called Cooking With Christ , had to be cut from the show.
The Chaplaincy is said to have described the cut sketch as extreme , but the organisers commented that they had:
Worked very hard in order to make sure [the] material was enjoyable and pleasant for people of all faiths and background.
NSS president Terry Sanderson said:
This is another example of Islamic blasphemy codes being normalised. The decision taken assumes that Muslim students would have been offended, and takes that as a sufficient reason to curtail the students' artistic expression.
It is also very troubling to see 'inclusivity' being used as a spurious reason to shut down parts of the performance. It is telling that only material related to the Islamic Prophet Mohammed was cut. There is an atmosphere of hysteria around satirising
or criticising Islam, particularly since the Charlie Hebdo attack. We must start reclaiming ground from those who would silence free expression and satire.
Once, you were a gamer because you liked playing videogames, regardless of non-issues like gender, race or sexuality. However, the politically correct see everything through the warped lens of identity politics. By Stephen Beard
All censorship, including No Platform, is an elitist activity. Censors are generally self-appointed individuals who believe they have the right to decide which viewpoints should not be spoken or heard by anyone. By Jerry Barnett
Viewers may be surprised to learn about the lengths the BBC must now to go to get a simple joke on air, with boxes to be
ticked right up to the director-general.
An editor at BBC comedy has disclosed the careful compliance procedures as executives fear causing a national scandal with a politically incorrect joke. He said some jokes had to be checked personally by the director of television and even Lord Hall
Speaking at a Bafta event about free speech and television, Chris Sussman, an executive editor for comedy at the BBC, said the corporation is now extra-wary of causing offence in a post-Sachsgate and Twitter world. He told an audience:
At the BBC, it's been a difficult few years and I think that is reflected internally in terms of the processes and procedures we go through when we're making programmes. Certainly since I've been there it's been, I would say, a tougher environment than
it has been for a while. To get a certain joke on air, to get a joke approved, we have to go through quite a lot of layers.
We have editorial policy advisors, we have legal advisors, we have to run jokes past the channel. In certain circumstances they'd have to run jokes past the director of television. I've been involved in a programme where it's gone all the way up to the
He added that all jokes were now considered on the basis of whether they were funny enough to justify any potential offence caused.
France's National Assembly on Friday voted to ban the use of very slim catwalk models, in one of the latest measures aimed at trying
to make fat people feel better about being fat.
The ban was proposed as an amendment to Health Minister Marisol Touraine's health reform package by Socialist MP and neurologist Olivier Veran.
Touraine herself backed the proposal that would stop model agencies being able to employ models whose Body Mass Index (BMI) falls below an as yet unspecified level.
Agencies found employing models considered too thin could be liable for a fine of up to 75,000 euros ($85,000) and six months in prison.
The lower house of parliament also backed a law making a retouched photo tag compulsory when people's bodies in commercial images are Photoshopped. No doubt such tags will become as omnipresent as 'beware this product may contain nuts' tags are in
the food industry. As if ANY commercial image isn't photoshopped!
The politically correct aim, the Socialist deputies sponsoring the measures said, is to bring body ideals hawked to the public back to a healthy reality.
The penalty for breaking the proposed law could run to a fine of either 37,500 euros or 30% of the budget behind the offending advertising campaign. Even more reason to affix the warning to all images, just in case.
French lawmakers approved another amendment proposed by Veran that would punish people inciting others to extreme thinness to a year in prison and a fine of 10,000 euros. That law was aimed at so-called pro-ana websites that some accuse of
A new politically correct censorship policy affecting advertising in the city of Rome will soon come into effect. Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino said
advertising space would be prohibited to those:
Who use women's bodies or launch sexist messages. City advertising space will be able to be sold only to those who respect the rules in the new regulatory plan and so a woman's body can't be associated with images that objectify it or portray it in a
Marino said. Marino reviewed the city's advertising code with respect to the Friendly Images Award , promoted by the Women's Union in Italy (UDI) and the Office of Information of the European Parliament in Italy, aimed at promoting communication
that goes beyond stereotypes .
A bakery in the French Riviera has been banned from displaying cupcakes of a naked man and woman made out of dark chocolate because they were supposedly inciting racial hatred .
The God and Goddess ' cakes, which topped with the chocolate figures of a naked, plump man and woman with pink lips and protruding genitalia, were deemed offensive by a French court after a complaint by an 'outraged' resident.
The administrative court in Nice ruled while the patisserie can still bake and sell the cakes - which have been made to order for the last 15 years - it said the town's mayor must ensure that the offending pastries were removed from the shop window.
For every day they were still on show, the town faced a fine of 500 Euros.
The court said it found no malicious will on the part of the baker, but also ordered the town to pay a fine of 1,000 Euros to the Representative Council of Black Association (CRAN), which joined the calls for the cupcakes to be banned.