Religious Watch

 2017: Jan-March

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  Concerns about the Queen's Speech and Freedom of Speech...

Anti-Muslim hate must be challenged. Silencing criticism of Islam won't help


Link Here 26th June 2017
National Secular Society logo

 

 Update: Justice must be seen to be done...

Why do police always side with complainants?


Link Here 6th February 2017  full story: Preachers in the UK...Preachers come under censorship duress
Scottish Courts logoA Christian street preacher has been cleared of a hate crime after the evidence was heard in court.

The evangelist was locked up in a cell after preaching from the Bible to a gay teenager. Gordon Larmour was charged by police after telling the story of Adam and Eve to a 19-year-old who asked him about God's views on homosexuality. An argument ensued and within minutes the preacher was frogmarched to a police van, accused of threatening or abusive behaviour aggravated by prejudice relating to sexual orientation - despite not swearing or using any form of offensive language.

The father-of-one spent a night in custody and faced a six-month ordeal before a sheriff cleared him of any blame.

 Larmour told the Scottish Mail on Sunday:

I can't see why I was arrested in the first place - it was a massive overreaction and a waste of everyone's time. The police didn't listen to me. They took the young homosexual guy's side straight away and read me my rights.

I feel they try so hard to appear like they are protecting minorities, they go too far the other way. I want to be able to tell people the good word of the Gospel and think I should be free to do so. I wasn't speaking my opinions - I was quoting from the Bible.

In court the boy's friend told the truth - that I hadn't assaulted him or called him homophobic names. I had simply answered his question and told him about Adam and Eve and Heaven and Hell. Preaching from the Bible is not a crime.

At Kilmarnock Sheriff Court last month, Sheriff Alistair Watson ruled there was no case to answer and acquitted Larmour of threatening or abusive behaviour, aggravated by prejudice relating to sexual orientation.

 

 Updated: Real Housewives of ISIS...

BBC generates a little 'outrage' for poking fun at terrorists


Link Here 24th January 2017
real housewives of isis video A BBC comedy depicting brides of terrorists in a spoof reality show-style sketch has been criticised for being insensitive .

Revolting's Real Housewives of Isis a skit, based on the popular US television model recently exported to Britain, features actors dressed as brides of Isil fighters taking selfies and showing off suicide belts.

The Telegraph then listed a few politically correct whinges lifted from social media with none being from campaign groups or politicians etc.

Update: Why shouldn't we mock female jihadists?

7th January 2017 See  article from ibtimes.co.uk by Sara Khan, director of the counter-extremism and women's rights organisation Inspire

The short trailer provides a taste of not only the dry wit and sarcasm we Brits are well known for, but also provides the viewer a window into the ridiculous and absurd rationale of some of the women who chose to leave the UK for the murderous death cult.

As someone who has studied some of these female supporters and Isis' ideology on women, it was clear the writers had well and truly done their homework. They brilliantly displayed the oxymoron death to the West attitude of these British women, while mocking their all too obvious Western traits, la nguage, tastes and outlook.

...Read the full article from ibtimes.co.uk

Update: Complaints binned

24th January 2017See  article from chortle.co.uk

Ofcom logoTV censor Ofcom has inevitably decided not to launch an investigation into the satirical BBC sketch that featured The Real Housewives Of ISIS.

In the end, 55 viewers complained to Ofcom, which today announced it had assessed the complaints, but decided not to take the matter further. A spokesman said the show did not raise issues warranting investigation.

 

  Je Suis Charlie...BUT...

National Secular Society organises discussion in Parliament about the legacy of the Charlie Hebdo and its effect on free speech


Link Here 20th January 2017  full story: Charlie Hebdo...Censored by terrorists
In praise of blasphemy Members and supporters of the National Secular Society gathered in Portcullis House this week to discuss the future of free speech, two years after the attack on Charlie Hebdo .

The Society was honoured to be joined by Caroline Fourest, who helped edit the Survivor's Edition of Charlie Hebdo published shortly after the massacre.

She discussed the shameful treatment of Charlie Hebdo following the massacre by some UK media outlets: after the attack, Sky News cut her off in the middle of an interview when she tried to show a cartoon of Mohammed. Those who defy Islamic blasphemy laws don't just face violence and threats, she said, but demonisation from the regressive left.

She stressed the need for secularists to condemn anti-Muslim bigotry but criticised the term Islamophobia , arguing that it conflated Muslims with Islam, and stifled discussion about the religion.

Introducing the event, Keith Porteous Wood, the executive director of the National Secular Society, said:

The heartening outpouring of solidarity, the sense of indignation and outrage, the crowds shouting 'Je Suis Charlie' had offered a brief glimmer of hope.

But the solidarity didn't last, our collective outrage quickly gave way to bitter disputes, and bile against Charlie from those who blamed the victims for their own murder. The crowds went home.

The panel also featured writer and journalist Nick Cohen, Jodie Ginsberg of Index on Censorship and Martin Rowson. Nick Cohen urged those present to buy Caroline Fourest's book, In Praise of Blasphemy , after she said that, despite it being a bestseller in France, no UK publisher would touch it. He accused people of making feeble excuses for not showing genuine solidarity with Charlie Hebdo , arguing that there were very good reasons to be frightened of publishing a Mohammed cartoon, but that few would admit that was the true reason.

Jodie Ginsberg, CEO of Index on Censorship, said that a pincer movement was attacking free speech. She pointed to Government proposals for extremism disruption orders as one example, and criticised Tony Blair and other politicians for calling for laws against offending religious feelings. She said that society lacked the ability to debate productively and that whatever you did, however innocuous you think it is, somebody will claim to be offended .  People went very quickly after the attack from saying Je Suis Charlie to, Je Suis Charlie, but... and too many claim to defend free speech but in practice out only the kind I like.

Guardian cartoonist Martin Rowson spoke about the resistance of the paper to publishing a cartoon of Mohammed, and said that any organisation that did so would face tremendous threats, without the safety in numbers that might have been hoped for in the aftermath of the attack two years ago. Rowson added that one of the great threats to freedom of speech was the belief that the greatest human right of all was a right to not be upset.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP, who sponsored the room for the NSS, congratulated the Society on hosting the event and said that it was inspiring to hear such a strong defence of free expression.

 

 Offsite Article: Policing criticism of Islam: the new Star Chamber...


Link Here 20th January 2017
Spiked logo Newspapers are being forced to recant their questioning of Islam. By Tom Slater

See article from spiked-online.com

 

  Inappropriate cultural appropriation...

Poster for night club event generates a little 'outrage'


Link Here 5th January 2017
elrow-partyElrow, a Barcelona club which takes events around the world, caused controversy after they pictured Shiva smoking and drinking to promote an Indian-themed night at Manchester's Albert Hall.

The deity Shiva was depicted with a chicken beak with a cigarette hanging out his mouth whilst holding a mobile phone with an open Champagne bottle and an inflatable hammer.

The Albert Hall has apologised any offence caused and has changed the image used on its online promotions.

Hiten Mistry, the president of the Kings College London Hindu Society, told student newspaper, The Tab:

The Elrow Bollywood picture is disrespectful and insulting to many, including the Hindu community. Shiva is one the principal deities of Hinduism and Elrow has depicted Shiva in an unacceptable manner with a party mask and cigarette.  Also, to use something that many people consider sacred for an event like this is inappropriate. In addition to this, Bollywood and Hinduism are two different things.

The picture, which was originally the cover photo for the Facebook event, has now been cropped and only displays the title of the night.

 

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