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Updated: Borat make wind up...

Sacha Baron Cohen is generating a little hype for Borat 2 with a controversial film poster

Link Here17th November 2020
Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm is a 2020 UK / USA comedy by Jason Woliner.
Starring Sacha Baron Cohen, Maria Bakalova and Mike Pence. IMDb

Follow-up film to the 2006 comedy centering on the real-life adventures of a fictional Kazakh television journalist named Borat.

The film poster for Borat 2 is generating a little hype in France over the sequel's official worldwide poster. The poster features a reclining Borat, naked save for a mankini fashioned from a coronavirus face mask. It seems that a few French Muslims have got themselves worked up over Borat's ring which is engraved with the Arabic word "Allah."

Social media posts seem to target the French authorities for provocation and insulting Islam .

However the authorities are responding in support of free speech. In response to requests by bus drivers to remove the Borat 2 poster from the side of buses, the Paris transport authority (RATP) has stated it would under no circumstances take this campaign off our network. RATP also denied social media claims alleging the Borat 2 poster led to stoning attacks on buses over Halloween weekend.

One area where the Borat 2 posters were removed from buses is the TICE network in the southern suburb of Ã?vry. The area has a large Muslim immigrant population. TICE management claimed the posters were not removed because of complaints but because the organization deemed the offbeat humour on display to be inappropriate for public transportation.

Update: Kazakh community calls for Borat sequel to be banned from awards consideration

18th November 2020. See article from

The Kazakh American Association wants Borat Subsequent Moviefilm banned from awards consideration.

The campaign group which is dedicated to preserving and promoting Kazakhstan's heritage and culture in the US - has hit out at Sacha Baron Cohen's sequel for an alleged racist portrayal, and called on the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Directors Guild of America and BAFTAs to bar the comedy.

A letter, which is co-signed by the Hollywood Film Academy and Council on American-Islamic Relations, spouts:

The Kazakh community worldwide is underrepresented and inherently vulnerable. Our nation is still recovering from an oppressive colonial past, which is why we do not have substantial media representation.

Sacha Baron Cohen understands this fact and exploits Kazakhstan by hijacking our ethnic identity, whitewashing us by portraying us as Eastern Europeans, and inciting harassment toward Kazakh people worldwide.

Our people report countless cases of sexual and physical harassment as well as bullying due to the Borat franchise.



Sikhs complain against mass censorship by Facebook...

Presumably banned just because of a simplistic keyword scan finding the word 'genocide' in a hashtag

Link Here 14th November 2020
Full story: Facebook Censorship since 2020...Left wing bias, prudery and multiple 'mistakes'

Open Letter to Facebook on Sikh Censorship

On November 3rd 2020, during #SikhGenocide awareness week, Facebook mass censored Sikh posts across the world.

The censorship largely focused on posts related to the Sikh struggle for Khalistan, but also impacted posts on Sikh history, activism against sexual grooming that targets Sikhs, and posts relating to Kirtan (Sikh devotional singing). This mass censorship targeted a large number of accounts from individuals to Sikh organisations and Gurdwareh, with posts being deleted as far back as 2010.

This was the second time this year that Sikh social media posts were censored en masse, following the blocking of the hashtag #Sikh on Instagram in June this year, also during a period of Sikh genocide remembrance.

From analysis of posts targeted for removal a clear pattern is visible which shows most posts were targeted based on use of the following key words: Khalistan, Sukhdev Singh Babbar, Gurbachan Singh Manochal, Avtar Singh Brahma, Jagraj Singh Toofan, and Jujaroo Jathebandia (Sikh military units) such as the Babbar Khalsa, Khalistan Liberation Force, and the Khalistan Commando Force.

From the simultaneous, widespread, and targeted removal of content it is clear that this recent wave of censorship has come from the Indian state which has long opposed any form of revolutionary Sikh self-expression centred on Sikh sovereignty, adopting policies of genocide to violently annihilate any Sikh resistance. Khalistan, as a term and as a movement, has been demonised in Indian public discourse to the extent that in India Khalistan has become synonymous with terrorism. This image is the product of decades of fascist Indian rhetoric and propaganda that has been used to justify the state's torture, enforced disappearances, mass rapes, arbitrary detention and genocide of Sikhs.

The November 3rd wave of censorship coincided with the Indian foreign minister's arrival in the UK, which was preceded by news coverage in Indian media that highlighted the Indian State's suppressive laws targeting online speech. Under Article 69A of the Information Technology Act, Indian agencies have been empowered to monitor, intercept, and decrypt any information generated, received transmitted or stored in any computer. This law has been used to stifle dissent and block online content that challenges the sovereignty and integrity of India. These new laws are a modern rendering of the oppressive colonial era logic that makes sedition and political dissent a crime.

India today maintains that Sikhs are the aggressors and that only a small minority of Sikhs demand Khalistan. Yet Indian laws, and the public discourse that was used to justify them, targets all Sikhs and expressions of Sikhi itself.

The censorship carried out by Facebook is an attack on Sikh memory and Sikh being. It is an attack on Sikh struggle in the past, present, and future.

The signatories to this letter stand in solidarity against any censorship targeting the Sikh community and urge Facebook to become part of the conversation -- specifically on Khalistan -- that is being censored. We expect immediate response detailing steps towards addressing this censorship.

We urge Sikhs and allies reading this letter to share it widely and connect with the Sikh grassroots to build solidarity that exists outside frameworks of censorship.

Signed: World Sikh Parliament, Sikh Federation UK, Guru Nanak Darbar Gravesend, Saving Punjab, Federation of Sikh Orgs, Kaurs Legal, National Sikh Youth Federation, Sikh Assembly, Everythings 13, Sikh Doctors Association, Sikhs For Justice, Lions MMA, Sikh 2 Inspire, Khalistan Center, Babbar Akali Lehar, Sikh Relief, Baba Deep Singh Gurdwara, Khalsa Jatha Central Gurdwara, United Sikhs, Khalsa Akhara Gym Derby, Khalsa Foundation, Khalsa Akhara Boxing Coventry, Shere Punjab, Singh Sabha Committee Coventry, SHARE Charity, Calgary Sikhs, Birmingham Sikh Council of Gurdwaras, Naujawani, Khalistan Activist Federation, Kent Sikh Organisation.



Offsite Article: Is France turning its back on blasphemy?...

Link Here28th August 2020
Full story: Free Speech in France...'Liberte' lost in ,modern times
France's deep-rooted tradition of unapologetically poking fun at men and gods alike may be in peril

See article from



Wrong type of belief...

Nigerian musician is given a death sentence for a song that praises a cult leader

Link Here10th August 2020
A musician in Nigeria's northern state of Kano has been sentenced to death by hanging for supposedly blaspheming against the religious character Muhammad.

A Sharia court claimed that Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, was guilty of committing blasphemy for a song he circulated via WhatsApp in March.

The singer who is currently in detention, had gone into hiding after he composed the song. Protestors had burnt down his family home and gathered outside the headquarters of the Islamic police, known as the Hisbah, demanding action against him.

The song was controversial as it praised an imam from the Tijaniya Muslim brotherhood which appears to be a cult with beliefs that disagree with more orthodox islam.

The leader of the protesters that called for the musician's arrest in March, Idris Ibrahim, told the BBC that the judgement will serve as a warning to others contemplating toeing Yahaya's path.

Yahaya Sharif-Aminu is able to appeal against the sentence.



Religious re-education...

Chinese film censors have new rules that ban many Bible stories

Link Here27th July 2020
Full story: Christianity in China...Restricting Christianity
China's new censorship laws effectively ban film content that portrays the life of Jesus Christ.

The broad new guidelines to make films fit the Communist party line include 20 categories that will now be outlawed. The categories include any content that promotes contentious history -- and film-makers believe this includes the life of Jesus . Other banned categories include the depiction of sacred relics and demonic possessions and content showing miracles and healing.

A Chinese film-maker said:

The guidelines almost entirely ban such content. If we film the life of Jesus, avoiding the content banned by the guidelines, we will only be presenting Jesus as an ordinary person. This is unacceptable to Christians.

Of course it may not be wise for Christians make too much of a fuss lest the government decides that religious re-education may be in order for Christians as well as Muslims.



Ultra Buddha Man...

Thai parliament debates whether art featuring Buddhism should be censored

Link Here13th July 2020
A group of Thai academics and experts told a Parliament committee that crackdowns on arts deemed inappropriate to Buddhism is a danger to Thailand's creativity.

In a meeting with the House Committee of Religions, Arts and Culture, Chulalongkorn University political scientist Bundit Chanrochanakit and fellow panelists advised the government to back off from regulating artistic expression. The meeting was held in the wake of a recent order to erase a temple mural denounced by local officials as blasphemy.

Bundit  pointed to the pressure to remove mural figures at a temple in Uthai Thani that appears to show Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha and his deputy, Prawit Wongsuwan, drowning with demons who attempted to stop Lord Buddha from attaining enlightenment.

The figures were eventually painted over after local officials paid a visit and demanded the censorship.

Bundit cited another case of controversy over artists' interpretation of religious topics: the Ultraman Buddha painting by an art student in September. The artist was forced to apologize after hardline Buddhist officials accused her of disrespect to their religion by depicting Buddha as a Japanese superhero, Ultraman.



Distanced from humanity...

Miserable Romanian Orthodox Church claims blasphemy in an art tribute to healthcare staff featuring a coronavirus halo

Link Here6th May 2020
Full story: Coronavirus...Internet censorship and surveillance
Romania's Miserable Orthodox Church has accused a series of outdoor posters depicting nurses and doctors on the frontlines of the new coronavirus outbreak as saints of being blasphemous

The posters created by Romanian illustrator Wanda Hutira are part of a Thank you doctors campaign.

The city hall of capital Bucharest said it would ask advertising firms to remove the posters.

Church spokesman Vasile Banescu said the posters were a visual mistreatment of Christian iconography and added:

It is a campaign to promote a dystopian vision over the situation induced by the pandemic.



Testing a religious hypothesis...

Pakistan initiates large scale field trials to test if faith and prayer is an effective vaccine against covid-19

Link Here18th April 2020
Full story: Coronavirus...Internet censorship and surveillance
People have packed mosques across Pakistan for Friday prayers in defiance of lockdown orders and the authorities failed to enforce Section 144 imposed earlier to control spread of COVID-19.

Said Awais Ali, from the Bilal Gunj area explained the reasoning behind the move:

Why should I fear when I believe that life and death is in the hands of God? I came to offer prayer and to seek forgiveness and blessings of Almighty Allah instead of staying at home at this testing time.

Sabir Durrani from the city of Multan said that our prayer leader told us that the virus can't infect us the way it does Western people:

We wash our hands and we wash our face five times a day before we say our prayers, and the infidels don't, so we need not worry. God is with us.

In Pakistan's largest city of Karachi police were attacked for a second week in a row as they attempted to break up prayers at a mosque, but in other Pakistani cities authorities were reportedly ignoring defiant gatherings at mosques.



A censorship struggle...

Amazon UK bans Hitler's book, Mein Kampf

Link Here17th March 2020
  Amazon UK has banned the sale of most editions of Hitler's Mein Kampf and other Nazi propaganda books from its store following campaigning by Jewish groups.

Booksellers were informed in recent days that they would no longer be allowed to sell a number of Nazi-authored books on the website.

In one email seen by the Guardian individuals selling secondhand copies of Mein Kampf on the service have been told by Amazon that they can no longer offer this book as it breaks the website's code of conduct. The ban impacts the main editions of Mein Kampf produced by mainstream publishers such as London-based Random House and India's Jaico, for whom it has become an unlikely bestseller .

Other Nazi publications including the children's book The Poisonous Mushroom written by Nazi publisher Julius Streicher, who was later executed for crimes against humanity.

Amazon would not comment on what had prompted it to change its mind on the issue but a recent intervention to remove the books by the London-based Holocaust Educational Trust received the backing of leading British politicians.



Jewish groups recommend...

Amazon's drama series Hunters

Link Here24th February 2020
Several Jewish groups have complained about Amazon's fictitious depictions of the Holocaust in its new series Hunters .

The groups complained that the show, starring Al Pacino, was in bad taste and was described as 'Jewsploitation'.

In one scene, inmates of Auschwitz concentration camp are forced to kill each other while being used in a game of human chess.

Auschwitz Memorial, a group that maintains the former camp as a historical site, accused the programme makers of inventing a fake game of human chess in an act of dangerous foolishness.

Karen Pollack, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, claimed that such portrayals risked fuelling Holocaust denial, and lent a tone of flippant entertainment to the programme.



Locking horns in court...

Swiss court finds that the cross and deer logo of Jagermeister is not offensive to christians

Link Here20th February 2020
The logo for Jägermeister alcohol is not religiously offensive, a Swiss court has ruled.

The Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property had blocked efforts by the German spirit brand to expand its trademark to cosmetics and entertainment services. It claimed that the logo - a stag and a cross - could offend the country's Christians.

But Swiss federal judges ruled in favour of Jägermeister. The Federal Administrative Court ruled that the "intensive" use of the logo had "weakened its religious character" over time, making the chance of genuine offence unlikely, Swissinfo reported.

The logo refers to the legend of St Hubertus, the 'Apostle of the Ardennes', who is said to have converted to Christianity one Good Friday in the 8th century after witnessing a stag with a crucifix between its antlers.

Jägermeister can now use its logo on a wide-range of products in Switzerland including cosmetics, mobile phones, or telecommunications services.



Lost liberte...

Macron claims that French people have a right to criticise religion...but reality says otherwise

Link Here14th February 2020
Full story: Free Speech in France...'Liberte' lost in ,modern times

French President Emmanuel Macron has added his voice to the thousands who have spoken out in defence of a schoolgirl forced into hiding after she criticised Islam.

According to the Guardian Macron, in defending the girl identified only as Mila, insisted that blasphemy:

Is no crime. The law is clear: we have the right to blaspheme, to criticise, to caricature religions ...what is outlawed is to incite hatred and attack dignity.

In this debate we have lost sight of the fact that Mila is an adolescent. We owe her protection at school, in her daily life, in her movements.

The President added that in finding a new school for Mila, the state has fulfilled its responsibilities and that children needed to be better protected against:

New forms of hatred and harassment online that can be destructive.

And as an example of how nasty things have become in France, Abdallah Zekri, general delegate of the French Council for the Muslim Faith (CFCM), told French radio:

This girl knows exactly what she has done ... they who sow, reap.



Offsite Article: Religious violence vs free speech...

Link Here1st February 2020
French 16 year old school girls receives a barrage of death threats in response to her criticism of religion on Instagram

See article from



The best remedy for offensive speech is more speech...

Amazon explains why it sells an anti-jewish book of historical interest

Link Here 23rd January 2020
An anti-jewish book of historical interest has caused a bit of a stir in Australia after it was found to be available for sale on Amazon.

New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff wrote to Amazon Australia last week after seeing a number of controversial titles for sale, including one titled Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Alhadeff wrote:

By providing a platform for individuals to buy and sell such flawed and racist texts, Amazon is in fact contributing to the deeply concerning global increase in antisemitic incidents which we are currently witnessing.

Amazon has posted an explanation of why the book is for sale on the website:

Amazon does not endorse The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. This book is one of the most infamous, and tragically influential, examples of racist propaganda ever written. It may be useful to some as a tool in the teaching of the history of anti-Semitism, but it's unquestionably propaganda.

Does Amazon sell this book? We do, along with millions of other titles. The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion is classified under controversial knowledge in our store, along with books about UFOs, demonic possession, and all manner of conspiracy theories. You can also find books in other sections of Amazon's online bookstore that analyze The Protocols' fraudulent origins and its tragic historical role in promoting anti-Semitism and Jewish persecution, including A Lie and a Libel: The History of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. As a bookseller, Amazon strongly believes that providing open access to written speech, no matter how hateful or ugly, is one of the most important things we do. And because we think the best remedy for offensive speech is more speech, we also make available to readers the ability to make their own voices heard and express their views about this and all our titles in reviews and ratings.

Update: Fine words from Amazon...but...

6th February 2020. See article from

Amazon has removed two two books from sale by an author whose works accuse Jews of having played an exceptionally active role in promoting and inciting war and Hitler.

The latest book by Thomas Dalton PhD -- Eternal Strangers: Critical Views of Jews and Judaism Through the Ages -- was released last week and follows The Jewish Hand in the World Wars.

Both were available to buy through the online retailer, listed as dispatched from and sold by Amazon, until antisemitism campaigners complained.



An example for the religious world...

Blasphemy has been abolished in Ireland

Link Here18th January 2020
Full story: Blasphemy in Ireland...Irish politicians enact blasphemy law
Irish Justice minister Charlie Flanagan has announced the commencement of the Blasphemy (Abolition of Offences and Related Matters) Act 2019 .

The act was passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas before the Christmas recess, and was signed by the President on 21st December. The Minister said:

This act abolishes the offence of blasphemy, and reflects the outcome of last year's referendum in which the people approved removing the Constitutional requirement that blasphemy be a criminal offence, by a majority in each of the 40 constituencies, and by 64.85% of voters nationally.

He said that the very notion of criminalising blasphemy, with the risk of a chilling effect on free expression and public debate, has no place in the Constitution or the laws of a modern republic. He said the right to express differing viewpoints in a forthright and critical manner is a right to be cherished and upheld. He added:

It may seem abstract to devote time to abolishing an offence which has not been prosecuted in practice. But it must be remembered that a number of countries still actively prosecute charges of blasphemy. Imprisonment

Those charges can carry severe penalties, including terms of imprisonment, brutal physical punishments, and even the death penalty. They have also been applied in a discriminatory manner to justify the persecution of dissidents, the socially excluded, or religious minorities.

Such countries justify those regimes by referring to the continuance of blasphemy as a criminal offence in Ireland. That has always been a very disturbing reality. This act not only addresses the situation, but ensures that Ireland should never again be cited as an exemplar of such outdated concepts. Public showing

The act also amends the Censorship of Films Acts, to remove blasphemous content as a ground for refusing or restricting the public showing, or advertising of, a film.



Commented: Still Charlie...

France marks the murderous censorship of Charlie Hebdo magazine 5 years ago and plans to open a centre dedicated to satirical cartoons

Link Here12th January 2020
France is marking the fifth anniversary of a terrorist attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo with street ceremonies and social media tributes.

On 7 January 2015, militant Islamists shot dead 11 people in the magazine's Paris office, before murdering a policeman outside.

On Tuesday, former French President François Hollande, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet were among those to pay their respects to the victims outside Charlie Hebdo's former offices in the capital. Several tributes took place, including readings of commemorative plaques, wreath-laying and a minute's silence.

The weekly magazine, which published a special issue marking the anniversary with contributions from the victims' relatives, tweeted:

It was five years ago, it was a century ago, it was yesterday. We do not forget and we will always continue: to speak, to write, to draw.

Update: France plans centre dedicated to satirical cartoons

10th January 2020. See article from

 France is planning to create a "house of press cartoons and satirical cartoons", according to a statement issued by the culture ministry. The French culture minister Franck Riester said the project was "conceived and wanted" by Georges Wolinski--one of five caricaturists killed in the 2015 attacks. The centre's aim is to create "a place for meetings" to enable the creation and promotion of satirical cartoons and support their creators.

The statement refers to press cartoons as "a witness of our time, our freedom and the dangers that threaten us" and "a powerful form of expression and creativity to the service of the independence of the media and therefore of the vitality of our democracies".

Riester has tasked Vincent Monadé, currently head of the Centre National du Livre (the National Centre of the Book), to present proposals for the venue by the end of May.

Offsite Comment: Je suis Charlie

12th January 2020. See article from by Brendan O"Neill

Today is the fifth anniversary of the massacre at Charlie Hebdo. Five years since one of the darkest days in the modern history of the French Republic, when 10 journalists and cartoonists, as well as a maintenance worker and a police officer, were massacred by two Islamist gunmen for the crime of blaspheming against Muhammad.

 See article from



Updated: Not a prayer's chance of forgiving them their trespasses then...

Brazilian judge orders injunction to ban gay Jesus comedy on Netflix but this has now been overturned

Link Here 10th January 2020
Full story: Netflix Censorship...Streaming TV to a variety of censorship regimes
The First Temptation of Christ (A Primeira Tentação de Cristo) is a 2019 Brazil comedy short film by Rodrigo Van Der Put.
Starring Evelyn Castro, Gregório Duvivier and Fábio Porchat. IMDb

Jesus, who's hitting the big 3-0, brings a surprise guest to meet the family.

A judge in Brazil has ruled that a film depicting Jesus as gay must be removed from the TV streaming service Netflix.

The film, The First Temptation of Christ, infuriated some Christians in the country.Two million people signed a petition calling for it to be banned, and the production company was attacked with Molotov cocktails last month.

In the ruling against Netflix, the judge said: The right to freedom of expression... is not absolute.

The ban is a temporary injunction whilst a final decision is made by a higher court.

Update: Injunction overturned

10th January 2020. See article from

Brazil's Supreme Court has overturned a ruling that TV streaming service Netflix must remove a film depicting Jesus as gay.

The film, The First Temptation of Christ, infuriated fervent Christians in the country. But Supreme Court president Dias Toffoli said on Thursday that Netflix should be allowed to continue streaming the show, stating that freedom of speech was fundamental in a democracy. The judge said:

One cannot suppose that a humorous satire has the ability to weaken the values of the Christian faith, whose existence is traced back more than two thousand years, and which is the belief of the majority of Brazilian citizens.

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