Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Britain's Islam Channel rapped for advocating marital rape and calling women prostitutes
Rather amazing that a British agency cracked down on this but no penalty is mentioned
A Muslim religious channel that allowed presenters to condone marital rape and call women who wear perfume in mosques 'prostitutes' has been censured by the TV watchdog. In one programme, the host told viewers that it was 'not strange' and 'not such a big problem' for a man to force his wife to have sex.
Ofcom ruled the Islam Channel, which broadcasts on Sky, breached the broadcasting code in five programmes between May 2008 and October 2009.
A phone-in show in May 2008, in which a female caller asked if she had the right to hit a violent husband back, was deemed in breach of the code. The presenter at one point stated: 'In Islam we have no right to hit the woman in a way that damages her eye or damages her tooth or damages her face or makes her ugly. 'Maximum what you can do, you can see the pen over here, in my hand, this kind of stick can be used just to make her feel that you are not happy with her.'
Ofcom said it considered the presenter was clear some form of physical punishment was acceptable.
A discussion programme in April 2009 on sexual relations within marriage was found to have breached guidelines, as was a programme in October 2009 in which it was said women who wore perfume outside the home could be declared 'a prostitute'.
In a submission to the report, the Islam Channel said it 'does not condone or encourage violence towards women under any circumstances' and 'does not condone or encourage marital rape'.
Two further programmes in October 2009 relating to aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were found to have breached the code relating to impartiality in political matters.
Ofcom previously imposed a statutory sanction on the channel in 2007 for various breaches. The findings followed an inquiry begun after allegations were laid against the TV station by a moderate Islamic think tank, the Quilliam Foundation.
The Islam Channel, launched six years ago, has been accused in the past of giving airtime to extreme views, including those of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a group that Tony Blair said he wanted to ban in the aftermath of the 2005 London transport bombings.
British shop assistant banned from wearing Remembrance day symbol because 'it is not part of the uniform'
The claim that a poppy detracts from the "look" of a person is quite offensive
A top fashion store banned a shop assistant from wearing a poppy at work - because it was 'not part of her uniform'. Harriet Phipps, 18, pinned the poppy to her clothes as a mark of respect to the countless servicemen and women who have been killed or injured fighting for their country. But bosses at Hollister, which is part of the trendy Abercrombie & Fitch chain, ordered the teenager to remove the tribute.
Miss Phipps works as a 'model' at the store in Southampton, Hampshire, wearing the shop's latest fashion items to give customers an idea of how the clothes look on. But when she wore a Remembrance Day poppy managers told her to remove it.
Furious Miss Phipps said: 'I think it's disgusting, I think it's awful. 'I feel it's very important, it is only for two weeks so it's not permanent. 'It is a personal issue and I feel very strongly about it - I have a friend who is serving in Afghanistan and another friend, a girl, who is going out to fight there, as well as my granddad who fought in the war. 'They said that because it's not uniform or company policy, I am not allowed to wear it.
'I'm what is known as a model, we have to wear a uniform key look - we get a selection of clothes which we have to buy and wear to work. 'We provide an image of what the clothes would look like for the customers and because the poppy is not uniform I was told I should not wear it.'
Miss Phipps, who moved from Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire, to work at the store was first told to remove the poppy last Thursday and then a second time today when she flouted the ban.
A member of management at the store declined to comment.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: 'This poppy ban is outrageous. 'Wearing a poppy brings the whole nation together to honour those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. 'Poppies may not be cool enough for Hollister or Abercrombie & Fitch, but they suit the rest of us very well.'
The Abercrombie & Fitch group is infamous for its strict staff dress code. Last year it paid £9,000 in compensation to a student with a prosthetic left arm who claimed she was banished to the stockroom of one of the firm's flagship shops.
Riam Dean, 22, from Greenford, West London, said she was banned from the floor of the Savile Row store because she did not fit its policy on how staff should look. A tribunal ruled that Miss Dean was unlawfully harassed over her disability and subsequently dismissed without good reason.
On the first day she was fitted for her uniform - a polo shirt and jeans - and was given permission to wear a cardigan to cover the join between her upper arm and prosthetic limb. However, staff repeatedly told her to take the cardigan off as it was against the company's 'look policy'.
Oklahoma: Ban on Shariah Law blocked
A popular new law that bars Oklahoma courts from considering Islamic law, or Shariah, when deciding cases was put on hold Monday after a prominent Muslim in the state won a temporary restraining order in federal court.
Two state legislators were quick to blast the judge's ruling and the Oklahoma attorney general, who they said did not stand up to support the new law.
U.S. District Court Judge Vicki Miles-LeGrange ruled that the measure, which passed by a large margin in last Tuesday's elections, would be suspended until a hearing on Nov. 22, when she will listen to arguments on whether the court's temporary injunction should become permanent.
"Today's ruling is a reminder of the strength of our nation's legal system and the protections it grants to religious minorities," said Muneer Awad, executive director of Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Oklahoma, who filed the suit last Thursday, claiming the law violated his constitutional rights.
"We are humbled by this opportunity to show our fellow Oklahomans that Muslims are their neighbors and that we are committed to upholding the U.S. Constitution and promoting the benefits of a pluralistic society," Awad said.
Shariah is found in the Koran and is the basis of law in most Islamic countries, though its implementation varies widely. It has been used in Iran and Somalia, among other places, to condone harsh punishments like amputations and stoning.
Supporters of the Oklahoma ballot initiative, which passed with 70 percent of the vote, would not comment on the impact of the ruling. But state Sen. Anthony Sykes, who co-authored the measure, charged that the judge ruled as she did because the state’s attorney general, Drew Edmondson, failed to respond to the suit.
“The attorney general failed to file a response,” Sykes said. “I am afraid that this might get written in stone that shouldn’t be because the attorney general is leaving and a new one is coming in.” Calls to Edmondson’s office were not returned.
Oklahoma state Rep. Rex Duncan, who co-sponsored the bill, said he hadn’t seen the judge's written ruling yet, but he was disappointed that “her words from the bench indicated she had completely embraced the plaintiff’s arguments.” “They were pretty extraordinary statements from the judge,” he said.
Duncan and Sykes both said the state should have challenged whether Awad had the standing to bring the case. “As far as we know, he flew into here from Georgia just to make the case," Duncan said. "We don’t think he is an Oklahoma resident or plans to stay. We don’t think he had standing.”
Duncan and others who pushed for the measure argued that the ban “will constitute a pre-emptive strike against Shariah law coming to Oklahoma." He said England has embraced 85 Shariah law courts and warned voters that "while Oklahoma is still able to defend itself against this sort of hideous invasion, we should do so."
Opponents argued that the measure was unnecessary because state judges have no reason to rely on Islamic law. Most of the state’s newspapers opposed the measure.
At an impromptu news conference following Monday's ruling, CAIR officials called on the sponsors of the ballot measure to repudiate hate messages they said have been received by Muslim institutions in Oklahoma following the law's passage.
My name is Daniel Pearl
A speech before the ADL by by Pilar Rahola
Without doubt, he must be afraid. He faces the camera, but... where is his gaze aimed? Perhaps towards his family, his ancestral memory, his identity... or perhaps he is looking beyond, towards the broken future, the woman he loves, the son he will never know... His last words...
“My name is Daniel Pearl. I am a Jewish American from Encino , California USA ”. Today is February 1st, 2002, he is 38 years old and is about to be brutally murdered. “My father's Jewish, my mother's Jewish, I'm Jewish…”
The Yemeni that will decapitate him will take almost two minutes to cut off his head. He will begin very slowly, under the ear, to reap the vocal chords and prevent the shout. “My family follows Judaism. We've made numerous family visits to Israel …”
From this point on, the brutal narration of a murder whose details, masterly described by Bernard Henry-Levi, would horrify even Dante's own Inferno. The victim turned into a metaphor of the beauty of life. The assassin, symbol of the human being devoid of soul, of the defeat of humanity. Who has turned him into a monster? “Back in the town of Bnei Brak there is a street named after my great grandfather Chaim Pearl who is one of the founders of the town”. And all will be over. His hopes, his loves, his dreams... “My name is Daniel Pearl…” And the executioner will triumphantly display his cleft head before the camera, as a trophy.
Thank you. First of all thank you for this moving day, which commits me beyond doubt, beyond frailty and beyond fear. To be granted the award that bears the name of Daniel Pearl is more than an extraordinary honour, it is a duty.
My name is Pilar Rahola, I was born in the old Sepharad, in Catalonia , from a Catholic family, I consider myself a left-winger and I am a journalist. But as a civil-rights fighter, and as a journalist who searches for reported truth, my name is also Daniel Pearl, I was born in Encino and I am Jewish. All those of us who love civilization, those of us who conceive the world under the values of modernity, are and will always be Daniel Pearl.
Because beyond our ideological, religious or cultural differences, we are part of a civic inheritance which commits us to democracy. And they have declared war against that inheritance. Daniel Pearl's assassins do not only decapitate helpless victims, murder hundreds in the world's trains, or kill thousands in the cities' skyscrapers. Above all they try to behead the principles of freedom.
Daniel Pearl's death, as do the deaths of all those who have fallen under the insanity of Islamic Fundamentalism, concerns us all, and not only for the sake of compassion. It concerns us for it is a bullet that is aimed at each one of us, regardless of our origin. Every woman that breathes with her own lungs and conquests her future, every man who loves culture and progress, every child who is educated to be tolerant and free, every God which doesn't hate but rather loves, every one of them has a bullet with their name written on it. We are faced with a new totalitarianism, natural heir to Stalinism and Nazism, as horrendous as both of them, and perhaps more lethal. The question now is, as it always was: are we doing the right thing to defend ourselves?
I am only a labourer of ideas, and it is not up to me to define the intelligence strategies that fight this ideology. Yet I uphold my critical spirit regarding many political and military decisions , and I do not always like our leaders, nor their actions.
However, it is also true that the Islamofascist ideology has left us baffled and frightened, and has shown our weaknesses. Today, free societies are technologically more advanced, militarily stronger, and are more intercommunicated. But our enemy is also stronger than ever. It is the Global Jihad, with the brain and heart in the 8th century, but connected by satellite with 21st century technology. Look at Iran , how it has laughed at the world and moves on, inexorably, towards the fearful nuclear domination.
An Islamic Hitler with a nuclear bomb. Who can or wants to stop him? A useless UN, incapable of reacting, beyond rhetoric and bureaucracy? Poor Eleanor Roosevelt, should she wake up and see into what has become her dream of the League of Nations! Can Europe stop it, trapped in its economic ambitions, its infighting and its political incapacity? If the UN doesn't know what is its rôle in the world, Europe doesn't even know what it is itself. Will countries such as China or Russia , countries which are rather allies to this madness, stop it? Will the USA , which every day seems more lost regarding its own rôle in the international arena, stop it? Sincerely, the world's only hope seems to be Israel , which, as it defends itself from a monster, defends us all. Dear ADL friends, those of us who believe in a free world have to trust in Eretz Israel: a lighthouse in the heart of darkness.
And beyond Iran , it is also evident that we are unable to stop the ideological phenomenon which sustains Global Islamic Fundamentalism. How many youths, in this precise instant, are reading jihadist texts? How many thousands are being indoctrinated in hatred of the West and in a renewed anti-Semitism, in the schools of “friendly” countries? How many, in our cities' mosques, are nursed with contempt of democracy? How many learn to love their God, hating their neighbour? How many are, right now, using the invention that a Jew helped to develop, Internet, to transmit their deadly ideas? Look at the World. Millions of enslaved women, subjugated by medieval laws, before international indifference. Millions of children who live in enormously rich dictatorships, condemned to poverty and educated as fanatic automatons. Who will prevent their tragedy? In Europe itself, the advance of fundamentalism is enormous, and our democracies seem incapable of stopping it. And it must be remembered that the problem is not a religion, nor a culture, nor a God. The problem is the totalitarian abuse of God.
There is, certainly, an Islam of life and of good harmony with others. But in the World today, there also exists an Islam which is very ill, and that, in its delirium of planetary domination, drags millions of people to their own perdition. So it's not about a clash of civilizations nor of religions. It's about civilization versus barbarity. And within civilization are all those Muslims murdered in busses, trains and in the market queues; the women who struggle for their freedom in the petrodollar dictatorships; the Iranian students, the dissidents... Within barbarity are Hamas, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda, Jihad Islamiya, the beheaders of people, and those imams who feed their flock with hatred in the World's mosques... The problem isn't the Muslim religion, but the totalitarian ideology that shouts “Hurray for death” while praying to Allah. An ideology that leads, in its macabre death toll, to the death of thousands .
Let us be conscious of something tragic. Despite the mirage of our superiority in all fields – military, political, moral – , while we are not losing the battle, neither are we winning it. It's as if we were at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, when Communism seemed to be a liberating ideology. Or in the 1930's, when Hitler only seemed to be a stupid clown, and Chamberlain honoured him. Then, as now, and before the beginning of a global menace, our capacity to respond is poor, timid and erratic. And in some cases, it's directly collaborationist.
Allow me to talk of my planet, the planet of ideas. Intellectuals, journalists, writers, people of thought, are they up to the historic moment they are living? And the leftist groups, who so noisily criticise democratic countries, yet remain silently absent in the struggle against the great tyrannies, are they? No. They are not up to the historic moment.
I take advantage of your enormous prestige, the ADL's prestige, pioneers in the defence of civil rights, and I take advantage of the extraordinary award you place in my hands, borrowing Emile Zola's words, to elevate a sad, but direct, “J'accuse”! (I accuse!). Today most intellectuals and journalists remain deaf, blind and mute before the most serious threats that freedom suffers. And some of their strident proclamations, are the most efficient help that this totalitarian ideology has in the free world.
I accuse journalists and intellectuals of remaining silent before the barbaric oppression of millions of women, condemned to live under medieval laws which amputate them as human beings. No demonstrations, no Obama declaration, no boycott, nothing. These victims interest nobody, perhaps because Israelis or Americans cannot be blamed for their misfortune. And only anti-Americanism and anti-Israelism mobilizes their selective ire. I accuse journalists and intellectuals of remaining silent before the permanent slaughter of hundreds of Muslims, victims of Islamic bombs, whose plight interests nobody because one cannot put the blame on Jews nor on Americans. I accuse journalists and intellectuals of criminalizing Israel to the point of delirium, and of helping to create a mentality that is understanding with Palestinian terrorism.
I accuse them of the new anti-Semitism which hits the World, whose politically correct leftist character, makes it into a very dangerous phenomenon.
I come from a state, Spain, which has suffered the most deadly terrorist attack in Europe . Do you think that that has vaccinated us against intellectual imbecility, against ideological stupidity, against blind dogmatism? Quite the contrary, today the European country most obsessed against Israel is Spain, one of the most anti-American and the most anti-Semite of the continent. There have been some who have even blamed the Israelis of the Atocha railway terrorist attack in Spain.
As I wrote quite some time ago, many educated and intelligent people, turn into imbeciles when talking about Israel. In my own home town, Barcelona, the hatred towards Israel has become a left-winger's sign of identity, they are capable of refusing to commemorate the day of the Shoah, due to solidarity with the Palestinians. I have been defamed and menaced, and they have even invented the “crime” of “negationist of the Palestinian holocaust” to try to take me to court. The list of deliriums which present-day Spain generates regarding Israel and the Jewish people only reminds one tragically of Medieval Spain and its expulsion edicts.
Today we love the Jewish stones of Toledo and Girona, but we disdain the living Jews, we criminalize Israel and we turn terrorists into heroes. And yet, if our ethical, civic and political ally is not Israel, then which country of the Middle East can it be? The religious dictatorships, the oppressors of women, the fundamentalist fanatics? Spanish intellectuals, and with them a large part of the World's intellectuals, especially the left-wing intellectuals, look upside down, think upside down and upside down establish their hatreds and alliances.
Medieval Jews represented culture, medicine, knowledge, and yet they were the ones who were persecuted. Today, Israel, beyond the legitimate criticism of its mistakes, represents the metaphor of all that we must preserve: freedom, the right to exist and religious tolerance. Despite this, Israel is the World's most hated country. Thus, while Islamic fundamentalism grows, exercises violence, kidnaps and kills, the World's liberals look the other way, abandon the victims and scream their slogans against the only country in the World which is menaced with destruction.
These journalists and intellectuals call themselves solidary, liberators, liberals, and yet they are a lunatic left, dogmatic and anti-historical, which abominates solid democracies, while it pardons brutal tyrannies. They are the new Chamberlains, unconscious collaborators of the totalitarianism which is overtaking the World. For we must not forget that freedom is not only won in the political or military battlefield. It is also won in the field of ideas.
That is why my name is Daniel Pearl, and also Gilad Shalit and Wafa Sultan and Ayan Hirsi Ali and Gordon, Edelmiro, Maria Rose, Andrew and Vincent; every one of the names of those murdered in the Twin Towers, in the London Underground, in the trains of Madrid, in the busses of Jerusalem. My name is Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the woman who had been condemned to be stoned to death in Iran . And all those who have been lapidated. If we are not them, then who are we? If we do not call ourselves with their names, then how do we call ourselves? If we do not defend their values, then which monsters are we defending?
Here, before the ADL, with the immense honour of receiving the Daniel Pearl Award, today, three days before Daniel's birthday, I reaffirm my ethical, journalistic and human commitment. I will not stop being critical with Israel, nor with the United States, nor with my own country. I will not stop explaining the truth, wherever I see it. But I will always remember on which side of the scale I am. The side of freedom, against that of tyrants; the side of women, against that of their oppressors; the side of Jews, against that of anti-Semitism; the side of culture, against that of fanaticism; the side of Israel, against that of its destroyers; the side of commitment, against that of indifference.
Elie Wiesel said: “The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of beauty is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, but indifference between life and death”.
Indifference is the anteroom of evil. And against that evil I will always struggle.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.