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Posts Tagged ‘religious fundamentalism’

The Crapola network has the scoop.

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Here’s the link.

The following sequence occured in an alternate universe that I would love to belong to:

Judge: Before I ask for the other evidence I would like to ask you a question that I always do; what was, in summary fashion, the intent and purpose of the Ravana dance that you did with Mona Singh?

Bhajji: Why is that a relevant question?

Judge: (Damn, this Bhajji guy is slippery) I need to know whether your intention was to hurt religious sentiments of others or simply to, ahem, get closer to Monaji. Because, according to our law, no one has the right to offend religious…

Bhajji: My dance and its coverage speaks for itself; I did what I did. So when you ask my intent, are you saying that one answer is wrong and one is right? Is a certain answer contrary to law?

Judge: Oing?

Unfortunately, around this time, the worm-hole connecting our two universes evaporated and the transmission stopped. However, you can get a rough idea of what happened next by viewing this video from our own universe.

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No, it’s not the Taliban saying this, but the senior-most judge in Saudi Arabia.

The most senior judge in Saudi Arabia has said it is permissible to kill the owners of satellite TV channels which broadcast immoral programmes. […]

“There is no doubt that these programmes are a great evil, and the owners of these channels are as guilty as those who watch them,” said the sheikh.

“It is legitimate to kill those who call for corruption if their evil can not be stopped by other penalties.”

Have a good life.

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Iran’s parliament is discussing a bill which would make “establishing weblogs and sites promoting corruption, prostitution or apostasy” a crime punishable by death. The bill also stipulates that once awarded, the sentence “cannot be commuted, suspended or changed”.

More here.

As a morally corrupt (certainly by Iranian standards!), prostitution-advocating libertarian and atheist who delves into all these matters in his posts , I wonder what I’d be thinking now if I were Iranian.

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Arundhati Roy is a powerful writer and while I disagree with many of her political stances, I have always admired her for her passion and her courage. In this highly readable interview, her comments on the Taslima Nasreen fiasco and the related issue of free speech are bang on the money.

Freedom of expression has always been a second-rate right in India. It has been curtailed with impunity by the government, brazenly violated by the fundamentalists and occasionally clamped down upon by the courts. In the specific instance of Ms. Nasreen, the actions of the government- both at the centre and the state – have been cowardly and unprincipled. The Bengal government, in particular, ought to be ashamed that it has allowed itself to be taken hostage by the same fundamentalist forces that it opposes elsewehere. But then, courage and consistency have never been the hallmarks of politicians.

On a more personal note, I am particularly disappointed at the stand taken on this issue by the Chief Minister of Bengal, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, himself a poet and scholar. He has in the past often been accused of arrogance and heavy-handedness, most notably in the brutal and highly mismanaged takeover of Nandigram. Like all Left politicians he has scant regard for property rights when it conflicts withn the aims of the state. However, no sensible person or Mamata Bannerjee has ever accused him of corruption or playing dirty games. I have admired him in the past for his policies which have led to an economic renaissance in Bengal as well as for many of his qualities, principal among which were his honesty and his lack of deceit. In short I saw him as what one would call a straight person, a rarity among Indian lawmakers. Yet, I simply cannot reconcile these qualities with some of his recent actions and statements on the Nandigram and Taslima issues. That’s sad.

But perhaps it was naive to expect better.

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