Bangladesh blocks YouTube over film

Dhaka, Sep 18 (bdnews24.com)?Authorities in Bangladesh on Monday blocked YouTube’s website indefinitely to stop the people watching a US-made film that insults the Prophet Muhammad and has sparked violence in the Muslim world.
Visitors in Bangladesh could not access the site after 5:30pm on Monday, an official with telecoms regulator BTRC’s System and Service Department told bdnews24.com.
The government on Sunday asked Google Inc that owns the video website to remove the 13-minute video clip of the film ‘Innocence of Muslims’ from its site. But there was no response from the search engine giant until Monday. Continue reading “Bangladesh blocks YouTube over film”

Conspiracies of convenience: what's behind the film fracas?

On both sides of the ongoing clash of bigotries and stupidity, the Prophet Muhammad is incidental to the true motives of the antagonists

By Hani Shukrallah, Thursday 13 Sep 2012. English Ahram

I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but I strongly sense conspiracy in the whole sordid “film maligning the Prophet” fracas, which, in a few hours, claimed the lives of three American diplomats and delivered a devastating blow to the Arab revolutionary upsurge, and to the new democratic and pluralistic awareness that both lay behind that upsurge and was its most precious product. Let me hasten to explain, however, that I use the questionable term, conspiracy, not in the sense that everyone from the makers of the film to the hysterical demonstrators that attacked the American missions in Cairo and Benghazi are in cahoots; nor do I base my argument simply on “who benefits most”, which almost invariably is the conspiracy theorist’s most crucial analytical tool.
What I really mean by “conspiracy” here is that the Prophet Muhammad is in fact wholly secondary to the real motives of the various parties to the ugly and bloody brawl. Yet, somewhat like the conspiracy theorist, I base my argument more on a reading of the events and their context, rather than on concrete, tangible facts. Continue reading “Conspiracies of convenience: what's behind the film fracas?”

Days Later: US Newspapers Run Graphic Photos Of Libya Ambassador

Posted by??- September 13, 2012 at 9:59 am -?Permalink?-?Source?via?Alexander Higgins Blog

NY Daily News Front Page - Sept 13 2012

Newspapers across the U.S. run graphic photos of the murdered U.S. Ambassador to Libya who was reportedly raped and lynched by Islamic extremists.

As the violence continues to flare in the Middle East news outlets that originally paid little attention to the murder of U.S. Ambassador Stephens is now the top headline nationwide. Continue reading “Days Later: US Newspapers Run Graphic Photos Of Libya Ambassador”

Contemporary art and cultural clashes in kathmandu.

by Satish Sharma: Rotigraphy

THURSDAY, 13 SEPTEMBER 2012

“Artist advised to paint works that are pleasing …not satirical…socio political works can only be exhibited during gai jatra..?
Artist’s paintings should be self explanatory? “a picture should speak a 1000 words”.
Artists need to follow traditional parameters while painting religious iconography….modern interpretations will be considered blasphemous
The state can take action against artists if these guidelines are not observed”
Sangeeta Thapa on ?Facebook?quoting or paraphrasing the?official?’police’ reaction.
Watching the Kathmandu gallery episode unfold on social media is a fascinating eye opener . ?So much to learn ?so ?much to think about. so many spaces to open up. in the ?minds of artists and even their local audiences. Continue reading “Contemporary art and cultural clashes in kathmandu.”

Don't pseudo-sentiments get hurt, not even pseudo-hurt?

Right-wing politics all over the world seeks to victimise the weak and powerless by falsely claiming victimhood, says Shivam Vij

In neighbouring Pakistan, an Islamic cleric recently accused a young Christian girl, Rimsha Masih, of blasphemy, a charge punishable by life imprisonment. He said she had burnt some pages that contained verses from the Quran. The 14-year-old girl hails from a poor family and suffers from downs syndrome. An eyewitness to the event showed courage and told a magistrate the truth: it was the Muslim cleric who had put those burnt pages in Rimsha’s bag. The cleric has been arrested and is set, in turn, to be charged with blasphemy.
I have been thinking about the incident. Insulting somebody’s religion is bad. It may cause offence. Often it is intended to cause offence. If somebody insults Islam, by doing things like burning pages containing verses from the Quran, it is bound to outrage a Muslim.
But what happens when the Muslim has burnt those pages to implicate a Christian? Where does the outrage disappear? Why are the right-wingers and the mullahs in Pakistan suddenly silent? The cleric’s lawyer had threatened the judge that if the girl is let off she could be lynched — such was the outrage! Where has the outrage suddenly disappeared? Where are the calls for lynching the blasphemer to death? Continue reading “Don't pseudo-sentiments get hurt, not even pseudo-hurt?”

Palestinian children 'abused' in Israeli jail

Recent studies allege a system of abuse targeting children detained by Israel’s military court system.
Dalia Hatuqa?Al Jazeera report

Israeli military courts imprison about 500-700 Palestinian children per year, according to a new study (AFP)

Ramallah, occupied Palestinian territories –?A dirty mattress fills up a space barely two metres long and?one metre wide. A suffocating stench emanating from the toilet hovers over the windowless room, and a light turned on 24/7 means sleep is a distant dream. This is the infamous Cell 36 in Al Jalameh Prison in Israel. It’s one of the cells that many Palestinian children have either heard of or, worse, been inside when placed in solitary confinement.
Continue reading “Palestinian children 'abused' in Israeli jail”

The two faces of religious persecution in Pakistan

By??| 7th August, 2012

It?s a horrible time to be a Christian, Hindu, an Ahmadi or any other minority group in Pakistan.

For starters, let?s recount a few reported incidents of persecution carried out to ?safeguard Islam? these past few days:?minarets destroyed?at Ahmadi mosques, mentally unstable man?burnt alive?for blasphemy, Ahmadi leader?gunned down.
Not only is such persecution in contravention of many of Pakistan?s international human rights law obligations but it could not exist without the socially sanctioned public hypocrisy that breathes life into it. Continue reading “The two faces of religious persecution in Pakistan”