Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Censorship, faux offence and cowardice threaten free speech

Every time I go on-line there seems to be yet another tale of either someone being offended by something that someone else has said, written or even filmed. In addition there's always state censorship or even worse publishers frightened of giving offence by even publishing a book.

For example some Hindus seem to have taken a lesson from the easily offended sections of the religion of backwardness and have objected to the latest X-Men film.

Well bits of it anyway. The Independent reports:

Hindu leaders are offended by comparisons between their god Lord Krishna and new X-Men villain Apocalypse, played by Oscar Isaac.

Film fans got their first glimpse of the similarly blue-coloured baddie when the official trailer dropped on Friday, showing Apocalypse saying: “I have been called many things over many lifetimes - Ra, Krishna, Yahweh.”

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed noted the reference and released a statement arguing that mentioning the god in a movie is hurtful to the many that worship him.

“Such trivialisation of Lord Krishna, who is highly revered in Hinduism, is quite inappropriate and disturbing to the devotees,” it read.

“Lord Krishna was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines, not for pushing movies for the mercantile greed of filmmakers.”

Seems to me the baddies was simply trying to big himself up by pretending to be a "god". Not that there are any but here's the offending trailer for you. 

Any followers of Ra (the Egyptian Sun God still around to be offended?.. as for Yahweh...

Meanwhile over in Russia Amnesty International reports the arrest a librarian 

Russian police raided the home of Natalya Sharina, director of the library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow, after a tip-off from an ex-employee who was dismissed in 2010.

After searching her home for hours, the police went to the library to continue their hunt for ‘extremist literature’.

Investigators claimed to find works by Dmitry Korchinsky – a Ukrainian nationalist – in a pile of books that had not been indexed or made available to the public....

Dmitry Korchinsky’s books were declared ‘extremist’ by the Russian authorities in 2013.

The Investigative Committee (the main federal investigating authority in Russia) told the press that they found printed materials with ‘anti-Russian and anti-Russian state propaganda’ in the Library of Ukrainian Literature.

Natalya has been charged with ‘inciting national hatred and enmity, as well as humiliation of human dignity’ – simply for holding these books on the premises.

You can sign their petition demanding her release here: www.amnesty.org.uk/actions

Last but by far from being the least worrying story is the inability of author Caroline Fourest to get anyone to publish her latest work:

In praise of blasphemy

Cowardice of the highest degree which dates back to the Salman Rushdie affair when the so-called left started it's turn to Islam.

The promotion reads:

Threatened by fanatics, censored by cowards, freethinkers on all continents continue to fight on all fronts to ensure the survival of an enlightened world. And the right to commit blasphemy plays a central role in their struggle.”

Caroline Fourest

In the overwhelming emotional aftermath of the terrorist attack against Charlie Hebdo in Paris, Caroline Fourest reaches those who refused to “be Charlie” in the name of “responsibility”, or concerns about “offending” or being seen as “islamophobic”.

In this ruthless and pedagogical analysis, Caroline Fourest looks into debates on freedom of speech. She also warns us about the risks associated with the globalization of bullying. She puts into perspective the breaking point between French secularism and Anglo-Saxon relativism, between the right to commit blasphemy and the calls for hatred, between Charlie and Dieudonn√©, and between laughing about terrorism and laughing with terrorists. 

You can download a copy from: https://itunes.apple.com.

Defend the right of free speech. Without it there can be no human rights!

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