Vatican Threatens to Sue Benetton Over “Kissing” Ad

Benetton’s stock in trade has been “shock” ads for a while. This time, I think they went way overboard!

Some of the offensive pics can be seen here. No word yet from the Muslim Iman (Sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb) in the pic. I can’t imagine Sunni followers are thrilled, either.

While more tolerant of the slings and arrows than some Religions - The Catholic Church is taking this one seriously.

Vatican Pledges Legal Action Against Benetton

The Vatican is taking legal action against the Benetton clothing company to prevent the circulation of an ad featuring a fake photo montage of Pope Benedict XVI kissing a top Egyptian imam on the lips.

The Vatican said Thursday the image is “offensive not only to the dignity of the pope and the Catholic Church, but also to the sensibilities of believers.”

Benetton withdrew the ad immediately after its debut Wednesday once the Vatican denounced it as an unacceptable provocation.

Benetton had said its “Unhate” campaign was aimed at fostering tolerance, but the Vatican’s daily newspaper Thursday called it “an insult to believers in the name of profit.”

The campaign’s fake photos feature a half-dozen purported political nemeses in lip-locked embraces, including President Barack Obama and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.

The photo of the pope kissing Sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb of Cairo’s al-Azhar institute, the pre-eminent theological school of Sunni Islam, was on Benetton’s website all day Wednesday but was pulled about an hour after the Vatican’s protest.

Al-Azhar suspended interfaith talks with the Vatican earlier this year after Benedict called for greater protections for Egypt’s minority Christians.

Shock ads have long been a part of Benetton’s publicity strategy, with photographer Oliviero Toscani’s famous campaigns for them featuring death row inmates and people dying of AIDS.

In a statement, the Treviso, Italy-based clothing manufacturer said it was sorry that its image had offended the faithful and that as a result “we have decided with immediate effect to withdraw this image from every publication.”

The other images, including the one of Obama, are still on its website.

Herman “Lawn Jockey” Cain At It Again

Hermain Caine - Just Another Uncle Ruckus

This one wouldn’t be so tragic, if this first class hypocrit Lawn Jockey wasn’t running in a party which believes this is a “Christian Nation”, and which tries to infuse their religion into everyone’s daily lives through legislation.  He said at a Tea Bagged Rally -

“It was during the Fifties that the United States Congress voted to add ‘one nation under God’ with liberty and justice for all, because we are a God-fearing Christian nation!”

Before that, Herman Cain wrote that non-religious Americans should submit to Christian control over the government.“Stay out of our way,” Cain warned. “Too many Americans are guided and implicitly threatened by the misinterpretations of the Constitution’s establishment clause that found a non-existent ‘separation of church and state.’”

Cain’s newest buckdance?

Cain: Americans should be able to ban mosques

Herman Cain says voters across the country should have the right to prevent Muslims from building mosques in their communities.

In an exchange on “Fox News Sunday,” the Republican presidential contender said that he sided with some in a town near Nashville who were trying to prevent Muslims from worshiping in their community.

“Our Constitution guarantees the separation of church and state,” he said. “Islam combines church and state. They’re using the church part of our First Amendment to infuse their morals in that community, and the people of that community do not like it. They disagree with it.”

Asked by host Chris Wallace if any community could ban a mosque if it wanted to, Cain said: “They have a right to do that.”

Cain, an African-American who grew up during the civil rights era, claimed he was not discriminating against Muslims. He said it was “totally different” than the fight for racial equality because there were laws prohibiting blacks from advancing.

Nonetheless, Cain has drawn backlash for comments about Muslims in the past, saying that he would be uncomfortable if a Muslim served in his Cabinet if he were elected president.

“I’m willing to take a harder look at people that might be terrorists,” Cain said Sunday. “If you look at my career, I have never discriminated against anybody. … I’m going to err on the side of caution.”

Cain is an ordained minister. With the Tomming done by Mr. Cain…

I can see why is afraid folks in his church might want to convert to Islam.

Conservatives and Radicalization

Hitler had the Jews to blame…

Lenin had the bourgeois…

Seems that every totalitarianism movement has one… Somebody to blame.

To be honest, right about now if I were President Obama – I would be bringing the full power of the Federal Law enforcement apparatus…

Against the radical right.

Biggest threat to this country isn’t “radical Islam”… It’s American born right wing whackjobs out of control.

Discrimination Against Muslims

In the following video, we have the Tea Party’s official Lawn Jockey Candidate, spreading love for Muslims…

This from the DOJ, discussing the impact of Cain’s type of “love”…

DOJ official: Muslims face rising discrimination

American Muslims face a rising tide of religious discrimination in U.S. communities, workplaces and schools nearly a decade after the September 11 attacks, a senior Justice Department official said on Tuesday.

Evidence of growing anti-Muslim bigotry, aired at a Senate Judiciary hearing, poses a challenge for President Barack Obama as his administration works to foster good relations with American Muslims at a time when the United States is threatened by home-grown terrorism.

“We should all agree that it’s wrong to blame an entire community for the wrongdoing of a few. Guilt by association is not the American way,” said Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, who chaired the hearing.

He said Muslims account for less than 1 percent of the U.S. population but more than 14 percent of religious discrimination cases investigated by the federal government and 25 percent of religious discrimination cases involving workplaces.

The Justice Department has investigated over 800 incidents of violence, vandalism and arson against people believed to be Muslim, Arab or South Asian, since the September 11 attacks.

U.S. homeland security officials say the United States faces a home-grown threat from Islamic radicalization, including attempts by al Qaeda to radicalize and recruit U.S. Muslims to carry out attacks here and abroad.

The hearing quickly took on a partisan edge when Durbin responded to criticism from Republican Peter King, chairman of a House of Representatives panel widely criticized for a hearing on radicalization in the U.S. Muslim community less than three weeks ago.

King said on Monday that the civil rights discussion would “perpetuate the myth that there is a serious anti-Islam issue in this country.”

But at the start of the session Durbin shot back: “Inflammatory speech from prominent public leaders creates a fertile climate for discrimination.”

“All of us, especially those of us in public life, have a responsibility to choose our words carefully. We must condemn anti-Muslim bigotry and make it clear that we won’t tolerate religious discrimination.”

Thomas Perez, the assistant U.S. attorney general for civil rights, said anti-Muslim bigotry has brought a surge in the number of federal discrimination cases involving zoning boards and other local authorities that have acted to prevent mosques from opening in their communities.

The Justice Department has begun 14 such cases since May 2010, around the time when plans for a mosque near the site of the World Trade Center attack in New York seized media headlines and ignited a national political uproar.

Before last May, the government had pursued only 10 land-use discrimination cases over a decade.

 

 

Rep Keith Ellison at Homeland Security Committee Meeting

Rep Keith Ellison lays out why Rep Peter King’s hearing is a travesty…

Lawn Jockey alert! Alan West Attacks Keith Ellison

The Tea Party’s favorite Lawn Jockey is at it again – this time in an attack against Congressman Keith Ellison for being a Muslim…

Folks down in Palm Beach ready for that Recall Election yet?

Keith Ellison’s response to West’s hate fueled diatribe -

I was surprised to hear of Congressman West’s comments because he has never expressed these sentiments to me directly.

Contrary to the views expressed by Congressman West, I work to represent the highest ideals of our great nation – ideals like freedom of worship and respect for all faiths, equal protection under the law as well as a civil and open public discourse.

I call on Americans of all colors, cultures and faiths to turn to each other, not on each other, especially in the renewed spirit of finding a more respectful and productive public dialogue.

Americans across the country want their public servants to reject the toxic and corrosive chatter that yields more heat than light. I hope to have a productive and respectful dialogue with all of my colleagues, including Allen West.

Come on down and get you “Lawn Jockey of the Week Award – Alan West!

Lawn Jockey of the Week Award to Alan West - For his ad hominum racist attack on Congressman Keith Ellison's religion and Patriotism

Ghaddafi Blackmails Europe… Literally

Oh My! Libyan Leader Col. Gaddafi offers to defend Europe from the Islamic and black Hordes for only a paltry $6 billion US…

Long way from blowing up airplanes full of white people.

Gaddafi demands £4 billion from EU or Europe will turn ‘black’

Gaddafi's Personal Nurse, Galyna Kolotnytska, without whom he refuses to travel was recently exposed by Wikileaks.

Muammar Gaddafi has demanded that the European Union give him more than £4 billion to fight illegal immigration or else Europe will turn “black” and be swamped by Muslims.

During an EU-Africa summit, that ended on Tuesday in Tripoli, theLibyan leader described European’s economic relationship with the African continent as a “failure”.

Unless “Christian, white” countries gave him extra funding, Colonel Gaddafi predicted that Europe would be flooded with illegal immigrants leaving impoverished Africa.

“We should stop this illegal immigration. If we don’t, Europe will become black, it will be overcome by people with different religions, it will change,” he said.

Col Gaddafi has so far received only £42 million in EU funding to improve treatment of refugees heading for Europe amid human rights fears and a recent refusal by Sweden to sell Libya surveillance planes.

The Libyan leader is critical of the EU for linking trade and aid to free markets and progress on human rights. He told EU officials at the summit that African leaders say they are ready to abandon ten years of trade talks because of European demands.

“Africa has other choices,” he said “Let every country and every group govern itself. Every country is free to serve its own interests. Africa can look to any other international bloc such as Latin America, China, India or Russia.”

 

 

 

The Texas Text-twits Are At it Again

Fresh from disappearing minorities, including Thurgood Marshall and Caesar Chavez from textbook - The Texas Textbook Taliban is at it again…

This time trying to disappear one of the world’s major religions… Islam.

Textbooks May Be Too Pro-Islam, Anti-Christian, Texas State Education Board Says

Students in Texas may be getting a glorified view of Islam, according to some state education leaders who are pushing for a resolution that would denounce social studies textbooks as biased against Christianity.

Though the president of conservative-leaning Texas State Board of Educationsupports the measure as promotingreligious equality in schools, faith leaders and activists have condemned the board’s proposal as intolerant and anti-Muslim.

“It’s clearly just an attempt to propagandize the state’s student population against the faith of Islam,” said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Washington D.C.-based Council on Islamic-American Relations. “Somehow they were getting too rosy a picture of Islam.”

The Texas Board of Dis-Education… A group of sanctimonious conservative twits taking child molestation to a whole new level.

California Interfaith Weighs In on Mosque Issue

A lie can run half way round the world before truth can get it’s pants on…

We are now beginning to see the adult voices speak up.

California interfaith leaders to back ground zero Islamic center

A group of 60 interfaith leaders in California will come out Friday in favor of a controversial Islamic center near ground zero in New York City.

“Christian, Jewish, Mormon and Muslim leaders will address the rapidly expanding epidemic of Islamophobia across the nation — from Temecula to Tennessee to New York to Connecticut — which they view as a threat to religious freedom and rights of mosques, churches, and synagogues to exist,” the group said in a statement.

The event will take place at the Islamic Center of Southern California at 9:30 a.m. (12:30 p.m. ET).

The New York Islamic center’s leaders say they plan to build the $100 million, 13-story facility called Park51 two blocks from the site of the 9/11 attacks.

“We Americans, whether Muslim or Christian, whether Jew or Hindu, whether of faith or no faith, were all attacked on 9/11 by terrorists who can only be described as criminals,” the text of the signed statement provided to CNN says. “We oppose the exploitation of the pain and suffering of 9/11 by political opportunists. They only divide our country and undermine the principles of pluralism, religious freedom, and security by fostering hate based on fear.”

Developer Sharif El-Gamal describes the project as an “Islamic community center” that would include a 500-seat performing arts center, a lecture hall, a swimming pool, a gym, a culinary school, a restaurant and a prayer space for Muslims.

Some New Yorkers say an Islamic center two blocks from the site of a terror attack by Islamic extremists that killed more than 2,700 people is a painful affront, and a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released August 11 marked nationwide opposition to the proposed facility at 68 percent.

“The rhetoric against Muslim Americans — namely, that they are a suspect community, or worse, enemies of the state; their religion is uncivilized and anti-American; they are deceitful; and they aim to destroy our culture and our constitution — are replicas of attacks against other religious minorities in the past as well as current attacks against ethnic and racial minorities,” the group says.

Sympathy for the Devil, the Victimization of Bigots at the “Ground Zero” Mosque

How do you tell when the right wing is losing an argument…

They get page time for a really vicious screed in the Wall Street Journal declaring their victim status.

The short version of this is that an Moslem group wishes to build a Mosque on property they own near the site of the WTC. There are a couple of reasons they want to do that -

  1. There was a Mosque there already – prior to 911. Indeed, the reason they own the land in the first place is that there was a Mosque already there – which had to be demolished because the roof was caved in by part of one of the airplanes which hit the towers.
  2. Second, the new building isn’t actually only a Mosque. It’s an Interfaith Center where all are welcome, and Movie Theater which will participate in the Tribeca Film Festival.
  3. By most lists, at least 60 innocent Muslims were killed in the 911 attacks. Muslims, just like Jews and Christians, have a piece of this tragedy as well.

This one really doesn’t add up to more than your typical right wing “ism”. Hatred of everyone, and everything which isn’t white, male, and preferably Protestant quasi-Christian. “Quasi-christian”? Yeah – as much hate as has been directed at black folks, Jewish Folks, and now Hispanic and Muslim folks, sanctified in the very same churches…

It’s got nothing to do with anything in the Bible… Or Torah for that matter.

On with the “Victimization of Bigots!”

Liberal Piety and the Memory of 9/11

Americans may have lacked for much in the course of their history, but never instruction in social values. The question today is whether Americans of any era have ever confronted the bombardment of hectoring and sermonizing now directed at those whose views are deemed insufficiently enlightened—an offense regularly followed by accusations that the offenders have violated the most sacred principles of our democracy.

It doesn’t take a lot to become the target of such a charge. There is no mistaking the beliefs on display in these accusations, most recently in regard to the mosque about to be erected 600 feet from Ground Zero. Which is that without the civilizing dictates of their superiors in government, ordinary Americans are lost to reason and decency. They are the kind of people who—as a recent presidential candidate put it—cling to their guns and their religion.

There is no better exemplar of that faith than New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, though in this he is hardly alone. Compared with the Obama White House, Mr. Bloomberg is a piker in the preachments and zealotry department. Still, no voice brings home more unforgettably the attitudes that speak for today’s enlightened and progressive class.

Immediately after the suspect in the attempted car bombing near Times Square was revealed to be Faisal Shahzad, of Pakistani origin, Mayor Bloomberg addressed the public. In admonishing tones—a Bloomberg trademark invariably suggestive of a school principal who knows exactly what to expect of the incorrigibles it is his unhappy fate to oversee—the mayor delivered a warning. There would be no toleration of “any bias or backlash against Pakistani or Muslim New Yorkers.”

That there has been a conspicuous lack of any such behavior on the part of New Yorkers or Americans elsewhere from the 9/11 attacks to the present seems not to have impressed Mr. Bloomberg. Nor has it caused any moderation in the unvarying note of indignation the mayor brings to these warnings. It’s reasonable to raise a proper caution. It’s quite something else to do it as though addressing a suspect rabble.

It’s hard to know the sort of rabble the mayor had in mind when he told a television interviewer, prior to Shahzad’s identification, that it “could be anything,” someone mentally disturbed, or “somebody with a political agenda who doesn’t like the health-care bill.” Nowhere in the range of colorful possibilities the mayor raised was there any mention of the most likely explanation—another terrorist attempt by a soldier of radical Islam, the one that occurred to virtually every American who had heard the reports.

The citizens were, of course, right. Those leaders bent on dissuading them from their grasp of the probable cause of this near disaster were left with their red herrings hanging—but remembered. Mr. Bloomberg’s “someone who doesn’t like the health-care bill” would be inscribed in the golden book of howlers these events have yielded, along with Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano’s brisk assurance there was no evidence this was anything but “a one-off.”

The notion that it is for the greater good that the people be led to suspect virtually any cause but the one they had the most reason to fear reflects a contempt for the citizenry that’s of longstanding, but never so blatant as today. It is in the interest of higher values, Americans understand—higher, that is, than theirs—that they are now expected to accept official efforts to becloud reality.

Such values were the rationale for the official will to ignore the highly suspicious behavior of Maj. Nidal Hasan, who went on to murder 13 Americans at Fort Hood. A silence maintained despite all his commanders and colleagues knew about his raging hostility to the U.S. military and his strident advocacy on behalf of political Islam.

Those who knew—and they were many—chose silence out of fear of seeming insensitive to a Muslim. As one who had said nothing in the interest of this higher good later explained, Maj. Hasan was, after all, one of the few top-ranking Muslim officers the army had.

In the plan for an Islamic center and mosque some 15 stories high to be built near Ground Zero, the full force of politically correct piety is on display along with the usual unyielding assault on all dissenters. The project has aroused intense opposition from New Yorkers and Americans across the country. It has also elicited remarkable streams of oratory from New York’s political leaders, including Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

“What are we all about if not religious freedom?” a fiery Mr. Cuomo asked early in this drama. Mr. Cuomo, running for governor, has since had less to say…

Tavis Smiley and Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Tavis interviews conservative darling and former member of the Dutch Parliament Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Needless to say, Tavis questions and some of his statements have lit up the conservative and Tea Bagger world, who like their forbears in the American West views of Native Americans – “The only good Muslim is a dead Muslim”.

The transcript below is of the interview picked off a Tea Party site. Tavis’ comments (and questions) which seem to have gotten the conservative dander up are in bold.

SMILEY: When you were last here – I’m here every day – (laughter) when you were last here we were starting to have a conversation about your view of Christianity. We’ll come back to that a little bit later in the conversation because I want to pick up on that conversation. I’ve been waiting for months to continue that dialogue.

Before we do that, though, in this book, the new one, you say unapologetically and rather frankly that your mission here is to inform the West about the danger of Islam. What danger do we need to be made aware of? Continue reading

“Honor” Killings in India – At Last Some Justice

IVillage elders, including Banaras Sharma, 72, right, and Gulab Singh, 60, center, declared the slain couple's relationship incestuous.

Hang "em High! Village Elders Murdered Couple

Fundamentalism, whether Christian, Islamic, or Hindu remains as one of the biggest threats facing modern civilization. It is the root of some of the most brutal conflicts in our history, and is often used to justify genocide. While Islamic Fundamentalism gets most of the press attention due to terrorist atrocities committed under it’s tutelage – Hindu and Christian fundamentalists aren’t far behind.

In India, Village Councils enforce local religious laws. Not surprisingly, the councils are almost always made up of men, and the most severe punishments are almost always meted out to women. Honor killings are also a feature of Islamic fundamentalism.

Historically, whether a man murders his wife by dousing her in gasoline and setting her afire, or the Village Council murdered teenage girls refusing arraigned marriages by burying them alive hasn’t met with criminal punishment from the courts…

5 sentenced to death in honor killing of Indian couple from same clan

But the marriage was short-lived. Village elders declared the relationship incestuous, a violation of ancient Hindu rules of marriage because the two were descendants of a common ancestor who lived thousands of years ago. As the couple tried to flee town, the young woman’s family chased them down and dragged them out of a bus on a busy highway. The groom, Manoj, was strangled, and his bride, Babli, was forced to drink pesticide. Their bodies were dumped in a canal.

“My son did the honorable thing by marrying the girl he loved. But the village council said the boy and girl belong to the same clan and are siblings. They said the couple had brought dishonor,” said Banwala, sitting on her porch kneading dough. “It has been three years, nobody invites us to marriages or funerals, and no shop sells us groceries.” Continue reading

Burka Rage!

Wow! This is much less productive than that annual Filene’s Basement “Running of the Brides” sale  every year that results in a hoedown or two between the ladies (and unfortunately this year several tramplings) -

Veil Ripped off in French ‘Burka Rage’

The first known case of “Burka rage” has erupted in France where a furious female lawyer ripped the veil from a Muslim woman in a clothing store in the town of Trignac. The lawyer made “snide remarks” about the other shopper’s burka and said she couldn’t wait until France enacted a burka ban now winding through the legislature, according to cops. The attorney compared burka-wearers to the fictional French horror demon Belphegor, who haunts the Louvre and wears a black face mask to hide his hideous features. Suddenly, the women were scuffling, and the veil ripped off, reports the Telegraph.

The store owners broke up the pair, and they were hauled in by cops. The Muslim woman has accused the lawyer of racial and religious assault, and the attorney has accused her fighting partner of assault. The veil ban measure before the French legislature declares burkas and other forms of Islamic dress to be “an affront to the nation’s values.” Such a ban has already been enacted in Belgium. Critics say the bill unfairly targets women, who are often ordered to wear the veil by their husbands.

Damn! Ripping off her veil?

After checking out our new Miss USA Rima Fakih, it might just be worthwhile to cop a seat on the beach in the French Riviera…

And wait for a Bikini-Burkini fight!

50,000 Muslims to Pray on Capitol Hill Today

A group called Islam on Capitol Hill has organized a pray-in for the West Front of the Capitol grounds today between 1 and 2 PM. Organizers expect a turnout of 50,000 Muslims to turn out for a prayer for the soul of America.

Muslim Prayer

Muslim Prayer

After the Value Voters summit last week, this should be an improvement.

The event really hasn’t drawn a big reaction from the conservative blogsphere yet, but it probably will draw lots as it is reported, and if the planned numbers turn out.

50,000 Muslims to Pray on Capitol Hill: Guess Who’s Not Happy?

“There is no turning back,” Hassen Abdellah, president of the Dar-ul-Islam mosque in New Jersey and a main organizer of the event, told me on Wednesday.

Abdellah had just met with Capitol Hill police regarding security procedures and with sound technicians who will help broadcast the prayers. The organizers have a permit to gather at the West Front of the Capitol from 4 a.m. to 7 p.m. but the main event will run from 1-2 p.m., the time of the principle Friday prayer service for Muslims.

“When Barack Obama ran for president everyone said that it wasn’t a good time. So what’s the difference?” Abdellah said. (“And no, President Obama is not coming,” he added pointedly. “And he is not a Muslim.”)

Abdellah argued that Muslims would be gathering to pray, not to protest — and that the audience is also beyond the U.S. borders. “We will be there to promote America to the world, to show the world that we (American Muslims) are not oppressed…We think this is a free country and we want to show that.”

Ibrahim Hooper, chief spokesman for the Council on Islamic-American Relations, or CAIR, a leading Muslim advocacy group, said he sees the Friday event as an extension of other Islamic celebrations that have been going on in Washington and elsewhere for years.

“What is significant about this event is that it is being seized upon by a cottage industry of Internet hatemongers who want to disenfranchise the American Muslim community,” said Hooper, who cannot attend the event because he will be traveling. “People shouldn’t stop doing things based on the hatred and bigotry of others. The civil rights movement did not stop moving forward just because racists didn’t like it.”

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