Don’t send me back to Iran

Having managed to recently finish reading the graphic novel Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (I’m not a fan of graphic novels, I must confess), I became quite fascinated with the rich history of Iran, previously known as Persia. At its peak, the Persian Empire first under Cyrus the Elder and then Darius the Great, was the largest empire in history.

Having survived invasions by the Greeks, Arabs, Turks and Mongols in its 6000-year history, it could have still been a great country, after having lost Empire status. But it all came apart in 1979 with the Iranian Revolution when it became an Islamic Republic. The events leading up to and after is described quite poignantly from a personal perspective by Satrapi in Persepolis, which incidentally was made into a film which I  enjoyed more than the novel.

persepoliscity

Persepolis (Wikimedia Commons)

If it had survived, the City of Persepolis which was built by Darius the Great, could easily have been one of the Seven Wonders of the World, displacing one of the incumbents. Who would not want to live in a country hosting such a great city?

Extract: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Extract: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Far too many people it would seem. Marjane herself was coerced into leaving by her parents while still quite young, after having witnessed and being subjected to the horrors of war with Iraq and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism after the Iranian Revolution. While she did return briefly after a few years studying in Europe, she eventually left permanently for France.

And another…

Ramin Forghani is an Iranian who has been studying for the last two years for his Masters Degree in Environmental Engineering in Glasgow, Scotland. While there he founded the Iranian Atheists Association, became the vice chairman of the Scottish Secular Society, and is the chairman of Ex-Muslims Scotland. Yes, another magnificent apostate!

Extract: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Extract: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Ramin is appealing his rejection by the Court of Session for asylum. He feels, quite justifiably that his life is at risk if he is returned to Iran. He cites the case of Soheil Arabi who was sentenced to death for the grossly unjust law of blasphemy in Iran. And just last month the BBC reported that six Iranians were sentenced to a year in prison and 91 lashes for (wait for it!) dancing with the opposite sex who were not wearing headscarves, to Pharrell Williams’ song Happy.

WTF!

I’m no fan of pop music and listening to Pharrell Williams should be punishable. Six lashes would have been quite adequate (just kidding), but unless you’re gay, who the fuck do you dance with? And this bullshit about mandated scarf wearing is just plain outrageous. Modern Iran is definitely not a place to be.

I sincerely wish that the powers that be, grant Ramin Forghani his wish to remain in Scotland. Seriously, bigoted Iran does not deserve such an outstanding citizen.

Fuck all prophets

rights

I remember writing something about the conviction and imprisonment of a Pakistani women around two years ago for blasphemy. This disgraceful act of discrimination is not only utterly ridiculous, but is a crime in itself, perpetrated by religious bigots.

Asia Bibi’s appeal against the death sentence has been rejected by the Lahore High Court. You can bet any number of stinking prophets, that the Pakistani judicial system is clearly not impartial, but influenced by the insane ideology of the clerical overlords.

This is an outrage and must be condemned by every rational, thinking person in the world. Pakistan is not the sole violator of human rights in the religious domain; there are many other countries most notably in the Middle East and Africa which also amazingly still treat religious beliefs with more deference than they do human rights.

This just has to stop, and all the Peoples of the world need to do more to bring down the hegemony of religious fundamentalists, and the clergy.

Ideas do not have rights, only people do. Thus religious beliefs do not deserve special consideration; absolutely no ideology does. Blasphemy is therefore the invention of some cowardly bastard, hell-bent on protecting and defending the indefensible.

Photo Credit: The Skeptics Guide To The Universe.

Are we in the Twilight Zone?

Earlier this week a guy in Greece was arrested and charged with blasphemy for lampooning on his Facebook page, a dead cleric who belonged to the Greek Orthodox Church.

The details of his act are unimportant, but the response to it is. It is patently absurd that there are still laws governing the archaic concept of blasphemy, and that it is actually punishable under so-called civilized penal codes around the world.

Meanwhile in Pakistan

In the same week a Christian teenager from Islamabad who was accused of blasphemy, was reported to have had her case referred to a Juvenile Court. She is accused of tearing pages out of a “holy book.” Had the case not been transferred to the lower court, she was under threat of being executed, under strict Pakistani law.

There are several disturbing aspects to this case, apart from the absurdity of blasphemy laws. The girl was apparently mentally challenged and a minor to boot. One of her main accusers, a Muslim cleric was found by the police to have planted the evidence (torn pages from a holy book) on her person and has yet to be dealt with properly. But still the minor girl’s prosecution continues, albeit in a Juvenile court.

We really need to ask ourselves why a so-called holy book should be regarded with more deference than the life of a human being. Have we reached the height of civilization and are we on the downward spiral? Or are we in the fabled twilight zone? Think that’s too extreme? Hang around for a bit…

The results of poor film-making

Protests around the world are still continuing over the making of a film by a few Americans that is deemed to be insulting to Islam’s prophet, Muhammad. The protests in certain parts of the world have resulted in the deaths of dozens of innocent people. I could provide the link here to an excerpt of the film posted on YouTube but it’s really not worth wasting time over. It’s a sloppy piece of drama, and is not really important. What is important is the reactions to it, which are irrational, and absurd in the extreme.

Can you really imagine an all-powerful deity (were he or she to exist off course) who would be so pitifully impotent as to rely on puny humans to protect his or her dignity? You do? Why are you worshipping such an abomination?

Apart from the often violent protests, people have tried to engage in (reasonably) peaceful debate over the whole incident, but once again, it only managed to degenerate into pathetic calls for censorship and special protections to be applied to religions. Take this guy for example who wrote a blog not only appealing for the censorship of blasphemy, but tried to disingenuously condone the violence that such blasphemy provokes with consummate ease.

Still think the world is normal?

Dancing in Afghanistan deadly too

Towards the end of last month, the Taliban in Afghanistan (yeah, unfortunately  these retarded troglodytes still pollute the earth) beheaded 15 men and two women for the “crime” of dancing together at a party. Shock! Horror! Men and women together… at a party? What were they thinking?

You may be thinking that this is a quaint custom peculiar to Afghanistan only, and we should overlook this isolated incident? No, no no. Religions the world over condemn men and women to death, sometimes for acts that are far less innocuous.

And lest you be thinking that I have singled out Islam for special attention, that was not my intention. It’s just coincidental that this religion is involved in a high number of unsavory acts which are grabbing the attention of the world at this moment in time. I am quite convinced that religiots of other persuasions are quietly getting on with the job of damning mankind all over the world. And it’s not a good thing when it’s hidden from scrutiny.

And so we come to the evil twin

Enough about religion. Let’s not forget about the antics of politicians, and their brand of politics that make one wonder if the world has gone crazy. Politics is the evil twin of religion. Don’t believe me?

I could bore you with acts of political incongruity around the world right now, but I think you could easily think of many – the killings in Syria by Assad’s regime, conflicts all over Africa, despots who still rule with impunity, the farcical election politics in the USA between the Democrats and the Republicans. There is much civil unrest at various locations in the world right now, all motivated by some form of politics.

But, I want to look closer to home, to South Africa.

The ruling party here is at war with itself. Factionalism and greed is tearing a once honourable organization apart. The ANC has succumbed to the same despicable acts which they once fought against. I suppose it was inevitable.

Julius Malema a former youth leader expelled from the ANC, is fighting corruption charges, including tax evasion. He still enjoys the support of a fairly large number of people, politicians included, some of whom dance and sing outside the courtroom, and hold night vigils for him. Is it normal for civilized people to support unquestioningly, a person of such character?

But here’s an even bigger absurdity. The President, Jacob Zuma, a semi-literate, scandal-plagued, patriarchal degenerate, is honoured by the United Nations by being appointed to their Education Panel. This honour could not have gone to a more undeserving person. In a country where the education system is barely functional, mostly due to the mal-administration of the Ministry by a woman personally appointed by Zuma, is a grievous insult to the many schoolchildren who have been affected so severely.

So, I hope you’ll forgive me for thinking that we’ve either crossed over into the Twilight Zone, or are slipping down the slope of de-civilisation.

Blasphemous? Hell no! Desperate? Good heavens yes!

This is a repost of a blog I wrote on another forum. I thought it would be of interest here as well:

There was much consternation this weekend over President Jacob Zuma’s moronic utterance while campaigning for the upcoming election, that a vote for the ANC will get one into heaven.

While many people, including Church leaders saw this statement as blasphemous, others were perturbed that a politician, especially one who wields the ultimate power could so callously drag religion into politics when the constitution clearly demands a separation of Church and State.

Catch the rest here.