Posts Tagged ‘free speech’

Aisyah Tajuddin – Hudud Isi Periuk Nasi?

April 3, 2015
A video poking fun at an Islamic party went viral in Malaysia - but the journalist who made it is facing threats and a police investigation

A video poking fun at an Islamic party went viral in Malaysia – but the journalist who made it is facing threats and a police investigation

Journalist Aisyah Tajuddin posted a video poking fun at Muslim fundamentalists.

It went viral.

Now she faces the inevitable backlash, rape threats, death threats, and even a police investigation for blasphemy.

She made the video as a response to proposals for implementing ‘hudud’ laws on Muslims in Kelantan, a rural state in the northeast of Malaysia. The laws would prohibit adultery, apostasy, robbery and theft, which would become punishable by public beatings, stoning, amputation and public execution.

The video shows her crossing an imaginary border into Kelantan, whereby a headscarf suddenly appears on her head. She then finds a rock instead of rice in a packet of food, which she throws away, accompanied by the comment: “Oh well, we have hudud, don’t we?”

Aisyah Tajuddin is a journalist with BFM, an independent radio station.

Typical of the threats is one posted on facebook: “Those who insult the laws of Allah, their blood is halal for killing.”

Islamists complain of Islamaphobia. And apologists for fundamentalists bleat in unison. No, the problem is their bastardisation of women.

Campaigner Michelle Yesudas was questioned after confronting police about the case

Campaigner Michelle Yesudas was questioned after confronting police about the case

Aisyah wasn’t the only person to get caught up in the controversy. The issue touched off a row online between lawyer and activist Michelle Yesudas and the country’s top policeman, Inspector General Khalid Abu Bakar.

In a series of messages, Yesudas demanded to know what Khalid would do about the threats against Aisyah. “Because I am positively terrified that these crazy, rape-frenzied people are actually the majority in my country,” she wrote.

Khalid’s response was to pull Yesudas into police headquarters for questioning under Malaysia’s colonial-era Sedition Act.

Martha Payne Human Rights Young Person of the Year

November 19, 2012
Martha Liberty Award

Martha Liberty Award

Too young to watch Sherlock but not too young for a photo at Liberty Awards!

Too young to watch Sherlock but not too young for a photo at Liberty Awards!

Martha Payne wins for standing up for free expression with her NeverSeconds blog-she also raised £100,000 for Mary’s Meals. — Liberty

Martha was awarded the Human Rights Young Person of the Year Award by Rowan Atkinson, or to her, Mr Bean! Martha starstruck on stage. — David Payne, father of Martha

Brilliant Liberty Awards at South Bank Centre Martha Payne NeverSeconds justly carried off award for Human Rights Young Person of the Year. — Diane Abbott MP

I asked Martha why she thought she had won and she said everyone should have won. Can’t argue with that! — David Payne, father of Martha

Shared a few copies of our book with like minded folk and Martha collected some lovely comments in her copy. — David Payne, father of Martha

Inspiring and moving evening at the Liberty Awards 2012. Back on sleeper homeward bound trying to take it all in. — David Payne, father of Martha

This evening, at an award ceremony in London, Martha Payne was awarded by Liberty Human Rights Young Person of the Year for defending free expression when she stood up to her local council after they banned her publishing pictures of school meals on her blog NeverSeconds.

The citation read:

For defending free expression when she stood up to her local council after they banned her publishing pictures of school meals on her blog, NeverSeconds. Reports of the ban caused widespread national and international outcry and, as a result, the council backed down. Since then, her website has been visited by over 6 million people and has raised over £100,000 for Mary’s Meals, a charity which helps feed children in the developing world.

Martha writes a food blog NeverSeconds. Bullyboys at her local council tried to close her down. But with worldwide support, she stood her ground and refused to be intimidated.

NeverSeconds is her and her father David’s account of her blog, how it came to be written, a trip to Malawi to inaugurate a kitchen to feed schoolchildren for which Martha raised over £120,000.

NeverSeconds was published last week. Shame on Waterstone’s who not only do not have NeverSeconds on display, it is not in stock, not on order and when asked, the staff have not a clue what you are talking about.

Pussy Riot members vow to continue protest

September 17, 2012
Free Pussy Riot on Russian Consulate in Manhattan

Free Pussy Riot on Russian Consulate in Manhattan

I want to remind you that the two of them (the jailed band members) have children. Yes, they spoke out against (Russian President Vladimir) Putin … but their goal was to engage civil society. — Mikhail Gorbachev

The weekend saw more mass protests against Vladimir Putin, though not as large as previous protests.

The demand is Free Pussy riot, Free Russia!

Little could Vladimir Putin have realised the outcry that would erupt with the jailing for two years of members of Pussy Riot in what was little more than a show trial. He cannot appear on the international stage without the first questions being put to him being about Pussy Riot.

Within Russia, both Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and former Soviet leader and Nobel prize winner Mikhail Gorbachev have spoken out against the sentence.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday he thought the women should be released and given suspended sentences, saying further jail time would be “unproductive.”

Former Soviet leader and Nobel prize winner Mikhail Gorbachev on Monday criticized the sentences given to the punk rock band Pussy Riot, calling the two-year imprisonment terms handed down to the performers “disproportionate”.

Across the world protests continue, musicians continue to speak out, using the stage as a platform. 1 October 2012 has been declared the Second Pussy Riot Global Day of Action.

Watch out for Pussy Riot balaclavas in prominent places in Milan.

What Putin overlooked is the internet.

Members of Pussy Riot have vowed to continue to protest.

Russia goes through periods of liberalisation, followed by crackdowns. It is currently entering a darker period.

Putin Lights Up the Fires – Pussy Riot

August 18, 2012
Pussy Riot in court

Pussy Riot in court

Pussy Riot latest single edited with images of Pussy Riot and support around the world.

State more time in prison
The more arrests – more happiness
And every arrest – with a love of sexist
After swinging his cheeks, as the chest and abdomen

But we can not be resealed in the box
Security officers overthrew the better and more

Putin ignites the fires of revolution
He was bored and frightened people in the silence
Whatever punishment he had – that rotten ash,
With no time in many years – the subject for wet dreams

Chorus.
The country is, the country goes to the streets with audacity
The country is, the country is going to say goodbye to the regime,
The country is, the country is a wedge of feminist
And Putin is Putin goes, leave cattle

Arrested on May 6 the whole city
7 years we have little, give me 18
The ban yelling, slander, and walk,
Take his wife’s dad Lukashenko

Chorus 2 times

Pussy Riot show trial

August 17, 2012
Pussy Riot show trial punk rock is not a crime

Pussy Riot show trial punk rock is not a crime

We are grateful to those who pray for us. — Pussy Riot’s lead singer, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova

Found guilty and sentenced to two years in prison for singing an anti-Putin song in a Cathedral. In the verdict it is said that the defendants “suffered from mixed personality disorder displayed by their active position in life”.

Foolish maybe, deserving a slap on the wrist, but nothing more, certainly not a Stalin-era show trial and two years in prison.

This is a dark day for Russia, bad for democracy, bad for human rights, bad for freedom of speech, bad for religious tolerance.

Vladimir Putin should be a big enough man to be able to handle a little criticism.

Fundamentalists and bigots in the Russian Orthodox church need to drag themselves out of the Dark Ages and recognise the time of witch hunts, inquisition, branding as heretics and burning at the stake are long gone.

Maybe Vladimir Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church should read their Dostoevsky.

For a theological viewpoint, Giles Fraser, former Canon-Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Punk rock is not a crime. It may be appallingly bad music, but it is not a crime attracting two years in prison.

Lawyers acting for Pussy Riot intend to appeal, and will if necessary take their case to the European Court of Human Rights.

A number of protesters had been arrested outside the court before the sentencing was announced, including ex-world chess champion Garry Kasparov and opposition politician Sergei Udaltsov.

In his first one hundred days in office, Vladimir Putin has managed to turn Russia into a pariah state. First by backing Assad and his slaughter of Syrian people. Second with a Stalin-era show trial of Pussy Riot and two years in prison.

Turkish pianist Fazil Say accused of insulting Islam (via twitter)

June 2, 2012

Turkish composer and international classical and jazz pianist Fazil Say has been charged by a court in Istanbul in Turkey of insulting Islam via a series of messages on twitter.

He is one of several artists facing similar charges. Meanwhile the West is turning a blind eye to a hard-line Islamic government and the creeping Islamisation of what has been a secular society in Turkey.

Fazil Say faces 18 months in prison for ‘publicly insulting religious values that are adopted by a part of the nation’. It is unusual for twitter posts to be the subject of an indictment in Turkey. Some were original messages, others re-tweets.

One re-tweet poked fun at an Islamic vision of the afterlife, likening heaven’s promise of rivers of wine to a tavern and of virgins to a brothel. It referred to a poem by the 11th-century Persian poet Omar Khayyam.

Another tweet joked about a muezzin’s rapid delivery of the call to prayer, asking if he wanted to get away quickly for a drink.

Many intellectuals and writers have faced similar charges in recent years, including Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk, who last year was fined $3,700 for saying in a Swiss newspaper that Turks ‘have killed 30,000 Kurds and 1 million Armenians’, a simple statement of fact which successive Turkish regimes have refused to acknowledge.

Orhan Pamuk was forced to flee Turkey. Attacks on him led to an international outcry.

Turkey is to be commended for sheltering refugees from the brutal Assad regime in Syria, but we should not let this hide human rights abuses within Turkey itself.

Freedom to protest

December 19, 2011
Egyptian army army beats woman

Egyptian army army beats woman

police outside topshop

police outside topshop

Father Nathan Monk removed from Council Chamber for raising free speech

Father Nathan Monk removed from Council Chamber for raising free speech

We have the freedom to protest.

Not it seems if you live in Syria or Egypt.

Not in Syria where thousands have been killed for daring to challenge the corrupt President Assad.

Not in Egypt where a US-backed military junta rules. For three days military and security thugs have been attacking peaceful protesters who are calling for the military junta to be overthrown, rocks have been dropped from buildings, people beaten, live rounds fired.

Egypt: Army thugs attack protesters
A third day of violence in Tahrir Square

Not in England.

People gave their lives in WWII to fight for freedom. That included freedom to protest.

At the weekend UK Uncut targeted tax dodgers Vodafone and Sir Philip Green (owner of Arcadia group which includes Top Shop). At least six people were arrested.

Press release: UK Uncut to shut down high street tax dodgers this Saturday 17th December

One guy who had only just arrived and had managed two minutes of chanting before being bundled away by two Top Shop Security thugs who pinned his arms behind his back, handed him to the police who promptly arrested him and threw him in the cells where he languished for several hours.

Guest post: Why are the police protecting Philip Green? Thoughts from a police cell

If nothing else he has grounds for assault by the two Top Shop security thugs. He can also file a complaint to have their licence to operate in security withdrawn.

People did not lay down their lives so scum bag filthy rich scroungers could rip off the public.

If a single Mum struggling to make ends meet does a few hours in the local pub she is pilloried and called a scrounger.

The camp outside St Paul’s is facing eviction.

Not it seems in the US.

We have seen across the US peaceful demonstrators savagely beaten by the police.

Paramilitary policing and police brutality from Seattle to Occupy Wall Street

Father Nathan Monk tells the Pensacola City Council, “We have the right to redress our government without fear of being arrested,” and gets nearly arrested! He was objecting to the fact people speaking on behalf of the homeless were ejected from the council chamber because it was not liked what they said. He finds he is treated the same way.

Council urges civility, threatens priest with police removal

Free speech!

Top Story OccupyWallStreet (Tuesday 20 December 2011)!