Islam

01
Oct

IKEA and Starbucks Bow Down to Islamic Misogyny

In a misguided effort to placate the misogynistic government of Saudi Arabia, IKEA bent over backward and kissed ass by taking the morally bankrupt step of erasing all women from the Saudi edition of their catalog. By erase, I mean the same catalog pages now have the women photoshopped out (see the image below for a sample). Saudi Arabia, that bastion of human rights, is a strange land where men apparently can't keep their penises in their pants if they even see an inch of female flesh. To that end, they encase their women in black bags leaving a small slit for the eyes. After all, the women still need to do all that woman work and if you can't see, you can't sweep the floor. Since the women in the IKEA catalog wore more civilized dress, they couldn't be allowed to remain, so out came the magic eraser.

IKEA has been rightly reamed in the media for this and they deserve every piece of bad press they get for this. They now say they 'regret' their callous move, but will they show moral fortitude and allow their standard catalog images to appear in the Saudi Arabian edition? Are they willing to face down the repressive Islamic regime in the name of human decency? And if Saudi Arabia claims it hurts their religious feelings, will IKEA take that regret to the bank and close its Saudi stores? Time will tell just how much regret they are willing to show. I remember back when IKEA was Swedish for "common sense", not "who cares about women anyhow".

Meanwhile, over in the coffee aisle, Starbucks is busy caring about the environment, but women are apparently not part of the environment. When I posted my dismay about IKEA earlier today, a friend pointed out that Starbucks is also big on kissing Saudi fanny. They too have erased women from their corporate image when it comes to placating the sexuallly repressive misogynystic male population. It seems that the mermaid logo still shows too much female flesh, so Starbucks also chose to erase half the population, if only symbolically. Their famous logo, featuring the two-tailed mermaid, was changed for the Saudi market to show only a stylized crown over waves; see the image below left for the current Starbucks logo with the Saudi version to the right.

     

All this while the United Nations General Assembly pushes for an international law that would make blasphemy a crime, and imposing a worldwide ban on insulting or criticizing religious beliefs or customs. This should scare the hell out of you because a law like that can only be used to opress and silence opposition to even more heinous crimes. It means you and I will no longer to criticize and ridicule criminal states like Saudi Arabia for their catalog of human rights abuses if they explain that it's part of their religious culture. It also means that we'll have to accept that companies like IKEA and Starbucks are just showing respect instead of displaying a love of money that supercedes any moral compass. 

The justification pushing this blasphemy law comes from outraged Islamists who figure that destroying property and murdering people is a fair balanced response to some idiot making an atrociously bad film about the prophet Mahummad. 

This is why we need to crush any attempts to institute blasphemy laws.  We, as evolved, civilized human beings, must not shy away from speaking out when religion trumps human rights. At these times, blasphemy, heresy, and ridicule are some of our best weapons. 

30
Sep

Innocence of Buddhists

Cox Bazar image from Reuters story linked here.It's not just American based Coptic Christian filmmakers (a generous term for the brains behind the incendiary "Innocence of Muslims") who seem to be doing their best to offend Islam. Now it's the Buddhists. It seems that a Buddhist, acting on behalf of all Buddhists, just as Nakoula Basseley was no doubt acting on behalf of all Americans and anyone who even remotely likes Americans, posted something on his Facebook page that was apparently blasphemous or offensive to Islam. Militant Muslims, offended as they often are, went after Buddhist temples and homes in Bangladesh, burning them to the ground and beathing up the Buddhists who had the audacity to hang around. 

Wait . . . Buddhists? Who attacks Buddhists?

Sure, they can be annoying, with their pesky smug Vegan superiority, always pushing their beliefs on me and trying to get me to eat less red meat. And yes, I get pissed off when they picket my local Montana's or Keg restaurant as I try to enjoy my medium-rare tenderloin. More than once I've gotten angry reading a "Cow Killer!" plackard as I try to chow down on bacon-wrapped goodness, but I would never attack them. 

Oh wait, maybe those weren't Buddhists. Now that I think about it, they might have been members of PETA.

But it doesn't matter. My point, whatever it might have been, stands.

Buddhists are always going out of their way to annoy and offend other people's faiths. They even go after people of no faith as the following quote illustrates. When the Dalai Lama gets on his high horse about Buddhism changing if science uncovers something that conflicts with Buddhism, he gets downright annoying. 

So you can understand why Muslims are going after Buddhists now, right?

Me neither.

If one religion can claim the mantle, "Religion of Peace", it's probably the Buddhists. The Richard Gere version anyhow. Who knows? Maybe that's what makes these guys so offensive.

17
Sep

Islam's Anger Is Islam's Shame

When all Hell broke loose in Benghazi, Libya, last week, the first casulty was U.S. Ambassador, Christopher Stevens, who lost his life when protesters stormed the United States embassy. The violence has spread nearly two dozen countries. At least four people are dead, many more injured, as American embassies in Lybia, Egypt, with protesters chanting "Death to America". The reason for this spate of violence? A movie trailer on YouTube called, "Innocense of Muslims".

The first thing you notice about this film is that it's really, really bad, with production values that the average 8th grader could easily match. Anti-islam and anti-Mohammad message aside, the 14 miinute film looks like it's meant to be sort of like an Islamic "Life of Brian" spoof. Unfortunately, some members of the "Religion of Peace" apparently don't have a sense of humour.It's frankly incredible that a short film clip featuring Muhammad is cited as the spark that launched the latest wave of Islamic violence.  Think of it as the Mohammad Cartoon, version 2.0.

The link below contains the  clip which you can watch on YouTube. As I write this, the video (as seen on YouTube below) has 3.8 million views with 3/4 of the votes being 'dislikes.  Have I mentioned the production values are dreadful? Let's not mince words; this film, if you can call it that, is a piece of crap.

20
Aug

Canadian Muslims Oppose Ground Zero Mosque

Unless you have been off-planet recently, you know that there are plans afoot to build a mosque in New York City, two blocks from Ground Zero. This would be no simple place of prayer but a $100 million, 13 storey structure that would be nothing short of impressive. Many Americans have, understandably, voiced their outrage. Much of it is reasoned if emotional in nature, but there are also predictable rants coming from the hard right and, of course, FOX News. Other Americans, meanwhile, have voiced tolerance and even support. U.S.

19
Aug

Avril Lavigne is too sexy . . . for Malaysia

Commenting on this story in the Globe and Mail, I feel like it's just too easy to make fun of some people. You know, fish-in-a-barrel easy. Apparently, the Canadian pop superstar was to perform in a concert in Malaysia later this month, but the concert was canceled amid complaints. What kind of complaints? Well, it seems that Avril Lavigne is just too darn sexy for Malaysia. Say what? Could these people, the ones complaining, possibly even remotely be Islamic Fundamentalists? Let's check the Globe for clues.

The Arts, Culture and Heritage Ministry said it had decided not to permit Lavigne's planned Aug. 29 performance because it is unsuitable for Malaysian culture. The decision came after complaints by the youth wing of a fundamentalist opposition party, the Pan-Malaysian Islamic party.

Odd, how fundamentalists are never any fun. In the end, you must judge for yourself.

Decide for yourself. Maybe they're right. Maybe Avril Lavigne is just too sexy . . . for Malaysia.

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