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Aug 20 2007

[Reuters] Mob of 50 attacks Indians in Germany

Published by under Bad Remark,Racism,Reuters

DRESDEN, Germany (Reuters) – A mob shouting racial insults attacked eight Indians at a town fair in east Germany, then chased them and besieged them inside a pizzeria until they were rescued by police, officials said on Monday.

Around 70 police were required to disperse the mob of 50 people, which gathered after revellers shouted abuse and threw bottles at the Indians during the town fair in Muegeln, east of Leipzig, on Saturday night, police said.

“There’s never been an outbreak of violence like this in the town,” a police spokesman said.

All of the Indians, who were traders and asylum seekers, were injured, he said.

Eastern Germany has seen intermittent racist attacks on foreigners since German reunification in 1990.

The far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) entered the regional parliament in the eastern state of Saxony in 2004 with over 9 percent of the vote.

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Mob of 50 attacks Indians in east German town

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May 29 2007

[TamilEditors] Head of the Anglican Church defended his call for the mass slaughter of Tamils in Sri Lanka

 

Labelled as the ‘Archbishop From Hell’ Dr Rowan Williams, yesterday defended his call for the mass slaughter of Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka.

While on a visit to the island, the head of the Anglican Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Williams gave an interview stating that killing of Tamils by the government was ‘inevitable’.

In what many analysts say was open support for the Sri Lankan government’s campaign of genocide against the Tamil community, who incidentally happen to be Hindus or Catholics, Dr Williams said that the killing of people whom the Sinhalese label as ‘terrorists’ is only natural.

The war drum beating by the Archbishop was a slap on the face of peace lovers around the world who were expecting him to preach the message of ‘thou shall not kill’.

Disappointed peace lovers had been constantly writing to the archbishop demanding that he does not abuse his position in the Church of England to promote genocide in failed states.

However, Dr Williams remains adamant that the killing of Tamils must go on.

Archbishop defends war drum beating

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Oct 24 2006

[The News Tribune] Man accused of having relations with dog

Published by under Bad Remark,The News Tribune,US

Prosecutors say a man’s wife caught him having sex with their dog. He might be the first in the state charged under a new animal cruelty law.

KAREN HUCKS; The News Tribune
Published: October 20th, 2006 01:00 AM

A Spanaway man is the first person in Pierce County – and possible the first in the state – charged under a new section of the state’s animal cruelty law that makes bestiality a felony.

Pierce County prosecutors say Michael Patrick McPhail, 26, had sex with his family’s dog Wednesday.

Deputy prosecutor Karen Watson charged the father of two Thursday with one count of first-degree animal cruelty – a crime that could mean up to a year in jail if he’s convicted.

McPhail was arraigned Thursday afternoon in Pierce County Superior Court and a not-guilty plea was entered on his behalf.

Judge Katherine Stolz ordered him held in the Pierce County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail.

Stolz set trial for Dec. 11.

According to a Pierce County Sheriff’s Department report, McPhail’s wife told investigators that she caught her husband on the back porch about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday having intercourse with their 4-year-old female pit bull terrier.

She took photos of the act, the report says.

The bestiality law, which took effect in June, was prompted by a case near Enumclaw in which a man died after having sex with a horse.

Before the law was enacted, Washington was one of 14 states where bestiality had not been explicitly prohibited.

Source:

Man could be charged under cruelty law

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Oct 18 2006

[Guardian Unlimited] “Even other Muslims turn and look at me”

Muslim journalist Zaiba Malik had never worn the niqab. But with everyone from Jack Straw to Tessa Jowell weighing in with their views on the veil, she decided to put one on for the day. She was shocked by how it made her feel – and how strongly strangers reacted to it

Tuesday October 17, 2006
The Guardian


Photograph: PA

‘Idon’t wear the niqab because I don’t think it’s necessary,” says the woman behind the counter in the Islamic dress shop in east London. “We do sell quite a few of them, though.” She shows me how to wear the full veil. I would have thought that one size fits all but it turns out I’m a size 54. I pay my £39 and leave with three pieces of black cloth folded inside a bag.

The next morning I put these three pieces on as I’ve been shown. First the black robe, or jilbab, which zips up at the front. Then the long rectangular hijab that wraps around my head and is secured with safety pins. Finally the niqab, which is a square of synthetic material with adjustable straps, a slit of about five inches for my eyes and a tiny heart-shaped bit of netting, which I assume is to let some air in.

I look at myself in my full-length mirror. I’m horrified. I have disappeared and somebody I don’t recognise is looking back at me. I cannot tell how old she is, how much she weighs, whether she has a kind or a sad face, whether she has long or short hair, whether she has any distinctive facial features at all. I’ve seen this person in black on the television and in newspapers, in the mountains of Afghanistan and the cities of Saudi Arabia, but she doesn’t look right here, in my bedroom in a terraced house in west London. I do what little I can to personalise my appearance. I put on my oversized man’s watch and make sure the bottoms of my jeans are visible. I’m so taken aback by how dissociated I feel from my own reflection that it takes me over an hour to pluck up the courage to leave the house.

I’ve never worn the niqab, the hijab or the jilbab before. Growing up in a Muslim household in Bradford in the 1970s and 80s, my Islamic dress code consisted of a school uniform worn with trousers underneath. At home I wore the salwar kameez, the long tunic and baggy trousers, and a scarf around my shoulders. My parents only instructed me to cover my hair when I was in the presence of the imam, reading the Qur’an, or during the call to prayer. Today I see Muslim girls 10, 20 years younger than me shrouding themselves in fabric. They talk about identity, self-assurance and faith. Am I missing out on something?

On the street it takes just seconds for me to discover that there are different categories of stare. Elderly people stop dead in their tracks and glare; women tend to wait until you have passed and then turn round when they think you can’t see; men just look out of the corners of their eyes. And young children – well, they just stare, point and laugh.

I have coffee with a friend on the high street. She greets my new appearance with laughter and then with honesty. “Even though I can’t see your face, I can tell you’re nervous. I can hear it in your voice and you keep tugging at the veil.”

The reality is, I’m finding it hard to breathe. There is no real inlet for air and I can feel the heat of every breath I exhale, so my face just gets hotter and hotter. The slit for my eyes keeps slipping down to my nose, so I can barely see a thing. Throughout the day I trip up more times than I care to remember. As for peripheral vision, it’s as if I’m stuck in a car buried in black snow. I can’t fathom a way to drink my cappuccino and when I become aware that everybody in the coffee shop is wondering the same thing, I give up and just gaze at it.

At the supermarket a baby no more than two years old takes one look at me and bursts into tears. I move towards him. “It’s OK,” I murmur. “I’m not a monster. I’m a real person.” I show him the only part of me that is visible – my hands – but it’s too late. His mother has whisked him away. I don’t blame her. Every time I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirrored refrigerators, I scare myself. For a ridiculous few moments I stand there practicing a happy and approachable look using just my eyes. But I’m stuck looking aloof and inhospitable, and am not surprised that my day lacks the civilities I normally receive, the hellos, thank-yous and goodbyes.

After a few hours I get used to the gawping and the sniggering, am unsurprised when passengers on a bus prefer to stand up rather than sit next to me. What does surprise me is what happens when I get off the bus. I’ve arranged to meet a friend at the National Portrait Gallery. In the 15-minute walk from the bus stop to the gallery, two things happen. A man in his 30s, who I think might be Dutch, stops in front of me and asks: “Can I see your face?”

“Why do you want to see my face?”

“Because I want to see if you are pretty. Are you pretty?”

Before I can reply, he walks away and shouts: “You fucking tease!”

Then I hear the loud and impatient beeping of a horn. A middle-aged man is leering at me from behind the wheel of a white van. “Watch where you’re going, you stupid Paki!” he screams. This time I’m a bit faster.

“How do you know I’m Pakistani?” I shout. He responds by driving so close that when he yells, “Terrorist!” I can feel his breath on my veil.

Things don’t get much better at the National Portrait Gallery. I suppose I was half expecting the cultured crowd to be too polite to stare. But I might as well be one of the exhibits. As I float from room to room, like some apparition, I ask myself if wearing orthodox garments forces me to adopt more orthodox views. I look at paintings of Queen Anne and Mary II. They are in extravagant ermines and taffetas and their ample bosoms are on display. I look at David Hockney’s famous painting of Celia Birtwell, who is modestly dressed from head to toe. And all I can think is that if all women wore the niqab how sad and strange this place would be. I cannot even bear to look at my own shadow. Vain as it may sound, I miss seeing my own face, my own shape. I miss myself. Yet at the same time I feel completely naked.

The women I have met who have taken to wearing the niqab tell me that it gives them confidence. I find that it saps mine. Nobody has forced me to wear it but I feel like I have oppressed and isolated myself.

Maybe I will feel more comfortable among women who dress in a similar fashion, so over 24 hours I visit various parts of London with a large number of Muslims – Edgware Road (known to some Londoners as “Arab Street”), Whitechapel Road (predominantly Bangladeshi) and Southall (Pakistani and Indian). Not one woman is wearing the niqab. I see many with their hair covered, but I can see their faces. Even in these areas I feel a minority within a minority. Even in these areas other Muslims turn and look at me. I head to the Central Mosque in Regent’s Park. After three failed attempts to hail a black cab, I decide to walk.

A middle-aged American tourist stops me. “Do you mind if I take a photograph of you?” I think for a second. I suppose in strict terms I should say no but she is about the first person who has smiled at me all day, so I oblige. She fires questions at me. “Could I try it on?” No. “Is it uncomfortable?” Yes. “Do you sleep in it?” No. Then she says: “Oh, you must be very, very religious.” I’m not sure how to respond to that, so I just walk away.

At the mosque, hundreds of women sit on the floor surrounded by samosas, onion bhajis, dates and Black Forest gateaux, about to break their fast. I look up and down every line of worshippers. I can’t believe it – I am the only person wearing the niqab. I ask a Scottish convert next to me why this is.

“It is seen as something quite extreme. There is no real reason why you should wear it. Allah gave us faces and we should not hide our faces. We should celebrate our beauty.”

I’m reassured. I think deep down my anxiety about having to wear the niqab, even for a day, was based on guilt – that I am not a true Muslim unless I cover myself from head to toe. But the Qur’an says: “Allah has given you clothes to cover your shameful parts, and garments pleasing to the eye: but the finest of all these is the robe of piety.”

I don’t understand the need to wear something as severe as the niqab, but I respect those who bear this endurance test – the staring, the swearing, the discomfort, the loss of identity. I wear my robes to meet a friend in Notting Hill for dinner that night. “It’s not you really, is it?” she asks.

No, it’s not. I prefer not to wear my religion on my sleeve … or on my face.

Source:

‘Even other Muslims turn and look at me’

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Oct 17 2006

Teledrama “Sudu Kapuru Pethi” is banned in Sri Lanka

Published by under Bad Remark,Politics,Sri Lanka

“I only found out about the ban by watching it on TV,” says Athula Peris, director of Sudu Kapuru Pethi.

“Rupavahini initially asked me to do it, but now some of the episodes have been taken off”.

a scene from Sudu Kapuru Pethi
SLRC says the teledrama is a ‘disgrace’ to security forces

Sudu Kapuru Pethi, which was set upon the ongoing conflict between the Sri Lankan government forces and the Tamil Tigers, was recently banned by the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC).

The SLRC says the teledrama ‘disgraced’ the security forces at a time of war.

“Some parts of this teledrama brings disgrace to these soldiers and their self respect, on the other hand if we were to take episodes off and telecast it that would have been unfair on the audience so we had to discontinue it,” explains head of SLRC Newton Gunarathne.

Consent given

Award winning film director Somarathna Dissanayake’s Avasanda was also banned earlier by the SLRC.

A member of the ‘Manel Mal’ movement, that is organised for the well being of Army soldiers, Dissanayake says banning a teledrama for whatever reason is unacceptable.

Athula Peiris
“I still don’t know the exact reason why they stopped this teledrama”

“They gave their consent to these teledramas as suitable for the audience at first, and now they say they are not suitable. If it was suitable then it has to be suitable now” He said.

The teledrama on Sri Lanka soldiers abusing Tamil women was one of the reasons for the ban according to the director of the SLRC.

“Even though we have heard of soldiers abusing Tamil women in minor scales, the teledrama makes it look like every soldier is in the wrong” Newton Gunerathne told BBC Sandeshaya.

The teledrama was based upon the award winning novel Sudu Kapuru Pethi by Thushari Abesekara.

Abusing Tamil women

The writer says the story does not insult decent soldiers in any form.

“In one episode the character Revathi says that she is pregnant by the people who are there to save the country. I have not insulted the soldiers by this as this is a common issue in Sri Lanka.”

“This is about how women- Sinhalese or Tamil- get abused by men.” The author told bbcsinhala.com.

“If this teledrama can discourage the soldiers how did they win their battles last few weeks? This was broadcasting at the time they were fighting” questions a disappointed Athula Pieris.

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