Hypocrisy: June 2002 Archives

June 28, 2002

Witches scare tourists

A top tourism official has decided that the decline in tourism in the Philippines is because of witchcraft, and nothing to do with the Muslim separatist violence on Mindanao and Jolo. Ms Evelyn Pantig, chairman of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts and under-secretary of the Department of Tourism, said that:

the island of Siquijor, considered the 'witchcraft centre' of the country, was becoming notorious internationally, to the detriment of the tourism industry. Proposals had even been made to make the yearly gathering of witches in Siquijor a tourist attraction, but these had been summarily turned down, she said.

Maybe she needs a junket to Salem! Witchcraft blamed for scaring off tourists - Straits Times, June 27th 2002.

June 19, 2002

Don't have sex and don't vote either

The Presbyterian Church of East Africa has strongly opposed the use of condoms in preventing HIV/AIDS because they encourage promiscuity among the faithful. Fortunately, this fatal attitude will be unrepresented in the new Kenyan government as the Moderator of the Church's General Assembly, Rev. Dr. Jesse Kamau, has urged Christians not to participate actively in the forthcoming general election because the involvement of faithful in politics would erode their faith in God and lead to major splits among the fraternity. Presbyterian Church Opposes Condoms in Aids PreventionThe East African Standard (via allAfrica.com), June 19th 2002.

June 14, 2002

God is my investment advisor

In the late 1980s, the Church of England invested heavily in property and lost £800 million. More recently, they've been hit by the slump in the telecommunications sector and have lost £78 million since the start of 2000 on Vodafone shares alone. Church commissioners have recommended the sale of a number of valuable paintings or non-income producing assets as they call them. Treasures may be lost as church loses again in its game of risk - The Guardian, June 14th 2002.

June 11, 2002

Falwell loses case

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has thrown out a complaint from the Rev. Jerry Falwell. The preacher had claimed he had a common-law trademark on his name which was being breached by the parody site www.jerryfalwell.com. WIPO policy is that personal names should only be protected if they are being commercially expolited, and concluded:

The complainant has failed to show that his name, well known as it is, has been used in a trademark sense as a label of particular goods or services. There are many well-known ministers, religious figures and academics. Are their sermons or lectures to be considered commercial goods?

Falwell plans to bring a case in a US court instead. Site poking fun at Falwell allowed to continueAssociated Press, June 7th 2002.

June 6, 2002

Vultures circle Den Haag

The Netherlands: Dutch lawyers have been quick to capitalise on the death of politician Pim Fortuyn. Fortuyn's own lawyers, G. Spong and O. Hammerstein have brought charges against several politicians, journalists and web sites using a law Fortuyn himself opposed strongly. Clause 137d of Dutch criminal law concerns discrimination and hate speech:

Hij die in het openbaar, mondeling of bij geschrift of afbeelding, aanzet tot haat tegen of discriminatie van mensen of gewelddadig optreden tegen persoon of goed van mensen wegens hun ras, hun godsdienst of levensovertuiging, hun geslacht of hun hetero- of homosexuele gerichtheid, wordt gestraft met een gevangenisstraf van ten hoogste een jaar of een geldboete van de derde categorie.

Which means (my translation):

He who in public, verbally or in writing or pictures, incites hate against or discrimination against (lit. 'of') people or violent acts against people or people's property because of their race, their religion or beliefs, their sex or their hetero- or homosexual orientation, will be punished with a prison sentence of up to one year, or a third category fine.

Spong and Hammerstein argue that comparing Fortuyn to Hitler, Mussolini or Haider, or his anti-Islamic statements with anti-semitism, fall foul of this law. Their "aangifte" (lit. 'declaration') includes the offending statements. For example Matty Verkamman, in the Trouw newspaper on December 22nd described Fortuyn as een man met de intelligentie van Hitler en de charme van Heinrich Himmler (a man with the intelligence of Hitler and the charm of Heinrich Himmler)! The Anarchronicon web site is cited as having contained a picture of Fortuyn in Nazi uniform and photos of posters showing Fortuyn with Hitler's cap and moustache.

The lawyers claim they are acting in accordance with Fortuyn's wishes, even though he felt he should be free to describe Islam as backwards, and that Muslims should equally be allowed to malign homosexuality. A court in Rotterdam has already thrown out the charges, but the they've have appealed to a higher court in Den Haag. Meanwhile, the Nederlandse Vereniging van Journalisten (Dutch Union of Journalists) plans a counter-suit.

Stupid lawyer gamesWisse Words, 5th June 2002; NVJ opent tegenaanval over strafklachtHet Parool, 14th May 2002.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Hypocrisy category from June 2002.

Hypocrisy: May 2002 is the previous archive.

Hypocrisy: July 2002 is the next archive.

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