Love Thy Neighbour: June 2003 Archives

June 26, 2003

Afrikaner Israelism

South Africa: Racist Christian churches are gaining a foothold in South Africa among the more remote white communities. Their theology bears some similarity to British Israelism.

Although far from monolithic, the disparate cults or sects share a common belief that black majority rule is a punishment imposed on the Afrikaner people by God for disobedience, and that one day the white man will be returned to his rightful place as ruler. They see themselves as descendants of lost tribes of Israel, exiled to the region of present-day Iran and Iraq in 700 BC before migrating to Europe to become the white peoples of the world ordained to rule over all races.

But it has a uniquely South African perspective:

[Reverend Willie] Smith, who claims to have 30 congregations numbering about 6,000 worshippers, teaches that God chose whites to rule and forbade them to mix with the other races. But they abandoned God's word, and the ruling African National Congress was sent as a punishment.
We strayed from the teachings of the Bible, he said. Our leaders sold us out. They want us to mix with the other races. But it is not working. The other churches are preaching that you must love all. But we don't want that. We don't want to overthrow the Government. We have to wait for deliverance from the Lord.
We are suffering under this ANC-communist regime. We want blacks, coloureds and the other races to return to their traditions. If we rule, it will be a blessing for all of Africa.

Apartheid Cults On The Rise In South Africa - The Times (via The Statesman), 25th June 2003.

Racist geniuses at work

United States: Two teenagers have been charged after they allegedly beat up a Hindu man they thought was Muslim.

Saurabh Bhalerao, 24, a Hindu from India and a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth was beaten, burned with cigarettes, hogtied, gagged and ultimately stabbed after delivering a pizza to a New Bedford address late Sunday night, Souza said.
The suspects originally intended to rob Bhalerao, but escalated their assault when they thought he was Muslim, then continued to beat him as he tried to explain that he was Hindu, the chief said.
He pleaded with his attackers, Souza said. They were using disparaging remarks ... and telling him he should go back to Iraq.
The suspects put the victim into the trunk of his own car and drove to Fairhaven. During the drive, Bhalerao managed to loosen his ropes. When the vehicle stopped he emerged from the trunk and hit one of his assailants on the chin with a hammer. The assailant then stabbed Bhalerao before fleeing, police said.

Two others could also face charges. Two men face civil rights violations for alleged beating of pizza delivery man -, 25th June 2003.

June 22, 2003

Unclear on the concept

Malaysia: The Israeli government has been behaving really shittily recently, and you want to make some kind of statement about it. You are in a privileged position as you work for the Prime Minister of your country, so what do you do? Do you ask him to throw in his support for international efforts towards brokering a peace deal? Do you suggest he apply whatever pressure he can to persuade the Israeli government to stick with what agreements had been made. Do you do both of the above? If you work for Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia, you distribute anti-semitic literature at your party's annual conference:

Officials of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's party gave out copies of U.S. industrialist Henry Ford's anti-semitic book The International Jew to delegates at their annual assembly on Saturday...
Party workers at the assembly's secretariat handed out free copies of an abridged version of Ford's book, translated into Bahasa Malay and published in Johannesburg.
The book, first published in the 1920s, also contained the Protocols of the Elders of Zion -- originally published in Russia in the early 20th century and used down the decades to peddle theories of an international Jewish conspiracy.

Mahathir's Party Hands Out Anti-Semitic Books - Reuters (via Yahoo! News), 21st June 2003.

June 16, 2003

Gay is the new black

In today's Grauniad, Gary Younge examines the politics of homophobia in the US and how the influence of religious fundamentalists (or 'Christianists', to use a recently-coined term) in the Republican party is keeping them completely out of touch with mainstream opinion.

Moreover, the ramifications of scapegoating lesbians and gays would go way beyond the actual gay voters - who according to the gay advocacy group, the Human Rights Campaign, comprise just 5% of the electorate. A Republican party that is mean to a few is widely regarded as having the potential to be mean to the many. The issue of sexual orientation may not be as explosive a touchstone as race, but a homophobic campaign would attract few new voters and repel many - particularly among moderates, women and the young. The issue of gay marriage is incredibly divisive. Polls show that while most Americans (51%) are against it, more than a third - a large proportion of whom are women - support it.
The response to last weekend's lingering televised kiss between Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, two gay winners of the Tony awards, also suggests political culture is lagging way behind popular culture. I love this man, said Shaiman. We're not allowed to get married in this world ... But I'd like to declare, in front of all these people, I love you and I'd like to live with you the rest of my life. The audience cheered. Of the 8 million viewers there were just 10 phone calls and 68 emails containing negative feedback.

Gay is the new black - The Guardian, 16th June 2003.

June 10, 2003

Today in History

Salem, Massachusetts: The first execution in the Salem Witch Trials took place on 10th June 1692, when Bridget Bishop was hanged. Religion History for Tuesday, June 10, 2003 - Religion News, 10th June 2003.

June 8, 2003

Better toss out Jesus too.

United States: A New York church which rented out space to a synagogue has chucked out its tenants, apparently after threats from a Muslim extremist.

Rabbi Bruce L. Cohen - who was forced to perform a bar mitzvah at his home yesterday after being shut out of Rock Church at 153 E. 62nd St. - said one reason a church official gave him for evicting Congregation Beth-El of Manhattan Messianic Synagogue was because an Arab-looking man had threatened the church to get rid of the Jews - or else.
We think it's morally reprehensible that they said, 'Get rid of the Jews,' and the church just said, 'OK,' Cohen said. It would have been a better example if the Christians had said, 'Over our dead bodies.'

'Terror Threats' put Jews on Street - New York Post, 8th June 2003.

June 4, 2003

Silver lining to anti-terror paranoia

Florida, United States: The airspace over Walt Disney World has recently become a no-fly zone because of terrorism fears, much to the disgust of an extremist Christian group who are going to court to try and get it overturned. Why? They want to be able to fly over the resort in a plane towing a message promoting their homophobic web site during the forthcoming 'Gay Days' - a private event at the theme park. Christian Group Wants Disney's No-Fly Zone Down For Gay Days -, 3rd June 2003 (via Metafilter).

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Love Thy Neighbour category from June 2003.

Love Thy Neighbour: May 2003 is the previous archive.

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