Love Thy Neighbour: September 2004 Archives

September 28, 2004

Fist Fight in Jerusalem, Priests vs Monks

Israel: This morning I woke up to an amusing story at the tail end of the news, the place where they dump the saccharine and strange. It seems there's been a punch-up in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Roman Catholic and Orthodox clerics have exchanged blows inside Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre, one of Christianity's holiest sites.

The punch-up began after Greek and Russian Orthodox believers took offence at a door left open by members of the Franciscan order during a service.

At least five people were injured in the fracas — including Israeli police officers called in to quell it.

The church is shared jealously by six rival Christian sects.

This moronity has been going on for centuries. It was so bad back in the 12th century that Saladin handed the guardianship of the key to the only entrance to the church over to two Muslim families in 1178 in an attempt to stop the six Christian sects squabbling with each other. It seems some things never change.

Jerusalem clerics in punch-up rowBBC, 27th September 2004.

September 27, 2004

Dutch MP threatened by religious loons.

The Netherlands: A Somali-born Dutch Liberal member of parliament has seen a controversial film she wrote aired on national television at prime time. Submission confronts the sensitive issue of violence against women:

Hirsi Ali, 34, who grew up as a Muslim but has abandoned her faith, said her purpose was not to give offense but to draw attention to what she contends is widespread but hidden violence against Muslim women, even those living in Europe.

She turned to the power of images, she said, to focus attention on abuse, incest, forced marriages and the suicides of young immigrant women. Despite her writing and speaking on the subject for several years, she felt the subject has remained a public taboo. Muslims deny it, she said, and many Dutch are afraid of taking it on, of causing religious tension, of being called racists.

She has received death threats as a result and one man has already been arrested and charged for sending threats. She moved to a safehouse after her private address was published on an Islamic website. She alleges that police are trying to cover up the level of violence faced by Dutch Muslim women, for fear they will offend the perpetrators.

She already has two round-the-clock government bodyguards, and she says she intends to continue her campaign. She recently spoke before Parliament and demanded that the interior minister order the police to review their definition of murder in cases involving young women. She contends that every year at least a dozen young Muslim girls in the Netherlands are the victims of revenge killings by brothers, fathers or relatives. The police record them as family conflicts, she said.

Police say they want to avoid stigmatizing a group, Hirsi Ali said. I say, we have to know the truth.

Ex-Muslim turns her lens on a taboo - International Herald Tribune, 27th September 2004.

September 25, 2004

Prosecutor lies in court.

United States: A Wiccan man facing trial for murder has been denied bail after a prosecutor claimed that his religion is to blame, apparently confusing Wicca with some of the more loony Christian cults:

Prosecutors at Legette's bond hearing said Legette is a Wiccan and that Wiccans don't believe the government can dispense justice.

Back in the real world, the charges stem from what looks like a tediously traditional argument over a woman, athough one wonders whether the rest of the prosecutors' case will be fantasy as well.

Richland prosecutors claim Wiccan beliefs led to murder - WIStv, 25th September 2004.

September 22, 2004

Off with his head!

Philippines: Someone is chopping the heads and hands off religious statues in the churches of Negros Occidental, and for once, Satanists aren't the main suspects - they're third. Even hacked off bits of statues have value in the antiques trade, and priests suspect that increasing poverty means that people do not respect the statues as much as they did. But there are also a mystical explanation:

The thefts of church relics and images bolstered speculations that they are being used as amulets.
[Bishop Vicente] Navarra, however, insisted these objects do not have magic powers and their purpose is only to arouse devotion and increase the faith of the people.

And where would a story like this be without Satanists, even if they are not named as such?

Asked if the series of robberies on religious images may have been perpetrated by members of a religious cult, [Father Abenir] Pineda said he believes that it was done by a syndicate.
Negrense psychic Willy Tortosa, also a councilor of Cauayan town, claimed that the theft of the hands and heads of statues signal bad omen.
Tortosa said, People on the dark side usually hold rituals in months from July to September, in order to have access to, or to communicate with the evil side of the world.
He added that the collective prayers of devotees to the patron saints may provide more strength to the power seeker.

3rd 'beheading' of religious images alerts Negros priests - ABS-CBN News, 21st September 2004.

September 17, 2004

Spam just in

Sometimes the spam filter doesn't work. Take this message, for example, which just arrived. I feel the need to share before introducing the spam filter to this particular variety of luncheon meat:

Subject: Jewish Sucks --kill them --peace --alc
From: info-jewishsucks-48309uq@<Obviously spoofed address, as the domain appears to be the Israeli tourist board>
Date: 04:26
To: <Prattle Towers>
Hey afmrq, Israeli's Trying to Control USA in next 12 Years so guys beware now before its too late.
fhrbsruoajzzhatxqzpxozenvcosvgsdrkskvzmopxwwtyciquwomuinrkswybfsjmedlrvtbnytyefopgjavmamzvwncjp qmznrl

And that's it. No dodgy attachment, no link to anti-semitic site.

September 2, 2004

Designing space the Satan way

United States: An arsonist faces prison after admitting starting a warehouse fire. Jerry Walburn has several previous convictions for similar offences. These, he claimed, the Devil made him do, having got in touch through a ouija board.

Another prison term for another fireNewsday, 2nd September 2004.

September 1, 2004

Stunning display of logic

United States: Local detectives in Knox, Indiana, know why two teenage girls were killed by a train - it's because they had an interest in Wicca.

Sims said that materials found in one of the girls' backpacks have led police to believe that the deaths were suicide.
Knox Community Schools Assistant Superintendent Steve Sailor said Monday evening, The girls did take their own lives, and it appears that some of the decision-making involved wicca and, to some degree, witchcraft.

But clearly they weren't very Wiccan, otherwise why would the local Catholic priest be willing to perfom a funeral mass for one of them?

Deaths of 2 teens believed suicides - Post-Tribune, 31st August 2004.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Love Thy Neighbour category from September 2004.

Love Thy Neighbour: August 2004 is the previous archive.

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