Why this Blog?

A place where I can lament the changing times; for eccentric comments on current affairs and for unfashionable views, expressed I hope, in cogent style; also occasional cris de coeur largely concerned, I regret to say, with myself.


I welcome your comments, so do please write. Please note however that all comments are moderated prior to publication. Whilst I fully appreciate that life can be frustrating, nevertheless, abuse, SMS language and illiteracy will not be tolerated!

Sunday 16 November 2008

Strictly Come Dancing? I think Not

Alternative title:

I hate once again to give you a rant, but once again here it is! It is about those wonderful, progressive, humanitarian peoples, full of the milk of human kindness, tolerance and generosity, guided (so they say) by their holy book.

My alternative title is inspired by the fact that this piece is based on three recent news items, as usual taken from the International Herald Tribune.

The first item, splendidly illustrating how holy men can provide comfort and support for populations in struggling countries, comes from Somalia. There, 32 people, 25 women and 7 men foolishly decided to take part in a traditional dance. In consequence, they were all whipped.

"We arrested 25 women and seven men who were dancing near Balad (town). We released them after whipping them. We warned them many times, but they wouldn't listen," he told Reuters.

"The dancing of men and women together is illegal and totally against Islam. We neither killed them nor injured them, but only whipped them according to the Islamic law."

Thus spake one Sheikh Adow, a fine example of Islamic fundamentalism. A bullet in the back of the Sheikh's head would, I think, improve conditions in that locality. What a miserable example he is! "We neither killed nor injured them, but only whipped them..." Arsehole.

By an amusing coincidence, the second story concerns dancing too. Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, is apparently Vice-President of Iran and he is in big trouble. Mr Mashaie is responsible for Culture and Tourism and presumably in connnexion with his official role, attended a ceremony in which women in traditional dress carried a copy of the Koran (the Islamic bible if you didn't know) accompanied by music. This has been described as a "dance" and is viewed as being very naughty indeed. There are calls for the Vice-President's resignation. Sounds very moderate to me; perhaps they'll not injure him - just give him a little whipping? Next time perhaps the women will carry a copy of the Satanic Verses or Plato's Republic - or even Tom Jones (!) instead.

Finally my third item shows real courage which I can only boggle at. I should say that I am well aware that sitting here in the West at my keyboard, it is easy to be "brave"; the story of Shamsia in Afghanistan puts all of us bloggers to shame.

Shamsia, a 17-year-old schoolgirl at Kandahar, was in a group of girls who were attacked by some of those fearless servants of Allah and Mohammed. No doubt inspired by the Koran, they ripped off the girls' headscarves and threw acid into their faces. Shamsia is made of stern stuff; covered in ointment and with one eye damaged she said:

"I'll continue going to lessons. I'm studying to be able to build our country."

In Afghanistan where the appalling Taliban who were most likely responsible for this fine holy act, hold sway over much of the country, Shamsia has great courage to speak out thus. I wish her every success.

Until the next time.

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