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 Updated: Lamb of gods...

Australian lamb marketing advert offends the easily offended


Link Here 15th September 2017
lamb advert video Australia's Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) will investigate complaints made about an lamb marketing campaign that has angered the easily offended.

Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) launched an amusing advert featuring actors portraying Jesus, Lord Ganesh, L. Ron Hubbard and Buddha.

So far the ASB has received about 30 complaints about the ad. An ASB spokesperson told SBS World News most people who complained about the ad cited discrimination and vilification on the grounds of religion.

MLA Group marketing manager Andrew Howie explained the advert:

Lamb is the meat that brings people together. Our 'You Never Lamb Alone' campaigns have promoted the value of unity and inclusivity. This latest campaign instalment is no different, 

Our intent is never to offend, but rather acknowledge that lamb is a meat consumed by a wide variety of cultures and capture how the world could look if people left their differing views at the door and came to the table with open arms, and minds.

Howie also pointed out Ganesh was sitting across the table from Buddha, another vegetarian. Neither of them are eating meat or drinking wine but they were willing participants at the party which we would hope everyone can come together and celebrate their difference.

Not all deities were represented at the dinner table. To save offending muslims with a depiction of Mohammed, he was conveniently unable to make the dinner party.

Hindu Council of Ausralia spokesperson Balesh Dhankhar said they were very hurt and angry about this ad campaign. The reason being the Hindu community cannot imagine their deity, Lord Ganesh in this case, as eating meat. Dhankhar said most people who follow Hinduism were vegetarians and seeing Lord Ganesh in this manner was very insulting. He said the Hindu community was one of the fastest growing in Australia and seeing the deity depicted in this manner went against the country's values.

Update: India is offended

10th September 2017 See article from bbc.com

high commission of india logoThe High Commission of India in Canberra said it had made a demarche to three Australian government departments. It also urged Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) to withdraw the advertisement because many people considered it offensive and hurting their religious sentiments.

A number of community associations have also registered their protest with government of Australia and Meat and Livestock Australia, the high commission said in a statement.

Update: And of course Rajan Zed

12th September 2017 See article from rajanzed.org

rajan zed website logoEternal whinger Rajan Zed has called for a ban of the Meat & Livestock Australia lamb advert.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that it was highly irresponsible of MLA to continue with this ad despite the clear expression by Hindus that it was very inappropriate and hurt their feelings.

Rajan Zed also urged Australia Advertising Standards Bureau to act urgently on the various complaints received by it regarding this ad.

Besides withdrawing the ad immediately, MLA Board Chair Dr. Michele Allan and Managing Director Richard Norton should resign for apparently working against the interests of the organization by upsetting consumers instead of charming them, and using cheap tactics to attract attention instead of seriously attempting to prevent consumers from reducing their lamb consumption, Rajan Zed indicated.

Zed had sought ban on You Never Lamb Alone video ad, which seemed to make fun of Lord Ganesha. Zed pointed out that Lord Ganesha was highly revered in Hinduism and he was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used in selling lamb meat for mercantile greed. Moreover, linking Lord Ganesha with meat was very disrespectful and highly inappropriate, Zed added.

YouTube logoUpdate: Censored by YouTube

14th September 2017 See  article from thedrum.com

YouTube has removed the You Never Lamb Alone advert by Meat & Livestock Australia in India after requests from the Indian government.

A message on the video now reads for Indian viewers: this content is not on this country domain due to a legal complaint from the government.

Update: Banned in Thailand

15th September 2017 See  article from khaosodenglish.com

Thailand flagFight of Gods is no longer available for purchase from within Thailand on Steam. This item is currently unavailable in your region, notes the entry in Steam's online store.

After the game was released, Buddhist officials in Thailand expressed outrage. Booncherd Kittitharangkoon, the director of a state agency that governs monks and temples, told reporters that the game could damage Buddhism.

Booncherd said he had asked the Culture of Censorship Ministry to send a complaint to Taiwanese game developer Digital Crafter. He warned that Thai authorities could take legal action if some characters were not removed.

A spokesman for British developer, PQube acknowledged that Thailand has formally demanded that the game be removed from sale in their territory.

 

 Update: Culture of religious violence...

Russian minister steps in to try and deter christians from threatening violence against cinemas showing the movie Matilda


Link Here 14th September 2017  full story: Blasphemy in Russia...Offending religious beliefs or desecration of holy objects or symbols
matilda 2017 aleksey uchitelMatilda is a 2017 Russia historical biography by Aleksey Uchitel.
Starring Michalina Olszanska, Lars Eidinger and Luise Wolfram. IMDb

In the twilight of Imperial Russia, prima ballerina Matilda Kshesinskaya becomes the mistress of three Grand Dukes.

Any attempts to exert pressure on cinemas over the screenings of Matilda , a movie describing the love story of last Russian emperor Nicholas II and a ballet dancer, are censorship and lawlessness, Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky said on Wednesday. He told TASS:

Any intentions of 'initiators' on the ground to ban the screenings, any attempts of pressure against private or municipal cinemas are pure lawlessness and censorship, which is directly against the Russian Constitution.

The Culture Ministry allows the screenings at cinemas in line with legal procedures, Medinsky explained. The law strictly describes the grounds for any refusal. There are none of them in case with Matilda. We are guided by the law, not private tastes.

The minister called on Russian law enforcement agencies to ensure the rule of law in the situation with Matilda and curb any pressure on the state and cinema business from activists with their socially dangerous methods of imposing their views.

Violence by orthodox christians has started in anticipation of the film's release on 26th October. A number of activists including MP Natalia Poklonskaya, Crimea's former prosecutor, have launched a campaign against the film calling for its release to be cancelled and claiming that it will insult the feelings of Orthodox believers. On Monday night, two cars were set ablaze outside the office of Uchitel's lawyer, Konstantin Dobrynin, in downtown Moscow. The attorney posted photos of the charred automobiles and notes left at the scene saying Burn for Matilda on his Facebook page.

A group calling itself Christian State, Holy Russia sent nearly a thousand letters with threats to movie theater owners across Russia, urging them to drop the screening of Matilda.

 

 Updated: Holy ass kicking...

Malaysian censors get offended by video game featuring fighting religious deities


Link Here 12th September 2017
fight of godsThe video game distribution website, Steam, has been blocked in Malaysia.

Censors at the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) took offence at a game called, Fight of Gods, and took immediate action by denying citizens access to the Steam store.

Apparently Valve, the company behind the Steam website were given the chance to block the offending game from Malaysia gamers but did not respond quickly enough for the authorities. Malaysians who try to access the store get the message in English and Malay:

This website is not available in Malaysia as it violate(s) the National law(s).

Fight of Gods pits mythological deities, Jesus included, against one another. Promotional material for Fight of Gods reads:

Your prayers have been answered! For the first time ever, gods, holy spirits and mythological characters from around the globe and throughout history will clash in an explosive 2D fighter where the entire world is at stake!

Who will prevail in the ultimate battle of gods? Will Jesus, fresh from ripping himself off the sacrificial cross, smite all his foes with the power of his Punishment Fist?

Can Buddha slap his opponents into submission?

Harness the power of fire, lightning, water, plagues and more as you pit gods and prophets such as Odin, Zeus, Amaterasu, Anubis, Moses and Athena against one another in one of the most unique and outlandish fighters ever created.

The games company debuted a trailer featuring Jesus this week . That caused quite a stir, with mainstream media outlets gleefully reporting Jesus' addition to the game, with his deadpan fight introduction voice-over of I'm back, for the people. Jesus then rips himself off his cross and uses the remaining wood to beat a variety of opponents. Mohamed is notably missing from the line-up of foes.

Fight of Gods publisher PQube has provided a statement:

Fight of Gods is a video game that takes a humorous approach to religion in the same way that other entertainment formats have -- across television, film, books and theatre.

The game is not promoting any religious agenda and is not designed to offend. The description of the game on the digital platforms through which it is distributed provide clear guidance on the nature of the game and its content so that people can freely choose whether or not to play it. We fully respect the choice of those who would not wish to play it.

We are disappointed that such freedom of choice is not given to everyone and in particular that the game has been forcibly removed from sale in Malaysia, although no direct communication has been received by us as to the reasons for this.

Update: Thai Buddhists too

12th September 2017 See  article from nationmultimedia.com

knowing buddha logoManat Chareekote, of the Knowing Buddha Organisation, described his group as a Thai non-profit agency seeking to protect Buddhist symbols from being subjected to disrespect. In a letter to the gaming company, Manat said:

The Buddha image had been wrongfully appropriated in the game. It desperately saddens us to see the image of our respected father used in such a role in the game like this. It really breaks Buddhists' hearts all around the world. How could you and your team hurt and offend others' beliefs?

Religious and historical images were meant to be respected. It was inappropriate to use them for entertainment or commercial purposes.

His organisation caused for the games company to cease selling the game in every country where it was distributed.

Update: And of course Rajan Zed

12th September 2017 See article from rajanzed.org

rajan zed website logoEternal whinger Rajan Zed has censured Fight of Gods video game saying that it trivializes some highly revered religious figures.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that unnecessarily dragging religious figures into battle, who were greatly revered by the adherents of their respective faiths, to sell video game for mercantile greed was very disrespectful, highly inappropriate, insensitive and could be disturbing for some faithful.

Rajan Zed further said that Hindus were for free speech as much as anybody else if not more. ..BUT... faith was something sacred and attempts at belittling it hurt the devotees. Video game makers should be more sensitive while handling faith related subjects, as these games left lasting impact on the minds of highly impressionable children, teens and other young people.

 

 Update: Possessed by censors...

Annabelle 2 is banned in Lebanon over claims that it is offensive to the christian faith


Link Here 23rd August 2017  full story: Banned Films in Lebanon...Beirut Hotel
Poster Annabelle Creation 2017 David F Sandberg Annabelle 2 is a 2017 USA horror mystery thriller by David F Sandberg.
Starring Miranda Otto, Philippa Coulthard and Stephanie Sigman. IMDb

Several years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, soon becoming the target of the dollmaker's possessed creation, Annabelle.

The new horror film Annabelle 2: Creation was scheduled to debut in Lebanon this past weekend but authorities decided to pull the film from theaters because clergy found it offensive to the Christian faith.

According to Lebanese daily Annahar, movie theaters throughout the country were asked to hold off on running the film for further deliberation because Christian leaders took issue with some of its scenes. Cinemacity, however, confirmer that the film was definitely blocked and will in fact not be screened in the country at all.

The movie was reportedly screened for the General Security's Censorship Bureau earlier in the month and then was passed on to the censorship committee. Annahar reported that Catholic Priests Fr. Abdu Abu Kasm and Fr. Athanasius Shahwan were both present at the censorship committee's screening. Father Shahwan had the final word and he demanded that the film be blocked over scenes that are considered offensive to Christian faith.

The specific scenes in question were not mentioned but many believe the objection comes from the fact that nuns are the ones being victimized in the movie's plot.

 

 Update: Russia's relationship czar...

Government film censors clear the movie Matilda for release disappointing the religious leaders calling for a ban


Link Here 19th August 2017  full story: Blasphemy in Russia...Offending religious beliefs or desecration of holy objects or symbols
Poster Matilda 2017 Aleksey Uchitel Matilda is a 2017 Russia historical biography by Aleksey Uchitel.
Starring Michalina Olszanska, Lars Eidinger and Luise Wolfram. IMDb

In the twilight of Imperial Russia, prima ballerina Matilda Kshesinskaya becomes the mistress of three Grand Dukes.

A historical film about the last Russian czar's affair with a ballerina has been cleared for release by film censors at the Russian Culture Ministry. Vyasheslav Telnov, the head of the ministry's film department, said it checked Matilda and found it in full compliance with legal norms.

Matilda, which describes Nicholas II's relationship with Matilda Kshesinskaya has drawn virulent criticism from some Orthodox christians and hard-line nationalists, who see it as blasphemy against the emperor, glorified as a saint by the Russian Orthodox Church. 

Russian lawmaker Natalya Poklonskaya spearheaded the campaign for banning the film. She even asked the Prosecutor General's office to carry out an inquiry into Matilda, which is set to be released on the centennial of the 1917 Bolshevik revolution.

Matilda opponents have gathered signatures against the film, and earlier this month several hundred people gathered to pray outside a Moscow church for the movie to be banned. Ramzan Kadyrov, the Kremlin-backed regional leader of Chechnya has supported the calls for a ban, as have authorities in the neighboring province of Dagestan.

 

  Stony reception...

Statute of Chinese god covered up in Indonesia in response to muslim threats


Link Here 13th August 2017
guan yuAfter Muslims threatened to tear down a 100-ft statue of a Chinese god, authorities in Indonesia's East Java Province moved swiftly to cover it up with an enormous sheet last weekend amid mounting ethnic and religious tensions across the country.

The Islamist campaign against the statue, a depiction of the third-century general Guan Yu, who is worshiped as a god in several Chinese religions, began online and soon spread to the gates of a Chinese Confucian temple in Tuban, near the Java Sea coast, where the figure was erected last month.

On social media, Muslims assailed the statue as an uncivilized affront to Islam and the island's home people, and a mob gathered this week outside the East Java legislature in the city of Surabaya to demand its destruction.

 

  Tip toeing on religious sensitivities...

Orthodox christians in Russia petition to ban the film Matilda


Link Here 12th August 2017
Poster Matilda 2017 Aleksey Uchitel Matilda is a 2017 Russia historical biography by Aleksey Uchitel.
Starring Michalina Olszanska, Lars Eidinger and Luise Wolfram. IMDb

In the twilight of Imperial Russia, prima ballerina Matilda Kshesinskaya becomes the mistress of three Grand Dukes.

Russian Orthodox Christians have protested against the decision to release a film depicting Nicholas II's affair with a teenage ballerina. Wannabe censors of Matilda have started a petition against the film.

Earlier this month, several hundred people gathered to outside a Moscow church, praying for the movie to be banned. Many of the film's critics see it as blasphemy against the emperor, who is still greatly revered by the Russian Orthodox Church.

On Thursday, however, the Russian Culture Ministry finally announced that the film had received official clearance for release. Vyasheslav Telnov, the head of the Russian Culture Ministry's film department, said:

There is no censorship in Russia, and the ministry of culture stays away from any ideological views of beliefs. A feature film can't be banned for political or ideological motives.

Nevertheless, the Russian Orthodox Church still exercises significant pressure in Russia. It has recently played a role in the shutting down of an exhibition displaying nude photos and the cancellation of a performance of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar.

 

 Update: Freely criticised...

The UN Human Rights Committee has told Pakistan to improve human rights and end its blasphemy laws


Link Here 4th August 2017  full story: Blasphemy in Pakistan...Blasphemy laws used for personal vendettas
UN logoThe UN's Human Rights Committee has told Pakistan to end its blasphemy laws and do more to protect religious minorities.

It criticised the Pakistani government's wider record on free expression, including its use of religiously biased content in textbooks and curricula in public schools and madrassas. Defamation is a criminal offence in Pakistan, and there have been legal crackdowns on the media.

It said Pakistan should review its laws relating to freedom of expression and repeal all blasphemy laws or amend them in compliance with the strict requirements of the covenant. Article 19 of Pakistan's constitution gives citizens the right to free expression, but allows for reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of the 'glory of Islam'. Pakistan has also limited free speech for its broadcast media.

The committee asked Pakistan to report within a year to explain how it is implementing its recommendations on freedom of religion, conscience and belief.

 

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