Tag Archives: ban
Turkey’s Directorate General for Religious Affairs issues fatwa against tattoos
‘In Islam, drawing attention [to oneself] and changing the properties and form given by birth is considered to be altering creation, and is therefore banned,’ the Directorate General for Religious Affairs has said regarding tattoos. AFP photo
The Directorate General for Religious Affairs (Diyanet) has issued a fatwa stating that tattoos are not in accordance with Islam.
“The same way that they are harmful for health, they are prohibited by religion,” the body’s High Committee of Religious Affairs said on Nov. 2, in response to a question over whether tattoos were permissible.
“In Islam, drawing attention [to oneself] and changing the properties and form given by birth is considered to be altering creation, and is therefore banned,” the Diyanet said, adding that the practice dated back to the pre-Islamic “age of ignorance.”
The statement also mentioned that the Prophet Muhammad said that those who changed how they were created were distancing themselves from God’s mercy and grace.
“Therefore, getting tattoos is not permissible,” it concluded.
Long hair in men acceptable, earrings not so much
The Diyanet also clarified that Islam disapproved of earrings and other such piece of jewelry in men.
“Muslim man should keep away from using jewelry that is proper for women, because our Prophet ordered: Men who try to resemble women and women who try to resemble men stand apart from God’s mercy and grace,” the statement said, adding that this would be considered “mekruh,” in other words “almost illicit.”
However, the statement said that long hair on men and styling hair in any kind of way is not considered illicit, so long as the hair is kept clean.
Damian Thompson – The Telegraph
October 18th, 2013
The Church of Scientology is furious. France’s judges have upheld its conviction for “organised fraud”, which includes charging followers thousands of euros for an “electrometer” to measure mental energy. “A heresy trial!” yells the Church, promising to fight this “affront to religious liberty” in the European Court of Human Rights.
I’m trying to think of the last time the Scientologists were this angry. Probably in 2005, when South Park aired an episode in which Stan joins the outfit and learns that 75 million years ago an evil intergalactic emperor called Xenu “rounded up countless aliens from different planets, froze them… and dumped them into the volcanoes of Hawaii”. The wickedly funny animation carried the caption: “This is what Scientologists actually believe.” Which was true.
Scientology became a laughing stock: a cartoon had accomplished more in 25 minutes than anti-cult campaigners had in decades. And now France labels it “organised fraud”. If you were to attach any of the Church’s leaders to an E-meter – an electronic device that checks “spiritual impediments” – I reckon the needle would be flickering wildly.
You’re probably thinking: well, cry me a river. They don’t like it up ’em. It’s hard to feel sorry for followers of L Ron Hubbard, particularly now that any search engine can uncover terrifying allegations against rogue Scientologists.
But – and I’m saying this through gritted teeth – the Church has a point. Not necessarily about this particular French case, but about a general threat to religious liberty in Europe.
The French government regards Scientology as a “cult” rather than a “religion”. That may seem like a statement of the obvious – but as soon as you start to nail down the differences between cults, sects and religions you run into trouble.
The EU says it guarantees religious freedom. But here’s the crucial thing: in some countries that applies only to groups that governments register as a religion. Generally speaking, the further east and south you go, the more arbitrary the cult/sect/religion definition. If you’re a registered Baptist in Russia, then you’re fine; if you’re unregistered, you could be breaking the law by hosting prayers in your house.
I once went to a conference in Saxony at which a government minister lectured us on the difference between real and fake religions. “Lack of sense of humour” was a clue to fakery, he told us – a tricky rule of thumb to employ in Germany, I would have thought.
This isn’t to deny the existence of cults and cult-like behaviour: we’re perfectly entitled to apply the word to religious bullying. But “cult” isn’t a scientific term, any more than “church” is. You can find creepy sectarian movements in suburban parishes, inner-city mosques and internet start-ups. Britain’s most impartial cult-monitoring body, Inform at the LSE, receives troubling inquiries from the families of newly converted Christians.
Inform takes the line that all religious groups need to obey the same laws as civil bodies. That’s a sensible approach, rooted in English and American concepts of freedom.
The danger is that we’re moving towards a European model in which faith needs to be rubber-stamped by civil servants and a “cult” is any religious group the government dislikes.
We may smile at the fury of the Scientologists, in their comic-opera uniforms, at the leaking of the story of Xenu. But it’s worth remembering, next time you visit a country church, that it wouldn’t be there if genuine evil emperors hadn’t failed to crush a supposedly dangerous cult founded by Jesus of Nazareth.
Dear Prime Minister, M Rogge, Lord Coe and Members of the International Olympic Committee,
I write in the earnest hope that all those with a love of sport and the Olympic spirit will consider the stain on the Five Rings that occurred when the 1936 Berlin Olympics proceeded under the exultant aegis of a tyrant who had passed into law, two years earlier, an act which singled out for special persecution a minority whose only crime was the accident of their birth. In his case he banned Jews from academic tenure or public office, he made sure that the police turned a blind eye to any beatings, thefts or humiliations afflicted on them, he burned and banned books written by them. He claimed they “polluted” the purity and tradition of what it was to be German, that they were a threat to the state, to the children and the future of the Reich. He blamed them simultaneously for the mutually exclusive crimes of Communism and for the controlling of international capital and banks. He blamed them for ruining the culture with their liberalism and difference. The Olympic movement at that time paid precisely no attention to this evil and proceeded with the notorious Berlin Olympiad, which provided a stage for a gleeful Führer and only increased his status at home and abroad. It gave him confidence. All historians are agreed on that. What he did with that confidence we all know.
Putin is eerily repeating this insane crime, only this time against LGBT Russians. Beatings, murders and humiliations are ignored by the police. Any defence or sane discussion of homosexuality is against the law. Any statement, for example, that Tchaikovsky was gay and that his art and life reflects this sexuality and are an inspiration to other gay artists would be punishable by imprisonment. It is simply not enough to say that gay Olympians may or may not be safe in their village. The IOC absolutely must take a firm stance on behalf of the shared humanity it is supposed to represent against the barbaric, fascist law that Putin has pushed through the Duma. Let us not forget that Olympic events used not only to be athletic, they used to include cultural competitions. Let us realise that in fact, sport is cultural. It does not exist in a bubble outside society or politics. The idea that sport and politics don’t connect is worse than disingenuous, worse than stupid. It is wickedly, wilfully wrong. Everyone knows politics interconnects with everything for “politics” is simply the Greek for “to do with the people”.
An absolute ban on the Russian Winter Olympics of 2014 on Sochi is simply essential. Stage them elsewhere in Utah, Lillyhammer, anywhere you like. At all costs Putin cannot be seen to have the approval of the civilised world.
He is making scapegoats of gay people, just as Hitler did Jews. He cannot be allowed to get away with it. I know whereof I speak. I have visited Russia, stood up to the political deputy who introduced the first of these laws, in his city of St Petersburg. I looked into the face of the man and, on camera, tried to reason with him, counter him, make him understand what he was doing. All I saw reflected back at me was what Hannah Arendt called, so memorably, “the banality of evil.” A stupid man, but like so many tyrants, one with an instinct of how to exploit a disaffected people by finding scapegoats. Putin may not be quite as oafish and stupid as Deputy Milonov but his instincts are the same. He may claim that the “values” of Russia are not the “values” of the West, but this is absolutely in opposition to Peter the Great’s philosophy, and against the hopes of millions of Russians, those not in the grip of that toxic mix of shaven headed thuggery and bigoted religion, those who are agonised by the rolling back of democracy and the formation of a new autocracy in the motherland that has suffered so much (and whose music, literature and drama, incidentally I love so passionately).
I am gay. I am a Jew. My mother lost over a dozen of her family to Hitler’s anti-Semitism. Every time in Russia (and it is constantly) a gay teenager is forced into suicide, a lesbian “correctively” raped, gay men and women beaten to death by neo-Nazi thugs while the Russian police stand idly by, the world is diminished and I for one, weep anew at seeing history repeat itself.