Dark Horse

US pop star Katy Perry has produced a video for her song ‘Dark Horse’. In it, she portraits a Pharao or queen with magical powers who, among other antics, turns people bearing gifts into sand – and keeps the gifts. Simple imagery, simple melody, everyone gets it.

Except, it would seem, for some stuck-in-the-mud hardline Islamists. UK citizen Shazad Iqbal has started an on-line petition asking YouTube to withdraw the video. Why? Blasphemy of course. From the petition:

The video is considered as highly controversial to its viewers as a result of its portrayal of blasphemy.

At 01:15 into the video Dark Horse; a man is shown being burned, whilst wearing a pendant (also burned) forming the word ‘Allah’, which is the arabic word for God.

Such goes to show, that blasphemy is clearly conveyed in the video, since Katy Perry […] engulfs the believer and the word God in flames.

A couple of things:

  • what’s with the self-righteous passive wording? If you think the video is controversial, Iqbal, just say so. And ‘highly’? I think not. 50 thousand signatures vs. 50 million views – that’s not even a minority. That’s a rounding error.
  • have you watched the video? The actor at 1:15 is turned to sand, not burned. Not that it should matter.
  • you obviously do not object to other people being ‘burned’ – yet burning an inanimate pendant that spells ‘God’ is too much for you to watch? You definitely have your priorities wrong. 

More than 50’000 like-minded have signed the petition within three days. What is wrong with these people? Just don’t download the video if you don’t like it. Religious freedom means that Katy Perry does not have to bow to your beliefs. Just because you feel offended does not make you right. I feel offended by people wearing white socks. Does anyone care? And where’s the moratorium on people not using deodorant?

This whole thing is as absurd as if someone starts a petition to force YouTube to withdraw the video because they don’t like the song.  

Well, except that I would probably sign that one.

Obedience for security

Someone once said that one of the advantages of religion is that it offers security in return for obedience.

That is true.

Whoever said it forgot to mention that the adage only applies to the priests of that religion, not the poor saps who tithe. Those merely give up freedom in return for promises of security.

Someone else once said that those who are willing to sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither.

That applies to everyone.

My Religious Freedom – at the cost of yours?

Tomorrow, a group of muslims are planning to march through London’s Brick Lane, protesting the sale of alcohol. They are against it because they say it is un-islamic and causes social problems (presumably the drinking, not selling of booze – but with religious people you are never sure). While alcohol consumption can (and does) cause social problems, you can bet your last cent that the real reason for their protest is that it’s not allowed for a muslim to drink alcohol. So it’s a religious thing, not a social concern.

If you don’t want to drink alcohol, that’s your prerogative. But here is the problem: The goal of the protesters is to strong-arm shop owners into not selling alcohol. The protesters don’t just want people to stop drinking by their own volition: just like the gang of muslim thugs a few weeks earlier that tried to enforce homophobic sharia law in the streets of London, the protesters want to outlaw the sale and consumption of alcohol for all. If you don’t want me to sell or drink alcohol, well, go and get stuffed. That’s my decision, not yours. Citing religious freedom to impose your views on me means not understanding what the word freedom actually means.