Michael Nazir-Ali, the former bishop of Rochester, said the BBC programme, The Mystery of Mary Magdalene , presented by Melvyn Bragg would be hugely offensive to devout Christians because it amounted to the sexualisation of
He said it was all the more upsetting because it is being screened at midday on Good Friday, the moment the Bible says Jesus was put on the cross.
Lord Bragg, who describes himself as no longer a believer , argues that Mary's close relationship with Jesus was effectively airbrushed out of the accepted Biblical account by misogynist Romans. He points to a series of ancient
writings known as the Gnostic Gospels which were not included in the agreed list of books which became the New Testament. They include references to Mary being kissed on the mouth by Jesus, being his favourite and even, as one passage
suggests, his wife.
Nazir-Ali accused the BBC of deliberately causing offense to Christians. He said:
This is going out at 12 o'clock on Good Friday which is exactly the time that Christians are thinking about Christ on the cross, this highly provocative stuff that really encourages a sexualisation of Christ with references to him being kissed
on the mouth by Mary Magdalene and it refers to her being his wife.
I am concerned about the misuses of very obscure Gnostic gospels to impugne the integrity of the Bible.
It is highly provocative in terms of its content for Christians on Good Friday and it attempts to sexualize Christ in the most offensive way.
The campaign group Christian Concern has emailed its supporters urging them to complain to the BBC. Andrea Williams, director of Christian Concern, said:
Noon Good Friday is the precise time Christians are remembering Jesus' crucifixion. To air a programme which questions the purity of Christ is at best insensitive and at worst offensive.
Who is making such bewildering decisions in the BBC's religious programming department?
No doubt Andrea Williams is well aware that the head of BBC religious programming is actually a muslim.
Half-Hearted Implementation of Leveson Recommendations is Missed Opportunity for Fair and Equal Representation of Women in the Media
Equality Now, Eaves, Object and the End Violence Against Women Coalition welcome the decision by the government to implement at least the majority of Lord Justice Leveson's recommendations -- particularly in relation to permitting third-party
complaints. However, we consider the currently proposed plan of implementation to be a missed opportunity.
Holly Dustin of the End Violence Against Women Coalition said:
The much-compromised plan does not provide any guidance about women's equality in the new code; it does not propose that any representative of the equality sector might be part of the new body, and it has made no attempt to bring consistency
between the broadcast watershed and print media in terms of sexually explicit material.
Extremist muslim websites are abuzz against Muslim members of the British parliament who voted in favour of gay marriage legislation and there are fears that the Muslim parliamentarians could face serious intimidation after extremist clerics
issued fatwas against the MPs declaring them to be apostates .
On February 5, 2013, the House of Commons voted by 400 votes to 175 to legalise gay marriage in Britain. Muslim MPs Sadiq Khan, the Labour high-flyer, Rushanara Ali, Sajid Javid, Shabana Mahmood and Anas Sarwar voted for gay marriage. Rehman
Chishti voted against the move while Yasmin Qureshi and Khalid Mahmood MP abstained from voting, fearing opposition from their constituents.
At least three Pakistani clerics have said that these MPs needed to repent and renew their faith, which means that they stand expelled from the Islam for supporting same sex marriages. They have also said that their Islamic marriages stand
annulled and they needed to read Kalma again to become Muslims.
The News understands that police forces in Britain have taken notice of the fatwas and the threats against the MPs. Also, the MPs have privately said that they fear for their lives after the delivery of fatwas on them by clerics.
Book covers can have a Proustian effect, taking you back to the moment when you first opened the covers, or triumphantly turned the final page. Yes, it's what's inside that counts, but how much nice when the inner delights are matched by a
sympathetic showing on the outside?
No wonder there have been so many howls of outrage over two books in the last fortnight. First was the 50th anniversary edition of Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar , all powder compact and perfect pout. Attractive, true, but it said nothing
about the despair within. Then there's a new copy of Anne of Green Gables that has a dust jacket that's all wrong. A busty blonde teenager is plonked on the front, looking absolutely nothing like how the flame-haired, freckle-faced heroine
is described within.
Can watching a couple of Rihanna videos really turn a girl into a knicker-dropping strumpet? We're experiencing a sexual counterrevolution that encompasses a backlash against women's sexual freedom. By Laurie Penny
Note that despite sounding like a government group, this whole project is financed by
CARE (Christian Action Research and Education): a well-established mainstream Christian charity providing resources and helping to bring Christian insight and experience to matters of public policy and practical caring initiatives, according to themselves.
The stated goal of the group is:
To raise awareness of the impact of the sale of sexual services on those involved and to develop proposals for government action to tackle individuals who create demand for sexual services as well as those who control prostitutes; to protect
prostituted women by helping them to exit prostitution and to prevent girls from entering prostitution.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade is launching an inquiry to assess the current UK legal settlement surrounding prostitution, and to identify how legislation to tackle demand could safeguard those in
danger of sexual exploitation and abuse.
The group have launched an online Call for Evidence, a misnomer as they are just asking for opinions and feelings, no evidence at all. They have also created an online survey which reveals the intentions of the group in a series of leading
questions with an assumption that those surveyed will support a ban on buying sex.
This is not the way to make a serious inquiry or hold a consultation. The
online questionnaire is not long. Skip if you want to from the introductory palaver to where the questions begin. You may answer anonymously. You may answer as an individual. You may be anywhere in the world.
The deadline for responses is Monday 4 February 2013 at 16:00 .