Wednesday, September 14, 2005



It's not like I've had cause to moan about Ofcom before, is it? Still, yesterday they surpassed expectations by their most absurd and ridiculous decision yet. Basically, they have banned the 'Make Poverty History' adverts for being 'too political.'

There are several points that need to be made about this decision:

1) The advert is not political. It supports no political party, no campaign, urges you to vote for no individual candidate in any election. It is, in fact, no more political than adverts for Oxfam and such that are seemingly perfectly acceptable.

2) Do you know how many people complained about the advert? None. Not a single one. What is the point of a watchdog if no one cares about what it's guarding? More to the point, since when have Ofcom had the power to adjudicate over adverts that everybody finds acceptable?

3) The advertisers took advice from 'The Broadcasting Advertising Clearance Centre' (no, I'd never heard of them either), which is apparently a place advertisers have to go to get pre-transmission clearance for their adverts. This is a tremendous case of quango-overkill - what is the point of two separate bodies, whose decisions frequently contradict one another? Why can't Ofcom just decide for themselves. Anyway, why was this decision taken by Ofcom and not the Advertising Standards Authority? None of it makes the slightest sense, so here is my proposal. Ofcom takes the job of both the BACC and the ASA, and then everyone knows who I'm bitching about when I write posts like this, not least me.

4) The adverts themselves are no great loss. They're cloying and nauseatingly pretentious, but no worse than many others. However, it's the principle that matters, and I don't see why Ofcom should ride in and ban stuff for no good reason that no-one has complained about.


In other censorship news, a fatwa has been issued against India's No 1 female tennis star Sania Mirza, by a Muslim cleric outraged at her court attire.

Good looking and capable Sania actually dresses somewhat conservatively by the standards of most of her compatriots.

It goes without saying that this is a hateful and despicable thing to do, and those of us who believe women should wear what they choose should be deeply angry. The fatwa was issued by the 'Sunni Uleema Board', so obviously avoid dropping anything in their collecting tin this decade. Haseeb-ul-hasan Siddiqui told the Hindustan Times 'she will undoubtedly be a corrupting influence.' Something about pots, and kettles, and the colour black springs to mind.

According to the Melonfarmers, 'he said she should follow the example of Iranian women who wore long tunics and headscarves to play in the Asian Badminton Championships.' Ah yes, that would be the Iranian team who were eliminated in the first round.

Sania, who is actually an extremely talented player, recently reached the fourth round of the US Open, and is now ranked in the low thirties in the world. The best of luck to her, I say.

Yeek. Every time I feel I'm getting close to being tolerant of people and their silly superstitions and rationally unsupportable mandatory wardrobes, people do something like this.
With all the more pressing concerns clergy have these days, why even take the time to mention this girl's clothes, let alone issue a fargin' fatwah?

Why is sexuality so much worse than violence to the religious among us?

Its better to beat someone than to show them your privates, right?
You can find some more interest stuff about sania at

--- Adarsh Krishna
SafeT -

Tell me about it. I suppose most people who read this blog must consider me something of a liberal, but when it comes to tolerance of religion I'm afraid I'm not remotely tolerant. Islam is, exactly the same as every other religion, a silly, and occasionally nasty, mistake. It's no worse than any of the others, but then it's no better either.

Adarsh -

That's quite a collection of information you've got there. Ok, I'll vote that 'the best place for information about Sania Mirza, supposing you need it.'
The ability of these killjoy clerics to pick some trivial aspect of Islam and use it as a means of keeping women in their place never ceases to amaze me. In terms of Islamic dress, the guidance from the Qur'an states that muslims (male and female) should dress 'modestly'. At no point does it define exactly what modestly means or specify the type of garments that should be considered 'modest' other than some vague remarks about keeping your hair and breasts covered. It is also obvious that what is considered 'modest' varies at different times and in different cultures which means that Miss Mirza's tennis attire should be as acceptable in Islamic terms as an abaya, burkha or shalwar kameez.

It is also acceptable in Sharia law to divorce one's spouse for being a pain in the arse, if there is a Mrs Haseeb-ul-hasan Siddiqui, perhaps someone should point this out to her.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?