Call to boycott ‘homophobic’ Cat Stevens’ SA tourWrite comment (0 Comments)
Legendary British singer-songwriter Cat Stevens, who now calls himself Yusuf, will be performing in South Africa later this year, but there has been condemnation of his tour because of his reported intolerance and homophobia.
Cat Stevens was at the height of his career in the late sixties and seventies and sold millions of records worldwide.
In 1977, Stevens converted to Islam and changed his name to Yusuf Islam and soon after ended his musical career to focus on philanthropic causes in the Muslim community.
In 2006, he returned to recording and performing music using the stage name of Yusuf, although his “Peace Train Tour” is being promoted under the names “Yusuf / Cat Stevens”.
He will be performing for the first time in South Africa in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban in November, and a number of the dates are already sold out.
While Yusuf is widely known for his songs and humanitarian work, he has also been the subject of controversy. In 1989, he was slammed for saying he backed Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa calling for the death of author Salman Rushdie for blasphemy.
He appeared on BBC and confirmed that he thought Rushdie deserved to die. He further commented that he wouldn’t attend a rally in which an effigy of Rushdie was burned because he rather wanted it to be “the real thing” that was set alight (see below).
Yusuf, however, later denied that he supported Rushdie being killed for his writing and claimed that what he said was taken “out of context”.
He told CBS in 2006: “I certainly never supported the fatwa, but when I was asked about … the actual principle of blasphemy and capital punishment, well, like the Bible, I said, ‘You know, yeah, it’s there, it’s in the Koran.’ And I couldn’t deny that.”
Yusuf has also been accused of homophobia. In 2000, he slammed the repeal of the UK’s Section 28 law, which banned children being taught or informed about same-sex relationships and same-sex families in schools.
At a press conference at the House of Lords at the time, Yusuf said that the law’s repeal was “part of the deterioration of the moral statutes that we are witnessing day by day” and warned that it was a threat to “great moral principles”.
According to LGBT activist Peter Tatchell, Yusuf also stated that those who supported educating children about sexual diversity wanted to “feast off the innocence of our children for their own abominable sexual appetites”.
Yusuf appears to have since been very quiet on the subject of homosexuality and has not actively campaigned or spoken out against the LGBT community.
News24’s chief sub-editor Glenn Bownes has called for South Africa to “do the right thing” and boycott Yusuf’s tour.
“His Cape Town concerts are being sponsored by Cape Talk, Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden is providing him with a venue, and Webtickets is selling tickets for his shows. None of them appear to have a problem with the bigotry and hate speech of Stevens [Yusuf],” he wrote.
Avoid being ShingleWrite comment (0 Comments)
By Bruce J. Little
Having shingles is no joke. It’s caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, and even if you’ve already had chickenpox, it doesn’t mean you’re safe from ever getting shingles.
Once you’ve had chickenpox the virus stays in your body forever and if you are elderly, your immune system becomes weak, or you get very stressed, the virus can get reactivated, which can cause a case of shingles. Luckily, it’s easy to treat, and you can get treated for shingles at a Health4Men Clinic near you, for free.
What is shingles? At first, it appears as a rash on an area of your skin. It can appear as a patch or a band around one section of your body, but it doesn’t appear all over the body as chickenpox does. It rarely crosses the mid-line of the body i.e. the blisters occur on one side or the other but not both The rash gradually becomes a series of red blisters and these eventually dry out and then flake off. Shingles can be very painful and can also be accompanied by itching, tingling, headaches and swollen glands under the arms and around the throat. Some people also develop sores on their genitals. You should go to your nearest doctor or clinic if you have any of these symptoms.
If you have a weak immune system or you are HIV-positive and are not receiving ARV treatment, you may be more vulnerable to reactivation of the chickenpox virus,which causes shingles.
You can get shingles if your immune system is weak and you are exposed to someone who has the chickenpox or shingles virus. When someone has a shingles skin rash, especially if blisters are present, then that person is very contagious to anyone who has never had shingles or chickenpox before. The fluid in the blisters contains a large amount of chickenpox virus which is transmittable.
Most cases of shingles go away by themselves after about three weeks, but pain medication and antiviral medication can help to speed up the healing process and make it a lot less painful. Proper treatment also lowers the risk of residual pain which sometimes occurs even after the rash has healed.Read more ...
Another U.S. pastor pushes homophobia in AfricaWrite comment (0 Comments)
Pastor Monica Pinnock, founder of Rehoboth Christian Church in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A., travelled to Nigeria recently to advise church leaders to rebuke homosexuals, describing them as “devices of the enemy.” She follows in the footsteps of many other U.S.-based anti-LGBT evangelical preachers who have fanned the flames of homophobia in Africa, including Scott Lively and Steven Anderson.
Pinnock pushed the misguided theories that homosexuality is a choice and that LGBT people are not born with their sexual orientation/gender identity. However, she did speak against anti-gay violences.
She made her homophobic statements when she visited Nigeria on a two-day missionary Leadership Summit hosted by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the Mosan Okunola Local Council Development Area near Lagos.
At the event, she charged church leaders to show love to LGBT people, but at the same time to rebuke them as they are “devices of the enemy”:
This is bigotry at its peak. Homosexuality is not a behavior; it is a sexual orientation that is as valid as heterosexuality. Dozens of research studies have proven this fact.
The Bible as a Christian guidebook has been misinterpreted by many religious leaders who use it to promote their own selfish agendas. Others dwell in the longstanding ignorant belief that homosexuality is evil and un-African. Despite contrary arguments, the Bible records loving same-sex relationships. Those who read the Bible with an open mind discover the truth that there is absolutely nothing wrong or sinful with being gay.
Clearly, what Pastor Pinnock is preaching and promoting is a message of hate. It is quite shameful and disappointing that an individual with her level of exposure and understanding will bow to such shallow interpretations and manipulative teachings against homosexuality.
(from the blog 76 Crimes)
BELOW HER MOUTH is now in cinemasWrite comment (0 Comments)
BELOW HER MOUTH is a bold, uninhibited drama that begins with a passionate weekend affair between two women. Dallas, who works installing roofs, and Jasmine, a fashion editor, share a powerful
and immediate connection that inevitably derails both of their lives. The film stars Canadian actress, Natalie Krill and Swedish model, Erika Linder. Made entirely by women,
BELOW HER MOUTH is written by Stephanie Fabrizi and directed by April Mullen and produced by Melissa Coghlan
The all-woman crew is led by cinematographer Maya Bankovic (THE RAINBOW KID), production designer, Faye Mullen (88), editor, Michelle Szemberg (NATASHA) and award-winning wardrobe stylist, Zeina Esmail.
Dallas (Linder) makes her living in a rough trade, shingling roofs for a living while turning over female lovers in her personal life—until she encounters self-assured and successful fashion editor, Jasmine (Krill). From the moment their eyes meet, the two women are inexplicably drawn to one another. Their connection is powerful and immediate, drawing them into a passionate love affair. Jasmine sees through Dallas’s charm and recognizes her philandering ways, but that creates only a small obstacle for Dallas, the bigger obstacle: Jasmine's fiancé, Rile.
ABOUT THE FILM
BELOW HER MOUTH is about that moment when you unexpectedly meet another person and the path of your life changes completely. It thin-slices life so that all the raw emotions, the intimacy and the friendship that generate from that meeting are explored with authenticity.
The story begins with Jasmine, a woman who is happy with her life. She has built the path she wishes to walk along, and she is moving forward in the direction of her choosing. And then she meets Dallas, a woman who is the diametrical opposite – a rebel without a cause, following no prescribed path except that of impulse and urge.
“That meeting sparks a flame in Jasmine,” said Producer, Melissa Coghlan. “She thinks, ‘I can either stay on the path I was on, which is what I know and where I feel comfortable and safe or I can follow my heart and follow this passion to see where it leads me.’ That choice is a scary place and that’s the story of Dallas and Jasmine. Dallas is accustomed to repeating the same patterns over and over again. She is a modern day female Casanova who collects lovers, but does not suffer from a guilty conscience. And then you have Jasmine, who’s engaged to a great guy. Together, they make the picture perfect couple. When these two women cross paths, choices have to be made.”
BELOW HER MOUTH is not about sexuality or gender,” Coghlan continued. “It’s not a coming-out story. It is a love story. It’s about how you could meet somebody and in a blink of an eye, fall for them and forget about your entire life.” Coghlan and first-time screenwriter Stephanie Fabrizi had noticed that in many of the films they had seen representing two women in a relationship often felt like it had been shot from a male perspective, or male point of view. They wanted to correct that by offering a different, fresher and more informed viewpoint.
Afghanistan: Men have sex with boys, deny it’s paedophiliaWrite comment (0 Comments)
In Afghanistan, as part of an illegal but traditional practice, men recruit young boys, luring them with gifts and money with the intention of having sex with them. They do it under the guise of a disgusting old sexual traditional practice called “bacha bazi” (boy play).
The practice has been widely discussed — for example, in The New York Times, Newsweek and The Daily Mail. Further coverage comes in a video documentary titled ‘They don’t just dance’ that is now available online through RTDoc – an English-language documentary channel created by Russia’s government-backed media company RT.
The documentary shows how under-aged boys are recruited and taught how to dance like women in parties organized by rich folks, who then later select their favorite boy for sex.
In Afghanistan, this is not viewed as homosexuality, even though there are strict laws prohibiting the act.
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