Here’s a new twist to religious thinking, not Christianity this time, but Muslim. There have been times throughout history when various people have put the blame for disastrous natural phenomena; earthquakes, floods, droughts, etcetera, on homosexuality. Homosexuality has without any doubt been the cause, or so the thinking went. But here we have a decided twist with an Iranian cleric saying, women who wear revealing clothing and behave promiscuously are to blame for earthquakes. Hojjat ol-eslam Kazem Sediqi, the acting Friday prayer leader in Tehran, said women should stick to strict codes of modesty to protect themselves. "Many women who do not dress modestly lead young men astray and spread adultery in society which increases earthquakes," he explained. Tens of thousands of people have died in Iran earthquakes in the last decade. Mr Sediqi was delivering a televised sermon at the Tehran University campus mosque last Friday on the need for a "general repentance" by Iranians when he warned of a "prevalence of degeneracy". "What can we do to avoid being buried under the rubble? There is no other solution but to take refuge in religion and to adapt our lives to Islam's moral codes," he said. “Correspondents say many young Iranians sometimes push the boundaries of how they can dress, showing hair under their headscarves or wearing tight-fitting clothes.” Mr Sediqi also described the violence following last year's disputed presidential election - the result of which prompted thousands of people to hold mass protests - as a "political earthquake". "Now if a natural earthquake hits Tehran, no one will be able to confront such a calamity but God's power, only God's power. So lets not disappoint God." Professor Lennox, perhaps you would like to explain the rationality of such outlandish religious beliefs.
I know I said I was going to come to Tone’s tome today but some other items of interest in the news caught my eye. Gordon Brown’s latest book has sold only 32 copies in four months so that obviously hasn’t aroused a great deal of interest whereas Tone’s is flying off the shelves and out of Amazon as if there were no tomorrow.
The government is worrying about the influx of foreign students saying the numbers are unsustainable so why do so many British universities advertise on Greek TV and presumably the television stations of other countries? The universities depend on foreign students’ fees to boost their finance I suppose.
Are CCTV cameras and the internet a boon or a blessing or a bit of both? Three stories at the moment with this in mind. First of all the cat lady. For those of you who have not come across this story, a woman in Coventry behaved in a most bizarre manner. She stopped in front of a house and stroked a cat on the wall. Then she looked around to make sure no one was watching, lifted the lid of a wheelie bin, picked the cat up by the scruff of its neck and dropped it in, closing the lid. Then she scuttled away. What on earth caused her to do this? I doubt even she knows ,but the upshot of this incident was her being caught on camera, the film was shown on Facebook, she was immediately identified and within minutes her house was surrounded by angry animal lovers and she was even getting death threats. Her life will never be the same again. The cat was discovered and rescued fifteen hours later but must have been a traumatized animal.
Second story - A police sergeant in Wiltshire was caught on camera dragging a struggling woman (she must have been a real pain in the arse) to the cells. As she was obviously being that pain in the arse he might have got away with it but unfortunately he was caught by another camera, this one in the actual cell, which showed him literally throwing the woman to the floor. For that moment of lost temper he has been suspended and has been charged with assault and sentenced to six months.
Thirdly: rumours on the internet have accused William Hague of being gay – ha ha ha! Why? On what foundation did these rumours start? Because he shared a double room at the Tory conference with his aide. Oh, come on! Do you have to go through life treading on eggshells in case some vindictive person broadcasts on the internet a completely unfounded rumour about you? Who cares if William Hague is gay or isn’t gay but he has been forced to categorically deny it and in doing so has been criticized for that? A no win situation. Mud sticks.