Saturday, January 22, 2011

It’s back to that old subject of shhh you know what… s-x! An aspect of nature with which mankind through religious injunction, fear, taboo and myth seem totally unable to come to terms with.
Out of the anarchy of 15 years of warlords in Somalia there has grown a vicious, religiously motivated militia, al-Shabab, whose control now extends over large swaths of southern and central Somalia and most of its capital. In a district controlled by the Islamist group, men and women have been banned from shaking hands. Under the ban imposed in the southern town of Jowhar, men and women who are not related are also barred from walking together or chatting in public. It is the first time such social restrictions (for social reads sexual, for sexual read religious) have been introduced. The al-Shabab administration said those who disobeyed the new rules would be punished according to Sharia law. That primitive barbaric Sharia law again! Not barbaric? The penalty would probably be a public flogging. The militant group has already banned music in areas that it controls, which include most of central and southern Somalia. Somalia has not had a stable government since 1991. A letter, typed out in English by a refugee, tells of a little known horror she and others endure in the tragedy that is Somalia's ongoing civil war: The rape, forced marriage and even beheading of women at the hands of the Islamist militiamen who have overrun much of their country. "This year we have been hearing a lot about forced marriages and rapes," says a member of an aid agency working on the ground with newly arrived Somali refugees in Yemen. Like most who spoke about the actions of the hardline Islamist al-Shabab and other militias in Somalia, he refused to have his name published, fearing reprisals against his family still living in Somalia. The head office of the aid agency also requested their name not be published for fear of attacks on their staff members in the country. "Women cannot move or sit outside. They can't even walk with their brother," says the aid worker. "Unmarried women are forced to marry and if she refuses they say she's a non-Muslim. Many parents choose to send their girls away with relatives and friends so as not to be forced into marriage or raped. If a woman refuses a forced marriage, we have reports of them being beheaded and their head sent to their father." It would appear the enforcement of Sharia law is not just about sex as such but the wielding of power in sexual matters, but more of that another time. On to a storm in a teacup: a small article in the paper headed ‘Dames Go To War' – Why does Chris Bryant accuse the Chancellor George Osborne of “homophobia” for describing him as a “panto dame” in the House of Commons? Barry Cryer, the comic, resents the former minister’s implication that it is a derogatory term and that such characters are always played by homosexual actors. “Thinking of some of the greatest dames, I don’t see sexual orientation has been a factor one way or the other,” he says ‘If I had no sense of humour, as one of a number of men who has played dame and who happens to be heterosexual I could ask him for an apology.” Storm in a teacup.Why bother?
And finally to the myth that homosexuals are all paedophiles, are hell bent on seducing young boys and that society has to be constantly aware of the danger. There are obviously men attracted to young boys though very much in the minority and it would seem with paedophiles the sex of the child is immaterial and girls are just as vulnerable. Consider this - each year hundreds of children call the ChildLine helpline every year to say they have been sexually abused by a woman, the NSPCC has said. Research also shows that many reported victims are extremely young. The charity said that last year about 1,000 victims of sex offences reported to police in England and Wales were under five, and 3,000 were younger than 10. Not all abused by women of course but so much for all paedophiles being homosexual men.

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