Monday, July 03, 2006

Expecto patronisum!

A classic piece of BBC reporting catches our eye this morning, as Zimbabwe throws off another shackle of its colonial past by repealing the ban on witchcraft.

"The repealing (sic) of the witchcraft laws is another sign that Zimbabwe's government is continuing to move away from Western values and placing more emphasis on the country's own traditions" the BBC reports with barely concealed approval, conveniently forgetting that African witchcraft leads directly to ritual sacrifice and horror stories like that of Victoria Climbie.

Mentions of President Mugabe, his murderous regime, and its ongoing campaigns against opponents of every colour: none. It goes without saying that all cultures are equally valid to the BBC, including those whose defining features are tyranny, corruption and mass-murder.

All in all, I’m pretty grateful to be living in America. God forbid I should be stuck in Zimbabwe. Or still worse, next door to someone from the BBC…


An “alternative physician”, yesterday. Take two dismembered children and call me in the morning.

4 comments:

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

The word intolerance has taken on some pejorative associations, or maybe it's that the word tolerance has taken on some wooly platitudinal characteristics (is platitudinal even a word?). Both, I think. Isn't intolerance, just an inability to tolerate something - whether good or bad?

Anyhoo, I am very proud of my intolerance for backward religions and practices. I don't think calling child torture, the forced veiling of women and female genital mutilation etc. backward, is being overly subjective and too Western or insensitive to different cultures. God knows that poor girl from Zimbabwe needed somebody to be a bit intolerant on her behalf. And it happened in London! In the enlightened West where we no longer have the stomach to call a spade a tool which can also be used with evil intent.

I have no problem with benign or apparantly bizarre religious practices or even most religions in and of themselves. I have an enormous problem with religions and societies which harm the weakest of their numbers and use the magic of the scary word "religion" to get by with it. Nobody wants to be known as intolerant after all.

I think most people really believe that but the word intolerance has been hijacked with a dirty-word-bomb, and we aren't willing to carry that baggage through Security, at the far, far left of the building.

HA HA HA said...

The aim of the Met study was to create an "open dialogue"...

hm. ok heres my hlaf of teh 'diolog'!

'"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom...'

Justin said...

"The repealing (sic) of the witchcraft laws is another sign that Zimbabwe's government is continuing to move away from Western values and placing more emphasis on the country's own traditions"

This is odd, since Western values -- among which are freedom of religion and such -- are different from Christian values, the ones that would have a problem with witchcraft.

I personally see no problem with a bunch of bush people dancing around a fire if that is what they are inclined to do. If one is worried that legalizing witchcraft will cause human sacrifice, one need only realize that their are already laws on the books about killing another human, and witchcraft outright is not the culprit, and therefore should not be illegal.

Ivan the Terrible said...

You have an excellent point, Justin. Shame no-one is ever prosecuted for child murder in South Africa or Nigeria, for example, where witchcraft is a factor. A quick shake of the chicken-bone rattle and the terrified police drop all charges. Once you give the slightest wriggle-room to these savages, people start dying.