“Sorry, Father – But I have Sinned Again!”

I know it’s only two weeks since my last confession

But it seems that the effects of your instant absolution deal are not long lasting.

A Confessional box built in 1952 in Immaculate...

“Father – I’M IN HERE!” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You may recall that my previous confession was also my first attempt at confessing, after I decided that I couldn’t wait until the next Yom Kippur (the Jewish Day of Atonement). I really don’t understand how the inventors of Judaism ever imagined that people could hoard their sins for an entire year – and then release all of them inside a day.

A fundamental design fault!

So,I thought your ” forgiveness on demand” was a much better idea, and more in line with modern day needs.

But, here I am, back again. Well, to be fair to the system, I’m not confessing to the same sins. Last time it was the Jews, but now I am accused of being beastly to the Muslims.

You must understand that for an Atheist, like me, the world is like a battlefield:

Religions to the left of me,

Religions to the right of me,

Religions in front of me,

And still I blunder on regardless

(with due apologies to Alfred, Lord Tennyson).

So, what are my sins?

Well, for a start, they got a bit upset that I took issue with their desire to execute those who they considered had said naughty things about Allah, or his lackey, Mohammed. I had pointed out in a previous article that blasphemy was still  a capital offence in some Muslim states.

Kuwait Elections_DSC3387

“So, you think Allah will be happy with us?”
“What, you mean because we are now the laughing stock of the civilised world?” (Photo credit: Kuwaitelections2012)

A few days after publication, the National Assembly of Kuwait, as if in a gesture of defiance, passed a law which not only demands execution for insulting Allah and Mohammed, but also extends to saying unkind things about the various Mrs Mohammeds:

“The law also prescribes the death penalty for those who curse the Prophet’s wives or claim prophetic abilities.

Today, we lead the world through this law,” MP Faysal Al-Muslim told Kuwaiti establishment daily Al-Watan. “It is a triumph for the Prophet to execute those who harm him and his wives, and especially Aisha the pure. Cursing them shames us all.”

Endowments Minister Jamal Shihab told Al-Watan that the government does not intend to block the law, and will act to implement it.” (1)

I think that they also got a bit upset that this article followed so closely on the heels of another article, in which I intimated that proposed legislation in the Egyptian parliament – to legalise intercourse after death – seemed a little out of synch with the general thrust of world opinion (pun intended).

But, to be fair to the Egyptians, they did understand that there would have to be practical limits applied to this law, so intercourse with the “Dear Departed” would be limited to a period of not longer than 6 hours after death.

Apart from my reaction, the internet comedians could not let such a gem of a story pass without comment. Consequently, the blogosphere became saturated with hundreds of tasteless jokes, from which I selected and reprinted my favourite “Top Twenty”.

These included:

“gives new meaning to the word frigid”.

“my wife has been “dead” in bed for years. but at least she still cooks”.

“If they’re anything like my ex-wife, you wouldn’t notice the difference”

For the full list, just click on the link below(2)

For reasons that totally escape me, some Muslims thought I was treating the subject without due reverence. For a society that follows the practice of female genital mutilation  – meaning surgical removal of the clitoris – to ensure that a woman couldn’t enjoy sex to the full when she was alive, I thought that their concern for her body after death was somewhat bizarre.

I realise that, as a Catholic priest, you haven’t the faintest idea why a woman needs a clitoris at all: I suggest a quiet word with a few nuns could enlighten you in that department. Given their situation, I don’t know what they would do without one, but that’s a whole different subject.

So, there you have it.

Jews one week, Muslims the next, and I haven’t really got around to Christianity yet. But, I guess you’re not the best person to deal with that.

A hindu holy man in Kathmandu, Nepal. He seems...

Maybe him? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you know of a good Hindu confessor?

Andyboy – Telling it as it is!






So – What’s So Wrong With Profiling?

English: Malpensa New Check-In Area

Israeli Arab journalist switches airline after ‘humiliating’ El Al security check

Nazareth-based women’s magazine editor Yara Mashour tells Haaretz she felt as if she was ‘raped’ by airport security agents in Milan airport.

From an article by Jack Khoury ( Ha’aretz  headline today)

Now this young lady’s profession indicates that she is good with words – so her description of the incident is very graphic. It may well be that the events unfolded exactly as she described them – there is no reason to doubt her. The response from El Al security is also predictable;  El Al said it operates “in accordance with the instructions of Israeli security agencies,”
Of course, this is not the first time that there have been complaints about treatment by security staff, and for sure it will not be the last. For those on the receiving end, the security clearance experience can be humiliating, degrading, insulting, or just plain tedious. But the questions that must be asked are:  who is to blame, and how did we arrive at this situation?
The answer is, regrettably, simple, and can be summed up in the aphorism:
” Whilst it is true that not all Muslims are terrorists, it is also true that most terrorists are Muslim.”  
From this basis arises the necessity of profiling. The logic is so obvious that all the screaming about human rights abuses won’t change it. In the ” Politically Correct”  atmosphere of the Western World, the security agencies are seeking a technological solution; machines that will replace people. In this scenario, everyone will be screened by the machines, thus ensuring that everyone is inconvenienced equally.
The reaction of the security agencies – outside of Israel – to each new attempt to ” beat the system” would  be laughable if the circumstances were not so potentially tragic. The paranoia that gripped America after 9/11 resulted in the introduction of new levels of airline security – presumably the thinking was ” better late than never.”  But the obsession with personal rights and freedoms prevented, and is still preventing, the systems from operating  efficiently. How can they, if they don’t adopt fully the Israeli system? Their actions are always re-active, rather than pro-active. Three examples:
A mugshot of shoebomber Richard Reid

The shoe bomber

In December 2001, Richard Reid, a British Muslim,  flying from Paris to Miami, attempted to set off explosives concealed in his shoes. As result, all future passengers were obliged to remove their shoes for inspection at check in. (in America I think even to this day)

In August 2006, British police uncovered a plot by other British Muslims to blow up 10 aircraft using a sophisticated mixture of liquid chemicals. Immediately people were prevented from taking liquids on board – even the mineral water they had just purchased in the airport was confiscated. (It happened to me)

English: Photo 2 of Umar Mutallab

the underwear bomber

In December 2009 (on Christmas Day!), Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian Muslim, on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, attempted to detonate explosives concealed in his underwear. Surprisingly, in this case, the agencies did not respond with a demand that passengers submit to an inspection of their underwear – while they were still wearing it! On the other hand, external body “patting down” became more intrusive, giving rise to the phenomenon known as ” Groin Groping” by the security staff.

The Israeli system operates from a different perspective – more psychological than physical. Much reliance is placed on intelligence, meaning advance knowledge of as many personal details of each passenger as possible. Also there are many “rings of observation and studies of the individual” starting from the moment of entering the terminal to the moment of being seated on the plane. And, after that, there are still the Sky Marshals travelling on every flight.

English: Transportation Security Administratio...
seeking to adopt the Israeli system

In May 2008, the US Department of Homeland Security announced that it would adopt many of the Israeli measures. A number of US domestic airports have already done so – but they are still hung up on the profiling issue.

The fact is that no plane departing from Ben Gurion Airport has ever been hijacked. The attack inside the terminal in 1972 by Japanese terrorists which killed 24 people, and the attack in 1985 on the EL AL ticket counters in Rome and Vienna Airports which killed 19, led to an upgrade and rethinking by Israeli security agencies. Who knows how many other attempts have been thwarted by the application of procedures that unashamedly include profiling?

English: The entrance to Eilat's Airport

You can still get hassled here.......

And the complaint that Israelis don’t suffer in the same way is not totally true, although the degree might be different. Maybe it’s because I’m a “New Immigrant” (of 25 years and counting) but I still get hassled almost every week by security when I’m flying domestically. Only last week in Eilat airport – after my (Israeli!) ID card had been taken to a supervisor for inspection, and the details checked against his handheld computer, was I given an ultimatum by the young officer checking me. If I would not agree to have my small hand luggage checked in for storage in the hold of the plane, it would have to be opened. For me this was no problem, and certainly better than waiting at the baggage carousel  in Tel Aviv. Thus it was subject to a chemical inspection and the contents displayed for all who might be interested. This after the regular plethora of questions about who packed the bag, did anyone give me anything to deliver, was it all my own stuff, where had it been since I packed it, did I understand why I was being asked these questions etc.

Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that my Hebrew is still so bad. But it does seem to contradict everything that I have said, and believe, about profiling. After all, I’m a grandfather with a son and a daughter and grandchildren all living in Israel. My daughter is even in the Air Force!

Maybe the profile now includes Anglo-Saxon septuagenarians? Who knows?

One benefit of not being in the first flush of youth is that I can still remember the days when there was no such thing as airport security. I suspect that not too many people have had the experience of just turning up at the airport and getting on a plane, as if it were a bus. No hassle, no questions. no three hour pre-checkin time. Can you believe that life was once like that?

Those were the days before ” the cousins” created the hijacking threat. They have much to answer for!

Andyboy – Telling it as it is!

Related articles

Update 17th February 2012

Umar Farouk Abdulmutalla sentenced to life imprisonment in America after pleading guilty to all charges. He showed no remorse and said he would do the same thing again, given the opportunity. Truly deserving of this front page:

The Hamas Charter

Just because you’re paranoid –

it doesn’t mean that no one is out to get you!

A flag, with the Shahadah, frequently used by ...

The Hamas flag

Hamas apologists – of which here are many –  claim that the Hamas charter, originally adopted as the effective constitution of  the organisation in 1988, is no longer relevant and can be ignored.

Khaled Meshaal,  Hamas Political Bureau Head,  is on record as claiming that to attempt to revise it would cause too many internal problems.

And this claim is conveniently accepted by Palestinian supporters because, to do otherwise, is too embarrassing.

Because of the superficial nature of media reporting today, I doubt that many of those who accept that it can be ignored have even read it!

Which is good news for Hamas, because to read it is a really frightening experience.

The operational strategy is encapsulated in their slogan:


Hamas logo

Article Eight: The Slogan of the Hamas

Allah is its goal, the Prophet its model, the Qur’an its Constitution, Jihad its path and death for the case of Allah its most sublime belief.

English: Khaled Meshaal in a meeting with span...

Khaled Meshaal

Realising that the extreme nature of the charter would be political suicide if fully understood,   the easy way out is to pretend that what it states,  in spine chilling detail,  is no longer the Hamas objective.

To pretend to believe this claim is extremely dangerous for Israel.

And yet those that  warn that it can only be ignored at Israel’s peril open themselves up to the accusation of paranoia.

Lets us look at a further example of this “paranoia ” with this direct quote:

Hamas has been looking forward to implement Allah’s promise whatever time it might take.

The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: 

The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them);

until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry:

O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!

This will not apply to the Gharqad, which is a Jewish tree (cited by Bukhari and Muslim).

And to take this at it’s face value is being paranoid?

Andyboy – Telling it as it is!