TGA Podcast: Episode 182

TGA Podcast: Episode 182

This week, Ryan joins me as we tackle the problem of Orthodox Jews giving herpes to poor little babies, and a scumbag Imam tries to frame a disabled Christian girl for blasphemy in Pakistan.

SHOW NOTES

Topics
New York Rabbis to defy circumcision law, Pakistan Imam accused of planting burnt Qur’an as evidence to prosecute disabled girl

Introduction: 2 day vacation in Banff, Alberta and why I understand why people thought the gods lived in mountains. Fossils for sale make it a poor destination for creationists.

Part 1: Scumbag Rabbis won’t stop dangerous practice despite law.

In New York, many Ultra-Orthodox Jews engage in the practice of metzitzah b’peh, where the Mohel is instructed to place the infant’s penis in his mouth to suck the blood. It comes from a passage in the Torah, that claims this helps prevent infection. However, the exact opposite tends to happen, resulting in serious infections, including herpes.

Less than a year after a Brooklyn tot died following an ancient circumcision ritual, the rabbis say they will ignore a proposed law that would mandate parental-consent forms before performing the dangerous procedure…Over the past decade, at least one other newborn died after contracting herpes from the rite, in which the rabbi draws blood from the penis with his mouth.[1]
Because Jews are weird, since the 18th century man may use a glass tube to perform this ceremony, however, to accommodate the fact that the government was threatening to ban circumcision, and so many orthodox Jews seized on Talmudic interpretations that allowed them to stop this practice. [2]

New York City and federal health authorities issued a public advisory Thursday cautioning against the sucking practice because it has been linked to 11 infants becoming infected with the herpes simplex virus type 1 since 2000. Ten of the infected newborns were hospitalized, two developed brain damage and two died, the health officials said.

The city had tried to prosecute  Rabbi Yitzchok Fischer for infecting 3 infants (one of them eventually died), but somehow failed to conclusively prove his guilt. When the city was thinking of suing him to enforce a ban on him performing the ritual, to avoid political fallout Bloomberg allowed the matter to move on to rabbinical court. As expected, he continues to do operate today. [4]

In 2006 Mayor Bloomberg held a meeting with rabbinical leaders which proved to be pointless:[3]

“The Orthodox Jewish community will continue the practice that has been practiced for over 5,000 years,” said Rabbi David Niederman of the United Jewish Organization in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, after the meeting with the mayor. “We do not change. And we will not change.”

Part 2: Imam accused of fabricating evidence to accuse Christian girl of blasphemy

Part of this law also makes it clear that it is intended to persecute an offshoot of Islam called the Ahmadiyya [5], who believe that their 19th century prophet was the legendary Mujaddid (a man said to appear every century to ‘revive’ Islam) [6]. who came back on earth to spread his religion peacefully. Muslims in Pakistan consider them using the label Muslim to be offensive enough to make a law against it.

Since 1987, almost 700 people have been arrested, and 20 died while in custody. Back in 2009, a woman named Asia Bibi was accused of insulting Muhammad and sentenced to death by hanging. Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab, was shot and killed by despite the man being one of his bodyguards, his murderer managed to pump over 40 bullets in his body. Government officials went on the record to say he deserved it and celebrated the killer. [7][8] He was sentenced to death, which pleased him greatly. [9]

The latest story is of this type of persecution involves a 14 year old disabled Christian girl called Rimsha Masih. After allegedly hanging around a dump site, her accusers claim she was carrying the burnt remains of the Qur’an in her bag. Barnabas Fund reported that enraged Muslims severely beat the little girl and members of her family, and torched the houses of two Christian families…Muslim shopkeepers vowed not to sell food and other essentials to Christians and that Muslim landlords would end tenancy agreements with them [10]

It’s recently come to light that the whole affair was intended to fabricate a false charge to drive local Christians out.
Imam Khalid Chishti allegedly told a witness, after tampering with the girl’s bag, that this was a “way of getting rid of Christians”, according to a prosecutor.

He has already paraded on TV making volatile and threatening remarks about Christians in the community. The government will try to make an example out of him, but they have yet to release Rimsha. [11]

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Comments (1)

  • avatar

    ullrich fischer

    Good episode. I have a small quibble re old farts like me being part of the problem. While it is true that many in my generation (born 1947) are now in the ignoramus “let’s go back to the dark ages” crowd, many of us are not and were, like I was, involved in nuclear disarmament, anti-war, and pro-civil rights movements when we were your age and younger in the 1960s and 70s.

    My 30 year old daughter has lately turned to “spiritualism” (in clear violation of the biblical injunction to honour your parents) and has joined a liberal Jewish congregation. I have no idea where we went wrong with her. I always tried to teach her about critical thinking and the need to value truth over superstition. Maybe it is a delayed teenage rebellion phase to make up for the fact that she was never at all rebellious as a kid.

    I suspect your generational generalizations don’t hold water. There were many bible thumpers to argue with us when we were young. There seem to be just as many now. If anything, things have gotten a bit better in that there are now many more rational people willing to confront the prevailing stupidities than there were when I was your age. In 1965, (the real start of the ’60s … before that, the social norms were the same as in the 1950s). … “The God Delusion” could probably not have been published. The social progress movements, while consisting mainly of atheists, was always very careful to include religious believers as “harmless allies” whose beliefs should not be challenged for fear of alienating them. On the positive side, there were a fair number of “spiritual” folks who supported socially progressive movements. Nowadays all we hear from on the religious side seems to be the bible thumping “back to the dark ages” crowd, so the split between rational thought and bible thumping seems to be sharper.

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