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Society’s Mark

by on Aug.17, 2014, under Art, Culture, Health, Kids, Religion

Body modification has been a tradition for some people for hundreds of years. The Padaung, in Burma, are part of the Karen Lahwi ethnic group. Padaung01 From an early age, the women wear rings, with more added periodically to make their necks longer. Padaung02 A long neck is considered by the group to be a sign of beauty. Paduang03 Their dedication to the tradition continues so they can be the most beautiful women of the tribe. Stretching and ritual scarification are seen as a form of initiation into adulthood; expression of art; or it may distinguish a village or tribe. scar_ethiopa01 In Djougou, Benin, tribal scars are displayed proudly. They aren't just for tribal identity. They also convey personal information. scar05 They need to be done at a young age, but due to their importance, the kids are anxious to get it done. CHU Liege Sart Tilman  Accueil entrŽe verrire They happily participate in the joyous ritual. Child during a Scarification Ceremony The pain is brief. Child during a Scarification Ceremony But the scars last for a lifetime. Child during a Scarification Ceremony Eventually the wounds heal. scar06 The Chambri tribe in Papua, New Guinea, scarify to pay tribute to their origin legend. chambri_manfrom They believe that man evolved from crocodiles, and became land-dwelling when they emerged from the Sepik River, which runs along the Chambri Lake. chambri_croc01 So they scar their bodies to resemble crocodile skin. chambri_croc03 The wounds have to heal in a controlled way to raise the scars so prominently. chambri_croc02 The process is incredibly painful. chambri_croc04 This video shows how these scars are made. Circumcision is another popular body modification. It signifies that a boy is a full-fledged adult member of a tribe, with the accompanying privileges, such as hunting, becoming a warrior, and taking a wife. The Ndebele, a bantu-speaking tribe from South Africa and Zimbabwe, has a two month circumcision ritual, during which each boy receives a tribal name that identifies him for life. ukuwela The Xhosa smear the lucky man with mud after the ritual is complete to insure that he will turn the color of manhood. RP939cm05.tif Although these rituals have been performed hundreds of times, there are sometimes complications. Here are pictures of some of them. We're more of a fan of temporary tattoos. ttat2 They can express your tribal affiliation and personality without all the trauma. ttat3  
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Crossing The Line

by on Jul.30, 2014, under Animals, Culture, History, Racism, Religion, War and Terrorism

Islam is a paradoxical religion. Like Christianity, it has a history of using violence to advance the religion while preaching discipline and self-sacrifice. The Koran is the framework for Islam, just as the Christian bible is the framework for Christianity. And like Christianity, there are different sects of Islam. sunnishia It's hard to know how widespread some Muslim practices are, but people in the Western Hemisphere might find some of them discomforting. muslim_marriage The Prophet Mohammed had an 8-year old wife, so most Muslims wouldn't consider letting their daughters marry below that age. 8-year old Rawan from Yemen died on her wedding night. bachabazi01 Young girls aren't the only option available. bachabazi02 If you have enough money, you can have Bacha Bazi boys. bachabazi03 The boys are usually dressed in costumes, to dance and otherwise entertain their owner and his friends. Sex with young boys is neither considered to be homosexual nor illegal extramarital sex. cir015 Female circumcision is not practiced exclusively by Muslims but many of them consider it to be a cultural tradition. islam_hand Limbs, like hands and feet, may be cut off for various offenses, like stealing, or handling the wrong literature. It's usually done in public. muslim_stoned People are stoned to death for such things as sex outside of marriage, or associating with someone from another sect or religion. muslim_heads1 They behead their victims and proudly display their trophies. muslim_heads2 What could possibly be so horrible that it offends people like this? puppy_sibhusk The opening ceremony of the Commonwealth games recently held in Scotland features Scottie dogs, each representing a participating country. cgames01 Mohamad Sabu, the deputy president of the opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party said, "Malaysia and all Islamic countries deserve and apology from the organizer. This is just so disrespectful to Malaysia and Muslims – especially as it happened during Ramadan. Muslims are not allowed to touch dogs, so the organizer should have been more aware and sensitive on this issue. It is hoped this incident can teach other Western countries to be more respectful in the future." cgames02 Dato Ibrahim Bin Ali, a far-Right politician, former MP and founder and president of Malay supremacist group Perkasa also called for an apology. "I think it is unbecoming. The hosts have not been sensitive enough – especially in a so-called knowledgeable and civilised society like Britain," he said. "It is shameful and has offended not only Malaysia as a Muslim country, but Muslims around the world." cgames03 We have it on good authority that Muslims don't like Scotland's other namesake famous product. whisky_springbank
A police force has apologized to Islamic leaders for the "offensive" postcard advertising a new non-emergency telephone number, which shows a six-month-old trainee police dog named Rebel.
The German shepherd puppy has proved hugely popular with the public, hundreds of whom have logged on to the force's website to read his online training diary. Police Poster Many Muslims believe that dogs are impure and therefore 'haraam' - or forbidden - except for use in hunting or farming, and that it is not hygienic to keep a dog in the house. They say that the "impurity of dogs is the greatest of animal impurities", and anyone who touches one must wash the body part that has come into contact with the animal seven times. puppies_sink We're not sure how that applies to postcards.
 
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The Bell Ringer

by on Jul.22, 2014, under Crime, Culture, Health, History, Religion

Sergey Bogdanov, 28, was on vacation from Russia, spending time in the village of Mandrem. He visited a local temple to take pictures. sergey1

He told Russian media by telephone, "It seemed really peaceful here and the locals are friendly, all that changed when I went to a local temple to take a few pictures and I saw a bell which I rang."

mandrem He wasn't aware that the bell was sacred, and is only rung for Puja, which entails showing reverence to a god, a spirit, or another aspect of the divine through invocations, prayers, songs, and rituals. temple_bell For this act, Sergey Bogdanov, from the Russian seaport city of Kaliningrad, said he was badly beaten by a mob after ringing the bell and was even refused help by doctors.

"Before I knew it there was a mob rushing up to the temple and I was dragged out onto the streets and kicked and beaten with sticks."

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‘Some monks dragged me away from the mob but they then didn’t help me at all, and I had to make my own way to the local medical centre where the doctors had heard about my apparently sacrilegious act – and they also refused to help me other than giving me a few bandages."

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“My wallet and my money had vanished and I had no alternative but to go back to my accommodation in agony. I managed to get a telephone message to my mother who flew over immediately but I need paperwork and money to fly back with her. My poor mother almost had a heart attack when she saw me, she is doing her best to look after me but I need proper medical attention that I can only get it seems in Russia.” Mr Bogdanov has appealed to Putin to help him get the paperwork and a ticket back home via the Russian Embassy in Mumbai.
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Indian Folk Tail

by on Jul.07, 2014, under Culture, Family, Health, Kids, Nature, Religion

In our article Tales of Woe,  we discussed caudal appendages,  which look much like a tail. While they can usually be removed surgically, there are some sufferers, like Xiao Wei, who cannot have the surgery and must learn to live with it. xw_tail Not everyone considers a tail to be a detriment, even when it affects their ability to live a normal life. arshid01 Arshid Ali Khan, from the Indian state of Punjab, is unable to walk and has to use a wheelchair to get around. Locals consider him to be a reincarnation of the Hindu monkey god Hanuman; they refer to him as बालाजी, or Balaji. hanuman01 Arshid said, "This tail has been given to me by god. I am worshipped because I pray to god and the wishes of people come true." arshid02 Arshid lives with his grandfather, Iqbal Qureshi, and two uncles since his father died when he was four. His mother has since remarried. arshid04 Arshid's home has become a temple where his devotees come to visit him to receive his blessings and touch his tail. arshid03 “A lot of people’s wishes have come true after they have visited,” claimed Mr Qureshi, a local music teacher. “Sometimes there are childless couples who come to Balaji for help. He blesses them, and often they are then able to conceive.” arshid06 Despite his status as a god, Arshid needs a wheelchair to get around, and his condition is yet undiagnosed. arshid07 He is due to see a doctor who may be able to successfully remove the tail, but his family says they would rather he keep the tail than risk an operation. arshid08 Mr. Qureshi says that it's Balaji's decision. Arshid does not believe that the amputation of his tail will keep the crowds from flocking to his house for his blessings. "Doctors can remove my tail," he said, "but people will continue to believe in me."
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Holes

by on Feb.24, 2013, under Crime, Culture, Family, Kids, Racism, Religion, War and Terrorism

Villupillai Prabhakaran, who was head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil EelamLTTE), was proud of his son, 12-year-old Balachandran Prabhakaran as any good father would be. He kept his work and his family separate. rp-grad When Velupillai Prabhakaran was killed by Sri Lankan troops, it brought about the end of the 26 year long insurgency. Ironically Prabhakaran's death also came a day after the LTTE made a momentous announcement that it had decided to "silence its guns" as the "battle has reached its bitter end". But the Sri Lankan military, determined to have a total victory over the LTTE, continued the last of its mopping up operations. SRI LANKA No Fire Zone_Balachandran Prabhakaran_1.jpg Twelve year old Balachandran Prabhakaran was taken alive by Sri Lankan forces, and was seen sitting in a bunker wrapped in a blanket. SRI LANKA No Fire Zone_Balachandran Prabhakaran_2.jpg His captors gave him a snack. Then the executed him. bp-dead2 The Sri Lankan government has always claimed that Balachandran was killed in cross-fire but Callum Macrae, director of the documentary No Fire Zone which captured pictures of the boy when he was alive says that the photographs "rule out' that possibility." bp-dead There were five bullet wounds to the chest, and it was suggested that he was shot at close range as part of his skull was missing. Sri Lankan Army spokesman Brigadier Wanigasooriya reported, "No substantive evidence have been presented for us to launch an investigation."
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Sticky Fingers

by on Jan.30, 2013, under Crime, Culture, Health, Racism, Religion, War and Terrorism

In some Muslim countries, citizens are subject to Sharia law and are frequently punished severely for crimes. Amputation, whipping, and death by stoning are options even for relatively minor crimes.

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The privilege of carrying out the punishments also carries the burden of the effort. Throwing softball-size rocks and wielding a whip are exhausting activities especially while you're trying to impress a crowd.

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No Muslim is safe from punishment. Even women and children are subject.

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Muslims already have public relations problems with the Western world over these primitive methods. And Iran is showcasing its developing technology by adding a modern touch to the process.

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By fabricating a few additions, these ordinary machine-shop items can be turned into a multiple finger amputation machine, no axe or machete necessary.

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The candidate-for-rehabilitation is led to the machine by hooded figures where his hand is held down by a toggle clamp attached to a metal plate.

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Several people assist in the project. Two hold down the blindfolded prisoner while another turns the crank that lowers the saw blade, severing four fingers.

shariasaw4aFor the crowd's entertainment, the bloody hand is held up for view, then dipped in iodine to reduce the chance of infection and make sure that the prisoner can still sense intense pain.

The man was found guilty of theft and adultery by a court in Shiraz.

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With modern innovations like this, accidents like the one above can be avoided.

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