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In Advance of Ramadan, Indonesian Gov't Starts Massive Censorship Push

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the night-time-is-for-snacking dept.

Censorship 184

An anonymous reader writes "The Indonesian government has blocked access to 1 million pornographic websites in advance of Ramadan, the country's holy month. Internet censorship is nothing new in Indonesia, but the scale of this particular restriction is unprecedented. Apparently this is only the beginning. Minister Tifatul Sembiring said Wednesday his office would target more sites through the country's holy month, and beyond."

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184 comments

Maybe I'm missing something (1)

undefinedreference (2677063) | about a year and a half ago | (#40719827)

Isn't Ramadan a Muslim holiday? How is it "the country's holy month"?

Re:Maybe I'm missing something (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40719845)

Google?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_in_Indonesia

Islam is the dominant religion in Indonesia, which also has a larger Muslim population than any other country in the world, with approximately 202.9 million identified as Muslim (88.2% of the total population) as of 2009.

Re:Maybe I'm missing something (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40719849)

Because Islam is the state religion.

Re:Maybe I'm missing something (0)

undefinedreference (2677063) | about a year and a half ago | (#40719887)

Yeah, and it's the state religion in a number of other countries. The headline seems to indicate that Indonesia is the only country that observes it.

Re:Maybe I'm missing something (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40719933)

You have bad reading comprehension then.

There are way more than 12 countries, so you know each country can't have their own holy month. Why do you think August being the countries holy month prevents other countries from having the same holy month.

If I say the third week of December is the busiest shopping week of the year in the U.S., do you think it can't also be the busiest shopping week of the year in other countries?

Re:Maybe I'm missing something (4, Informative)

similar_name (1164087) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720109)

There are way more than 12 countries, so you know each country can't have their own holy month. Why do you think August being the countries holy month prevents other countries from having the same holy month.

August isn't the holy month, Ramadan [wikipedia.org] is. Why do you think one calendar would prevent there being other calendars?

Re:Maybe I'm missing something (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40720527)

Perhaps you've heard of people translating into the nearest unit of a more familiar unit of measure. It's often convenient when exact measurement isn't really necessary in the discussion.

Re:Maybe I'm missing something (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40720893)

You can't approximate Ramadan by calling it August. it's based on a lunar calendar that is 12 to 14 days shorter each year than the Gregorian calendar. This means it moves relative to the Gregorian calendar each year such that Ramadan can/has/will occur alongside every month in the Gregorian calendar. You can call it a month because it is (maybe even more accurately so considering month comes from moon) but it shouldn't be called August since you might as well call it January or mid-March to mid-April.

Re:Maybe I'm missing something (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40720141)

Actually it isn't in Indonesia. The country is founded on it's five principles "Pancasila"
The belief in monotheism is part of the constitution,...
HOWEVER, Islam is not the state religion, despite the overwhemling majority of citizens claiming to be Muslim.
In fact Atheism is illegal in the country.

It's not so surprising when the population mostly still believes in ghosts and spirits.

Re:Maybe I'm missing something (3, Insightful)

pwizard2 (920421) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720229)

In fact Atheism is illegal in the country.

I wonder how they enforce that. All someone would have to do is not openly admit to being an atheist.

The sooner the world gets rid of religion, the better off we will be. Religion holds us back... for the first time ever in history, the combined knowledge of humanity is available in one place for those who care to look for it and yet these theocracies throw it away in favor of blind faith in primitive mythology. Sure, they're just blocking porn right now, but what stops them from blocking anything that undermines their power? It's absolutely sad that some 7th century Arab tribesman's scam to get money, power, and women has persisted all the way to the 21st century. Christianity is not much better, however I give it credit for not being in the "killing people" phase anymore.

Re:Maybe I'm missing something (5, Insightful)

causality (777677) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720565)

In fact Atheism is illegal in the country.

I wonder how they enforce that. All someone would have to do is not openly admit to being an atheist. The sooner the world gets rid of religion, the better off we will be. Religion holds us back... for the first time ever in history, the combined knowledge of humanity is available in one place for those who care to look for it and yet these theocracies throw it away in favor of blind faith in primitive mythology. Sure, they're just blocking porn right now, but what stops them from blocking anything that undermines their power? It's absolutely sad that some 7th century Arab tribesman's scam to get money, power, and women has persisted all the way to the 21st century. Christianity is not much better, however I give it credit for not being in the "killing people" phase anymore.

Religion isn't the problem. Using the force of law (i.e. men with guns) to enforce your brand of morality on others is the problem.

Religion is only one excuse for doing this. "For your safety" or "for the children" are others. The process is the same. The excuse is just that -- an excuse. It's all about power, control, and trying to force everyone to be like yourself because you are too insecure to be an individual. These are people who derive security from being among the like-minded. Consequently they feel threatened by someone who does not agree.

These are petty, egotistical little tyrants. The thing to understand about ego is that in its own eyes, it is never wrong and never at fault. Therefore, if my insecurity causes me to feel threatened, I absolutely cannot attribute that to insecurity or any other fault within myself (even though that would lead to personal growth*). I must blame it on the person who makes me feel insecure by believing something I don't. It's a scapegoat. If I happen to have political power, then I can put the force of law behind this. If not, I can cry about how "offended" I am and try to shame the other person into submission.

Most people are like this, unfortunately. This is part of why the world is the way that it is. That's why when most people find a radio program or TV show offensive, simply not listening or watching isn't good enough for them. They have to try to take it off the air. That's why people who don't drink alcohol want to support "no alcohol sales on Sunday" and other stupid, easily circumvented laws (stock up Saturday). It's why people who don't do drugs support throwing people in jail and ruining their lives over possession of a plant, even though they weren't driving intoxicated or otherwise endangering anyone.

They're cowards who don't have the strength to be individuals. That's why they cannot allow others to be individuals and make their own personal choices. Deep down they know they're cowards, so they try to appear big and fearsome. State power certainly satisfies that requirement, so they ally themselves to it. They're compensating** for personal shortcomings instead of facing them. The hardest part to understand is that these are subconscious processes -- the people themselves believes they're sincere and would probably pass any polygraph test. It's basic denial that becomes "fact" when it goes on long enough. The only exception to that would be most of the politicians, who view these cowards as little more than useful idiots who can be exploited to advance state power.


* Avoiding the introspection and never developing the courage to face one's own faults and work to remedy them makes these things self-perpetuating and self-reinforcing.

** Compensation is not a deliberate, planned process. It's more like a form of energy. Being energy, it is neither created nor destroyed; it changes form. Their cowardice changes into the form of support for bad laws that deserve none. The fear and ignorance that makes "for the children" laws possible is also like this.

Re:Maybe I'm missing something (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40720757)

Ah, the good old days before the state. When human females evolved the involuntary arousal response to perceived sexual activity, almost certainly as a defense against being raped to death.

"I've got a hard heart, a Stirner expression and a Nietzsche trigger finger. IDGAF about the lack of jobs or your starving children. Just because every inch of land worth hunting, fishing or farming upon has been snatched up by the wealthy, doesn't mean they owe you a living or that your right to live outweighs their right to own property!

So. Spare me your whining - I've little patience for it."

Re:Maybe I'm missing something (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40720853)

This is true, if an exaggeration, people like to feel right and making others act out their morality even through force makes them feel safe and/or important, but religion is worse than this.

People instinctively want others to do what *they* think is good for them it is a consequence of our empathy that seeing someone else do something we regard as unpleasant dangerous or hurtful, even only to themselves, makes us feel bad, and we want to stop it. Religion plays not just on our desire to feel right but also on our desirer to protect others from harm. Salvation through faith coupled with the thereat of hell, an eternity of meaningless suffering, will drive people to do *anything* to other people for their own good including kill them to prevent them from straying. Because hell is an eternal punishment you can even balance genocide against the "salvation" of a single individual and come out thinking of it as a positive. This is what has driven the growth of Christianity and Islam and also what makes so many religions so negative.

that is well said (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about a year and a half ago | (#40721289)

however i fear the egotism of blind strident individualism just as much as egotism of herd behavior

it is the difference between this person (ok):

"i'm just exercising my personal freedom" (smokes weed)

and this person (not ok):

"i'm just exercising my personal freedom" (turns car ignition, drunk)

you can do whatever you please in this world, just as long as it doesn't hurt someone else. the "just as long as it doesn't hurt someone else" is something a lot of people have a problem grasping

freedom, and responsibility. there is not one, without the other

Re:Maybe I'm missing something (2, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720591)

Religions are just a source of philosophy for people without the time or inclination to ponder all of life's questions themselves. If you have the time to read over the works of philosophers and come up with a consistent viewpoint, more power to you. Most people don't, and those people can therefore either live without any self-consistent views on morality, or they can adopt a ready-made set in the form of a religion.

Consistent morality is important. Without it, people will just come up with a rationalization for whatever benefits them at this moment, with no regard for the long term implications. That path gets you state-endorsed torture, it gets you anti-death penalty people supporting drone strikes and assassinations, it gets you anti-homosexual pundits demonizing people when the very same Biblical verse against homosexuality also lists publicly denouncing someone as equally sinful, and so on.

But hey, religious people are behind all of those examples! Yeah, that was on purpose. Did you notice how as soon as a "Christian" leader decided torture was okay, all his supporters went along with it? It's because they aren't truly religious, they just like belonging to a special club. They don't actually care about the morality aspect. I don't want to specifically pick on Christians either. The Muslim suicide bombers and their leaders are in the same camp. They don't actually care about the faith, they just care about their special club -- the leaders like the power, the followers like the sense of purpose. Take away the religion, and they'll just come up with something else to rally behind... maybe race, maybe economic policy, maybe whether they eat their bread butter side up or down. Atheism doesn't solve anything. What we need is people to care more about finding a consistent moral basis.

Now, of course, organized religion is a problem, particularly when accepted without question. Any time that you accept a ready-made philosophy from a powerful organization, you have to assume that the organization has designed that philosophy to protect its interests. For example, contrast the core tenets of Judeo-Christian religions (don't kill, don't steal, etc.) with some of the lesser points (e.g. tithing). It's pretty clear that certain ideas are important, while others are just there so that some old men in Rome can live comfortably.

In short, what people should do, for the good of all humanity, is learn the good lessons, throw away the bad ones, and stop treating it as a team sport. This goes for atheists too. There have been great philosophers who didn't believe in a God, but people like Dawkins just make things worse by making everything so damn confrontational. Instead of providing readers with a consistent moral viewpoint, he just strokes their egos and gets rich doing it. No different from the priest who tells his flock their God's chosen people right before passing the hat.

Re:Maybe I'm missing something (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720783)

but people like Dawkins just make things worse by making everything so damn confrontational.

Socrates was a master at this sort of confrontation. And that's part of the reason he's heralded as the greatest of philosophers. How do you know a morality or philosophy is consistent? Because you test it. And one such way, a very effective one I might add, is via confrontation.

Re:Maybe I'm missing something (2, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720921)

You're (intentionally) equivocating. The Socratic method is to ask pointed questions as a means of testing a philosophy. Polemics, such as those written by Dawkins, make facile, feel-good arguments to make their readers happy. Both are confrontational, but one is constructive, while the other is all about running the other guy down.

Re:Maybe I'm missing something (2)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#40721231)

You're (intentionally) equivocating. The Socratic method is to ask pointed questions as a means of testing a philosophy. Polemics, such as those written by Dawkins, make facile, feel-good arguments to make their readers happy. Both are confrontational, but one is constructive, while the other is all about running the other guy down.

Given the only difference between the two styles is mostly a matter of subjective opinion, why shouldn't I intentionally equivocate here? Socrates apparently ran a lot of people down during his career ass professional gadfly. And frankly, getting your belief system run down seems a good way to test its weaknesses.

Re:Maybe I'm missing something (1)

Strangelover (1889778) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720663)

There is no such thing as *getting rid of religion*. People who want to believe *religiously* in things, with or without proof will do so no matter what. Whether it's UFO's, environmental disaster de jour, or buzzword de jour....

Re:Maybe I'm missing something (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720983)

One might even say that religious institutions provide an outlet for such impulses that is at least somewhat disciplined and much less likely to cause the person damage than simply letting them wander into the flock of someone like jim jones.

Re:Maybe I'm missing something (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40720771)

Evolution is a slow process.

"Magical thinking" is more akin to an addiction than anything else. People who are too weak to pursue truth in a disciplined way, and to love the truth no matter what it turns out to be, will resort to pleasing mythology instead. You can no more stop this than you can stop the mutual attraction of free masses.

Yes, it holds us back as a species. But it is also losing its grip. There are more atheists, agnostics, and spiritual-but-not-religious people in the world today than ever before in history. Eventually, those who can cope with new knowledge will displace those who cannot. It won't happen nearly as quickly as we would like it to, but it will happen.

Let them humiliate themselves before the world. Let the world observe their silliness. Let this play out in all its glory, as actions like these serve as a testament to the passion with which humanity wrestles against old chains in order to truly liberate its spirit. The humans of the future will study this period with intense interest, immortalizing moments like these as an unforgettable aspect of our cultural heritage.

Religion is a difficult beast to slay, making our eventual victory over it all the more glorious. Give it one last chance to bear its fangs before it falls.

Re:Maybe I'm missing something (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40720789)

Christianity is not much better, however I give it credit for not being in the "killing people" phase anymore.

Bias much? Since you're trolling that way, you also should note Atheists committing genocide in Communist countries just a few decades ago with >100 million dead. Atheists also have a VERY bloody track record.

Re:Maybe I'm missing something (1, Insightful)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720935)

I doubt that was to spread Atheism or was a war against Theists. Nice try though.

Re:Maybe I'm missing something (-1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year and a half ago | (#40721187)

I wonder if you could just point out that atheism by some standards is just as much a religion as theism. You believe there are no gods, you can prove it only as much as one can prove there ARE gods.

Re:Maybe I'm missing something (1)

undefinedreference (2677063) | about a year and a half ago | (#40719855)

Before you ask, yes, I call Lent a "holiday", too.

Re:Maybe I'm missing something (1, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about a year and a half ago | (#40719899)

Before you ask, yes, I call Lent a "holiday", too.

Do you call Lent a holiday too? Oh crap, you just said I shouldn't...

Re:Maybe I'm missing something (3, Informative)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720079)

It's the holy month of Ramadan where Muslims fast for a whole month and then have a big feast at the end of it.

Because it's a month long 'holiday' doesn't really do it justice. Life still goes on, just at strange hours and in strange ways. I've had islamic scholars tell me that part of the point is to experience hunger, so when some Muslims switch to being nocturnal they're missing the point. But that happens a lot of places, the letter of the law versus the spirit of the law so to speak.

Technically Indonesia is not an islamic state, they recognize a couple of religions (some of Islam, some of Christianity, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Hinduism), but as is practically the case, with just shy of 90% of the population being (or at least claiming to be) Muslim you can't really get around Islamic tradition.

Re:Maybe I'm missing something (3, Informative)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720333)

They actually feast at the end of everyday, not just the end of the month. It is very often a community feast (called Iftar), where friends & neighbors (even the ones that are well off) are invited. I agree with you on the rest, though.

Re:Maybe I'm missing something (1, Insightful)

myowntrueself (607117) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720733)

It's the holy month of Ramadan where Muslims fast for a whole month and then have a big feast at the end of it.

Because it's a month long 'holiday' doesn't really do it justice. Life still goes on, just at strange hours and in strange ways. I've had islamic scholars tell me that part of the point is to experience hunger, so when some Muslims switch to being nocturnal they're missing the point. But that happens a lot of places, the letter of the law versus the spirit of the law so to speak.

Technically Indonesia is not an islamic state, they recognize a couple of religions (some of Islam, some of Christianity, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Hinduism), but as is practically the case, with just shy of 90% of the population being (or at least claiming to be) Muslim you can't really get around Islamic tradition.

Its far from a holiday and more a festival of self abuse. I worked under an executive who was a Muslim. During Ramadan he fasted himself almost into a coma every day. By 5 pm he was unable to think straight and could barely stand. He fucked up a number of critical contracts due to this. He made it very very hard on everyone else in the company.

Guess what he had for breakfast? A couple of fried eggs. It was completely retarded.

Re:Maybe I'm missing something (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720957)

More he was retarded and enjoyed the self-abuse. Most practicing muslims do fine, I have worked closely with many of them.

Re:Maybe I'm missing something (1)

AdamJS (2466928) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720211)

Like Christmas in the US. A month is a bit excessive though.

Re:Maybe I'm missing something (1)

sinan (10073) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720399)

--Like Christmas in the US. A month is a bit excessive though.

Yeah, but it's not like it's every year.It's only every 354 days.

Re:Maybe I'm missing something (1)

k(wi)r(kipedia) (2648849) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720513)

Isn't Ramadan a Muslim holiday? How is it "the country's holy month"?

Ramadan isn't the holiday, since it lasts more or less a month. Now even if you're not familiar with Islamic religious feasts, just imagine the consequences of an entire nation taking their vacation at the same time. The holiday (and holy day) is called Eid ul-Fitr [wikipedia.org], which marks the end of the Ramadan.

Eid ul-Fitr has been compared to Christmas. I think it's closer to Easter Sunday, since both holy days mark the end of some sort abstinence, Lent in the case of Easter. Nowadays fasting is a word not general associated with the Christmas season.

Re:Maybe I'm missing something (2)

bky1701 (979071) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720671)

Indonesia is essentially a Muslim theocracy. It is illegal to be atheist; people are in jail for it right now. Other religions aren't exactly safe, either.

North Sumatra (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40719837)

Simbiring is a name from North Sumatra. Perhaps he doesn't like the internet at all?

Please draw...... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40719891)

your best ascii art mohamed below.

A Million Sites? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40719903)

What is that, 0.0001% of the total?

To paraphrase Princess Leia (1)

TWX (665546) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720167)

The more you tighten your grip, Indonesia, the more pornography will slip through your fingers...

Princess Leia never saw space porn like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40720255)

I find the tighter my grip, the stickier things become.

Why bother? (2, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#40719935)

Given the libido-suppressive effects of caloric restriction, wouldn't it make more sense to step up their precious little moral crusade(jihad?) during all non-ramadan periods and slack off during that month?

Re:Why bother? (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720131)

You misunderstood. You actually feast on spicy specially-made food in the evening, making you more satisfied about everything, and making you more horny.

Re:Why bother? (1)

million_monkeys (2480792) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720631)

This is very confusing. I wish someone would just make a plot of horniness versus day of the year so we could see whether there was a spike around Ramadan. This is slashdot, surely there's enough horny geeks to be able to pull this off. And now that i've mentioned it, i wonder if there's some way to objectively measure horniness?

Re:Why bother? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40720227)

I want an intercontinental ballistic penis to deliver pornographic propaganda to the entire country.

If that fails, we can always send nukes later.

Re:Why bother? (1)

bky1701 (979071) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720675)

Fasting is not really fasting. You fast in the day, have a buffet nightly at sundown. It's one of those weird things religions do while saying they do something else.

Re:Why bother? (4, Insightful)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720807)

Er, they do fast. They fast for 12 hours a day, without water or food. If you try it for one day, you will understand how difficult it is (and you would also understand what being hungry means, which basically is the purpose). You start running low on blood sugar in about 6 hours, you feeling really thirsty in about 5-6 hours. And all of this, while you perform your regular duties, which is really tough when you are low on blood sugar and thirsty.

Re:Why bother? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40721315)

But if you push past that and just keep your mouth wet, your hunger and thirst mostly goes away. You'll have less energy and get tried more easily but you won't feel too bad. You'll start to get a little light headed after the first day and a half. Once your mouth starts almost instantly going dry you'll be passing out if you don't take it very easy.

I'm speaking from experience. I had a stupid suicide attempt where I was too depressed and didn't drink anything for 2.5 days and didn't eat anything for a little over 3 days (took around 1/2 a day to get enough strength back to eat. If you mess up some blood levels while recovering you die). After the initial hunger went away, I actually felt better than I had in a long time (one reason it failed). I didn't feel like passing out until around 2.3 days and passed out once (almost three times) around 2.4. My bookbag felt so heavy to carry and just as bad when dragging it along the ground (I was at college).

It was an interesting experience and made me stronger. I no longer worry about missing a meal or two or if I'll have enough to drink when I get stuck someplace for .5-1 days due to poor travel conditions. I know my limits.

What is the problem? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40719941)

A foreign government representing a foreign country which is mostly Muslim decides to implement Muslim laws. Why is this an issue?

Surely we should be more worried about what /we/ do - whether that's doing things which would be undemocratic to our demographic, or trying to push our values onto foreigners.

Re:What is the problem? (4, Insightful)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720085)

That is a worthy notion, as we are just as bad about letting our dominant religion limit our freedom. Here in the US, our own dominant religious element has decided for us:
- Prostitution will be illegal (mostly), in spite of the high demand
- Alcohol is restricted, in some places illegal to sell at all times, in others illegal to sell at certain times (frequently Sunday mornings)
- Same sex partners cannot have a legally binding marriage, with full benefits
- You may be married to one, and only one person (who must be of the opposite sex) at any given time (granted, I don't think our legal system could handle the larger case, presently)
- In some settings you may be limited about what you can say on certain topics (sex, evolution, religion, etc.)
- "G.D." is a forbidden expression on television

It's true some of these things may HAVE BEEN democratic at one point or another, but are enshrined now. You can't, say, change alcohol laws without a small but vocal minority trying to get you unseated from government. It was democracy for our grandparents, but it's dictatorial for us.

Re:What is the problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40720499)

In my home town, it was illegal to open shops on Sunday.
So people would go shopping the next town over.. and it was killing local business.
I think my father took things a bit too far though. He was raised an orthodox jew which he hated being.
At a very young age he drilled into his kids, "What is religion?" and we would call out, "The opiate of the masses!"
My sisters both married catholics. Our rabbi who I thought was a nice guy refused to marry them so we never went back to temple.
One sister converted to catholicism for her husband, who left her. The son was told in his teens, when he started bullying jews, well actually you are a jew yourself! Blew his mind.
My father started telling his grandchildren how great Jesus was and the other sister's children were raised as catholics too. But recently they started being taught their heritage too.
On a recent business trip to a muslim country my father emphasized, if anyone asks tell them you are protestant! I'm not practising but I still don't know if it would have put me in danger if someone asked and I said I was jewish.
So I would say you are right, and like my Dad says, more people have been killed in the world due to religion than anything else.
However the Christian idea of charity is something I think we should try to keep or remake so that it can be taught to all people, in a non-religious form if possible.
Another thing, it is really freaky how many movies about war (well Guns of Navarone is a great flick but) are shown around the anniversary of the end of WWII.

I think the U.S. church and national government intentionally collude to maintain a very low level of intelligence, very low morals and highly warlike traits in order to maintain control over its own populace and the rest of the world. We are in a permanent state of war and to govern now means to cynically control with lack of responsibility in any form.

Having lived outside the U.S. for a number of years and gradually becoming horrified at what it has become, I am very sad to remember the phrase, that people get the government they deserve. I think the U.S. deserves better and a lot of the problems come from the deeply entrenched attitudes taught by a conglomerate of cynically controlling groups which include religious, government and other leaders.

There is a lot of cognitive dissonance in the U.S. culture and it seems possible to me that mixed with high technology and police/military hardware, it has become a statistical certainty that there will be mass murders like the one at the theater by people we would like to simply label "crazies" on a periodic basis. When we have made them crazy. If you think it is going to far, consider that as the ultimate fringe on the end of the bell curve. Most people are crazy to a lesser extent. But still nuts.

Re:What is the problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40720623)

Alcohol is what you single out? What about all the other drugs? Mostly banned because some "evil" minority race uses them.

Re:What is the problem? (0)

bky1701 (979071) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720685)

Actually, they're banned because the majority are addicting and cause long-term damage. Pot causes lung cancer more effectively than cigarettes. That alone means it ought to stay banned.

In any case, those are not banned for religious reasons. Alcohol generally is.

Re:What is the problem? (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720751)

Pot causes lung cancer more effectively than cigarettes.

That's an interesting theory. Have any evidence for the assertion, especially keeping in mind that the two drugs are used differently.

That alone means it ought to stay banned.

Nonsense. Even if the allegation is true, so what? I have no trouble at all with people doing harmful things to themselves or even killing themselves. It's their right.

Re:What is the problem? (3, Informative)

Cwix (1671282) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720871)

http://www.webmd.com/lung-cancer/news/20060523/pot-smoking-not-linked-to-lung-cancer [webmd.com]

You're wrong.

May 23, 2006 -- People who smoke marijuana do not appear to be at increased risk for developing lung cancer, new research suggests.
While a clear increase in cancer risk was seen among cigarette smokers in the study, no such association was seen for regular cannabis users.
Even very heavy, long-term marijuana users who had smoked more than 22,000 joints over a lifetime seemed to have no greater risk than infrequent marijuana users or nonusers.
The findings surprised the study’s researchers, who expected to see an increase in cancer among people who smoked marijuana regularly in their youth.

See what happens when you don't look up the stuff you hear? You look silly.

Re:What is the problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40720993)

Dissolve the active ingredients in butter, bake cupcakes, cancer free high!

Re:What is the problem? (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about a year and a half ago | (#40721241)

Let's pretend pot does cause lung cancer. I'm not sure why it should be your choice to keep me from killing myself, as long as I am debt free and my children have reached majority. I think you get a say in the latter two cases because in that case my legacy DOES affect you. I understand there are some health-care corner cases, maybe a waiver needs signing. But as a responsible adult I think I ought to be able to ruin myself if I choose.

Actually this adds one more to my list:
- Government prohibition against suicide. As far as I can tell this comes from religion.

Re:What is the problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40721139)

The drugs that are banned without being massively addictive in the US (and most of the world) are because of hallucinogenic effects. My thought is that this is because shamanistic religions use them to communicate with other worlds or the future.

Re:What is the problem? (1)

Raenex (947668) | about a year and a half ago | (#40721005)

It's true some of these things may HAVE BEEN democratic at one point or another, but are enshrined now. You can't, say, change alcohol laws without a small but vocal minority trying to get you unseated from government. It was democracy for our grandparents, but it's dictatorial for us.

I'm sorry, did some dictator take away the right to vote? If not, then stop your whining, get out, and campaign on your issue. Vocal minorities have rights too.

Re:What is the problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40721267)

Yes, they have the right to be ignored if they are penniless, and pandered to if they are an important demographic. Only having lots of money or a large majority voting bloc will get you anything from government. The grand experiment is a failure. The federalists were wrong.

I'm expecting another Arab Spring there real soon. (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year and a half ago | (#40719961)

You can take away their rights, and you can take away their money, but take away their porn, and the people will revolt. :-D

Re:I'm expecting another Arab Spring there real so (1)

erroneus (253617) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720037)

You got that right.

If a religion is to be followed faithfully, how does it help to "force" someone to follow it? Religion and faith HAVE to be a choice or else it is neither. These religious zealots aren't particularly religious are they?

Re:I'm expecting another Arab Spring there real so (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40720205)

http://www.cmje.org/religious-texts/quran/verses/009-qmt.php#009.005

"
009.005
YUSUFALI: But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
PICKTHAL: Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
SHAKIR: So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
"

http://www.cmje.org/religious-texts/hadith/muslim/019-smt.php#019.4366
(hadith - not quran - but - highly reguarded as 'things muhammed himself did and said')
"
Book 019, Number 4363:

        It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira who said: We were (sitting) in the mosque when the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) came to us and said: (Let us) go to the Jews. We went out with him until we came to them. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) stood up and called out to them (saying): O ye assembly of Jews, accept Islam (and) you will be safe. They said: Abu'l-Qasim, you have communicated (God's Message to us). The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: I want this (i. e. you should admit that God's Message has been communicated to you), accept Islam and you would be safe. They said: Abu'l-Qisim, you have communicated (Allah's Message). The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: I want this... - He said to them (the same words) the third time (and on getting the same reply) he added: You should know that the earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle, and I wish that I should expel you from this land Those of you who have any property with them should sell it, otherwise they should know that the earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle (and they may have to go away leaving everything behind).

Book 019, Number 4364:

        It has been narrated on the authority of Ibn Umar that the Jews of Banu Nadir and Banu Quraizi fought against the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) who expelled Banu Nadir, and allowed Quraiza to stay on, and granted favour to them until they too fought against him Then he killed their men, and distributed their women, children and properties among the Muslims, except that some of them had joined the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) who granted them security. They embraced Islam. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) turned out all the Jews of Medlina. Banu Qainuqa' (the tribe of 'Abdullah b. Salim) and the Jews of Banu Haritha and every other Jew who was in Medina.

Book 019, Number 4365:

        A similar hadith has been transmitted by a different chain of narrators, but the hadith narrated by Ibn Juraij is more detailed and complete.

Book 019, Number 4366:

        It has been narrated by 'Umar b. al-Khattib that he heard the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) say: I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslim.

Book 019, Number 4367:

        This hadith has been narrated on the authority of Zubair with the same chain of transmitters.
"

soo.. there you go.

but the quran says 'let there be no compulsion in religion'

so.. which do you believe - the writings of muhammed or the actions of same..

also side note - if the quran is the infallable word of god, how can it be FLAT OUT WRONG about christianity?

Re:I'm expecting another Arab Spring there real so (2)

myowntrueself (607117) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720877)

Of course a Muslim might argue that you cannot understand the Koran unless you read it in the original Arabic. Apparently the Arabic language is untranslatable into any other language and therefore cannot be learned by anyone who doesn't grow up with it as their mother tongue. So I guess noone who doesn't grow up with Arabic language can ever understand the Koran.

I've actually had quite well educated and otherwise intelligent Muslims lay down the 'you cannot understand the Koran except in Arabic' line on me. Its a logical fallacy.

Re:I'm expecting another Arab Spring there real so (4, Informative)

grcumb (781340) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720135)

You can take away their rights, and you can take away their money, but take away their porn, and the people will revolt. :-D

*sigh*

I think it would be fairer to say that you can take away their money, their rights and their lives, but that story won't get posted on Slashdot until it involves porn.

The Indonesian government and military have tried to maintain a complete media blackout on the ongoing human rights abuses [westpapuamedia.info] -including torture and murder- in the occupied territory of West Papua, which was annexed [wikipedia.org] while the world looked away. This oppression has been going on for a generation, but nobody chooses to care, because of Indonesia's status as the largest pro-US muslim country in the world.

But yeah, boobs. Let's support those horny Indonesians by slashdotting bringbacktheporn.com [bringbacktheporn.com]. That'll get the add revenue going.

Re:I'm expecting another Arab Spring there real so (2)

H0p313ss (811249) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720177)

You can take away their rights, and you can take away their money, but take away their porn, and the people will revolt. :-D

I guess you don't know much about Indonesian history then, they overthrew their dictator 14 years ago. That said, even in the 80's Indonesia was one of the most liberal of muslim countries, and since 1998 have become one of the most democratic as well.

From a western perspective they still have a long way to go, but they are a million miles ahead of the "Arab Spring" countries.

It's a beautiful country full of beautiful, kind, gentle people. Please learn more before you shoot your mouth off.

Re:I'm expecting another Arab Spring there real so (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720197)

You do realize that my post was entirely in jest, right?

Re:I'm expecting another Arab Spring there real so (2)

dbIII (701233) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720521)

Yes, but there are regional revolts still under way in parts of Indonesia and an earlier major one didn't really stop until the Tsunami.

Re:I'm expecting another Arab Spring there real so (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40720313)

Until the filthy vermin blow up nightclubs full of Australian tourists.

Re:I'm expecting another Arab Spring there real so (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720395)

There is a lot of discontent in the populace though. The country has large muslim majority, which fairly poor, and a Chinese & Indian minority that is largely wealthy. Now and they you will see this discontent in politics (politicians appease the wealthy for their money, and during elections somehow try to appease the majority). I wouldnt be surprised to see riots break out if this continues (and censorship, might just be the tipping point). I agree GP's comparison to Libya was wrong, but portraying a a rosy picture doesnt do any good either.

Re:I'm expecting another Arab Spring there real so (4, Interesting)

Panoptes (1041206) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720635)

ThatsMyNick makes valid points; let me take them further. Here in Indonesia, come Ramadan there's always a mad rush for clerics and politicos to do an "I'm holier than thou" act. Draconian pledges and swingeing action plans that turn out to be mere wishful thinking thunder from the media and every soapbox in the country - but they're all chimeras, sops to the gangs of religious fanatics that plague Indonesia. In reality this is one of the most tolerant Muslim communities in the world, but the proverbial few bad apples spoil the barrel.

Indonesia is in the Internet stone age. The country is rated near the very bottom of Internet provision - way below many third-world and developing countries. Those of us who 'enjoy' broadband pay through the nose for a seriously flawed and inadequate service, and we're laughing out loud at the very notion that the muppets who run our IT services can filter anything other than their monthly pay cheques.

Re:I'm expecting another Arab Spring there real so (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40720959)

LOL

<dgatwood> Why did the chicken cross the road?

<H0p313ss> Chickens don't do that. They blah blah blah. Please learn more before you shoot your mouth off.

The correct answer is: To get to the other side of H0p313ss's sense of humor, and it's one hell of a long walk!

Re:I'm expecting another Arab Spring there real so (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720367)

You mean like the arab spring in egypt? Yeah, looks like that one is only going to put womens rights back a few hundred years. Cheer it on man, cheer it on.

Re:I'm expecting another Arab Spring there real so (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720845)

Eh, a similar "spring" happened in Europe in 1848. It didn't lead to a lot of positive near future change, only a few countries went more democratic (though the UK was a notable example), but I think it was a step towards the present mostly democratic and peaceful Europe that exists today. So sure, it doesn't look all that great in the short term, but we may feel differently about it a century or two from now.

Re:I'm expecting another Arab Spring there real so (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720891)

Yeah something similar also happened in Russia and China too. Last time I looked the body count was ~250 million dead in their own purges removing "undesirables" and I'm sure that worked out well for them as well. Here's the thing a lot of people forget, Islam isn't just a religion. It's a military, and political doctrine as well. Not to mention a few other things.

And in countries where ruling parties have it as the forefront in, and of, the law of the land. People suffer, and those that suffer the most are minorities, women, and anyone who isn't a muslim.

Re:I'm expecting another Arab Spring there real so (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#40721239)

Yeah something similar also happened in Russia and China too.

And a good portion of those body counts are due to ideas hatched in the 1848 "spring". I don't intend this comparison to be fully comforting, but rather to point out a similar situation which in the long term bettered the lives of hundreds of millions, but at terrible cost.

Re:I'm expecting another Arab Spring there real so (1)

bky1701 (979071) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720693)

The Arab Spring ended up installing Islamist governments. I think you need to pay more attention to world events. This is certainly what the people of Indonesia want; that is the problem.

This really does sound like Lent... (1)

undefinedreference (2677063) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720007)

With filtering in place, the fact they allowed access to pornographic websites before Ramadan is what confuses me. Was this like the Indonesian Internet version of Mardi Gras?

One million? (4, Informative)

TimHunter (174406) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720059)

Okay, possibly I'm stupid or out of touch, but I've been around the interwebs for a while and seen my share of stuff. It just doesn't seem likely that there are a million porn sites. I wouldn't have guessed 1 million in the world, and certainly not 1 million that the Indonesian government can block.

Here's an article in Forbes article that says

In 2010, out of the million most popular (most trafficked) websites in the world, 42,337 were sex-related sites.

That's a far cry from 1 million. (http://www.forbes.com/sites/julieruvolo/2011/09/07/how-much-of-the-internet-is-actually-for-porn/ [forbes.com])

Maybe they mean 1 million pages. Or maybe there are a million sites that only host a single drawing of Mickey banging Minnie doggie-style. Or maybe they mean something different by the word "pornographic." But 1 million pornhubs? 1 million redtubes? I'm having a hard time believing this.

Re:One million? (1)

alphatel (1450715) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720181)

It just doesn't seem likely that there are a million porn sites. I wouldn't have guessed 1 million in the world, and certainly not 1 million that the Indonesian government can block.

Reddit cableporn [reddit.com]
chair porn [furnitureporn.com]
furrysex [funny-games.biz]


That's a few billion right there. "It puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again." Also porn. George Bush saying "awesome", porn. You get the picture. If not pray to Mohammed for forgiveness or whatever he is offering this holiday season.

Re:One million? (2)

bky1701 (979071) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720715)

The fact you only think of the major ones does not mean there are minor. There are several huge sites which eclipse the others, but a million porn sites is an incredibly low-ball number considering the number of sites on the internet. I am not sure how to go about getting statistics on this, unfortunately.

Re:One million? (2)

gman003 (1693318) | about a year and a half ago | (#40721141)

Wait wait wait.

Your argument is that there are less than 1 million porn sites, and you cite an article that examines ONLY one million sites. Do I even need to point out the flaw in that reasoning?

Still, let's suppose that your 42,000/1,000,000 figure is true. There are somewhere between 300,000,000 and 6,800,000,000 websites, total, which (using naive extrapolation) gives between 13,000,000 and 290,000,000 pornographic websites. And I for one would bet that porn tends more to the "many sites with low traffic" style than average.

In any case, this source lists 4.2 million sites [toptenreviews.com], and this study lists 260 million porn pages online [abc.net.au] as of 2003 - do your own estimates for average pages per site and extrapolate towards today if you wish.

Part of the proliferation is just how the business works. They tend to buy up many domains, one for each "series" almost, and combine them into one "package". They commonly refer to this as "affiliate" sites. So that inflates things a bit. Then there's the rather large number of free sites that just rehost content. Then all the camwhore sites. And some "dating" sites are classed as pornography for obvious reasons.

tl;dr there's a TON of porn out there

the ringside view (1)

harvey the nerd (582806) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720111)

It will be interesting to see where the wrath of god strikes after this.

Re:the ringside view (1)

alphatel (1450715) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720383)

It will be interesting to see where the wrath of god strikes after this.

God and His wrath are never on strike. The might have a slowdown if wages are not raised though.

1 million websites (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40720377)

Why censor only a small minority of porn sites?

Repeat after me... (1)

cvtan (752695) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720403)

Religious governments are a bad idea. Religious governments are a bad idea. Religious governments are a bad idea.

Re:Repeat after me... (2)

dbIII (701233) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720533)

They are less of a religious government than what you have in the USA but they still do things like this to keep some religious voters happy.

Food Temptation? (2)

Azure Flash (2440904) | about a year and a half ago | (#40720451)

Maybe they should block sites where they sell, show or discuss food, too, in order to avoid tempting them.

Ramadan the best time to masturbate to online porn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40721091)

Given such a precise time, I guess Ramadan is the best time to masturbate to online porn.

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