Saturday, August 06, 2005

So much for the long dark tea-time of the soul

In one of Douglas Adams' books (I can never keep them straight, and my love affair with them was a long time ago), he writes about a planet at the center of a cloudy nebula, one so dark that its inhabitants never see any other planets or stars. They eventually construct a spacecraft, venture beyond the nebula's shroud, and for the first time in their sheltered history view all that had been hidden from them. Their reaction is something like, "Well, that will have to go," and they immediately set to work destroying everything in existence that is not them. This post's title is also from Adams, but enough of that ...

Recent events in Malaysia may not rank up there with the Taliban's destruction of the ancient statues of Buddha at Bamiyan, but they're still a striking example of the horrifying consistency of Muslim intolerance. Malaysian authorities brought in bulldozers last week and destroyed the giant teapot of the "Sky Kingdom"--an odd Islamic spinoff cult declared heretical by the country's Islamic council and a sharia court. Part of their belief is that water (and therefore tea) possesses spiritual healing powers, so they built a giant teapot on their property. If you want to see a photo of it, look at this post from last week. Be forewarned: the image of a giant teapot may so offend you that you will become possessed by an uncontrollable urge to blow things up, as a group of 30 Malaysians armed with guns and hand grenades apparently were back in mid-July. The leader of the Sky Kingdom wisely made himself scarce after that attack, so the police who accompanied the bulldozers last week were unable to arrest him.

Here's what's left.

You can't see any sign of the teapot in the photo because the Malaysian Islamic authorities apparently found even the wreckage so offensive that they had it carted away.


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