Home-made bombs tar­get mosque and con­fer­ence cen­tre in Dres­den ‘xeno­pho­bic’ hate crime

JA­PAN MALI

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

Ja­panese ad show­ing girl turn­ing into an eel gets pulled

A Ja­panese ad­ver­tise­ment show­ing a teenage girl in a swim­suit turn­ing into an eel has been pulled af­ter com­plaints it was sex­ist and “per­verted”.

The two-minute video was pro­duced by Shibushi city, who said it was meant to high­light their com­mit­ment to sus­tain­able eel fish­ing.

But it was widely ac­cused of sex­ism, with one so­cial me­dia user call­ing it the “delu­sions of a per­vert”. It is not the first Ja­panese ad to fea­ture women turn­ing into an­i­mals. The ad­vert, nar­rated by a man, opens with a teenage girl in a black swim­suit float­ing in a pool ask­ing the nar­ra­tor to feed her.

“I de­cided I would do ev­ery­thing I could for her. I gave her de­li­cious food un­til she was full and made sure she could sleep well at night,” the nar­ra­tor says.

Scenes of the idyl­lic Ja­panese coun­try­side are also shown in-be­tween shots.

The au­di­ence sees her trans­for­ma­tion slowly be­gin when she is un­able to pick up an ob­ject be­cause her hands have be­come slimy.

She is later seen div­ing into the pool, trans­form­ing into an eel, say­ing “good­bye” as she swims away.

The video then ends with the words “we’re farm­ing [eels] with care” ap­pear­ing on-screen. View­ers on so­cial me­dia were quick to re­spond to the ad. “Of all the bizarre sex­ist ads, this one from Ja­pan takes the eel,” said one user on Twit­ter.

“This makes me think of a girl who is be­ing kid­napped and locked up... It’s the delu­sions of a per­vert,” an­other com­mented.

City of­fi­cials later pulled the ad, say­ing they were “aware that some peo­ple were of­fended”.

“We just wanted to make a video that sim­ply ex­plains the city is known for eel farm­ing” a lo­cal of­fi­cial told news agency AFP. Ear­lier this year, a Ja­panese com­pany found it­self in sim­i­lar trou­ble. It pro­duced an ad­vert com­par­ing high school stu­dents to cows be­ing bred for meat or dairy farm­ing. One teenage girl is sin­gled out for her abil­ity to pro­duce milk.

Users de­scribed that video as “ud­derly weird”.

Mali Is­lamist jailed for shrine at­tacks

An Is­lamist who de­stroyed an­cient shrines in Tim­buktu has been jailed by the In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Court for nine years.

Ah­mad al-Faqi al-Mahdi ad­mit­ted to lead­ing rebel forces who de­stroyed his­toric mau­soleums at the world her­itage site in Mali in 2012.

Judges at the court in The Hague found he had shown “re­morse and em­pa­thy” for the crime.

It is the first sen­tence based on cul­tural de­struc­tion as a war crime. Far-right ex­trem­ists are sus­pected of be­ing be­hind at­tempted bomb­ings tar­get­ing a mosque and con­fer­ence cen­tre in Ger­many, hours af­ter a march by the anti-Is­lam Pegida move­ment.

The door of a mosque in Dres­den was blown in­side by the force of the blast at around 10pm lo­cal time on Mon­day.

The fam­ily liv­ing in­side, the mosque’s imam, his wife and two sons, were un­hurt but found six bot­tles filled with fuel out­side their scorched and black­ened door.

Ibrahim Is­mail Tu­ran, the imam’s 10-year-old son, told the Säch­sis­che Zeitung news­pa­per: “They at­tacked us be­cause they hate us, be­cause we’re Mus­lims.”

Around 25 min­utes later, an­other ex­plo­sion was re­ported to po­lice out­side the city’s In­ter­na­tional Congress Cen­tre, ly­ing near the state par­lia­ment on the River Elbe.

The blast shat­tered glass on the build­ing’s ter­race but in­jured noone, with in­ves­ti­ga­tors find­ing rem­nants of an im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vice at the scene.

Po­lice evac­u­ated a nearby bar over fears of fur­ther blast and told guests stay­ing in the ho­tel above the ter­race to stay away from win­dows.

Of­fi­cers have been dis­patched to guard two mosques in Dres­den, as well as an Is­lamic cen­tre, with fur­ther pro­tec­tions un­der con­sid­er­a­tion as the in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­tin­ues.

Horst Kret­zschmar, the chief of Dres­den po­lice, said the at­tempted at­tacks were be­lieved to be con­nected.

“Al­though we have not yet seen any claim of re­spon­si­bil­ity, we must work on the ba­sis of a xeno­pho­bic mo­tive,” he said. “At the same time, we see a con­nec­tion to cel­e­bra­tions for the Day of Ger­man Unity this com­ing week­end.”

The pub­lic hol­i­day, which falls on 3 Oc­to­ber, marks the re­uni­fi­ca­tion of Ger­many in 1990 and is marked with fes­ti­vals of­fi­cially hosted by a dif­fer­ent city each year, with the task for 2016 fall­ing to Dres­den.

The city is home to the Pegida move­ment, which stands for “Pa­tri­otic Euro­peans against Is­lami­sa­tion of the West”, and holds weekly marches some­times draw­ing tens of thou­sands of sup­port­ers.

De­scribed by one politi­cian as “Nazis in pin­stripes”, the group is reg­u­larly met by coun­ter­demon­stra­tions ac­cus­ing mem­bers of racism, fas­cism, xeno­pho­bia and in­cit­ing .

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