The unconscious was not Freud’s discovery, but that of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche via Hume and Locke.… Read the rest
Archive for March 2008
When Moses climbed Sinai and received the Ten Commandments and the Bible, he was tripping. … Read the rest
Human rights law is not a product of western hegemony. In fact, Stephen James argues, the opposite is true.… Read the rest
She worships a two-story high teapot. But she was ‘born Muslim’ so she’s not allowed to leave.… Read the rest
More than 200 girls disappear from Bradford schools each year.… Read the rest
Authorities suspect they have been taken abroad to be forced into marriage.… Read the rest
Ahmadinejad said ‘In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals.’ The audience howled.… Read the rest
Mehdi Kazemi, 19, learned his boyfriend had been executed in Iran, requested asylum; UK says No.… Read the rest
Harvard has banned men from a gym for six hours a week at the request of Muslim women.… Read the rest
How is it possible to combine ethical universalism with acknowledgement of difference?… Read the rest
It’s the hells angels’ code of ethics: If you don’t respect me I’ll kill you or scare the hell out of anyone you know.… Read the rest
Sources allege that meetings were hosted between the banned Mungiki militia and senior government figures. … Read the rest
Bishop Richard Williamson told The Catholic Herald that the document was authentic.… Read the rest
Hundreds, if not thousands of stories of inhuman torture and Kafkaesque detentions in Bangladesh remain untold.… Read the rest
Before I discovered Christopher Hitchens, I seriously doubted that non-fiction prose could be savoured and reread. How wrong I was. As a writer, Hitchens has the style of Byron, the depth of Faulkner and the wit of Wilde. Possibly the most well-read man on the planet, Hitchens has the ability to communicate complex arguments with a warmth and economy that can engage the dullest layman.
I would read Hitchens on anything, but Hitchens on religion is especially fine. In this breezeblock anthology of secularist thought, he has gathered broadsides against religion from the pre-faith age to the twenty-first century. The word symposium, in Ancient Greece, simply meant ‘drinking party.’ This is a rough, raucous party of a book, where … Read the rest
And speaking of authoritarianism and bullying, remember the new Iranian penal code? I was having another look at it and I noticed something I hadn’t fully taken in before.
Article 225-5: Parental Apostate is one whose parents (both) had been non-Muslims at the time of conception, and who has become a Muslim after the age of maturity, and later leaves Islam and returns to blasphemy. Article 225-6: If someone has at least one Muslim parent at the time of conception but after the age of maturity, without pretending to be a Muslim, chooses blasphemy is considered a Parental Apostate.
Look closely at 225:6. If you have one Muslim parent at the time of conception, and then when you grow … Read the rest
It’s heartwarming when authoritarian reactionaries join forces, don’t you think? The Vatican and Al Azhar university got together last week to forbid everyone to make fun of them. They included the usual dutiful and empty (given what always immediately follows – given the inevitable ‘but’) acknowledgement of ‘the value’ of free expression, but
Both sides vehemently denounce the reprinting of the offensive cartoon and the attack on Islam and its prophet. We call for the respect of faiths, religious holy books and religious symbols. Freedom of expression should not become a pretext to insult religions and defaming religious sanctities.
So they pretended for form’s sake to acknowledge ‘the value’ of free expression only in hopes of getting away with … Read the rest
What motivates educated, well-to-do urban sophisticates to continue to believe in miracles and supernatural beings? … Read the rest