Archive for June 2008

Theodore Dalrymple Reviews Julian Baggini *

Jun 23rd, 2008 | Filed by

Dalrymple is not sure that the intellectually sophisticated and critical are the most balanced complainants.… Read the rest

Bali Bombers Issue Encouragement from Cells *

Jun 22nd, 2008 | Filed by

Use laptops to call for violent jihad and give advice about how to avoid detection by the security services.… Read the rest

Tsvangirai Pulls Out of Election *

Jun 22nd, 2008 | Filed by

MDC says some 86 supporters have been killed and 200,000 forced from their homes by Zanu-PF militias. … Read the rest

Support for Iranian Women on Demo Anniversary *

Jun 22nd, 2008 | Filed by

Scores of women’s rights activists in Iran have been summoned, arrested and sentenced.… Read the rest

Abdi Sentenced, Safarzadeh Awaiting Trial *

Jun 22nd, 2008 | Filed by

Both are active members of Campaign for Equality, which seeks an end to discrimination against women.… Read the rest

Iran: Hana Abdi Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison *

Jun 22nd, 2008 | Filed by

Abdi has been in detention since November for advocating for greater freedoms for Iran’s women.… Read the rest

Shocked, shocked

Jun 22nd, 2008 11:37 am | By

They still don’t get it. (Who? I don’t really know – I don’t really understand who these people are. The people who think Islamism is okay. Who are they [apart from Islamists of course]? I don’t know. I don’t understand what this tendency or ideology or grouping is. They baffle me. I encounter them here and there, but what they think their politics might be remains opaque. I know they get very irritable with people who have reservations about Islam [let alone Islamism], but that’s not exactly manifesto-quality thought, is it.) They find it astonishing that a clever literate person would despise Islamism. Because – what? Because they themselves would find life in Jeddah perfectly pleasant? Because they … Read the rest

Slow down

Jun 21st, 2008 6:11 pm | By

Not so fast. Harvey Silverglate, a civil liberties lawyer, disagrees with Anthony Lewis’s suggestion that some speech is genuinely dangerous even if it doesn’t imminently threaten anyone. (I agree with that, in case you’re wondering. I don’t think there is no danger until one says ‘Here, kill this person right here, now, hurry up.’ I wish it were that simple, but I don’t think it is.)

“Free speech matters because it works,” Mr. Silverglate continued. Scrutiny and debate are more effective ways of combating hate speech than censorship, he said, and all the more so in the post-Sept. 11 era. “The world didn’t suffer because too many people read ‘Mein Kampf,’ ” Mr. Silverglate said. “Sending Hitler on a speaking

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Interview With Philippe Sands *

Jun 21st, 2008 | Filed by

Why torture is not such a clever idea.… Read the rest

Hindu Activists Upset Over Satirical Movie *

Jun 21st, 2008 | Filed by

Say it will ‘hurt the religious sentiments’ of millions of Hindus worldwide.… Read the rest

Shirin Ebadi Scolds Switzerland over Iran *

Jun 21st, 2008 | Filed by

Laws ratified after the 1979 Revolution, which are contrary to women’s freedoms, are still in place. … Read the rest

Louise Arbour Opposes Taboos in UNHRC *

Jun 21st, 2008 | Filed by

Council is dominated by a bloc of states that often condemn ‘defamation of religion’ and ‘Islamophobia.’… Read the rest

Criticism of Sharia or Fatwas Forbidden at UNHRC *

Jun 21st, 2008 | Filed by

Ruling follows attempts by Egyptian and Pakistani delegates to silence criticism of human rights abuse.… Read the rest

UNHRC Bars All Debate on Sharia *

Jun 21st, 2008 | Filed by

President ruled that only Muslim scholars can be permitted to talk about Islam in the Council.… Read the rest

Forced marriages and Divorce…and kangaroo sharia courts

Jun 21st, 2008 | By Gina Khan

I was asked to speak about forced marriages on a local radio show; I didn’t get to say a lot in a few minutes but there is a lot to be said under the current climate.

I wasn’t actually ‘forced’ into an arranged marriage. I was slowly coerced, manipulated and brainwashed by my dad and his family members over a short period of time, when I went on holiday with him at the age of 16. Soon after arriving, I was given some clothes and a ring. My engagement was announced without my knowledge or consent. I thought it was just a gift from my uncle. He had taken me shopping. I chose the ring and clothes myself without any … Read the rest

The human what council?

Jun 21st, 2008 11:40 am | By

David Littman of the Association for World Education makes a joint statement with the International Humanist and Ethical Union to the UN Human Rights Council, in which they denounce the stoning to death of women accused of adultery and the marriage of girls age nine in countries where Sharia law applies. The UNHRC heartily agrees, right?

The speaker, David Littman, was interrupted by no fewer than 16 points of order and the proceedings of the Council were suspended for forty minutes when the Egyptian delegate said that “Islam will not be crucified in this Council” and attempted to force a vote on whether the speaker should be allowed to continue. On giving his ruling after the break Council President Costea

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Ben Goldacre on the Utility of Being Ripped Off *

Jun 20th, 2008 | Filed by

The pricier it is, the more we trust it.… Read the rest

Turkish Judge Throws Out Child Choir Case *

Jun 20th, 2008 | Filed by

The choir was accused of spreading propaganda for the PKK.… Read the rest

Ohio Teacher Taught ID in Science Class *

Jun 20th, 2008 | Filed by

Freshwater was told to stop teaching ID and creationism, but he continued, the report found.… Read the rest

Ohio Teacher Burns Cross Onto Students’ Arms *

Jun 20th, 2008 | Filed by

‘With the exception of the cross-burning episode’ he is teaching the values of the parents, says a friend.… Read the rest