Malaysia Today editor was detained for writing ‘malicious and seditious’ articles that ‘maligned Islam.’… Read the rest
Archive for September 2008
Ali al-Sistani issued a fatwa urging the killing of lesbians and gays in the ‘most severe way possible.’… Read the rest
Hey it’s late September – yet again I’ve forgotten to say Happy Birthday B&W until weeks after the date. Well happy birthday B&W – it’s six years old. More than that, since I’m late. Staggering, isn’t it? Still here after all this time.… Read the rest
Mr President, integrating the human rights of women throughout the United Nations system must start here in the Human Rights Council. No State should be permitted to hide behind tradition, culture or religion in order to justify any abuse of women’s human rights. This Council is the World’s primary institution charged with the promotion and protection of human rights, and has a sacred duty to fulfil. It must be possible here to freely exercise the right to freedom of expression in order to defend the human rights of all, including women, and to expose abuse, whatever the attempted justification.
Including women indeed; women most of all, since we’re the ones whose rights get snatched away … Read the rest
Steven Weinberg on living without God.
Around 1100, the Sufi philosopher Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali argued against the very idea of laws of nature, on the grounds that any such law would put God’s hands in chains. According to al-Ghazzali, a piece of cotton placed in a flame does not darken and smolder because of the heat of the flame, but because God wants it to darken and smolder.
Not a very curiosity-inspiring way to think about things. Whatever happens happens because God wants it to. Ho hum. What’s for dinner?
I do not think we have to worry that giving up religion will lead to a moral decline. There are plenty of people without religious faith who live exemplary
Might cause the girls to hump like weasels. Or get headaches, or something.… Read the rest
No State should be permitted to hide behind tradition, culture or religion to justify any abuse of women’s rights. … Read the rest
IHEU has been beating on this door for the past five years; now EU, Belgium, Denmark have joined in.… Read the rest
Raja Petra, himself a Muslim, was accused of insulting Islam through an article on the Malaysia Today website.… Read the rest
We have not observed anything that seems to require supernatural intervention for its explanation.… Read the rest
Well I’ve been thinking (and murmuring, much of the time) that this all seemed rather hasty and unconsidered and likely to end in tears. It’s all very well, but writing someone a check for $700 billion to do as he likes with is really a little bit extravagant, when you think about it. I understand that he says the situation is urgent, but all the same, this business of shouting ‘hurry up, right now, there’s no time to lose, don’t stand there talking about it and thinking about the consequences and asking foolish questions and wondering if it will work, we’re in a crisis here, give me the 700 billion dollars right now!’ looks unpleasantly like…a rather bumptious way … Read the rest
Paulson wants a plan with dictatorial power and no strings. Slow down there, cowboy.… Read the rest
‘I won’t lie to you, being fictional was a big advantage.’… Read the rest
The Danish MP rejects protecting God’s rights before we protect human rights.… Read the rest
Roy Brown and David Littman now have company as Austin Dacey and Hugo Estrella join the fight.… Read the rest
Mr President, criticism of Islam, or of any other religion, is not racism: it is a human right.… Read the rest
Existing instruments protect believers against incitement. To go further would be to protect the contents of belief itself.… Read the rest
Offit deconstructs the anti-vaccine movement as one driven by bad science, litigious greed, hype and ego.… Read the rest
Good, the word is getting out. That was the idea. It needs to get out, and it also needs to be not a monopoly of right-wing blogs. This is not an inherently right-wing concern, to put it mildly – and the more it is left as such the more it strikes people as perhaps possibly vaguely racist – but it isn’t – so it’s good that it’s getting out.
Austin Dacey has been in Geneva all this month on assignment from the Center for Inquiry to defend human rights against attacks from people who prefer religious rights. Hillel Neuer of UN Watch got down to work the next day.
For several years, states from the Organization of the Islamic Conference have advanced resolutions to combat “the defamation of religion,” which have passed handily. In March, the OIC, aided by Russia, China, Cuba, and the so-called non-aligned states, succeeded in altering the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression to include monitoring and reporting on “abuses” of expression on matters of religion. In late August, an Abuja, Nigeria regional meeting (in preparation for the Durban II conference