France and then Belgium came out strongly, saying that people have rights, religions do not.… Read the rest
Archive for September 2008
No, Mo is more humble than Jesus. No, Jesus is – oh never mind.… Read the rest
Ahab hated Moby Dick; Moby Dick is the Other; people hate Osama bin Laden; OBL is the Other. QED.… Read the rest
There are good reasons to object to a state that favours a religion or culture, as well as a state that favours a race.… Read the rest
Parents said they disobeyed the law to comply with religious beliefs and curb daughters’ sexual drive.… Read the rest
Perhaps because domineering men are likely to be promoted.… Read the rest
This article is excerpted (with permission) from the Center for Inquiry report Islam and human rights: Defending Universality at the United Nations by Austin Dacey and Colin Koproske (pp. 5-6, 9, 16, 17, 21-2, 23). Read the whole report.
As this paper is being written, sixty years after the issuance of the world’s first and greatest
statement in favor of universal human rights, both the document and the institution put in
place to protect its ideals (what has, since 2006, been called the UN Human Rights Council)
are threatened more than ever. There is now an alternative human rights system, infused with
religious language and layered with exceptions, omissions and caveats. The movement toward
“Islamic human rights” (IHR) has … Read the rest
The problem is that half the electorate revels in Palin’s lack of intellectual qualifications.… Read the rest
More than 30% of Jewish residents in Jerusalem are Haredi, while 22% are secular.… Read the rest
When he says he believes God created him he is making a difficult statement of faith.… Read the rest
The target may have been US security officials, but the victims are mostly local.… Read the rest
And then there is increasingly-Haredi Jerusalem.
Yoel Kreus…describes himself as a ‘shmira’, a Hebrew word that translates as ‘watcher of Israel’. ‘I make sure the rabbis’ decisions happen … I help you to be a moral person,’ he said…Signs warning women not to enter if they are wearing trousers, short sleeves or a skirt above the knees, hang in the neighbourhood. One is affixed outside Kreus’s two-room house…Extraordinarily, he admitted to slashing the tyres of women who have driven into the neighbourhood who, he said, were indecently dressed…’Now I’m trying new creative methods, not using violence. Now I make a small hole in their tyres and the air deflates slowly. I’m not destroying their car.’
He’s not destroying their … Read the rest
And speaking of ignorance and silliness, there’s always Theo Hobson.
[A] creationist is not someone who subscribes to the idea of divine creation; it is a believer who refuses to admit the difficulty entailed in Christian faith, who wants it to be as easy as science…[W]hen I say that I believe that God created me, and the whole world, I am making a difficult statement of faith. It is the most difficult statement of faith that can be made: it is saying that I trust God will right all wrongs, cure all pain. For Christians do not just believe that God created the world, but that he created it good, and that this fundamental goodness will ultimately triumph.
A … Read the rest
Sam Harris is not entirely impressed by Sarah Palin, or by the fact of her candidacy.
However badly she may stumble during the remaining weeks of this campaign, her supporters will focus their outrage upon the journalist who caused her to break stride…and, above all, upon the “liberal elites” with their highfalutin assumption that, in the 21st century, only a reasonably well-educated person should be given command of our nuclear arsenal.
This is what always infuriates me. Whence comes this conviction that ignorance is a terrific quality for a president to have? Nobody wants a plumber who can’t find the sink, or a pilot who never learned to fly, or a doctor with a fake diploma, or an amateur … Read the rest
Stanley Fish is a smug bastard. This is not news, but he’s smugger than usual in his New York Times blog post on Rushdie and Spellberg and Jones. The first sentence is a staggerer.
Salman Rushdie, self-appointed poster boy for the First Amendment, is at it again.
That just irritates the bejesus out of me. Self-appointed? Poster boy? At it again? Excuse me? He could hardly have been less self-appointed – it was the Ayatollah and his murderous illegal bloodthirsty ‘fatwa’ that appointed Rushdie a supporter of free speech, not Rushdie. And Rushdie defends free speech in general, not the First Amendment in particular; how parochial of smug sneery Fish to conflate the two. And ‘poster boy'; that’s just … Read the rest
Hitchens reads Bernard-Henri Lévy’s new book.
He can take a long time to show how agonized he is by leftist compromises with every disgraced regime and ideology from Slobodan Milosevic to Islamic jihadism, but the effort expended is worthwhile and shows some of the scars of political warfare from Bangladesh to Bosnia. He is much readier to defend Israel as a democratic cause than are most leftists and many Jews, but he was early in saying that a Palestinian state was a good idea, not because it would appease Arab and Muslim grievances but for its own sake. (This distinction strikes me as both morally and politically important.)
Well yes – very important indeed. Grievances (as I have pointed … Read the rest
If there is anything special about this event, it lies in the extreme disproportion between Hirst’s expected prices and his actual talent.… Read the rest
Lévy repudiates radical sympathy with theocracy by inverting Pascal and saying ‘we have to make an antiwager.’… Read the rest
‘She also has every right to try to suppress the book’s publication.’ She does? Every right?… Read the rest