Re: the article by Dunbar on Hitchens.
“but basic physics tell us that it’s heat that generates light”
Oh, it does, does it?
Re the “Boycott Duban II” article by Pascal Bruckner linked by B&W (alluding to the ludicrous Durban Review Conference on Human Rights slated for 2009), the British Minister for Europe Jim Murphy stated:
“We will continue to work to make sure that the conference is a success, but we will play no part in an international conference that exhibits the degree of anti-Semitism that was disgracefully on view on the previous occasion.”
Working to make sure the conference is a success? There’s a place for diplomatic language in international exchanges, but this comes from another planet. Compare Murphy’s mealy-mouthed declaration with this unequivocally principled stand by Canada
“Earlier this year, Canada announced that it will not attend the ‘Durban II’ conference, saying it is shaping up to be as anti-Semitic and anti-West as the first gathering.”
According to NGO Monitor, Canada is confirmed to boycott the conference, with France, Israel, US and UK as potential boycotters:
Somewhere, there is supposed to be a fully referenced (with bib) version of Warraq’s essay on Said (shortened version entitled “Debunking Edward Said”. I would like to have the full version. How do I get it?
Sorry! That was a dud link to the full version of Ibn Warraq’s article on Said – I’ve fixed it now. It’s also available, slightly revised, as the first chapter in his new book Defending the West.
I’m just an ordinary 70 year old bloke who has NO time for Religion of any sort but the ‘Red Sea’ story proves without a shadow of a doubt that “God” should be charged with “Premeditated Mass Murder of the First Order” for the people & animals “HE” drowned.
Thou shalt not kill, What a joke!!!
Comment A: “Again and again in science, yesterday’s heresies have become today’s new orthodoxies. No religion exhibits that pattern in its history.”
How ironic. This statement is made because the auther expects to find no such pattern in religion. One needs only to look at major Christian denominations to find that yesterday’s heresies have become today’s new orthodoxies. On the basis of scripture, slavery was once lauded as necessary to the order of the universe. Christians changed their orthodoxy, and slavery was abolished. On the basic of scripture, women were once regarded as chattle, and it was heresy for a woman to even speak in church. Christians elevated the status of women to the level of equality between the sexes. On the basis of scripture, separatism of the races was once necessary to “preserve racial purity.” Black and white Christians destroyed that separatism by changing their orthodoxy. Child were once chalttels, based upon scripture. Christians have elevated the status of children throughoout our culture, contrary to the old orthodoxy.
We tend to see what we want to see, and hear what we want to hear. Those who choose to see religion as superstition fail to see reality. When Christ returns, He wondered, whether He would find faith on the earth. Faith and science are only antithetical if you believe they are, as premise number one. This is the fly in the ointment that you are peddling, sir.
Comment B: Postmodernism is a non-sensical concept unworthy of serious philosphical discussion. It is simply a buzzword. Dick Hebdige, in his ‘Hiding in the Light’ illustrates this:
When it becomes possible for people to describe as ‘postmodern’ the décor of a room, the design of a building, the diegesis of a film, the construction of a record, or a ‘scratch’ video, a television commercial, or an arts documentary, or the ‘intertextual’ relations between them, the layout of a page in a fashion magazine or critical journal, an anti-teleological tendency within epistemology, the attack on the ‘metaphysics of presence’ a general attenuation of feeling, the collective chagrin and morbid projections of a post-War generation of baby boomers confronting disillusioned middle-age, the ‘predicament of reflexitivity, a group of rhetorical tropes, a proliferation of surfaces, a new phase in commodity fetishism, a fascination for images, codes and styles, a process of cultural, political or existential fragmentation and/or crisis, the ‘de-centring’ of the subject, an ‘incredulity towards metanarratives’, the replacement of unitary power axes by a plurality of power/discourse formations, the ‘implosion of meaning’, the collapse of cultural hierarchies, the dread engendered by the threat of nuclear self-destruction, the decline of the university, the functioning and effects of the new miniaturised technologies, broad societal and economic shifts into a ‘media’, ‘consumer’ or ‘multinational’ phase, a sense (depending on who you read) of ‘placelessness’ or the abandonment of ‘placelessness’ (critical regionalism) or (even) a generalised substitution of spatial for temporal coordinates: when it becomes possible to describe all these things as ‘postmodern’ (or more simply using a current abbreviation as ‘post’ or ‘very post’) then it’s clear we are in the presence of a buzzword.
Kirby, Alan (November/December 2006). “The Death of Postmodernism And Beyond”. Philosophy Now (58): 34–37. Philosophy Documentation Center. ISSN: 0961-5970. Retrieved on 2007-03-27.
Meera Nanda seems to think that Indians
got their sense of acceptance of other
religions from the west…she is
completely mistaken….India has had
a long line of great men who have
repeatedly reiterated the truth of things…rather than dogmas and creeds…
half baked cliche-touting doesn’t lead
“Children were placed in a tumble-drier”
Yes, they were indeed. Staff threatened children with being by them placed into the industrial tumble drier if they misbehaved. I also know of a child who was by a staff member shoved into a walk-in fridge in the scullery. I also know of another child whose head was by a staff member placed into her wet sheet as punishment.
Children, every morning of their young lives in Goldenbridge, waited in a long queue in St Patrick’s to be by Sr. Xaveria flogged – until kingdom come… She danced and frothed at the mouth, while raining down her ‘inherited;’ stick on every one of them. Children literally wet themselves as they waited in line, as well as when it was their turn to be by the cruel sister whipped. They got an extra dose of the stick for their ‘wee’ trouble. It was not the fault of children if they so happened to wet their beds, it was the fault of the harsh regime that existed in the institution. The young children there should have been cared for instead of being constantly by this sister of Mercy whipped. Older children who wet their beds had to stand in a circle around the school rostrum and display their wet sheets to Sr. Xaveria. She of their parent’s lowly worldly status, invariably, while standing in this vulnerable position then reminded them. There was no friendly inspector around to witness these daily mortifying events
UK : UK, political correctness, racist babies, delirium, and modern bigotry
Toddlers who turn their noses up at spicy food from overseas could be branded racists by a Government-sponsored agency.
The National Children’s Bureau, which receives £12 million a year, mainly from Government funded organisations, has issued guidance to play leaders and nursery teachers advising them to be alert for racist incidents among youngsters in their care.
This could include a child of as young as three who says “yuk” in response to being served unfamiliar foreign food.
The guidance by the NCB is designed to draw attention to potentially-racist attitudes in youngsters from a young age. It alerts playgroup leaders that even babies can not be ignored in the drive to root out prejudice as they can “recognise different people in their lives”.
Police: Arranged marriage led father to kill daughter
A Clayton County man faces murder charges in the strangling death of his 25-year-old daughter early Sunday over her desire to end an arranged marriage.
Chaudhry Rashad, 54, apparently got mad during an argument in which the victim, Sandela Kanwal, told him she wanted out of the marriage, Clayton police officer Timothy Owens said.
Both Rashad and Kanwal are of Pakistani descent.
As a “non-theist” I can logically understand the possibility of existence beyond the space-time constraints of my own, but just don’t understand why I should bow down and subsume my whole life to that possibility. If God does exist, I don’t believe he/she/it deserves my worship or obeisance.
Children – every morning of their young lives before/after so called breakfast scrubbed and cleaned Goldenbridge institution. They had to scrub and polish floors on their bended knees as well as wash in cold water sheets that were full of excrement /clean shores that were also full of excrement./scrub toilet walls that were full of excrement. See Goldenbridge Articles. Children, by staff, were also randomly called out of classrooms to do work in a Magdalen laundry of sorts. The work in this laundry (which was situated beyond the convent) was very dangerous -as bubbling boiling frothy soapy steaming water from melted soap blocks perpetually arose from these gigantic vats. As a result children could not navigate their way around properly because of the overspill which freely poured onto the laundry floors – causing in its wake -lethal slippage. Children in this steamy moisture ridden environment were forced by the religious to heave with the aid of wooden tongs and their growing bodies – heavyweight wet sheets out of smaller vats. The sheets thereafter were hung on ‘swinging horses’ which children had to climb and risk grave injuries to themselves in the process. Certain children, who were by the religious sisters, considered reliable, were given the privileged task of washing garments belonging to the Sisters of Mercy. Children who were by the system considered slow as well as myself worked on dangerous machinery in the scullery – such as slicing bread on big slicing machines and lifting large milk churns up a flight of steps. Older children were given tasks of bathing fine/combing heads of new children who entered the institution – thus causing in the latter terrific friction and hate towards the older children when they became accustomed to the institution. This bitter resentment oftentimes lasted (in the damaged psyches of those on the receiving end of the harsh treatment) throughout their whole lives. Fine combing of heads with miniature steel combs, which were dipped in pink paraffin oil, before being scraped/dug violently into heads of children ,was excruciatingly painful and children cried and screamed all the time. I commit to memory as a twelve year old or even younger washing in the prison yard in a big aluminium basin the heads of countless children. The same water was used for everyone.
I also remember as a young child polishing sandals/shoes/hobnail of the entire institution in the rec. Newspapers were laid out (in the centre of the hall) and the tied items were placed in the middle of them. Sniffing polish was a heavenly experience indeed.
As for the rosary bead making, well that is another story that was told by me. See B&W Articles.
BTW, Sister Helena O’ Donoghue – in 2006 relayed to the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse that children made rosary beads each day for two hours. See Goldenbridge Transcripts. I would like to remind readers that the then Provincial leader of the Sisters of Mercy, not only ever set foot inside Goldenbridge but was giving information to CICA concerning this serious ‘human rights issue’ as a third party only -she had obviously (from where all of those who daily slogged away at this slave labour) obtained ‘her information’ from a biased source. I spent my whole childhood making rosary beads in the secret rosary and I will challenge anyone who tries to tell me differently as to what occurred in St Bridget’s rosary bead factory. Children did not make rosary beads for only two hours each day – they had to reach a quota of sixty decades and twelve threes and if this was not reached by the end of the day they were by the staff punished severely. It was virtually impossible to complete this arduous task in the space of time that Sr Helena specified to CICA. She talked through her religious veil at the CICA. But then that is only natural – even murderers will try to defend themselves in court. This is the way of law.
The inspector who was friendly with Sr. X in all probability gave her prior warning before visitation to Goldenbridge. This was at the time very common practice with educational/inspector/medical officials. The whole institution, in preparation of their arrival, was scrubbed /polished down from top to bottom by children. One could almost see the reflection of their faces in the glistening shiny floors. We were also given new clothes/ dressing gowns/ bed linen/better food for the occasion. We were told to smile at all visitors. I also do not find it unsurprising, the fact that Sr. X was very friendly with the inspector as he would have been served up tea on fine china in the parlour and Sr. X had a business to run and like all good business people she knew how to woo her clients. Sr. X was given by the department of education sufficient capitation grants for the upkeep of children and it should not have been the remit of her to exploit children in her care. The department of education was very much understaffed and was not privy to the real goings on that went on behind closed religious institutional doors.
Positive reports were issued from it to industrial schools for generations throughout Ireland – but the truth about the reality of life in these institutions has finally been “outed” (by those of us of who were/ are still alive) to the commission to inquire into child institutional abuse .
From my personal perception Sr. X should not have been allowed by her order to have ruled the roost with an iron rod. She controlled everything/everybody who came in her sight, inclusive of other sisters, staff animals, visitors, relations of children. The buck stopped with her. She was a person, who had before joining the religious order total responsibility of her siblings – who, incidentally visited her regularly in Goldenbridge. And of whom she constantly reminded children to smile at them if they should encounter same on the corridors. The sisters in the convent were not allowed contact with children from the nearby industrial school. We were classed by all and sundry as children from the lower echelons of society, children of wayward parent/s, children of parent/s who did unspeakable acts, children of alcoholic’s, children of mixed race, children of unwanted parent/s, children of mentally afflicted parents, children of degenerates, children who were placed on doorsteps., children from itinerant, travelling tinker stock., etc etc. were to be avoided like the plague.
Sr. X took it upon herself to take total responsibility of Goldenbridge. She handled visitors, worked accounts, bought shopping for the whole institution and beat children black and blue into the bargain, every day of their lives. I ask beseechingly, “why in God’s name was this Sister of Mercy allowed to have so much control? I cannot for the life of me understand. It is an enigma. She learned her trade from Sr. Mary Bernadine who was by all accounts much more severe than Sr. X. I think I would have died had I been there during her reign.
I hated Goldenbridge with a venom. I hated the hierarchical system that prevailed. I hated the way children were encouraged to keep away from those who for various background reasons were by the sisters’ considered low/common. Despite the fact that children themselves did not know anything about their relatives. I hated the aeroplane ribbons that the pets wore and wanted to reef them off their la la heads. I hated Miss Devaney who every day made a big deal of some children whilst ridiculing others. I hated the way she threw extra bread, in a teasing fashion in the direction of her favourite children whilst ignoring and smiling eerily at the rest of them. She constantly derived joy at humiliating children. She was thick with Sr. X and could psychologically do whatever she god damned liked indeed.
Sr. X was more feared than liked by all those who were under her care.
Actually, if Dr Bucaille really does believe the quran could not be the work of man and is not the work of god, surely the only other explanation in christian or muslim terms must be that it is the work of the devil? That would explain his dissimulation too.
Current gurus of the so-called scientific interpretation of the Quran (perhaps ‘the Quranic interpretation of science’ would be a more appropriate designation) are cleverer than Monsieur Bucaille. They would quote a foggy or even a banal verse of the Quran, as for instance, “And the hills, how they are set up” (Q.88:19, Pickthall), then they regale their readers with a feast of good geological information about the formation of mountains, imposing on their gullible audience the belief that it is all contained in and can readily be derived from the Quranic verse. Such is the approach of, for instance, Dr. Zaghloul El-Naggar, to mention just one of the more prominent practitioners of an art popular and tolerated in high places.
I wish some of them would give us their interpretation of the meteors hurled at the jinn (Q.72: 8-9) or of Dhul-Qarneyn (‘The Two-Horned’, in one tradition a name for Alexander the Great) who “when he reached the setting-place of the sun, he found it setting in a muddy spring” (Q.18:86, Pickthall).
A pet project of mine that I keep putting off is to write an article on the alleged inimitability of the Quran and the strange hold it has over believers. Briefly: the Quran was composed at a time when Arabic had not yet developed literary prose. The Arabs had poetry, characterized with all the vigour of a semi-primitive people living in contact with a harsh and hard environment. They had no written literature, no literary prose. The Quran was pioneering in this direction. It forged a style that stands halfway between poetry and prose. It has all the beauty and the strength of poetry and all the faults and the weaknesses of a language trying to grapple with narration, argument, legislation, etc. The excellences are evident; the faults are glaring for anyone who is not blinded by faith. Take any verse that is more than half-a-dozen words long and you will find it syntactically and stylistically defective. Add to this the awkwardness in the structure of nearly all but the shortest suras, an awkwardness due to the manner in which the verses and the suras were collected and fitted together and you will find the claim for the rhetorical wonder of the Quran itself a wonder calling for explanation!
But my comment is already over-lengthy. I have to leave it at that.
D. R. Khashaba
surely Mr. Malik knows that there is a vibrant discussion in the scientific community that “race” is not biological as he so readily asserts
Ach… I couldn’t be bothered!
Looking through this page I can see that it’s the usual old frothers frothering their usual froth.
Oh well – the rest of the website is great!
The analysis is interesting, but the cause and effect is not fully developed. Perhaps that is what the book is about. My question: To what extent have multiculturalists begun with their theories of culture and race and ended up implacable foes of western (in the equal-before-the-law, liberal-democratic sense of western) culture. Or: To what extent have multiculturalists begun with hatred of classic western values…which they invariably determine to be welded to capitalism, the revolutionary march of individual liberty, globalization and the like…and creatively ginned up the theories you detail to rationalize their pre-suppositions and foregone conclusions? I think the latter. Multiculturalism and a host of other protest/progressive isms are adverse reactions to the course of the last 500 years, in which the visceral is rationalized in terms of the intellectual, and not the other way around.
I can admire French culture whatever I think of the French, whether I’m a Frenchman myself, or a German, of a Sufi. Cultures, like any traditions–and they are no more than rather dense and variable sets of traditions–have a reality of their own as history, whatever the current generation of descendant of those who practiced it might be doing. If the Romans, or the Americans, so dominated a foreign nation as to overwhelm that nation’s cultural practices, then their tradition may well decay, or even disappear, even if the biological people continue, speaking the same set of languages, with the same range of hair type, shape of facial features, etc.
You merely assume that only race can determine culture, ignore history, and then seem to think you’ve proven that ah, ha, all culture is is a claim about race.
Like so many of all clever ideas that each week or month come blaring at us from newspapers, magazines, academic trends, and now internet sites, they are quite rightly forgotten and displaced by the next issue or two. It’s a form of quasi-intellectual life as distraction.
Very “provocative” and in the usual tone of authority and certitude, the kind of thing editors love, but also as usual containing only the sketchiest suggestion of a reasoned or serious idea.
RE: Dogs in Islam, According to the Hadith, by Edmund Standing.
When I saw the news about the “Muslim Boots for Police Dogs” I was inclined to think that they were kowtowing to what seemed like superstition.
Now you have proved that it’s not merely superstition, but fabrication.
Culture is a social disease. Individuals attempting to survive and prosper in this world not only frequently have their DNA, their social position, and their cultural heritage to thank for their success, they often have some combination of flaws in all those influences to thank for their difficulties and failures. To invest some kind of ontological priority or value in themselves to any DNA line, social institution, or cultural artifact is as ridiculous as it is ubiquitous. Individuals should wake up and smell the coffee if they do not want to find themselves used, abused, and often pointlessly killed by the extraneous influences of their inheritances and social and cultural surroundings. When you are tempted to place your faith in some cultural tradition just remember: faith is the fallout from hope–and highly dangerous.
Sorry, but there’s no such word in the dictionary.
Why is it that to desire the culture and values of one’s youth is so often denigrated? I grew up in a working class area in the west midlands, but I was exposed, at home and at school, to a range of music and art of a high quality. So much for bourgeois snobbery. I heard Bernstein and Rodgers and Hammerstein; I heard Bach and Rimsky Korsakov; I visited art galleries and places of historical interest. I went to the theatre and to see and hear concerts, and I was introduced to Dickens and other classic authors. When I entered my teenage years I liked the Beatles and Bob Dylan, and other figures from the pop world. But I still had in my mind a sesne of what I think of as my cultural heritage.
One can forgive politicians for their economic illiteracy, and their ill-advised foreign ventures, but I find it impossible to excuse the ideological drive towards the imposition of multiculturalism, and the conscious destruction of our country and our heritage. I do not want to hear ‘world music’ on radio three when I have turned on the radio to hear a programme ostensibly about classical music, and i don’t like being lectured when I complain about it. I want the Proms to be about all that was good about classical music until the 1940s. I don’t want the quality and the tenor of the concerts diluting and changing to accommodate modish styles, world music and music form other cultures. It is almost as if the powers that be are frightened and repelled by the thought of white middle class culture, so that fine art, architecture, music and every other bastion of a once fine civisation must be abondoned and sacrificed on the altar of moernism and multiculturalism.
Why don’t the meddlers leave us alone?
The miracle gold fillings are old hat!
Let’s be clear. Intelligent design may be interesting as theology, but as science it is a fraud…A “theory” that violates the most basic requirement of anything pretending to be science — that it be empirically disprovable. How does one empirically disprove the proposition that God was behind the lemur, or evolution ?
A blinding misrepresentation of Hitchen’s critics, barely correlates at all with reality and fails entirely to engage with their main points.
Saudi Islamist school book controversy:
A Textbook Case of Intolerance: Changing the world one schoolbook at a time.
By Anne Applebaum
Study by the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom:
Reference the linked BBC report “Bunker abuse claim ‘corroborated’” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7506234.stm
“Police so far have about 100 suspects, though they say only 18 of these are significant.”
Can anyone hazard a guess at who or what an “insignificant suspect” is?