Four legs good two legs bad

Nov 18th, 2010 12:30 pm | By

Karima Bennoune thinks human rights groups shouldn’t portray Anwar al-Awlaki as a nice liberal guy.

Bennoune pointed out that Awlaki published an article in al-Qaida’s English language magazine, Inspire, in July openly calling for assassinations of several people, including a young woman cartoonist in Seattle and Salman Rushdie. This was at around the time the CCR was offering to represent Awlaki’s father, she said.

Bennoune, who is of Algerian descent, also expressed fears that the CCR and the ACLU were in danger of “sanitising” Awlaki to western audiences.

“Since the inception of the case,” she said, “there has been increased mystification of who Anwar al-Awlaki is in liberal and human rights circles in the United States. This may in part

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Gita Sahgal on human rights folly and Awlaki *

Nov 18th, 2010 | Filed by

By deliberately sanitising al-Awlaki’s reputation, the CCR is acting as criminal defence lawyers rather than human rights lawyers.… Read the rest

Rights groups should not sanitize Awlaki *

Nov 18th, 2010 | Filed by

Awlaki published an article in al-Qaida’s magazine openly calling for assassinations of several people, including a cartoonist in Seattle and Salman Rushdie.… Read the rest

Geoff Nunberg on Austen and punctuation *

Nov 18th, 2010 | Filed by

She wrote untidy drafts; it is foolish to conclude from this that she was a clumsy writer who needed help from a man.… Read the rest

Nuisance lawsuit targets “climate hawk” politicians *

Nov 18th, 2010 | Filed by

“Let Freedom Ring” is a Conservative think-tank set up thanks to a $1 million donation from the president of the Templeton Foundation.… Read the rest

Confederate flag “a symbol of Jesus Christ” *

Nov 17th, 2010 | Filed by

According to Arkansas state representative Loy Mauch, who would like the south to withdraw from the US.… Read the rest

Republicans and Tea Partiers go after scientists *

Nov 17th, 2010 | Filed by
Why, after all, have a panel on energy independence and global warming if you don’t believe in either?… Read the rest

Aikin and Talisse wage war on Christmas *

Nov 17th, 2010 | Filed by

The Christmas myths are morally horrid.  That’s not the worst of it, though.  They are overwhelming, suffocating.… Read the rest

Reading journal

Nov 17th, 2010 12:00 pm | By

The library coughed up a copy of Jonathan Franzen’s new novel a lot faster than I expected, so I’m reading it. Is anybody else reading it, or finished reading it? I saw one or two rave reviews at first, then some revisionist commentary saying actually it’s a tad boring. I’m pretty much with the revisionists. It is interesting enough to keep reading, so far (I’m at p 224, less than halfway), but it’s also pretty boring, and at the moment it’s getting boringer.

It’s too much writing about too few people. There are really only three people so far, and 224 pages is a lot of pages for only three people unless the three people are very damn interesting, and … Read the rest

The petri dish refuses to give me a hug

Nov 17th, 2010 11:36 am | By

It’s a Sisyphean task keeping track of the…surprising arguments of Karl Giberson, BioLogos’s ubiquitous “science-and-religion scholar” (as they always call him). I’m barely recovered from his explanation of the profundity of the middle ground at Huffington Post and now here he is again, back at BioLogos, setting himself up as demolishing “strawmen,” complete with mocking picture of same. His demolition is not entirely convincing.

The final straw man I want to torch in this series is the claim that science uses evidence and religion uses faith…

Well that seems like a tall order. How will he manage that, one wonders.

He notes that evidence is more abundant in some fields than in others. True. But then he says that the … Read the rest

Jesus and Mo channel Karl Giberson *

Nov 17th, 2010 | Filed by

They celebrate their precarious and profound middle ground.… Read the rest

Rowntree Trust gives £120k to Cageprisoners *

Nov 17th, 2010 | Filed by

Says Moazzam Begg is the right sort of fella to build bridges and make links to young Muslims.… Read the rest

Richard Owen reviews Origin in Edinburgh Review *

Nov 17th, 2010 | Filed by

Set the cat among the pigeons.… Read the rest

Huxley’s review of Origin in Westminster Review *

Nov 17th, 2010 | Filed by

A classic.… Read the rest

Tortured maid in stable condition in Saudi hospital *

Nov 17th, 2010 | Filed by

The latest in a string of physical abuse cases involving Indonesian migrant workers in Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries.… Read the rest

Indonesian maid tortured by Saudi employers *

Nov 17th, 2010 | Filed by

Her injuries include gashes to her face and cuts to her lips, allegedly inflicted by her employers using scissors. She was also burned with an iron.… Read the rest

Indonesia: man on trial for “blasphemy” *

Nov 16th, 2010 | Filed by

Charges will be dropped if he builds a new musholla. Hmm.… Read the rest

Pakistan: outcry against blasphemy death penalty *

Nov 16th, 2010 | Filed by

The campaign to confront the country’s blasphemy laws is hampered by the danger of being accused of undermining Islam.… Read the rest

Anti-semitism video *

Nov 16th, 2010 | Filed by

“The Koran itself says it.”… Read the rest

Even Galileo was free to believe what he wanted

Nov 15th, 2010 12:21 pm | By

Myth 7 in Galileo Goes to Jail is that Giordano Bruno was a martyr for science; the author, Jole Shackelford, corrects this by pointing out that Bruno was burned alive for heresy, not science. Oh; that’s all right then.

He sets the stage by quoting from…guess…The Warfare of Science (1876), by Andrew Dickson White. The White-Draper thesis is the great bugbear of the revisionists on this subject, and after awhile one starts to wonder why it is so urgent to correct the mistakes of a history (however influential) dated 1876.

Whatever. White made the mistake of implying that Bruno was killed for being a Copernican when in fact he was killed for being a heretic. All right – … Read the rest