Archive for 2010

Appiah on honour at Five Books *

Oct 31st, 2010 | Filed by

His first choice is In the Name of Honor by Mukhtar Mai.… Read the rest



Fatwa train

Oct 31st, 2010 4:42 pm | By

Why is it the Telegraph that mentions such things? Where are the papers to the left of the Telegraph?

Nick Cohen is on the case.

Jon Stewart’s Rally for Sanity yesterday featured Yusuf Islam aka Cat Stevens singing “Peace Train”. Islam/Stevens previously showed his commitment to peace and sanity by saying that death was the appropriate punishment for Salman Rushdie’s “blasphemy”.

I’m hoping that Rushdie will drop a word to Stewart and Colbert and that they will say something – like perhaps that they didn’t realize that about Islam/Stevens and have no desire whatsoever to endorse fatwas on heretics or blasphemers or apostates.… Read the rest



Salman Rushdie on Yusuf Islam *

Oct 31st, 2010 | Filed by

What he said to the New York Times in 1989.… Read the rest



What was Yusuf Islam doing at the Sanity rally? *

Oct 31st, 2010 | Filed by

He  previously showed his commitment to peace and sanity by saying that death was the appropriate punishment for Salman Rushdie’s “blasphemy.”… Read the rest



BJP protesters besiege Arundhati Roy *

Oct 31st, 2010 | Filed by

Around 150 BJP members surrounded her house chanting slogans. Roy supports independence for Kashmir, which the BJP opposes.… Read the rest



PSI research: What do these numbers really mean? *

Oct 31st, 2010 | Filed by

The problem is not the results but how they are being interpreted.… Read the rest



New evidence for precognition? *

Oct 31st, 2010 | Filed by

“Rehearsing a set of words makes them easier to recall in the future, but what if the rehearsal occurs after the recall?”… Read the rest



Blasphemy law in Italy *

Oct 31st, 2010 | Filed by

What kind of all-powerful Deity needs secular law enforcement to protect it from the jests of a few comedians and other riffraff?… Read the rest



How Berlusconi disagrees with a female politician *

Oct 31st, 2010 | Filed by

By telling her she’s old and ugly. Italian women “protest against this cretinisation of women, of democracy, of politics itself.”… Read the rest



What climate change needs is a New Narrative *

Oct 30th, 2010 | Filed by

People who make a living painstakingly creating stories from ideas tend to overvalue the importance of narrative.… Read the rest



Hitchens on submitting to the needle in the arm *

Oct 30th, 2010 | Filed by

He thinks of the obituaries he’d like to write, listing Robert Mugabe. Joseph Ratzinger. Henry Kissinger.… Read the rest



Terrorists inspired by Fox News and Glen Beck *

Oct 30th, 2010 | Filed by

The campaign coordinator for Rand Paul who stepped on the head of a female protester is not an isolated example.… Read the rest



Discovery Institute does a bait and switch *

Oct 30th, 2010 | Filed by

It was “the Vibrant Dance of Faith and Science,” but then it became War.… Read the rest



Sympathy for the doctrine

Oct 29th, 2010 4:41 pm | By

The Freedom House report on blasphemy laws gets it right.

[A]n examination of the application of blasphemy laws indicates that they typically give rise to the violation, not the protection, of fundamental human rights.

  By definition, these laws, which are designed to protect religious institutions, doctrines, figures, and concepts—in other words, nonhuman entities and ideas—from insult or offense, impose undue restrictions on freedom of expression.
Precisely. Institutions (including corporations), doctrines, figures and concepts do not need protection from insult or offense, and they cannot be given such protection without restricting freedom of expression. Since they do not need the protection, it is a bad and stupid idea to restrict freedom of expression in order to give it to them.… Read the rest


Franco Frattini

Oct 29th, 2010 4:05 pm | By

As you saw if you keep up with the News here, Marc Alan Di Martino helpfully translated some theocratic bullying from Italy’s Foreign Minister Franco Frattini in the Vatican’s house rag the Osservatore Romano.

Christians also must be able to forge an agreement with Muslims on how to fight those aspects which, like all extremisms, threaten society. I refer to atheism, materialism and relativism. Christians, Muslims and Jews can work together to reach this common objective. I believe it’s time for a new humanism in order to struggle against these perverse phenomena, because only the centrality of the human being is an antidote to fanaticism and intolerance.

Very papal, isn’t it. Also stupid and deceitful – the whole point of … Read the rest



Jesus and Mo blow a kiss to Franco Frattini *

Oct 29th, 2010 | Filed by

The guy who’s whipping up the monotheists to make war on atheism.… Read the rest



Seriously they want me to wear purple

Oct 29th, 2010 11:58 am | By

The loveliness of the religious mind.

Seriously they want me to wear purple because five queers committed suicide. The only way im wearin it for them is if they all commit suicide. I cant believe the people of this world have gotten this stupid. We are honoring the fact that they sinned and killed therselves because of their sin. REALLY PEOPLE

Ooh ick – who’s that – some high school kid, right?

No, it’s a school board member at Midland School District in Arkansas. It’s a grown-up male adult mature citizen over the age of 16.

being a fag doesnt give you the right to ruin the rest of our lives. If you get easily offended by being

Read the rest


More on Arkansas’s fragrant Clint McCance *

Oct 29th, 2010 | Filed by

“being a fag doesnt give you the right to ruin the rest of our lives. If you get easily offended by being called a fag then dont tell anyone you are a fag.”… Read the rest



Arkansas school board member to resign over FB post *

Oct 29th, 2010 | Filed by

He wrote that he wanted gay people to commit suicide, used the terms “queer” and “fag” repeatedly, rejoiced “that [gay people] give each other AIDS and die.”… Read the rest



Hari on Naipaul on African belief in spirits

Oct 29th, 2010 | Filed by

Once you cede power to an invisible force, you cede power to other human beings who can then claim to use those invisible forces against you.… Read the rest