Archive for June 2011


Jun 30th, 2011 5:37 pm | By

Pious Saudi Arabia, famed the world over for its vast compassion.

Indonesia is stopping all maids from going to work in Saudi Arabia after the
beheading of a maid last week for murdering her allegedly abusive employer.

The execution of 54-year-old Ruhati Binti Sapahi caused public outrage in
Indonesia, prompting the government to call for the ban.

Saudi Arabia’s compassionate concern for foreign domestic workers is an old story.

Sumiati Binti Salan Mustapa, 23, remains  hospitalized after suffering injuries by her employer who allegedly  beat, mutilated and scalded her…The news of Sumiati’s horrendous abuse came just as  another domestic worker’s body was found in a trash bin. The victim,  Kikim Moalasari, another Indonesian maid, was allegedly tortured by

Read the rest

Barmaid demonstrates how the backlash works *

Jun 30th, 2011 | Filed by

Jesus and Mo play their parts obligingly.… Read the rest

Saudi Arabia: Indonesian maid beheaded *

Jun 30th, 2011 | Filed by

Indonesia is stopping all maids from going to work in Saudi Arabia after the beheading of a maid last week for murdering her allegedly abusive employer. … Read the rest

South Africa and ‘corrective rape’ *

Jun 30th, 2011 | Filed by

“They were walking behind us. They just started swearing at me screaming: ‘Hey you lesbian, you tomboy, we’ll show you.”… Read the rest

Secular law under threat in Rhode Island *

Jun 30th, 2011 | Filed by

The proposed “religious exemption” in RI would go well beyond New York’s.… Read the rest

Less boring than I think, or more?

Jun 29th, 2011 5:49 pm | By

I’m reading The Pregnant Widow. I’ve heard some good things about it, and I thought The Information was intermittently brilliant, albeit irritating in places, and boring in places, so I’m reading it. The first few pages were electrifying, and I was all excited, thinking I’d struck gold. But then it turned out the first few pages were different from the next pages.

I’m pushing. Hard. I’m trying and failing to resist boredom and the resulting feeling of exasperation – the “why are you telling me all this?” feeling.

Anybody read it? Anybody love it?… Read the rest

From Crawford to Waterloo

Jun 29th, 2011 4:21 pm | By

Hitchens asks a necessary question about Michele Bachmann and her presentation of self.

Where does it come from, this silly and feigned idea that it’s good to be able
to claim a small-town background?…Overall demographic impulses to one side, there is nothing about a bucolic upbringing that breeds the skills necessary to govern a complex society in an age of globalization and violent unease. We need candidates who know about laboratories, drones, trade cycles, and polychrome conurbations both here and overseas. Yet the media make us complicit in the myth—all politics is yokel?—that the fast-vanishing small-town life is the key to ancient virtues. Wasilla, Alaska, is only the most vivid recent demonstration of the severe limitations of this worldview.

Not … Read the rest

Hitchens on Bachmann *

Jun 29th, 2011 | Filed by

There is nothing about a bucolic upbringing that breeds the skills necessary to govern a complex society in an age of globalization and violent unease.… Read the rest

The ‘Gandhi of Palestine’ awaits deportation *

Jun 29th, 2011 | Filed by

Salah’s British supporters blatantly lied about the revolting views which led to this action, though they have been documented in many places.… Read the rest

On Greg Mortenson and Nicholas Kristof *

Jun 29th, 2011 | Filed by

Both seem to view themselves as secular saints. They extol their own gallantry and compassion as much as, if not more than, the causes they trumpet.… Read the rest

No separation of church and state for Kansas *

Jun 29th, 2011 | Filed by

Brownback has thrown his support behind a “faith-based” program intended to make sure parolees don’t go back to prison.… Read the rest

Another sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan *

Jun 29th, 2011 | Filed by

Twenty-nine-year old Abdul Sattar was sentenced to death on 21 June.… Read the rest

Media and Religious Censorship in Nigeria

Jun 28th, 2011 | By Leo Igwe

A free press is critical to the growth and development of any society and to the survival and vibrancy of any democracy. Nigeria is said to have a free and independent media, and this is often interpreted to mean that, in Nigeria, journalists are going about their work without state interference. For me, this is a narrow understanding of freedom of the press, and this one-sided view has caused many to mischaracterize the situation of the media in the country. The government is just one out of many agents or actors that could undermine or muzzle the press. Religious agencies, drug cartels, multinationals and other business interests can hamper freedom of the press in a country.

Today, many people tend … Read the rest

Artist says SHE is offended by blasphemy fuss *

Jun 28th, 2011 | Filed by

Lopez said that she’s offended by people taking offence to the piece, and quite right too.… Read the rest

Good neighbors

Jun 28th, 2011 2:30 pm | By

I just had a very weird experience, or maybe not all that weird in one way, but pretty damn weird in any other way. Not weird given that some people are bat-loony, but weird given that some people ought to know better. (Is it possible for people who are bat-loony to know better? Is that a ridiculous incoherent idea, on a level with belief in free will? Probably no and probably yes…but then the question becomes “exactly how bat-loony are we talking about here?”)

I was walking along a residential street a few blocks from where I live (so I don’t know anyone there, I don’t recognize faces), mind elsewhere (though nowhere in particular) as usual, and suddenly some grizzled … Read the rest

“The corrupt political process in New York State”

Jun 28th, 2011 11:12 am | By

The Catholic bishops of New York state are upset. They are displeased about this pesky new same-sex marriage bill. They think it’s most unfair to them, the Catholic bishops of New York state.

“The passage by the Legislature of a bill to alter radically and forever humanity’s historic understanding of marriage leaves us deeply disappointed and troubled,” the state’s bishops said. “We strongly uphold the Catholic Church’s clear teaching that we always treat our homosexual brothers and sisters with respect, dignity and love. But

Ah yes “but.” Good old “but.” You saw that “but” coming a mile away, didn’t you. The instant they produce the bit about “we always treat our homosexual brothers and sisters with respect, dignity and … Read the rest

Mosque breaks promise on homophobic speakers *

Jun 28th, 2011 | Filed by

It took the East London mosque just eight days to break its latest promise.… Read the rest

NY bishops pitch a fit about same-sex marriage *

Jun 28th, 2011 | Filed by

Bishops issue a statement saying “we realize that our beliefs about the nature of marriage will continue to be ridiculed.” Srsly.… Read the rest


Jun 28th, 2011 9:24 am | By

Let’s play “Let’s make up some statistics.”

An interlocutor told me about an hour ago that “most academics everywhere are atheists.” Eh what? I thought. In the UK and Sweden and fortunate places like that, no doubt, but in the US? Which is what we were talking about (via my post on that Catholofascist article in Crisis yesterday). Most academics in the US are atheists? Yeah I don’t think so. Given that most colleges and “universities” in the US are, shall we say, non-elite, and that most teaching is in vocational subjects (most degrees are in Business), I don’t think so.

Rilly? I said. Do you know that? Any stats?

She gave the stats for philosophers. Not going to … Read the rest

Ayaan Hirsi Ali answers questions *

Jun 27th, 2011 | Filed by

Very damn well.… Read the rest