All entries by this author

Taslima in action

Apr 22nd, 2016 5:15 pm | By

Taslima spoke to the European Parliament on Wednesday.

I spoke at the European Parliament today about how freethinkers getting killed,& govt remains silent in Bangladesh.

Then it was lunch and discussion with the Human Rights Action Unit of the Parliament.

And a meeting with Elmar Brok, Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs at the Parliament.

Tell them, Taslima.… Read the rest

Iranian authorities have called her a whore

Apr 22nd, 2016 5:08 pm | By

If you’re planning a jaunt to Iran any time soon, you should plan to break its dress code. Lizzie Dearden in the Independent spells it out:

As more and more Western tourists visit Iran, foreign women are being urged to break the country’s strict Islamic dress code to “make a stand” about the restrictive laws.

[T]housands of Iranians have been risking punishment by taking off their hijabs (headscarves) in public and snapping photos as part of a defiant online campaign to counter the “oppressive” law.

Now, the founder of My Stealthy Freedom is urging Western tourists to join them in a show of solidarity.

Masih Alinejad, who left Iran in 2009 and now works as a journalist in

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Tell us more, Zuckerberg

Apr 22nd, 2016 4:23 pm | By

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The original announcement of the death penalty was met with public celebrations

Apr 22nd, 2016 4:07 pm | By

In Mauritania

An appeal court in the west African state of Mauritania has upheld the death sentence of a blogger accused of blasphemy, a judicial source told Agence France Presse on Thursday.

Cheikh Ould Mohamed Ould Mkheitir, who has also been named as Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed, was initially handed the death sentence in 2014 on charges of “apostasy”.

The appeal court on Thursday upheld the sentence but downgraded the charge from apostasy to the lesser charge of being an “infidel” after the blogger repented, the source said.

A land where the state tells you what to believe, and the penalty for refusal is death.

The accused, aged in his thirties, was arrested in 2014 after uploading an article

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Just like any other idea, it should be open to debate

Apr 22nd, 2016 4:01 pm | By

From January, Eiynah of Nice Mangos talks to the CBC.

Pakistani-Canadian blogger Eiynah says there is an important group left out of these conversations: Muslim and ex-Muslim women who see misogyny and oppression in Islam. She argues those critiques of Islam are ignored by the Canadian left, and hijacked by the Canadian right to further anti-Muslim narratives.

Eiynah is a pseudonym. She has asked for anonymity because of the frequent threats she has received for her writing.

Many Ex-Muslims are pseudonymous for reasons of safety.

It’s a very nuanced point of view that you have, and you can see it in your own self-description: a “critic of Islam who loathes anti-Muslim bigots.” Walk us through that. 

Oh come on. … Read the rest

250 so far

Apr 22nd, 2016 12:48 pm | By

The Times of India reports:

The Islamic State, notorious for its brutality, has reportedly executed 250 girls in northern Iraq for refusing to become sex slaves, according to a media report.

The girls had been ordered to accept temporary marriages to the terrorists and were murdered, sometimes alongside their families, for their refusal to be sex slaves in Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul.

ISIS began selecting women of Mosul and forced them into marrying its militants, calling it temporary marriage since it has taken control over Mosul, and the women who refused to submit to this practice would be executed, said Kurdish Democratic Party spokesman Said Mamuzini.

“At least 250 girls have so far been executed by IS

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She could always take a bus

Apr 22nd, 2016 12:08 pm | By

An ad for a cab company in India:

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What do those words mean?

Apr 22nd, 2016 10:56 am | By

Vox breathlessly tells us that an American dictionary has added two new Socially Approved words.

Big news for LGBTQ folks: On Wednesday, Merriam-Webster announced that it added the words “cisgender” and “genderqueer” to its unabridged dictionary.

What do those words mean? Here are Merriam-Webster’s definitions:

  • Cisgender: of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity corresponds with the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth.
  • Genderqueer: of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity cannot be categorized as solely male or female.

But what does “gender identity” mean?

I don’t call myself nonbinary or genderfluid or genderqueer, nor do I claim to be a trans man. On the other hand … Read the rest

Historically fortunate

Apr 21st, 2016 5:09 pm | By

Lionel Shriver experienced being female as an imposition as a child, in much the way I did and most or perhaps all women I know did.

But I was historically fortunate. By the time I entered university in 1974, a revolution was well under way. As I understood it, “women’s liberation” meant that the frilly cookie-cutter template of femininity had been chucked out. Being female was no longer defined in terms of skirts, high heels, and homemaking. Men and women were equal. Both sexes were just people. We had entered the post-gender world.

And then we turned around and went right back into Gender World, and to make it all the more excruciating, this time we did it in the … Read the rest

“Why have you so visibly brought your hair forward towards your face?”

Apr 21st, 2016 12:31 pm | By

The International Business Times gives us an account of what it’s actually like to be a teenage girl stopped and abused by the new undercover police in Tehran:

In the video, the teenager said: “As two young students, today my friend and me have decided to go shopping for new shoes for school and we also decided to see the new line of school supplies. So we headed for the bazaar.

“As we approached bazaar, we saw two Fati-Commandoes. They were specifically waiting at the entrance of the bazaar. In order not to be noticed by them, we decided to go by the parking.

“In the meantime, we decided to conceal our hair that was sticking out of the headscarf

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More hijab police

Apr 21st, 2016 11:38 am | By

The BBC on priorities in Iran:

Outraged Iranians have taken to social media to condemn the decision to deploy 7,000 undercover police officers in Tehran to monitor the observance of the Islamic dress code.

7,000 spies to police something that should be nothing to do with the police in the first place – that’s some brilliant staff allocation. They should deploy another 7000 to monitor how people brush their teeth.

Tehran’s police chief announced on Monday that the role of the new unit is to:

  • Report women for the improper wearing of the hijab (and to ensure a woman’s veil covers her in public as required)
  • Report anyone who harasses women
  • Report anyone who plays loud music in their
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The new prez

Apr 20th, 2016 6:32 pm | By

Maajid Nawaz on Malia Bouattia, newly elected president of the NUS.

The words below are not mine. But because of their gravity, it is important that you read them in full.

“The notion of resistance has been perhaps washed out of our understanding of how colonised people will obtain their physical emancipation…With mainstream, Zionist-led media outlets …resistance is presented as an act of terrorism.

“But instead of us remembering that this has always been the case throughout struggles against white supremacy, it’s become an accepted discourse among too many…

“Internalised Islamophobia has also enabled our obsession with convincing non-Muslims of our non-violent and peaceful nature, so we’re taking things a step further and dangerously condemning the resistance, branding groups

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Know who’s facing constant attacks, Ted?

Apr 20th, 2016 6:09 pm | By

Elizabeth Warren:

Yesterday, Ted Cruz sent a campaign fundraising email whining about the “significant sacrifice” he’s made to run for President. He whined about facing constant attacks, nonexistent family time, his limited health and sleep, and having no personal time.

Are you kidding me? We’re supposed to pity him because trying to be the leader of the free world is hard?! I’ve got two words for you, Ted: Boo hoo.

Know whose health is limited? Workers with no paid leave who can’t stay at home when they fall ill or have to care for sick kids. Know whose sleep is limited? Working parents who do everything they can to save money but stay up at night worrying about how

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A collective movement of we’ve had it up to here!

Apr 20th, 2016 6:02 pm | By

Students at Paris’s Sciences-Po decided to throw a party for the hijab, but hardly anyone showed up.

The international campaign to get college students and non-Muslim women to wear Islamic veils as a demonstration of solidarity hit trouble at elite Paris university Sciences-Po when fewer than a dozen donned head and neck coverings on a “Hijab Day” that attracted more polemics than participants.

Liberal feminists and secularism defenders, alarmed at what they saw as another attempt to impose a highly conservative interpretation of Islam on secular educational institutions, condemned the protest as an “insult” to women who are forced to wear hijabs in Iran and parts of the Arab-Muslim world. The extreme right National Front, meanwhile, tried to exploit

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“It suggests some lives are more important than others”

Apr 20th, 2016 5:36 pm | By

The NUS has lit up the Twitters again.

The National Union of Students caused widespread outrage on Wednesday after students applauded motions not to commemorate the Holocaust, because doing so isn’t ‘inclusive’.

Inclusive of – ? Nazis? Hitler’s memory? People who hate Jews? People who love genocide?

The motion to remember the Holocaust did end up passing, but what is this idea that commemorating it isn’t inclusive? Are the applauding students worried about the feelings of people who like to see whole populations wiped out?

An amendment to a motion combating anti-Semitism on campuses argued that “education is vital”.

They said the NUS should organise campuses into creating events on Holocause Memorial Day.

Darta Kaleja, from Chester University,

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Folding money

Apr 20th, 2016 5:13 pm | By

Well it’s about time. Jackson is out, Tubman is in.

Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew on Wednesday announced the most sweeping and historically symbolic makeover of American currency in a century, proposing to replace the slaveholding Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with Harriet Tubman, the former slave and abolitionist, and to add women and civil rights leaders to the $5 and $10 notes.

Mr. Lew may have reneged on a commitment he made last year to make a woman the face of the $10 bill, opting instead to keep Alexander Hamilton, to the delight of a fan base swollen with enthusiasm over a Broadway rap musical named after and based on the life of the first

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Before you leave

Apr 20th, 2016 4:14 pm | By

Amnesty International has sent a letter to Obama urging him to put human rights on the table at his meeting with the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Riyadh on April 21.

In particular, I urge you to address repression of freedom of expression and the abusive use of criminal justice systems in the name of security, and violations of international humanitarian law by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition in the Yemen conflict. In recent years, GCC leaders have aggressively stifled dissent, often under the pretext of ‘national security.’

Last year you told the New York Times that you believed the GCC’s greatest security threat stems from the dissatisfaction of their populations, including from a sense that there is

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Another great Anglo delicacy

Apr 20th, 2016 11:41 am | By

Finally, at last, a supermarket that has one of those “ethnic” aisles for the most neglected group of all.

The Sedano’s Supermarket chain has launched new ethnic food aisles in 25 of its Miami locations as part of a strategy to target the growing segment of White millennials moving to Miami’s urban core.

Products featured in the new “Anglo” aisles include almond milk, brussels sprouts, goji berries, kombucha, gluten-free crackers, and assortments of artisanal jams sold in mason jars.

The food of my people! Recognized!

Actually sprouts are the only ones of those things I eat, but ethnically speaking, that would be my aisle.

(Is it a sign that I’m a tedious pedant that I roll my eyes whenever I … Read the rest

The revolution

Apr 20th, 2016 11:15 am | By

This again.

A public post by Amanda Marcotte:

Helpful “socialist” sends me friendly messages to persuade me to vote Sanders. (And probably because he friended me.) Edited to add the‪#‎NotAllSandersVoters‬ caveat. Just not going to let these guys harass me in private, thinking no one will know what they did.

Charles W. Belser

How diod a stupid counter-revolutionary motherfucker like you get on my “friends” list? Don’t you EVER post anything on any of my pages again, you ignorant cunt.

A comment:

This is what I received from Charles W. Belser last Thu 8:48pm
“Go back to sucking Hillary’s cock, bitch and stay off my pages. What will you do when the revolutionaries come for you? Don’t

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Like most other games he plays

Apr 19th, 2016 3:00 pm | By

Oh no, look out, look out – a popular video game is making it so that players can’t choose the sex of their characters. You know what that means – sometimes a man gets stuck with a female character! Ewwwwww.

Rust is a popular first-person survival video game where you start out completely naked, left to a barren environment to build yourself tools, weapons, and a home as other players try to do the same — and potentially try to kill you and steal your stuff. It’s a tense game, one in which your friends can suddenly turn against you and basically ruin everything you worked for just for their own personal gain.

But it’s not the betrayal and

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