All entries by this author

You Call That a Campaign?

Aug 24th, 2005 12:00 am | By

Pat Robertson is a funny guy, but Madeleine Bunting is just silly. (I know, that’s grossly unfair. PR is funny because the stuff he says is so loony. He’s not funny at all, really, since a great many people listen to him and think he makes sense. But look, living in the US these days, you have to laugh at people like Patto if you don’t want to go plain nuts.)

A campaign is being orchestrated through the media to destroy the credibility of many of the most important Muslim institutions in Britain, including the Muslim Council of Britain.

Yeah, a campaign – she cites all of two features, one in the Observer and one on Panorama. That’s a campaign? … Read the rest



Society for the Prevention of Kindness

Aug 23rd, 2005 8:33 pm | By

Jesus Christ. There is just no limit to human disgustingness, is there.

I am here to talk about her catastrophic childhood in an industrial school — a euphemism for workhouse — in Ireland in the 1940s and 1950s, and as anyone who survived this experience will confirm, it is a painful subject. There, incarcerated by 6ft walls and under the tutelage of the Sisters of Mercy nuns, Kathleen was beaten, starved and humiliated to a point where she felt worthless and wanted only to be invisible. Her education was scant; instead she was put to work scrubbing floors, in the laundry and, barefoot and dressed in rags, in the surrounding fields…Denied water between what passed for meals, she drank

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Pat’s a Sweetie

Aug 23rd, 2005 7:33 pm | By

Pat Robertson’s a funny guy. He has his own ideas about things. Kind of deranged ideas.

Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson has suggested that American agents assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to stop his country from becoming ‘a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism.”

For what? Muslim extremism? Er – why would Venezuela be that, especially? Is the Patster maybe a little confused?

We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don’t need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator…You know, I don’t know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I

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Memoir of Childhood with Sisters of ‘Mercy’ *

Aug 23rd, 2005 | Filed by

Even the article is hard to read. Imagine what the experience was like.… Read the rest



David Aaronovitch’s ‘Writer’s Choice’ *

Aug 23rd, 2005 | Filed by

This time a collection rather than a single life-altering One.… Read the rest



Letters on Panorama and MCB *

Aug 23rd, 2005 | Filed by

Reporter John Ware, National Secular Society’s Terry Sanderson reply to Madeleine Bunting.… Read the rest



‘We Have the Ability to Take Him Out’ *

Aug 23rd, 2005 | Filed by

Robertson wants to ward off ‘communist infiltration and Muslim extremism’ in Venezeula. Eh?… Read the rest



Pat Robertson Calls for Chavez Assassination *

Aug 23rd, 2005 | Filed by

Cheaper than war, says Christian zealot, and oil shipments won’t stop.… Read the rest



Intimidation by ‘Animal Rights’ Activists Wins One *

Aug 23rd, 2005 | Filed by

Guinea pig farm closes after years of death threats and cruelty.… Read the rest



Jonathan Miller Visits a Church *

Aug 23rd, 2005 | Filed by

When it comes to things that science doesn’t know, ‘God is not an explanation.’… Read the rest



Mona Altahawy in Asharq Alawsat *

Aug 23rd, 2005 | Filed by

Concerns about Muslim Brotherhood’s position on women, on Shariah and on religious minorities.… Read the rest



Sharia Law and the Globalization of Political Islam

Aug 23rd, 2005 | By Homa Arjomand

I am very pleased to be here amongst you all, next to Ayaan Hersi Ali and Irshad Manji. It is hard to find opportunities such as this; to be able to share the idea of having a better life for all and identify with the supporters in an audience such as yourselves. So I will make the most of these moments by giving the focus of this discussion to the topic of this conference, Sharia Law and the Globalization of Political Islam.

I need to emphasize that I am talking about political Islam as a movement. As a movement it is very active in politics and is after its own state. Other aspects such as culture and laws serve its … Read the rest



We Have a Problem

Aug 23rd, 2005 2:20 am | By

So there’s a transcript of Panorama – very useful for those of us too far away to watch it.

Much food for thought. John Ware:

Extremism feeds off a conviction that Islam is a superior faith and culture which Christians and Jews in the West are conspiring to undermine. My journey through Muslim communities since the London bombings suggests their leaders have not acknowledged the extent to which these views are held in Britain.

He talks to Dr Taj Hargey, who runs a centre for what he calls ‘progressive inclusive Islam.’ Good luck, Dr Hargey, then.

Ad infinitum and ad nauseum, it’s there, it’s with us. We see it from the time you’re a child, you’re given this idea that

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Panorama Transcript *

Aug 22nd, 2005 | Filed by

‘God likes Muslims and dislikes Kafirs.’… Read the rest



Philosophy for Children *

Aug 22nd, 2005 | Filed by

Lively discussions develop around the topics of beauty, truth, justice and reality.… Read the rest



Peter Singer on Animal Rights in the US *

Aug 22nd, 2005 | Filed by

Many states have exemptions to anticruelty laws for ‘common farming practices.’… Read the rest



Pope Warns Against Secularism *

Aug 22nd, 2005 | Filed by

Also DIY religion. Accept no substitutes.… Read the rest



Talking to Rushdie *

Aug 22nd, 2005 | Filed by

What happened with The Satanic Verses was a kind of prologue, now we’re in the main event.… Read the rest



Carl Zimmer on the Scientific Output of ID *

Aug 22nd, 2005 | Filed by

That long list of peer-reviewed articles and citations – it must be around somewhere…… Read the rest



Peering into the Gap

Aug 22nd, 2005 2:24 am | By

I’m reading Chris Mooney’s new book The Republican War on Science. It’s pretty enthralling. Infuriating too, of course, but mostly enthralling. It’s so…so B&W. Consider this item from B&W’s ‘About’ page, the last in a list of what B&W was set up to oppose: ‘Those disciplines or schools of thought whose truth claims are prompted by the political, ideological and moral commitments of their adherents, and the general tendency to judge the veracity of claims about the world in terms of such commitments.’ Now consider this item from the book: ‘At a time when more political choices than ever before hinge upon the scientific and technical competence of our elected leaders, the disregard for scientific consensus and expertise – … Read the rest