Who knew there was such a person?… Read the rest
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Speaking of Saudi Arabia…
“The essence of Wahhabism is purity,” says Lawrence Wright, author of a Pulitzer-prize-winning book about al-Qaeda. “They are only interested in purification – and that’s what makes them so repressive.”
So if you get a nineteen-year-old girl who gets herself raped fourteen times by seven men, that’s a lot of dirt that needs purifying. It takes 90 lashes, and if she yips about it, it takes 200.
… Read the rest
I looked at the role of Wahhabi literature – used in Saudi schools and exported round the world – in promoting suspicion and hatred of non-believers. The Saudi ambassador in Washington, Adel Jubeir, assured me a series of steps had been taken to reform the country’s educational
Well that’s nice. Reasonable; fair; compassionate; useful; sensible; impressive.
An appeal court in Saudi Arabia has doubled the number of lashes and added a jail sentence as punishment for a woman who was gang-raped. The victim was initially punished for violating laws on segregation of the sexes – she was in an unrelated man’s car at the time of the attack.
She was raped fourteen times. The seven men who were convicted got prison sentences but
… Read the rest
the victim was also punished for violating Saudi Arabia’s laws on segregation that forbid unrelated men and women from associating with each other. She was initially sentenced to 90 lashes for being in the car of a strange man. On appeal, the Arab
Why does Ruth Gledhill call Bari ‘leader of Britain’s Muslims’? Why would anyone (apart from aspiring MCB aparatchiks at least) call him that? Britain’s Muslims don’t have a leader, as I imagine most of them would agree. Britain’s Christians (for instance) don’t have a leader, so why say Britain’s Muslims do? In fact why even talk about ‘leaders’ at all? Think of who else liked to bandy about the word – there was the dear Duce, and the dear Führer – but anyone else? It’s not really a very exact term, so why use it? (Because it’s not an exact term. Yes I know, but that’s what I’m complaining of.) We don’t even call heads of state ‘leader of … Read the rest
Hear seven experts briefly describe the essence of science and how it differs from religion; more.… Read the rest
‘What do you think is the most compelling argument for Christianity?’ Where is ‘none of the above’?… Read the rest
Beliefs that succeed are like organisms that use tricks to ensure their survival and propagation. … Read the rest
Religious assertions about the natural world have no special immunity from the cold light of critical analysis.… Read the rest
Like bacteria adapting to antibiotics, creationism has slimmed down again, shedding mention of ID.… Read the rest
Chaplain ‘suggested’ cadets tell tent mates they would burn in hell if they did not receive Jesus as savior.… Read the rest
Jerry Coyne, Philip Kitcher, Daniel Dennett take issue with Jerry Fodor on natural selection.… Read the rest
This is quite funny. Christianity Today did a survey asking ‘What do you think is the most compelling argument for Christianity? ‘ The choices are: 1) The exquisiteness of the physical world; 2) The reliability of the Scriptures; 3) The life and character of Jesus; 4) Christianity’s positive influence on culture and individuals; 5) The experiences of individuals; 6) Something else.
Notice anything about the arguments? They’re not arguments! They’re so not arguments. They’re not even gestures at arguments – they wouldn’t be arguments even if you generously supplied some missing steps. Well I suppose 2 could be if some facts were completely different – if the ‘Scriptures’ actually were ‘reliable’ and if they didn’t contradict themselves all over … Read the rest
Scientific pronouncements should begin: ‘At our present level of ignorance, we think we know…’ … Read the rest
Slandering or defaming the Spanish royal family can carry a sentence of up to two years in prison.… Read the rest
You have to be very careful, he notes.… Read the rest
A C Grayling on the influence of Christianity on teacher education and thus education in general.… Read the rest
Susan Jacoby wonders why US media pay so little attention to serious secular and political thought.… Read the rest
Jacoby, Hecht, Goldstein, Dawkins, Tyson, Druyan, Kaminer, Goldberg, Tabash, Stenger.… Read the rest
Jeffrey Toobin wonders why Clarence Thomas is so pissed-off. (Why indeed. He is a Supreme Court justice after all – what more does he want? Universal adulation? Well – sorry, but that’s not owed to anyone.)
A touchstone of Clarence Thomas’s career on the Supreme Court has been his hostility to what he calls élites…“All the Law School cares about is its own image among know-it-all elites.”…“Nothing but an interest in classroom aesthetics and a hypersensitivity to elite sensibilities justifies the school districts’ racial balancing programs,” he said. “If our history has taught us anything, it has taught us to beware of elites bearing racial theories.”
One wonders what he thinks he is, if not a member of a … Read the rest