All entries by this author

Chris Hedges Explains ‘Authentic’ Religion *

Jun 1st, 2007 | Filed by

‘Religious faith has no quarrel with science. It seeks a spiritual truth, not a scientific or historical fact.’… Read the rest



Female Flight Attendants Told to Be Thin *

Jun 1st, 2007 | Filed by

Otherwise the plane might fall down, you see.… Read the rest



Religionized versions of secular ideas

Jun 1st, 2007 2:49 am | By

Is this true?

What is missing from the book is much sense of what a world without religion, or one that had not had religion in it, might look like. Lots of the principles that Mr Hitchens holds dear, like tolerance and justice, are secularised versions of religious ideas.

Are tolerance and justice secularised versions of religious ideas? What does that in fact mean? I suppose that the ideas originated in religion and that no one ever thought of them independently of religion, though they have now become partially secularized, but only partially since there are always people saying they are in fact religious. But is that true? I don’t believe it. I think people were able to and did … Read the rest



Truth or otherwise

Jun 1st, 2007 12:44 am | By

Something I wonder about – Jonathan Derbyshire commenting on something Chris Dillow said:

“I should stress here that my beef is not with religion as such. It’s about the role it should play in politics. In an egalitarian polity, in which people should be persuaded rationally of policies, religion should have no place – even if it is true. Religion might motivate political beliefs, but it shouldn’t, and needn’t, be the public justification for them.”

In other words, the truth or otherwise of religious beliefs is irrelevant to the question whether they should play a role in public deliberation. So the putatively religious roots of Gordon Brown’s egalitarianism oughtn’t to worry us so long as they play no role

Read the rest


Joan Smith on the Boycott *

May 31st, 2007 | Filed by

These are dark times for those of us who believe that the free exchange of ideas is a prerequisite of democracy.… Read the rest



On the Boycott *

May 31st, 2007 | Filed by

The resolution cited ‘the complicity of Israeli academia’ in the occupation of Palestinian lands.… Read the rest



Lecturers’ Union Backs Boycott of Israel *

May 31st, 2007 | Filed by

Delegates at conference of new University and College Union voted three to two to recommend boycotts.… Read the rest



Martha Nussbaum: Against Academic Boycotts *

May 31st, 2007 | Filed by

Indifference to the lives and health of women has never been seriously considered as a reason for any boycott.… Read the rest



Jon Wiener Interviews Sari Nusseibeh *

May 31st, 2007 | Filed by

‘Very often in life the implementation of one right conflicts with the ability to implement another.’… Read the rest



Can Philosophy Save the Middle East? *

May 31st, 2007 | Filed by

Does philosophy provide a language through which people can communicate even if they do not accept each other’s religious commitments?… Read the rest



Iran Accuses ‘Persepolis’ of ‘Islamophobia’ *

May 31st, 2007 | Filed by

Well it would, wouldn’t it.… Read the rest



Catholic Cardinal Threatens Pro-abortion MPs *

May 31st, 2007 | Filed by

Cardinal has been frustrated by ‘the marginalisation of Christian values in public affairs.’… Read the rest



Iran’s Intelligence Ministry Threatens Academics *

May 31st, 2007 | Filed by

They will be suspected of spying if they interact with foreign institutions or attend international conferences.… Read the rest



Why Islamic Hijab

May 31st, 2007 | By Jahanshah Rashidian

With the arrival of spring, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s police have launched this year their traditional crackdown on women’s dress. Such crackdowns have become a regular feature of life for Iranian women. The crackdown is to force women to respect the strict Islamic dress code.

Under Iran’s Islamic laws (Sharia) women are obliged to cover their body from head- to-toe with a black chador or at least long, loose-fitting clothes to disguise their whole figures. The Islamic dress code is severely imposed at this time. Violators can receive lashes, fines or imprisonment.

Since the existence of the IRI, not a day has passed without attack, physical assault, arrest, acid-throwing, harassment and psychological pressure on women in Iran. The IRI … Read the rest



Boycott of Israel Divides Academics *

May 30th, 2007 | Filed by

Tom Hickey, philosophy lecturer at Brighton University, is proposing the motion. … Read the rest



Steven Weinberg Cancels UK Visit Over Boycott *

May 30th, 2007 | Filed by

Was scheduled to speak at Imperial College, canceled because of NUJ boycott of Israeli products.… Read the rest



UK Academics to Vote on Boycott of Israel *

May 30th, 2007 | Filed by

Debate by delegates to the University and College Union is likely to spark international condemnation.… Read the rest



A Girl, a Knife, and Hawa Gréou *

May 30th, 2007 | Filed by

Neighbours had called the police because the babies’ screams constantly emanated from the apartment.… Read the rest



Muslims ‘Warn’: ‘Anti-Islamic’ Writer ‘Stirs Hatred’ *

May 30th, 2007 | Filed by

‘There have to be boundaries in how far you go in respecting other’s beliefs.’ Or else.… Read the rest



Malaysia Squares the Circle *

May 30th, 2007 | Filed by

‘Malaysia’s constitution guarantees freedom of worship but says all ethnic Malays are Muslim.’… Read the rest