All entries by this author

Eve Garrard on Gearty on Ignatieff *

Dec 2nd, 2005 | Filed by

It’s no good saying our rights must never be violated if respecting one right involves infringing another.… Read the rest

Stephen Eric Bronner on the Enlightenment *

Dec 2nd, 2005 | Filed by

Many on the left have come to consider the Enlightenment as imperialist and a form of domination.… Read the rest

Founder of the Ljubljana Lacanians *

Dec 2nd, 2005 | Filed by

Zizek grew up bingeing on philosophy books and Hollywood movies.… Read the rest

Ayn Rand’s Version of Utopianism *

Dec 2nd, 2005 | Filed by

It’s not just capitalism that Rand makes ridiculous by her worship.… Read the rest

Garton Ash Talks to Hirsi Ali *

Dec 2nd, 2005 | Filed by

Right to free speech is under threat from people whose position is: if you say that, we will kill you. … Read the rest

Having a Higher Truth is Different from Lying *

Dec 2nd, 2005 | Filed by

And bullshitting is not the same as either.… Read the rest

Darkness at Noon

Dec 2nd, 2005 2:03 am | By

Normblog’s Writer’s Choice was by Pamela Bone the other day. I’ve linked to several of her columns in the Age here. She’s another one of these eccentrics who think women’s rights shouldn’t be just for the lucky people of the developed world.

On that drive across town Perowne sees three black figures, women in the body and face-covering burqas, huddled together on a pavement.
“He can’t help his distaste, it’s visceral. How dismal, that anyone should be obliged to walk around so entirely obliterated… And what would the relativists say, the cheerful pessimists from Daisy’s college? That it’s sacred, traditional, a stand against the fripperies of Western consumerism? But the men, the husbands… wear suits, or trainers and tracksuits, or

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Yasmin Alibhai-Brown Says It

Dec 1st, 2005 10:36 pm | By

Anybody get the Evening Standard? Still got yesterday’s? Hang on to it (and if you feel so inclined, scan an article in it and send it to me). A commenter at Harry’s Place says Yasmin Alibhai-Brown wrote a searing article yesterday.

She relates how a woman in a burqa recognised her…and having followed her home last week, begged for help. She took off her burqa to reveal horrific injuries to her face and body which were inflicted by her father and brothers in their bid to control her desire for independence (She is a chemistry graduate from Bolton). She claimed that the burqa is being forcibly used to cover the injuries of many women she knows, and that her friend

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Time to Re-read ‘On Liberty’

Dec 1st, 2005 10:17 pm | By

Timothy Garton-Ash talked to Ayaan Hirsi Ali last week. He didn’t think ‘Submission’ was a very good film (I know people who agree with him, including people from the Netherlands), but he thinks it makes a necessary point.

However, I have not a shadow of a doubt that Ali’s script is trying to make an important point about the suffering of women oppressed in the name of Islam – suffering that Ali knows at first hand both from her own experience and from acting as an interpreter for other women from Muslim backgrounds in the Netherlands. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is much more than just a voice for the voiceless oppressed. In person, she is a thoughtful, calm, clear, almost

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Samira Munir

Dec 1st, 2005 5:48 pm | By

Here’s a nasty piece of news. One that as far as I can tell has had zero attention in Anglophone newsmedia or blogs.

I’ve written to Azam and Homa and Maryam about it, and to Nick Cohen. Let’s hope it stops being a story in Norway and nowhere else.

Fjordman explains:

Samira Munir, Norwegian politician of Pakistani origins, died two weeks ago. All the details surrounding her death have not been revealed, but the police have hinted that it may have been suicide. It is not impossible that this could be the case, but she had received death threats many times from the Pakistani community in Norway because of her courageous fight for the rights of Muslim immigrant women,

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Just Pay No Attention *

Dec 1st, 2005 | Filed by

Catholics have been perfecting the art of ignoring the Vatican for centuries. … Read the rest

A Conversation With Hubert Dreyfus *

Dec 1st, 2005 | Filed by

If we were disembodied on the Internet, we wouldn’t be able to see what was relevant and not relevant.… Read the rest

Webcast to Honor Einstein *

Dec 1st, 2005 | Filed by

One of many events this year to mark the centenary of Einstein’s theory of relativity. … Read the rest

Chomsky is not Sacred *

Dec 1st, 2005 | Filed by

The left has a tradition of guruising radical thinkers and cracking whips over its articles of faith.… Read the rest

How Did Samira Munir Die? *

Dec 1st, 2005 | Filed by

Norwegian defender of women’s rights received death threats. Was this a ‘train accident’?… Read the rest

Full Text of Lord May’s Speech to Royal Society *

Dec 1st, 2005 | Filed by

Enlightenment science and its consequences; Twilight for the Enlightenment?… Read the rest

Godless States in God Lands: Dilemmas of Secularism in America and India

Dec 1st, 2005 | By Meera Nanda

God and Politics in America and India

This essay tells the tale of two religious nationalisms: Christian nationalism in America that has found a welcome home in the Republican Party and George W. Bush’s two administrations, and Hindu nationalism in India which always had a welcome home in BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party), the party that ruled the country, off and on, through the 1990s until 2004. Christian nationalists declare the United States of America to be a Christian nation, its land God’s New Jerusalem, and its destiny to spread liberty around the world. Hindu nationalists, for their part, proclaim India to be a Hindu nation, its land the body of the mother Goddess, and its destiny to spread spiritual enlightenment … Read the rest

The Whole Child Learns to Feel

Dec 1st, 2005 12:15 am | By

So, not content with our current level of credulity and vacuity and inability to think or judge or question or analyze or reflect, with, not to put too fine a point on it, our score on the stupidity meter, some parents are going to considerable trouble to do better – so that in a few short years no one at all will any longer be able to see what’s wrong with The World According to Bob Jones University Press ‘textbooks’.

Reporter Suein Hwang interviewed white parents who are pulling their kids out of elite public high schools, schools known for sending graduates to the nation’s top colleges. They are doing this, writes Hwang, because the schools are too academically rigorous,

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Dec 1st, 2005 12:14 am | By

Sometimes the contempt and disgust (and dread) just become overwhelming. This California lawsuit by a gaggle of Christian high schools against the state university system for not crediting some of their courses is one of those times.

Among those courses are “Christianity’s Influence in American History” and “Christianity and American Literature,” both of which draw on textbooks published by Bob Jones University of Greenville, S.C., which describes itself as having stood for “the absolute authority of the Bible since 1927.”

‘Textbooks.’ ‘Bob Jones University.’ The ‘absolute authority.’ Of ‘the Bible.’ One doesn’t know where to direct the most rage and hatred, the profoundest disdain and incredulity. So let’s read some passages while we try to figure it out.

“United States

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Philosopher Alain Finkielkraut Apologizes *

Nov 30th, 2005 | Filed by

In Ha’aretz interview Finkielkraut underlined the lack of identification to France amongst many immigrants. … Read the rest