All entries by this author


Mar 18th, 2008 2:51 pm | By

Consider Oradour. 642 people were murdered by a German battallion there on June 10 1944, after Sturmbannführer Adolf Diekmann was told that a German officer was being held by the Resistance in Oradour (in Oradour-sur-Vayres, that is, which is not Oradour-sur-Glane; it was the latter that got it in the neck).

[T]he Wehrmacht regarded members of all resistance movements as guerilla terrorists who would strike quickly before merging back into civilian life. As such, reprisals were indiscriminately violent. Oradour, indeed, was not the only collective punishment reprisal action committed by German troops: other well-documented examples include the Soviet village of Kortelisy (in what is now Ukraine), the Czechoslovakian villages of Ležáky and Lidice (in what is now the Czech

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David Bromwich on ‘Revolutionary Euphemism’ *

Mar 18th, 2008 | Filed by

Totalitarian minds are in part created by the ease and invisibility of euphemism.… Read the rest

Cass Sunstein on the Obama He Knows *

Mar 18th, 2008 | Filed by

‘Obama has a genuinely independent mind, he’s a terrific listener and he goes wherever reason takes him.’… Read the rest

Saudi Vice Cops Deny Humiliating Woman *

Mar 18th, 2008 | Filed by

Director of Commission said the commission’s act merely protected the honor of the student and her family. … Read the rest

Saudi Religious Cops Questioned in Deaths *

Mar 18th, 2008 | Filed by

Religious police saw a man and a woman in a car and gave chase. The car crashed and the couple were killed.… Read the rest

Is the weight of it on their shoulders?

Mar 17th, 2008 5:59 pm | By

Try a thought experiment. Suppose a newspaper publishes some satirical cartoons about neo-Nazism, the BNP, and other far-right nationalist and/or anti-Semitic groups. One cartoon has Hitler wearing a military cap in the shape of a crematorium labeled Auschwitz, with smoke rising out of it. Nothing much happens, then after a few months a couple of neo-Nazis travel around Europe with the cartoons plus three new ones, one of which is Hitler in drag being sodomized by a donkey – no, by a Jewish donkey. The neo-Nazis show this collection to other neo-Nazis, and with persistent effort get them worked up enough to go out into the streets and cause riots. Some people are killed in the riots. Death threats are … Read the rest

Sage (or Satirical?) Advice From Kuwait Times *

Mar 17th, 2008 | Filed by

‘It is time for the politically correct Europe to come to its senses and stop defending its democratic principles at all costs.’… Read the rest

Doctors’ ‘Ethical Qualms’ Should be Explicit *

Mar 17th, 2008 | Filed by

Catholic and Muslim doctors fear ‘brutal’ interpretation that would not respect doctors’ rights to freedom of conscience or religion. … Read the rest

Saudi Religious Police Defend Starbucks Arrest *

Mar 17th, 2008 | Filed by

A woman was sitting with a male colleague, making ‘suspicious gestures.’… Read the rest

Saudi Vice Police Bust Restaurant *

Mar 17th, 2008 | Filed by

Some families left hurriedly, others chose to defy the religious police and ate the rest of their food on the floor.… Read the rest

Megamosque Planned for East London *

Mar 17th, 2008 | Filed by

What the BBC calls a ‘Muslim missionary group’ hopes to build a mosque big enough to hold 12,000.… Read the rest

Everybody freeze

Mar 17th, 2008 11:25 am | By

Yelena Shesternina in the Kuwait Times gives us all a damn good scolding.

Far from everyone in the West has learned a lesson from the first cartoon war in 2005, when Jyllands-Posten, a little-known Danish newspaper, managed to cause an uproar in the whole world with just one publication. Its cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) offended 1.5 billion people. Islamic traditions prohibit the publication of any images of people, not to mention the prophet.

What lesson was everyone in the West supposed to learn from the first ‘cartoon war,’ do you suppose? That if some people decide to over-react in a deranged, disproportionate, violent, and unpredictable manner, then all the rest of us should thenceforth be afraid to say … Read the rest

The UN’s Unscientific War on Biotechnology *

Mar 16th, 2008 | Filed by

FAO calls for greater allocation of resources to agriculture, then over-regulates biotechnology.… Read the rest

Iran’s Moral Enforcer Busted in Brothel *

Mar 16th, 2008 | Filed by

Zarei said to have been with six prostitutes when he was detained by members of his own force.… Read the rest

John Gray Gets One Thing Right *

Mar 16th, 2008 | Filed by

It is not necessary to believe in any narrative of progress to think liberal societies are worth resolutely defending. … Read the rest

That Oxford Mosque *

Mar 16th, 2008 | Filed by

‘The call to prayer will be part of Britain and Europe in the future,’ said Inayat Bunglawala.… Read the rest

Women in Iran Manage to Find Some Freedom *

Mar 16th, 2008 | Filed by

But not much.… Read the rest

Iran: Morality Police Try to Roll Back Reform *

Mar 15th, 2008 | Filed by

Reformist newspapers have been shut. The rest do what they are told. … Read the rest

Forced Marriage and ‘Cultural Sensitivity’ *

Mar 15th, 2008 | Filed by

‘You are groomed into understanding that your life is mapped out for you.’… Read the rest

Aparajeyo’s Program for Victims of Sex Abuse *

Mar 15th, 2008 | Filed by

In South Asia commercial sexual exploitation of children is widespread and worsened by gender discrimination.… Read the rest