All entries by this author

Secularists Don’t Understand Depth of Feeling *

Feb 8th, 2006 | Filed by

Price for a bit of journalism is not worth it because there are people who will feel genuinely offended.… Read the rest

The Orientalists and their Enemies *

Feb 8th, 2006 | Filed by

Irwin argues that orientalism is what it claims to be – the study of eastern languages, history, culture.… Read the rest

Dress Worn by Non-believers is ‘Not Suitable’ *

Feb 8th, 2006 | Filed by

Begum refused to attend school because she had to wear the same uniform as ‘disbelieving women.’… Read the rest

Julian Baggini on the Science of Religion *

Feb 8th, 2006 | Filed by

Is religion a natural phenomenon, like photosynthesis, evolution or belly-button fluff?… Read the rest

Sonia Mikich Feels Offended *

Feb 8th, 2006 | Filed by

Jews see themselves represented as cannibals and pigs, Western women as decadent sluts. … Read the rest

Oh So That’s What the Extra Cartoons Were For *

Feb 8th, 2006 | Filed by

Danish Muslim leaders insisted they had been trying to promote a ‘dialogue of civilisations.’… Read the rest

J-P Rejected Jesus Cartoons Three Years Ago *

Feb 8th, 2006 | Filed by

‘I think that they will provoke an outcry. Therefore, I will not use them.’ Oops.… Read the rest

Student Editor Suspended for Printing Cartoon *

Feb 8th, 2006 | Filed by

Everyone quoted talks stupid contradictory authoritarian crap.… Read the rest


Feb 8th, 2006 2:35 am | By

The credulity-straining oxymoronism continues. You have freedom of speech but only if you don’t use it; you used it; you’re fired; also, we all hate you.

A student editor at the University of Cardiff found out his mistake when he published one of the Jyllands-Posten cartoons. Somebody really ought to test his urine – what other explanation could there be?

A student union spokeswoman said Tom Wellingham, the editor of the paper, which won newspaper of the year at last year’s Guardian’s Student Media Awards, had been suspended alongside three other journalists. “The editorial team enjoy the normal freedoms and independence associated with the press in the UK, and are expected to exercise those freedoms with responsibility, due care and

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Research Group Finds New Species in Indonesia *

Feb 7th, 2006 | Filed by

Butterflies, frogs, palms, giant rhododendron, honeyeater bird, lost bird of paradise.… Read the rest

Iranian Paper Holds Contest for Holocaust Cartoons *

Feb 7th, 2006 | Filed by

Because cartoons about genocide are the same as cartoons about one 1400-year-old guy.… Read the rest

Peacekeepers and Protesters Exchange Fire *

Feb 7th, 2006 | Filed by

Second day of violent cartoon demonstrations in Afghanistan.… Read the rest

Turkish Journalists on Trial for Insulting Judiciary *

Feb 7th, 2006 | Filed by

Wrote articles criticising court decision to ban conference on killing of Armenians 1915-1917.… Read the rest

MPs in Kano, Nigeria Burn Denmark’s Flag *

Feb 7th, 2006 | Filed by

Ado Saleh reports c. 200 people, including the 40 state parliamentarians, attended flag burning.… Read the rest


Feb 6th, 2006 5:55 pm | By

There’s also the Vatican’s view of this, of course.

The right of freedom of thought and of expression, as contained in the Declaration of Human Rights, cannot imply the right to offend the religious feelings of believers.

Well – so much for the Declaration of Human Rights then. How fortunate to have a supreme court in the shape of the Vatican.

Somebody ought to hurry up and write that into the Declaration, so that we can all be working from the same page. And at the same time (efficiency is good) somebody ought to add that new right we heard about the other day – from the editor of the Indpendent, it was, not Louise Arbour, as I mistakenly said … Read the rest

I refuse to be spoken to in that tone of voice

Feb 6th, 2006 5:03 pm | By

David Hadley and Chris Whiley pointed out in comments that my doubts about cartoons as a genre could be considered all wrong. Yes. Maybe I only meant bad single panel cartoons. I’m not sure.

But it was basically a side point anyway; the central point remains. No, the imaginary ‘right’ to protect religious beliefs from perceived insult and mockery does not trump the right to insult and mock religious beliefs. It’s not 1520, nor yet 1640, and people who have the good fortune not to live in theocracies get to act accordingly, let the Pope say what he will.

Munira Mirza says terrific things on the subject.

Censorship in the West bolsters the moral authority of leaders in the Middle

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Hitchens on Babyish Tantrums *

Feb 6th, 2006 | Filed by

‘Faith belongs to the spoiled and selfish childhood of our species.’… Read the rest

Johann Hari’s Not Okay, You’re Not Okay *

Feb 6th, 2006 | Filed by

His friends have begun to offer him inspirational, upbeat psychobabble.… Read the rest

Lloyd Eby Asks: Does Can Imply Ought? *

Feb 6th, 2006 | Filed by

The idea is not a principle of logic, but instead could be called a principle of beneficence.… Read the rest

Peter Berkowitz Reviews Theory’s Empire *

Feb 6th, 2006 | Filed by

Theory is The Key to almost everything.… Read the rest