All entries by this author

Janet Afary and Kevin Anderson on Iran *

Jun 30th, 2007 | Filed by

A feminist activist told us she feared a return visit to “Hotel Evin” – Evin Prison, where she had been tortured. … Read the rest

Examine the Data, not the Author *

Jun 30th, 2007 | Filed by

Popular forums like newspapers critique the person who did the research, not the research itself.… Read the rest

Egypt Bans FGM After Girl’s Death *

Jun 30th, 2007 | Filed by

Yet the Guardian goes on calling it circumcision.… Read the rest

What Is God?

Jun 30th, 2007 | By D. R. Khashaba

I have often complained of the shallowness, triviality, and anaemia of current theism/atheism discussions. In the following contribution (hopefully to be followed by others) I mean to infuse some lifeblood into the discussion. If, on whichever side of the discussion you may be, you still find much in what I say with which you strongly disagree, which indeed irritates you, that will be all the better. I mean to stir stagnant waters, inject turbulence into placid intellectual positions.

The idea of a creator or of creation is metaphysically bankrupt. It is a silly notion that breeds more riddles than it solves. In fact it solves nothing. If we ask: Why should there be anything rather than nothing?, we see immediately … Read the rest

Farish Noor tells it

Jun 29th, 2007 12:57 pm | By

Our friend mirax sent the link to this splendid article by Farish Noor

I was on a BBC radio programme recently, in conversation with a certain Minister of a certain Religious Affairs Department of a certain Muslim country…But what irked me was the refrain of the Minister in question, who again and again repeated the same line: “A billion Muslims all over the world are outraged by this knighthood being conferred on Rushdie, who has insulted Islam and Muslims”.

Not exactly, Noor points out.

These were not spontaneous acts of public outrage but rather planned and orchestrated demonstrations calculated to have maximum mediatic effect. And what an effect it has had.

The reactivation of the demonised image of Rushdie has

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Yuk is not enough

Jun 29th, 2007 12:21 pm | By

I found this quite unconvincing, so unconvincing that I looked for more on Jonathan Haidt, and found what I turned up unconvincing too. And not just unconvincing, but also unfortunate.

“Psychologist Jonathan Haidt wants to help liberal types like me understand why some people condemn homosexual relationships as immoral.” Imagine someone saying ‘Gay marriage will destroy society, because homosexuality is an abomination to God and will undermine marriage.’ Liberals think that’s a bad reason.

But Haidt, who works at the University of Virginia and specializes in issues of morality, says the conservative viewpoint isn’t just theta waves – it’s based on a moral compass that points in dimensions liberals simply don’t perceive.

I don’t think so. I think it’s based … Read the rest

Farish Noor to Rushdie: We’re Proud of You, Bro *

Jun 29th, 2007 | Filed by

‘For many a young Asian academic and student then, Rushdie was our spokesman, our voice of reason.’… Read the rest

Bunglawala Does Better *

Jun 29th, 2007 | Filed by

Well done. Let’s hope it catches on.… Read the rest

Massimo Pigliucci on Disgust *

Jun 29th, 2007 | Filed by

Are liberals morally stunted? Or are conservatives morally bloated.… Read the rest

Isreal Boosts Image via Undressed Female Soldiers *

Jun 29th, 2007 | Filed by

‘Maxim was approached by the Israeli consulate to be a part of reshaping Israel’s public image.’… Read the rest

The Word ‘Rape’ Banned from Rape Trial *

Jun 29th, 2007 | Filed by

It’s prejudicial to call it rape, but then what is it to call it sex?… Read the rest

Liberals Don’t Get the Purity/Sanctity Thing *

Jun 28th, 2007 | Filed by

Liberals are blind to the disgust ‘argument’ against homosexuality, Jonathan Haidt claims.… Read the rest

Falsifying Hitchens *

Jun 28th, 2007 | Filed by

Saying MLK wasn’t a true Christian is a dodge; lose ten points.… Read the rest

Thailand Withdraws ‘Persepolis’ From Film Festival *

Jun 28th, 2007 | Filed by

Iran applied pressure, Thai government caved. Another win for the ‘glorious Islamic Revolution.’… Read the rest

Hitchens Book Flying Off Shelves *

Jun 28th, 2007 | Filed by

‘This is atheism’s moment,’ says publisher.… Read the rest

Grayling on Hitchens on Ungreatness of God *

Jun 28th, 2007 | Filed by

The anti-religion case has never been put so well or so comprehensively as in this razor-sharp book.… Read the rest

No, we’re not jealous

Jun 28th, 2007 10:05 am | By

Not correct.

Having lost their own belief in progress and liberation, secular intellectuals are irked by their encounters with people who, on whatever basis, retain a vision of the good society and a commitment to realising it.

No; that’s wrong; that could hardly be wronger. That neatly gets the matter exactly backwards. It is because I have not lost my belief in (the desirability of) progress and liberation, because in fact that belief has considerably strengthened and sharpened as I’ve learned more about its pervasive enemies, I am, not irked, but repelled and horrified by my encounters with people who retain a vision of the bad society and a commitment to realising it.

They clearly feel rebuked by the

Read the rest

Akbar Ahmed is not Optimistic *

Jun 27th, 2007 | Filed by

Deoband thinking is winning.… Read the rest

Jonathan Edwards Stops Believing in God *

Jun 27th, 2007 | Filed by

‘In some ways I feel more human than I ever have.’… Read the rest

Egypt’s Grand Mufti Says FGM is Forbidden *

Jun 27th, 2007 | Filed by

After an 11-year-old girl died while being chopped at a private medical clinic in southern Egypt.… Read the rest