All entries by this author

John Lloyd on the Euston Manifesto *

Apr 15th, 2006 | Filed by

Depth of the split forces an explicit recognition of two broad camps on the left. … Read the rest

Whither Pop Culture? *

Apr 15th, 2006 | Filed by

At an academic conference, of course.… Read the rest

Whither the West? *

Apr 15th, 2006 | Filed by

ICA discussion with Chris Smith, Richard Koch, Roger Osborne, Jeremy Stangroom.… Read the rest


Apr 14th, 2006 8:32 pm | By

Have another serving of kack, this time from good old Rabbi Michael Lerner, he of Tikkun.

In my research on the psychodynamics of American society I discovered that the left’s hostility to religion is one of the main reasons people who otherwise might be involved with progressive politics get turned off. So it becomes important to ask why.

So it becomes important to ask why, but it does not become important to ask why without at the same time carefully limiting the ways in which one asks why, and ruling out in advance the most obvious answer. It becomes important to ask why by suggesting irrelevant answers and ignoring the relevant ones. It becomes important to pretend to … Read the rest

How Schools Deal With Racism *

Apr 14th, 2006 | Filed by

Government’s emphasis is preventive rather than punitive. It is rare for CPS to take up a case.… Read the rest

Judge Questions Prosecution of Schoolboy *

Apr 14th, 2006 | Filed by

Racism bad, but is criminal prosecution of ten-year-olds the best response?… Read the rest

Ayhan Surucu Gets 9 Years for Killing Sister *

Apr 14th, 2006 | Filed by

So angry when his sister started to date German men that he put a gun to her head at a bus stop.… Read the rest

Clash Between Religion and Superstition *

Apr 14th, 2006 | Filed by

Just when faith turns hot and dangerous, the government responds by encouraging more of it.… Read the rest

Controversy Over Danish TV Host’s Hijab *

Apr 14th, 2006 | Filed by

Head of Women for Freedom calls choice of co-host an insult to Danish and Muslim women.… Read the rest

Bradford and Vienna *

Apr 14th, 2006 | Filed by

‘The development of a European Islam is, in a sense, at a caterpillar stage.’… Read the rest

Kevin Phillips on Theocons and Theocrats *

Apr 14th, 2006 | Filed by

Pervasive pressure for theological correctness.… Read the rest


Apr 13th, 2006 6:25 pm | By

Ziauddin Sardar has been reading some Radical Thinkers.

Taken together, the works selected by Verso embody the creation and development of a dissenting tradition that set out to question and subvert the established order. Yet while this was once the principal strength of these thinkers, it has become something of an Achilles heel. A collective reading exposes all that has gone wrong with radical thought in the 20th century. Traditions, and intellectual traditions in particular, rapidly ossify and degenerate into obscurantism…It is time to…move forward from Baudrillard’s and Derrida’s postmodern relativism to some notion of viable social truth; and for criticism to stop messing about with signs and signifiers, and instead confront the increasing tendency of power towards absolutism.

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Norm Geras and Nick Cohen on Euston Manifesto *

Apr 13th, 2006 | Filed by

Too many things that should be obvious in the light of the history of the past 100 years seem not to be so. … Read the rest

Worries About ‘Faith’ Schools *

Apr 13th, 2006 | Filed by

Some of the ‘faith communities’ have agendas at odds with reason and science, says chaplain.… Read the rest

Ziauddin Sardar on Verso’s Radical Thinkers *

Apr 13th, 2006 | Filed by

‘Traditions, and intellectual traditions in particular, rapidly ossify and degenerate into obscurantism.’… Read the rest

Scott McLemee on Cell Phones in Libraries *

Apr 13th, 2006 | Filed by

How about a taser gun, with trained shooters?… Read the rest

Catherine MacKinnon: Are Women Human? *

Apr 13th, 2006 | Filed by

‘If women were human, would we be sexual and reproductive slaves…worked without pay our whole lives?’… Read the rest

Maruf Khwaja on Jamaat-i-Islami *

Apr 13th, 2006 | Filed by

Pakistan has been eaten hollow by corrosive obscurantism unleashed by Jamaat and its sympathisers.… Read the rest

Get Out of My Head

Apr 12th, 2006 7:05 pm | By

The Christians who want to be intolerant again. Just to be difficult (I do love to be difficult, you know), I want to add that there is one place where one of the complainants had a point, though not a religious point.

In a 2004 case, for instance, an AT&T Broadband employee won the right to express his religious convictions by refusing to sign a pledge to “respect and value the differences among us.” As long as the employee wasn’t harassing co-workers, the company had to make accommodations for his faith, a federal judge in Colorado ruled.

That’s a pretty grotesque pledge, frankly. It’s a pretty demanding employer who wants to tell employees what to respect and value, and it’s … Read the rest

Enlightenment Values as Islamophobia *

Apr 12th, 2006 | Filed by

One might almost think there was no current cause for concern about Enlightenment values.… Read the rest