All entries by this author


Feb 4th, 2006 1:50 am | By

Wait, hold on – something has just crossed my tiny mind. These cartoons – that are so ‘offensive’ because they are cartoons of Mohammed – how do the people who are so offended know they are cartoons of Mohammed? There aren’t, like, photographs of him, right? Not to mention the fact that it’s a no-no to make pictures of him anyway, so that if there were photos of him, they’d all have been thrown away by now. But surely it’s much more likely that they weren’t taken in the first place, and that drawings, paintings, watercolours, engravings, etchings, and silhouettes were not made either. And even if they had been they’d probably be pretty dilapidated by now. Pretty crumbly and … Read the rest

And Repeat

Feb 3rd, 2006 6:10 pm | By

Right, I’m going to go on being predictable for awhile. Can’t be helped.

Sarah Joseph in the Guardian for instance.

The battle is set, of religious extremism versus freedom of speech. These are the lines drawn, or so we are told, in the escalating tensions worldwide surrounding the printing of images of Muhammad in Denmark and elsewhere in Europe.

That’s not how I would draw them, actually. That is a little too predictable, and it’s also not quite the point. It seems to me the battle is between the idea that religion should be immune from criticism and the idea that it should not be. Or, perhaps, it’s between the idea that ‘sensitivities’ and feelings of being ‘offended’ and desires … Read the rest

43 Page Dossier Stoked the Outrage *

Feb 3rd, 2006 | Filed by

It included three obscene caricatures that had nothing to do with Jyllands-Posten.… Read the rest

Richard Wolin on Levinas and Heidegger *

Feb 3rd, 2006 | Filed by

By rejecting reason, Heidegger severed the pivotal link between insight and emancipation.… Read the rest

Jyllands-Posten Editor Says it was Worth It *

Feb 3rd, 2006 | Filed by

‘We wanted to show how deeply entrenched self-censorship has already become.’… Read the rest

Sign and Sight Gives Useful Overview *

Feb 3rd, 2006 | Filed by

A survey of the European press on the cartoons.… Read the rest

Agnès Callamard of Article 19 on Prophetic Fallacy *

Feb 3rd, 2006 | Filed by

One striking feature of these events is the remarkable absence of sensible dialogue.… Read the rest

Hindutva, California Textbooks and a Smear Campaign

Feb 3rd, 2006 | By Steve Farmer

Last week this article in the Indian magazine Frontline reported that the Hindu Right’s attempts to rewrite California school textbooks on India and Hinduism were meeting with strong resistance from renowned historians and scholars in the U.S. and abroad. Steve Farmer is one of those scholars; he reported on that resistance and the smear campaign against another of them, Michael Witzel, on a listserve last December, and gave B&W permission to publish a slightly updated version. There is recent news here.

Part I: The California Textbook Issue

The smear campaign aimed against Michael Witzel is meant in retaliation for
the critical role he has played since early November – in
collaboration now with hundreds of Indian and Western researchers … Read the rest

Nothing Sacred

Feb 2nd, 2006 8:47 pm | By

Paul Goggins went on the Today programme on the day the religious hatred bill was passed in the Lords version not the government’s version, to explain why the bill (particularly, in the government’s version, with the language about ‘recklessness’, instead of the Lords’) was necessary and a good idea. After some pressing he articulated the basic (I take it) point.

Well I accept, Jim, and we always have accepted that there are fine balances to be drawn here, but religious belief is an important part of identity, and the expression of that religious belief is important to many people, and that others should set out intentionally to stir up hatred about those people because of those religious beliefs has no

Read the rest

French Editor Fired for Printing Cartoons *

Feb 2nd, 2006 | Filed by

Journalists at the newspaper stood by their editor’s decision.… Read the rest

Danish Tabloid Reports There are ‘Extra’ Cartoons *

Feb 2nd, 2006 | Filed by

Akhmad Akkari says extras were added to show ‘how hateful the atmosphere in Denmark is.’… Read the rest

Scott McLemee on Oprah Studies *

Feb 2nd, 2006 | Filed by

The therapeutic ethos is not antithetical to a deep yearning for authority.… Read the rest

Dawkins on the Aftermath of ‘Root of all Evil?’ *

Feb 2nd, 2006 | Filed by

Faith is pernicious because it teaches that believing something without evidence is a virtue. … Read the rest

Guys With Guns Continue Tantrum *

Feb 2nd, 2006 | Filed by

Threat threat threat, demand demand demand, gun gun gun.… Read the rest

Richard Wolin’s The Seduction of Unreason *

Feb 2nd, 2006 | Filed by

Stanley Rosen says Wolin is not good at taking seriously the people he dislikes.… Read the rest

A Fish Called Allah *

Feb 2nd, 2006 | Filed by

Deity reveals self by writing own name on a fish in Waterfoot, near Bury.… Read the rest

Maryam Namazie Starts a Blog *

Feb 2nd, 2006 | Filed by

No prizes for guessing her opinion of the cartoon tantrum.… Read the rest

Writers and Comedians Rejoice *

Feb 2nd, 2006 | Filed by

Rowan Atkinson, Salman Rushdie, Philip Pullman, Hanif Kureishi cheer Commons vote.… Read the rest

Le Soir Sacks Managing Editor *

Feb 2nd, 2006 | Filed by

As a sign of respect for the intimate beliefs and convictions of every individual. Uh…… Read the rest

Remembering Fadima Shahindale *

Feb 2nd, 2006 | Filed by

At conference on globalization of political Islam and its relation to honour killing.… Read the rest