All entries by this author

Thoughts & prayers ltd

Dec 3rd, 2015 1:18 pm | By

The BBC is reporting on another Twitter fuss.

Amidst the news of a mass shooting in California, a lively debate erupted on Twitter over the power and utility of offering “prayers” in the wake of such an event.

It’s political boilerplate to offer “thoughts and prayers” to the victims of violence, and the majority of Republican presidential candidates took this approach after a shooting in California left 14 people dead and more injured.

“Our prayers are with the victims, their families, and the first responders in San Bernardino who willingly go into harm’s way to save others,” wrote Ted Cruz.

Well, you know, I wish they wouldn’t do that. I usually keep it to myself, at least when … Read the rest

Maryam at Goldsmiths

Dec 3rd, 2015 9:39 am | By

Here is the video of Maryam’s talk at Goldsmiths on Monday. Now we can see for ourselves what actually happened.

I’ve watched 25 minutes so far.

At 9 minutes a guy in the front row all in black including a wool cap gets up to take photos of the audience.

At 11:30 there are snickers and mutterings when Maryam mentions the murders of atheist bloggers in Bangladesh.

At 12 two guys in the front row start objecting to being filmed; Maryam tells them to stop talking or get out, the ASH guy who introduced her tells them questions will be at the end, they keep talking and shouting. The noisiest guy, in a grey flat cap, has the gall to … Read the rest

At least 14 killed

Dec 2nd, 2015 3:07 pm | By

Another one. Is it going to be every other day now? Every day? Several per day?

The New York Times is live updating.

A little over an hour ago –

Police Report Multiple Fatalities, Possibly as Many as 12
Coral Castro, the multimedia coordinator for the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department, said that details about the shooting were still in flux, including the number of suspects and casualties.

But she reported that there were “possibly 12 fatalities.”

Ms. Castro said the department was assisting in the investigation and she emphasized that information was still coming in. The police are searching for three possible suspects, she said, but no one is in custody.

She said a news conference would be held

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A prominent human rights campaigner

Dec 2nd, 2015 11:05 am | By

I guess it’s only the right-wing press that can manage to report on Maryam and the bullies who try to shut down her talks without first labeling her “controversial.” Such as, the Telegraph:

The headline: Human rights campaigner heckled at blasphemy lecture

The subhead: A prominent human rights campaigner who was heckled during a lecture on blasphemy at Goldsmith University has said universities should be “unsafe places” where ideas and beliefs are openly challenged

See there? They call her a human rights campaigner, which she is, and skip the bit where they prejudice us against her, and excuse the people who bully her, by calling her “controversial.”

The Telegraph is better on this subject than the BBC. What … Read the rest

When in doubt, call her controversial

Dec 2nd, 2015 9:48 am | By

London Student reports on Maryam and Goldsmiths Isoc.

The headline: ‘Death Threats And Intimidation’ At Controversial Goldsmiths Lecture With Speaker Maryam Namazie

The subhead: Students at Goldsmiths “disrupted” a controversial talk with human rights activist and broadcaster Maryam Namazie yesterday evening, with some audience members accused of issuing death threats.

Is the well poisoned enough yet? I do wish people would stop pre-poisoning every story on or conversation with Maryam by screaming about how “controversial” she is in the title and subhead and opening paragraph and every subsequent mention of her. It’s rather like calling anti-fascists “controversial.” Maryam is “controversial” only to theocrats, so why pin the theocrats’ label on her? Advocating secularism and equal rights for all and … Read the rest

Solidarity becomes a dirty word

Dec 2nd, 2015 8:44 am | By

The Goldsmiths Feminist Society removed their statement of solidarity with Goldsmiths Isoc from Facebook but they later tweeted the tumblr version, which remains.

Goldsmiths Feminist Society stands in solidarity with Goldsmiths Islamic Society. We support them in condemning the actions of the Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society and agree that hosting known islamophobes at our university creates a climate of hatred.

We showed our support on our Facebook page by sharing ISOC’s post with a message of solidarity. Our Facebook page is designed as a space for us to communicate with our members, and their safety is our first priority, under the policies set out by our Student Union. We reserve the right to remove comments and posts that

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Solidarity with fascists

Dec 1st, 2015 5:35 pm | By

Daaaaaaaaaamn – the Goldsmiths Feminist Society expressed solidarity with…ISOC.

The post has apparently been deleted now, but hell and damn, what is wrong with everyone?… Read the rest

After a spate of unfortunate “incidents”

Dec 1st, 2015 3:41 pm | By

Hooray, a December panto at the Norwich Playhouse.

Spooky Kid Productions presents

Thu 10th Dec to Sat 12th Dec – 7:30pm
2 hours plus interval
£15 all tickets (+ £1.20 per transaction when tickets posted)

Ahahahahaha look at her, isn’t that funny? No teeth, because she’s poor, you see, and big tits because she’s a whore, and terrified because of the knife. How funny! What larks!


Based on the 19th century’s most notorious killer, Jack The Ripper The Panto is a love story with prostitutes, murders, drugs and a good old sing song.

After a spate of unfortunate “incidents” Jack Ripper is forced to flee to London with only Manson, the psychotic cat,

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Wrong again, God boy

Dec 1st, 2015 2:54 pm | By

Just in time for Christmas secular winter solstice shopping, the 7th collection of Jesus and Mo cartoons is published.

And guess what! I got to write the foreword for it!

Here it is:

We’re living in a time of flourishing, intensifying fanaticism, specifically religious fanaticism.

In a way that seems strange. You would think religious fanaticism would be on a steady downward trajectory as technology and communication proceed in an upward one. How can murderous devotion to an antique Holy Book co-exist with the Mars Rover and the iPad?

Jesus and Mo implicitly and slyly puts that question whenever we see the boys watching television or at a laptop or reading a wide assortment of newspapers. The core running … Read the rest

RSF has news

Dec 1st, 2015 2:40 pm | By

Wait wait wait hold the phone –

Reporters Without Borders says Raif could be released soon.

RSF has been campaigning for many months for the release of Badawi, who has been sentenced to ten years in prison and 1,000 lashes.

The possibility of a pardon was mentioned at the end of last week by the Swiss foreign ministry’s secretary of state after an official visit to Saudi Arabia. He said Badawi’s sentence had been suspended while a proposed pardon was being considered. RSF hopes that the pardon materializes and that its many appeals to the Saudi king will finally lead to Badawi’s release.

The release of the winner of the 2014 RSF Press Freedom Prize and the 2015

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Let her go home

Dec 1st, 2015 12:06 pm | By

There’s a petition you can sign to stop the stoning of the Sri Lankan domestic worker by the Saudi fascists.

A 45 year old, unnamed Sri Lankan migrant domestic worker and mother of 3 has been sentenced to death by stoning in Saudi Arabia for “adultery.” Zina – that is any sexual relations outside of marriage – are Hudud crimes or “crimes against God.”

The man in the alleged relationship who is single has been sentenced to 100 lashes for “fornication.”

The Muslim Women’s Research & Action Front Sri Lanka says that the stoning is imminent and to take place on Friday 4 December 2015.

We, the undersigned, condemn the death penalty and stoning or flogging, including for private sexual

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The pants have been incinerated

Dec 1st, 2015 11:54 am | By

Goldsmiths ISOC posted its ludicrous version of what happened at Maryam’s talk yesterday, claiming that their members were harassed by the Goldsmiths ASH.

Goldsmiths Islamic Society (ISOC) would like to categorically condemn the vile harassment of our ISOC members (both male and female) by the Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society (ASH).

On Monday 30th November, students of Goldsmiths University, alongside members of the public attended an event organised by the ASH titled “Apostasy, Blasphemy & Free Expression, In the age of ISIS”. The ASH invited Maryam Namazie, who is known as a notorious islamophobe to speak at the event, despite our polite request for them to reconsider. The university should be a safe space for all our students. Islamophobic views

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Because if you executed the homos like God recommends

Dec 1st, 2015 10:31 am | By

So there’s this preacher in Tempe, Arizona…which can just mean he’s some guy who got a few people to listen to him say things somewhere. He could be some guy who invented his own church and got a few neighbors to sit in front of him while he delivers “sermons.” Or he could be a Baptist in good standing; who knows. The point is that “preacher” doesn’t tell you much of anything. We know a few people listened to him because we can hear a few people laughing slightly on the video.

So there he is, in Tempe, and he says all the “homos” should be killed because Leviticus, and that would cure AIDS.

Conservative “Christian” Pastor Steven Anderson

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Jezebel baby killer

Dec 1st, 2015 9:52 am | By

One front of the eternal war on women is Planned Parenthood clinics.

The shooting Friday at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado, was horrifying, but according to a former Planned Parenthood worker, it wasn’t shocking. Instead, the former employee said, the attack that left three people dead was a continuation of decades of extremist tactics directed at the health care organization’s facilities, staff, volunteers and patients.

Author Bryn Greenwood, who tweeted that she worked at a Kansas Planned Parenthood facility for three years, said on Twitter that, in her experience, regular acts of violence, intimidation, arson and vandalism were common.

Because women have to be kept under control, obedient, submissive, dominated. Women have to remember at … Read the rest

Fatima Mernissi

Dec 1st, 2015 9:14 am | By

That’s a loss:

The Moroccan writer and sociologist Fatima Mernissi, known for her pioneering work in the field of Islamic feminism, has died.

Her work also touched on broader issues of human rights and democracy in the Arab and Muslim worlds.

Her best known work, Beyond the Veil, examines Islam from a feminist perspective and critiques traditional, male-dominated interpretations.

Moroccan-American author Laila Lalami was among many others who paid tribute to Mernissi, writing that “in addition to being a wonderful scholar, Fatema Mernissi was a kind and generous human being. A rare combination.”

Mernissi’s work drew attention to the active political role played by women in the early history of Islam, for example in her book The Forgotten

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The “brothers” came in

Nov 30th, 2015 5:51 pm | By

So Maryam gave her talk at Goldsmiths…and “brothers” from ISOC did their best to disrupt it.

After my talk began, ISOC “brothers” started coming into the room, repeatedly banging the door, falling on the floor, heckling me, playing on their phones, shouting out, and creating a climate of intimidation in order to try and prevent me from speaking.

I continued speaking as loudly as I could. They repeatedly walked back and forth in front of me. In the midst of my talk, one of the ISOC Islamists switched off my PowerPoint and left. The University security had to intervene and remain in the room as I continued my talk.

Eventually the thug who had switched off my PowerPoint

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State murder

Nov 30th, 2015 5:14 pm | By

News from our beloved ally Saudi Arabia, so very different from that horrid Islamic State that’s always killing people for no reason.

Sri Lanka has urged Saudi Arabia to pardon a domestic worker, sentenced to death by stoning after she admitted committing adultery while working in the Arab kingdom.  An official from Sri Lanka’s Foreign Employment Bureau said the married 45-year-old, who had worked as a maid in Riyadh since 2013, was convicted of adultery in August.

She had sex with someone. Saudi Arabia is going to throw stones at her to kill her, because she had sex with someone. This is our “ally.”

(You know how the stoning works, right? The woman is buried up to her shoulders, … Read the rest

Suckled in the bosom of Fatwa Valley

Nov 30th, 2015 5:02 pm | By

Kamel Daoud in the New York Times on November 20:

Black Daesh, white Daesh. The former slits throats, kills, stones, cuts off hands, destroys humanity’s common heritage and despises archaeology, women and non-Muslims. The latter is better dressed and neater but does the same things. The Islamic State; Saudi Arabia. In its struggle against terrorism, the West wages war on one, but shakes hands with the other. This is a mechanism of denial, and denial has a price: preserving the famous strategic alliance with Saudi Arabia at the risk of forgetting that the kingdom also relies on an alliance with a religious clergy that produces, legitimizes, spreads, preaches and defends Wahhabism, the ultra-puritanical form of Islam that Daesh feeds on.

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Seen from above

Nov 30th, 2015 4:13 pm | By

Scott Kelly sends a snapshot of California from the ISS.

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And how old is this ‘kid’?

Nov 30th, 2015 12:26 pm | By

I was running around outside most of last week so I didn’t see Dawkins’s latest adventures in publicly chastising a 14-year-old boy for saying he “made” a clock when he didn’t really “make” a clock in the strictest sense of “making” something. I’ve seen some of his previous adventures in that exciting field, and blogged about some of those, but I missed the latest, in which he really outdid himself. He outdid himself by such a margin that CNN took the trouble to report on it.

Eminent British scientist Richard Dawkins has drawn criticism on social media for what some say is an unfair comparison between Ahmed Mohamed, the Texas teenager whose school project was mistaken for a bomb,

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