All entries by this author

Call it what it is

Jan 18th, 2015 6:00 pm | By


Prithvi Acharya says can we please stop calling it “eve-teasing.”

Really. As an outsider it was easy for me to find that ridiculous trivialization shocking, but all the same, it’s possible to pull back and take a look at local trivializations too. Acharya says it’s time to do that now.

I take an exception to how practically everyone in India is framing an important national issue that pervades class, age and geography, and has been doing so for decades. I take a strong exception to the phrase ‘eve-teasing’. Yes, it’s a phrase that is used by the police, the news, and the activists alike. We’re constantly exposed to the euphemism – I don’t blame you for subconsciously having included

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Non, pas du tout

Jan 18th, 2015 5:18 pm | By

Ah now this is pure fun – a guy on French tv, on what looks like a talk show, takes on Fox News’s pontifications about “zones interdites” in Paris. C’est drolatique.

Especially the part where a correspondent goes into the field, in pleasant areas of inner Paris, and asks locals if their neighborhood reminds them of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Watch French TV make fun of Fox News claims of… by ewillies

H/t Maureen… Read the rest

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Oh, well, if he disliked his daughter…

Jan 18th, 2015 3:49 pm | By

News from India, via the Independent:

An Indian man has been arrested after he allegedly attempted to bury his 9-year-old daughter alive.

Adul Hussein allegedly dug a pit in the back garden of his home in Putia, a small village near the India-Bangladesh border, while his wife was away from the house on Friday afternoon.

Police sources told Indian news channel NDTV that the man’s “dislike” of his daughter Rukshena prompted his actions.

Hussein reportedly tied Rukshena’s hands and feet together before placing tape over her mouth and placing her in the hole, which came up to her chest as pictures show.

But his wife came home then, so he ran out of time to finish burying his daughter.… Read the rest

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For bringing the human race into disrepute

Jan 18th, 2015 3:14 pm | By

Iram Ramzan on Twitter

50ShadesOfBeige ‏@Iram_Ramzan
I think the world should sue Saudi Arabia for bringing the human race into disrepute

That puts it neatly. I think something along those lines every time I post about one of their atrocities.

Iram has a piece in the Sunday Times today.

THROUGHOUT the week, we have heard commentators condemning the Paris attacks while simultaneously chastising Charlie Hebdo journalists for “provoking” the wrath of Muslims.

It was almost like telling a rape victim she should not have “provoked” her attacker by wearing a miniskirt.

Even Hamas — that well-known advocate of human rights and free speech — denounced the onslaught on the satirical magazine. Yet notable by its absence was any

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A particularly venomous line in abuse against the “sisterhood”

Jan 18th, 2015 1:33 pm | By

Yesssss – finally the progressive liberal Muslims are starting to get a voice in the UK media. The Independent quotes four who were on Panorama last week.

Last week four British Muslims told the BBC’s Panorama why they believe the government is right to identify “non-violent extremism” as the ideology that helps lays the ground for violent extremism. They explained that this non-violent ideology is the politicised version of puritanical Sunni Islam that dominates Saudi Arabia and which has been exported to Britain and around the world over decades.

The programme showed how Salafi Wahhabism is wreathed in anti-westernism, contempt for parliamentary democracy, reactionary attitudes to gender equality and gay rights, and disdain for other faiths. Through its UK-based adherents,

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Religion should not be a political argument

Jan 18th, 2015 1:10 pm | By

Here is a segment of Gerard Biard on Meet the Press.

The chief editor of Charlie Hebdo is defending the magazine’s controversial depictions of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad, saying it skewers religious figures only when faith gets “entangled” in the political world.

“We do not attack religion, but we do when it gets involved in politics,” Gerard Biard said in an interview with Chuck Todd broadcast on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

“If God becomes entangled in politics, then democracy is in danger,” Biard said through a translator in his first interview with an American television network since his magazine was attacked by Islamist terrorists. The attack on Jan. 7 killed 12 people, including staff members.

And not … Read the rest

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Most were women and children

Jan 18th, 2015 12:34 pm | By

Now Boko Haram is turning its murderous violence on Cameroon. The BBC reports it has kidnapped dozens of people there.

They said many of those kidnapped in the cross border attack against villages were children.

Four villagers who tried to fend off the attackers were killed, a security source has told the BBC.

A security source told the BBC that it was the villages of Maki and Mada in the Tourou district near Mokolo city in Cameroon’s Far North region, about 6km (four miles) from the Nigerian border, that came under attack.

The suspected militants arrived in the early hours of Sunday morning when it was still dark and left in the direction of Nigeria with scores of hostages.

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They blur out democracy, secularism, freedom of religion

Jan 18th, 2015 12:23 pm | By

The new ed-in-chief of Charlie Hebdo was on Meet the Press this morning. Mediaite transcribed a bit:

Meet the Press host Chuck Todd asked Charlie Hebdo’s new editor-in-chief Gerard Briard Sunday morning what he made of the decision of many American news outlets, including NBC News, to blur the cover of this week’s issue, which featured a caricature of the Islamic prophet Muhammed…

“Écoutez, we cannot blame newspapers that already suffer much difficulty in getting published and distributed in totalitarian regimes for not publishing a cartoon that could get them at best jail, at worst death,” he said.

“On the other hand, I’m quite critical of newspapers published in democratic countries,” he continued. “This cartoon…is a symbol of freedom

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Be sure not to negatively impact the parameters

Jan 17th, 2015 6:17 pm | By

Jane Harley explains at Comment is Free that Oxford University Press hasn’t banned pigs, it just…doesn’t want its education authors to mention them. (Scholars are entirely free to mention them, she says. Oh, whew.)

Given that our editorial guidelines that reference pigs and pork have been in place for as long as I can remember, little did I imagine that they would attract international headlines claiming that the Oxford University Press had banned sausages. To clarify, OUP does not have a blanket ban on pork products in its titles, and we do still publish books about pigs. Although there have been no recent changes to our guidance on this topic, these articles highlighted the fine balance needed when considering

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Mehdi Hasan’s whatabouttery

Jan 17th, 2015 5:37 pm | By

Nick linked to a piece by Mehdi Hasan so I just had to go read the whole thing. I do not like it. I never do like what Mehdi Hasan writes or says.

He frames this as an open letter to “Dear liberal pundit” – which is annoying. Should we reply “Dear conservative Muslim pundit”? Or should we play at being grown-ups.

The massacre in Paris on 7 January was, you keep telling us, an attack on free speech. The conservative former French president Nicolas Sarkozy agrees, calling it “a war declared on civilisation”. So, too, does the liberal-left pin-up Jon Snow, who crassly tweeted about a “clash of civilisations” and referred to “Europe’s belief in freedom of expression”.


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Bogus moral equivalence

Jan 17th, 2015 4:46 pm | By

Nick Cohen too is unimpressed by the pope’s assertion that we can’t insult religion. He’s also unimpressed by the “Charlie Hebdo had it coming” crowd.

After the Paris attacks, the novelist Will Self claimed moral equivalence. Those who say “freedom of speech is an absolute right” – no one does, incidentally – have “a religious point of view”. Mehdi Hasan, political director of the Huffington Post, agreed that freedom was fanaticism. He condemned “the hypocrisy of free-speech fundamentalists” and cited a thought experiment of an Oxford philosopher called Brian Klug. If an Islamist had joined the free speech rallies in Paris and applauded the murderers, Klug mused on the basis of no evidence whatsoever, he

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It was NOT on “Benson’s blog”

Jan 17th, 2015 4:22 pm | By

I ignore 99.999% of it, but someone brought this particular lie to my attention and I’m finding it unignorable.

Brive1987 ‏@brive1987 2 hours ago
@vtchakarova @mirandachale just forced myself to watch botched beheading of Burmese woman in Saudi. OMG.

Miranda Celeste Hale ‏@mirandachale 2 hours ago
@brive1987 @vtchakarova Oh god that’s so awful Even reading about it made me feel sick.

Brive1987 @brive1987 · 2 hours ago
@mirandachale @vtchakarova it was on Benson’s blog and is on liveleak. I’ve decided not to avoid “real Islam” but I think others should :/

Miranda Celeste Hale ‏@mirandachale 47 minutes ago
@brive1987 She posted the *video* on her site? JESUS. Wtf? I mean, I fully agree w/you that we shouldn’t bury our heads

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Among the things prohibited

Jan 17th, 2015 12:24 pm | By

Speaking of sausages, and outrage, and women seen cooking sausages on tv, and outrage, and outrage, and outrage, the Oxford University Press has given one of its authors a friendly nudge to avoid writing the words “pig” or “pork” in a projected book.

Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme, presenter Jim Naughtie said: “I’ve got a letter here that was sent out by OUP to an author doing something for young people.

“Among the things prohibited in the text that was commissioned by OUP was the following: Pigs plus sausages, or anything else which could be perceived as pork.

“Now, if a respectable publisher, tied to an academic institution, is saying you’ve got to write a book in which

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More smoke

Jan 17th, 2015 11:48 am | By

And today in Niger – the protests against Charlie Hebdo continue, with extra added church-burning.

At least two churches have been set on fire in the capital of Niger amid fresh protests against French magazine Charlie Hebdo’s cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

Saturday’s protests began outside Niamey’s grand mosque with police using tear gas a day after at least four were killed in the second city of Zinder.

The French embassy has warned its citizens to stay indoors.

Charlie Hebdo doesn’t hang out at the church.

In Niger, a former French colony, hundreds of demonstrators gathered at Niamey’s grand mosque, shouting “God is Great” in Arabic.

At least two churches were set on fire – similar to Friday’s demonstration

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The competition

Jan 17th, 2015 11:13 am | By

Speaking of the US rivalry with Saudi Arabia over who can inflict the most sadistic punishments, the Death Penalty Information Center gives us some examples of botched executions. Not all; just some.

Be warned – obviously this is not pleasant reading.

NOTE: The cases below are not presented as a comprehensive catalogue of all botched executions, but simply a listing of examples that are well-known.  There are 44 executions listed: 2 by asphyxiation, 10 by electrocution, and 32 by lethal injection, and 1 attempted execution by lethal injection.

  1. August 10, 1982. Virginia. Frank J. Coppola. Electrocution.

    Although no media representatives witnessed the execution and no details were ever released by the Virginia Department of Corrections, an attorney

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After being dragged through the street

Jan 17th, 2015 10:44 am | By

Saudi Arabia postponed Raif’s next 50 lashes yesterday, but on Monday they beheaded a woman in public, without anesthetic and taking three blows to do it.

Laila Bint Abdul Muttalib Basim, a Burmese woman who resided in Saudi Arabia, was executed by sword on Monday after being dragged through the street and held down by four police officers.

She was convicted of the sexual abuse and murder of her seven-year-old step-daughter.

A video showed how it took three blows to complete the execution, while the woman screamed “I did not kill. I did not kill.” It has now been removed by YouTube as part of its policy on “shocking and disgusting content”.

There are two ways to behead people

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Sausage outrage

Jan 17th, 2015 10:36 am | By

Yes really: sausage outrage. No, not the sausage=penis kind of outrage, the other kind.

Reham Khan, the former BBC presenter who recently married ex-cricketer and politician Imran Khan, has sparked a backlash in Pakistan after footage emerged of her cooking and selling pork sausages.

There they go again – she “sparked outrage.”

The 41-year-old TV star, who is herself of British-Pakistani decent, can purportedly be seen frying the religiously restricted meat at a country fair in West Sussex for the BBC South Today show in 2011, The Times reports.

In Islamic dietary jurisprudence, the consumption of pork is considered ‘haram’, or ‘unlawful’.

In what? “Dietary jurisprudence”? What the fuck is that? Jurisprudence refers to actual law, real world … Read the rest

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The barefaced deceit

Jan 17th, 2015 10:11 am | By

Kunwar Khuldune Shahid, writing in Pakistan’s Friday Times, calls it deceitful to claim that the massacre at Charlie Hebdo and other murderous outbursts “have nothing to do with Islam or Muslims.”

The barefaced deceit gets the backing of the liberal left of the West, that gets extra brownie points for speaking up about the self-inflicted ‘marginalisation of Muslims’, most of whom continue to avoid befriending ‘Jews and Christians’ because their scripture ostensibly prohibits it.

And so when the Charlie Hebdo office was attacked in Paris last week, everything from France’s occupation of Algeria over half a century ago to the economic disparity between Muslims and non-Muslims in the country was touted as the raison d’etre. Fingers have been pointed

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Bye bye Pope Fluffy

Jan 16th, 2015 6:17 pm | By

You know all that kakk about the new pope being a kinder gentler pope? It was kakk all along. I knew that.

He’s back to telling us teh gayz will ruin everything. Of course he is.

Francis arrived in the Philippines on Friday for a five day trip and spoke to thousands in the heart of Manila, the country’s capital city. While speaking on the issue of same sex marriage on Jan. 16, Francis went into attack mode. “The family is threatened by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage,” Francis told the crowd. “These realities are increasingly under attack from powerful forces, which threaten to disfigure God’s plan for creation.”

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Let hell engulf

Jan 16th, 2015 6:05 pm | By

Wonderful. There was a protest against Charlie Hebdo in Niger today – at which four people were killed. That’s a fabulous reason to die.

At least four people have been killed in violent protests against French magazine Charlie Hebdo in Niger’s second city of Zinder, officials say.

A number of churches and the French cultural centre were among several buildings raided and set alight.

Over a picture. A picture of a bearded guy in a turban, with a tear on his cheek. That’s worth killing people and setting churches and cultural centers on fire.

One policeman and three civilians were killed in the protests in Zinder after Friday prayers, a police source told Reuters.

“Some of the protesters were

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