Posts Tagged ‘ FTB ’

Until people are free to come and go as they please

Mar 27th, 2014 10:47 am | By

Maryam considers the question of who gets to speak for British Muslims. Her answer is no one and everyone.

She says there’s been a huge fuss about the fact that Maajid Nawaz included her in the brief film he made for Newsnight.

In the programme I explained why I define myself as an ex-Muslim. It is not enough for me to call myself an atheist when I receive death threats for leaving Islam. Calling myself ex-Muslim is a public challenge to Islam, Islamism and its death penalty for apostates. Until people are free to come and go as they please and without fear, there is a political necessity to label myself in this way.

Of course it made sense … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Theory of attention

Mar 26th, 2014 5:32 pm | By

An article in Psychology Today – psychology for people who know nothing about psychology (like me), or more politely for the wider public – describes research that suggests that dogs have a rudimentary Theory of Mind, or one piece of a TOM.

Experimenters tested whether dogs beg more (or less) from people who (they can see) can’t see them or from people who can. It was the second. This of course causes not the faintest surprise in anyone who’s spent any time with dogs. Of course dogs cue in on human attention. I make eye contact with dogs in the street. I smile at them. They react. And these are stranger dogs. Of course dogs pay attention to human … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Guest post: Children have a right to a diversity of opinion and experience

Mar 26th, 2014 4:46 pm | By

Originally a comment by Seth on Like the lights being turned off.

Recently I spoke with a friend of mine who happens to be a Muslim woman; she does not wear hijab, though every few years she struggles with the urge to cover her hair, because some part of her feels it’s essential to her religion. But she told me something curious about some of the ‘cultural’ reasons for wearing the niqab, which arguably predate the invention of Islam; basically, some Muslim women take to the full-body veil because they feel they are ‘too beautiful’ to go through their daily lives without sexual harassment from all of the men around them.

Thus we see in microcosm something that Christopher Hitchens … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Free the rats

Mar 26th, 2014 4:01 pm | By

In the argument about whether dogs are likely to leave some of their dinner for a stray cat who might come into the house later to eat it (let alone whether the dog knows the cat is pregnant and is feeding her because she’s pregnant…), someone linked to this interesting research that seems to show that rats can do altruism.

In the new study, Mason, Bartal and University of Chicago colleague Jean Decetyplaced pairs of rats in Plexiglass pens. One rat was trapped in a cage in the middle of the pen, whereas the other rat was free to run around. Most free rats circled their imprisoned peer, gnawing at the cage and sticking their paws, noses and

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



For the mommy cat

Mar 26th, 2014 3:30 pm | By

This story is hugely popular on Facebook, and it’s a sweet story, but it seems extremely implausible to me. But I seem to be alone in that. I’m curious what you savagely skeptical people think.

My mother’s friend adopted this lovely dog after he was abandoned by his previous family. His name is Shaun.

Shaun had always been very good at eating all his food. Every last bit that was, he ate it.

One day he started leaving a little bit behind. He wouldn’t eat everything, no matter what. He always left a little behind.

Every morning when my mother’s friend checked Shaun’s bowl, the food was gone. That was very strange, because Shaun always spent the night by

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Sorry, the seal has gone missing

Mar 26th, 2014 11:59 am | By

Creeping Refusal to Serve for Bad Invidious Reasons strikes again – a notary at a New Jersey bank yesterday refused to notarize some documents for Amanda Knief and Dave Silverman for, the notary said, “personal reasons.”

Via American Atheists:

BREAKING: An important message from American Atheists Managing Director, Amanda Knief:

—-

I was just refused service — because I am an atheist. It was embarrassing, humiliating, and pissed me off.

A notary at a local bank, where I have gone more than a dozen times to have work documents signed, asked me to explain what we were having notarized. The documents were charitable organizations registrations for American Atheists in several states. So I told her what AA is about.

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Like the lights being turned off

Mar 26th, 2014 11:33 am | By

More to chew on – Mehdi Hasan talks to Mona Eltahawy in front of an audience in Oxford.

http://youtu.be/5vWHJczVRwM

A few pull quotes from Mona:

I’ve been a feminist since I was 19.

Moving to Saudi Arabia as a young girl was like the lights being turned off.

I consider the niqab an erasure of women.

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Firm to the principles

Mar 26th, 2014 11:04 am | By

Chris Moos updates us on the situation with gender segregation at UK universities. It hasn’t noticeably improved.

Worryingly even some elected student officials go so far as to openly advocate segregation. Joe Killen, welfare and diversity officer at Goldsmiths Students’ Union opposes bans on segregation based on an alleged “importance of segregation in political movements.” The Women’s Officer of King’s College London Students’ Union, Shaheen Sattar, who is also a National Union of Students delegate, has gone as far as demanding that “gender segregation should be respected, if not tolerated, in institutions of higher education“, as it was “firm to the principles of Islam”.

What else should be respected because it’s “firm to the principles … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Where does that money go if they’re not paying for writers?

Mar 25th, 2014 6:12 pm | By

Oh looky here, what do you know…From an article titled Scabs: Academics and Others Who Write for Free by Yasmin Nair.

I want to return to a thread I introduced in that earlier piece with much greater force: That those who write for free or very little simply because they can afford to are scabs.  This would include not just academics with tenured or tenure-track positions, but adjuncts, professionals (like paid activists and organisers), as well as, really, just about anyone who writes for places like GuernicaThe Huffington Post,open Democracy.net, and The Rumpus (and this is a very, very tiny list).*

Guernica and openDemocracy are both 501(c)3s. Where, in the case of the former,

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



That voice tended to be male, middle-aged, and mostly conservative

Mar 25th, 2014 4:52 pm | By

Watching that Newsnight segment again. One thing Maajid says in his film:

The media rightly sought to hear from the Muslim voice. But that voice tended to be male, middle-aged, and mostly conservative.

Then there’s a clip from Citizen Khan, then Adil Ray explains about Citizen Khan. I want Adil Ray for my new best friend. In the clip a guy asks Citizen Khan what he does and CK says “I’m a leader of the community.” Guy asks what that entails, exactly, and CK says “I lead the community.” I love that, because I’ve been putting “community leader” in scare quotes for years. If only the BBC would learn how idiotic that idea is.

He introduces us to Dr … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Equal friendly time

Mar 25th, 2014 4:08 pm | By

Hemant Mehta – the “friendly” atheist – has a post about a creationist complaining about not getting equal time with Cosmos. Mehta is scornful.

Of course, Faulkner has this crazy idea that Creationism and evolution are deserving of equal time even though only evolution is backed up by the evidence… and considering how little time is allocated to legitimate science programming these days, we should be seeing Neil deGrasse Tyson making the argument for equal time, not a Creationist.

Tell you what: I’m sure Cosmos will give you equal time on the show as soon as pastors start giving equal time to atheists in church. That makes just as much sense as whatever Faulkner said.

Or as soon … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



The full Paxo

Mar 25th, 2014 1:25 pm | By

Ah good, there’s a longer version on YouTube.

This time, they actually show the cartoon. The one they made a big show of refusing to show in January, thus drawing even more opprobrium (and threats) down on Maajid.

Update: 5 minutes in he talks to Maryam.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fb1LR6887ccRead the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Why is it that we don’t see

Mar 25th, 2014 1:12 pm | By

Oh dear god. At 8 minutes in, Jeremy Paxman asks, slowly and with deliberation because all three of the dudes suddenly stop shouting over each other to let Paxo have the floor – he asks, I say:

Why is it that we don’t see a broader range of Muslim spokesmen?

Why?? Because the BBC doesn’t invite them!

The BBC does invite Maryam occasionally, but not nearly often enough. It doesn’t invite any women often enough, especially not ex-Muslim women, secularist women, atheist women, liberal Muslim women.

The BBC should invite Maajid back and invite Tehmina Kazi and Maryam Namazie and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown to talk with him. The discussion would be far more interesting and productive, and less shouty.… Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Offended that they might be offended

Mar 25th, 2014 12:54 pm | By

Wo, here’s a gem – Maajid Nawaz, Mehdi Hasan and Mo Ansar going at it on Newsnight last night, with Jeremy Paxman presiding. The subject is That Tweet, the one about Jeus and Mo.

I’m four minutes in, and Mehdi Hasan has just said to Maajid, ”You have a long history of offending people in the Muslim community in a gratuitous manner.”

Mo Ansar said he doesn’t himself find the cartoon offensive. He’s meta-offended. What he finds offensive is Maajid tweeting something that other people would find offensive. It’s meta and pre-emptive. Also ridiculous – as Maajid points out to Mehdi H, some people are offended by campaigns against racism.… Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Little dresses wouldn’t be practical

Mar 25th, 2014 12:28 pm | By

Ok we allow women to do most things now, in Our Great Mercy, but there are limits. Women can’t be pope. Women can’t be intellectually active atheists. Women can’t be wait staff at the Nuclear Security Summit in the Hague.

The Nuclear Security Summit is in its second day in The Hague and has brought leaders from 53 countries together to discuss ways of combating nuclear terrorism. The catering company responsible for feeding the leaders and delegates has made a controversial staffing decision: No female serving staff are working in the plenary room where the main talks are being held. Instead, only men over 25 have been given the privilege of serving the working lunches at the World Forum. 

Gee, … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Philosophy and science

Mar 24th, 2014 6:08 pm | By

Dan Dennett and Massimo Pigliucci talk to Laurence Krauss.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tH3AnYyAI8Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



These women need a good slap round the face

Mar 24th, 2014 5:21 pm | By

I hadn’t heard about this guy Stewart Green, a parliamentary assistant to a Tory MP, who jotted a few notes about feminists on Facebook a couple of weeks ago.

What’d he say? That he wished the Tories had more of them, and more women as well?

Not quite.

Green told his Facebook friends he was “sick to the back tooth” of “wretched women MPs who seem to be constantly going on about there not being enough women in frontline politics”.

He added: “This country has been a gradual decline southwards towards the dogs ever since we started cow-towing to the cretinous pseudo-equality demand of these whinging [sic] imbeciles.”

Breath of fresh air, isn’t it? After all this jumping when women … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Hellbound Swedish vacuum cleaners

Mar 24th, 2014 5:07 pm | By

Louis Theroux looks back on the accomplishments of Fred Phelps. Theroux knows more about the Phelps family than most people, because he did two BBC documentaries about them.

An eternity in hell is the fate of anyone who doesn’t get baptised into the WBC and travel the country waving hate-filled placards at political events, colleges and places associated – even in the most tortuously oblique way – with tolerance of homosexuality.

While I was with them, they had a regular local picket of a hardware store that sold Swedish vacuum cleaners. The Swedish government had imprisoned a pastor for homophobic preaching, and for the WBC that made the store a legitimate target for a ritualised Biblical smackdown. For the

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Jazz paws

Mar 24th, 2014 4:30 pm | By

I’ve been so grumpy today…

From @CuteOverloads

 

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



“I don’t take a piss without being paid”

Mar 24th, 2014 3:46 pm | By

Author alerted us to this fine rant by Harlan Ellison on the theme of, “Pay me, motherfuckers.”

Pull quote:

I should do a freebie for Warner Brothers? What, is Warner Brothers out with an eye patch and a tin cup in the street? Fuck no!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mj5IV23g-fERead the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)