Posts Tagged ‘ FTB ’

Fighting on the outskirts

Jan 25th, 2015 11:27 am | By

Bad. Now Boko Haram is attacking Maiduguri, which is not a village but a city.

Fighters from the Islamist militant group Boko Haram have launched an attack on the key city of Maiduguri in north-eastern Nigeria.

Fierce fighting was reported on the outskirts. The military is carrying out air strikes, and a curfew is in place.

Maiduguri is home to tens of thousands of people who have fled Boko Haram attacks and was visited on Saturday by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Another Boko Haram attack was reported in Monguno, north of Maiduguri.

Bad bad bad news.

The attack appeared to have begun in the Njimtilo district on the edge of the city.

Nigerian military spokesman Chris Olukolade tweeted that a

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Such an ambitious project

Jan 25th, 2015 10:47 am | By

Seth Shulman, editorial director of the Union of Concerned Scientists, reviews Michael Shermer’s new book at the Washington Post. Remember, the subtitle of that book is “How Science and Reason Lead Humanity Toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom.”

If you read carefully, I think you can detect that he doesn’t think much of it but wants to be polite or encouraging. It’s possible that I’m just reading that in, but…that’s the sense I get.

‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. told a crowd of protesters in Montgomery, Ala., in March 1965. King’s use of that quote stands as one of history’s more inspiring pieces of oratory, acknowledging

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Locked up in the Potemkin village

Jan 24th, 2015 6:06 pm | By

Ishaan Tharoor at the Washington Post has the story of Abdullah’s daughters, but he makes clear that he’s reporting reports as opposed to an investigation. He says there are some doubts as to how confined the daughters are. Maybe they’re only a little bit held against their will.

Abdullah’s reforms, writes one commentator, have “all the substance of a Potemkin village, a flimsy structure to impress foreign opinion.”

Closer to home, moreover, there are a few women related to the late monarch who may object to the praise being heaped upon him. Abdullah, like other Saudi royals, had numerous wives — at least seven, and perhaps as many as 30. He had at least 15 daughters.

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We’re waiting for the day your plane arrives at the Montreal airport

Jan 24th, 2015 5:31 pm | By

And then something else…Good luck trying to read this dry-eyed.

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Hooray for human rights!

Jan 24th, 2015 5:20 pm | By

A cartoon by Arifur Rahman.

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Five years old

Jan 24th, 2015 4:06 pm | By

I’m feeling sick now.

From the International Business Times

A Saudi preacher accused of raping, torturing and killing his five-year-old daughter, has reportedly been released from custody after agreeing to pay “blood money”.

Fayhan al-Ghamdi was sentenced to eight years in prison and 800 lashes in 2013.

The court also ordered al-Ghamdi to pay his ex-wife, the girl’s mother, one million riyals ($270,000) in “blood money”.

According to some reports, al-Ghamdi had suspected his daughter had lost her virginity and had tortured her accordingly.

Al-Ghamdi’s daughter Lama suffered multiple injuries including a crushed skull, broken back, broken ribs, a broken left arm and extensive bruising and burns.

It was reported that al-Ghamdi had suspected his daughter of losing her

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The daughters of Abdullah

Jan 24th, 2015 3:43 pm | By

Ok I’d seen a couple of mentions of imprisoned Saudi princesses and hadn’t followed up, but thanks to yazikus posting some extracts in comments I now have. I didn’t realize they were Abdullah’s daughters. His own god damn daughters, imprisoned in some dark rooms on his say-so. It’s a tale of horror.

Sahar, Maha, Hala and Jawaher Al Saud are daughters of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, the Saudi Arabian monarch who is worth an estimated $15 billion.

They grew up rich, and had a nice life. They wanted to study abroad and travel, then marry and have children.

Now they are prisoners.

Not only has the 89-year-old king forbidden any man to seek his daughters’ hands in marriage, he’s

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Taubira v the internauts

Jan 24th, 2015 1:14 pm | By

From last week – Christiane Taubira herself gave her view on whether or not Charlie Hebdo is allowed to make fun even of religions.

Lors de la cérémonie d’obsèques de Tignous, l’un des dessinateurs tués dans l’attaque de Charlie Hebdo, Christiane Taubira a évoqué le “droit de se moquer de toutes les religions”.

À la question “peut-on rire de tout ?”, la ministre de la Justice a livré sa réponse aux funérailles de Tignous à Montreuil le 15 janvier 2015.

Christiane Taubira a alors indiqué : “On peut tout dessiner, y compris un prophète parce qu’en France, pays de Voltaire et de l’irrévérence, on a le droit de se moquer de toutes les religions qu’en France”.

At the funeral for

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Purging

Jan 24th, 2015 12:28 pm | By

Nice work, Wikipedia –

Guardian headline: Wikipedia bans five editors from gender-related articles.

Wikipedia’s arbitration committee, the highest user-run body on the site, has banned five editors from making corrections to articles about feminism, in an attempt to stop a long-running edit war over the entry on the “Gamergate controversy”.

The editors, who were all actively attempting to prevent the article from being rewritten with a pro-Gamergate slant, were sanctioned by “arbcom” in its preliminary decision. While that may change as it is finalised, the body, known as Wikipedia’s supreme court, rarely reverses its decisions.

Right, because articles about feminism have to be impartial, so they should be edited only by people who are opposed to feminism. That makes … Read the rest

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Systematic discrimination against women persists

Jan 24th, 2015 11:29 am | By

Human Rights Watch sees Saudi Arabia rather differently from the way the people running the governments and sitting on the thrones do.

King Abdullah’s reign brought about marginal advances for women but failed to secure the fundamental rights of Saudi citizens to free expression, association, and assembly. Abdullah’s successor, King Salman, should halt persecution of peaceful dissidents and religious minorities, end pervasive discrimination against women, and ensure greater protections for migrant workers.

Over King Abdullah’s nine-and-a-half year rule, reform manifested itself chiefly in greater tolerance for a marginally expanded public role for women, but royal initiatives were largely symbolic and produced extremely modest concrete gains.

And that’s in a place where women are treated like disease-ridden vaginas – alluring and … Read the rest

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If that’s bland and reassuring, what would scary look like?

Jan 24th, 2015 10:46 am | By

The Guardian also reports that the new Saudi monarch promises continuity with the previous monarch. What a surprise.

Salman’s first public remarks as monarch, even before Abdullah’s burial, were designed to send a bland and reassuring message of stability. “We will continue adhering to the correct policies which Saudi Arabia has followed since its establishment,” he said in a speech on state TV.

“The Arab and Islamic nations are in dire need of solidarity and cohesion.” He used the phrase “the straight path” – language taken directly from the Qur’an.

Yeah cool – so they’ll keep on whipping and fining and imprisoning secular liberals, and looking the other way as citizens torture their foreign servants, and oppressing and suppressing … Read the rest

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The palace told them to lower the flags

Jan 24th, 2015 10:21 am | By

Wtf?

Why would flags in the UK be lowered in tribute to the king of Saudi Torturer Arabia?

Some MPs are wondering.

A decision to mark the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia by flying flags in Whitehall at half-mast has been criticised by MPs.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said it had asked government buildings to fly the union flag at half-mast for 12 hours in line with protocol that says this is appropriate following the death of a foreign monarch.

Any monarch, all monarchs? No matter what? Even when the country the monarch was monarch of just beat a man with 50 blows of a stick as punishment for having a website that … Read the rest

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Measles then and now

Jan 24th, 2015 9:19 am | By

You know those people who say measles is just a harmless little childhood disease? Epidemiologist Tara Smith has a few things to tell them.

Last year was the worst year for measles in two decades. While we’ve seen fewer than 100 cases of measles in most years since the turn of the century, that number spiked to 644 cases in 2014, from 23 separate outbreaks in 27 states.

Before the vaccine, the United States saw approximately 4 million cases of measles each year and 400 to 500 deaths. These are the stats that vaccine-deniers tend to emphasize—a relatively low number of deaths compared with the number of infections. However, those statistics alone leave out a big part of

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Charlie avec fouet

Jan 24th, 2015 8:58 am | By

A cartoon via Universalist Muslims on Facebook

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Comparative statements

Jan 23rd, 2015 6:18 pm | By

Obama’s statement when Hugo Chavez kicked it.

Obama’s statement when King Abdullah kicked it.

That makes me want to vomit.

H/t Ahmed Akeel… Read the rest

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Worldview Academy faculty speak and present

Jan 23rd, 2015 6:04 pm | By

Uh huh. “Worldview Academy” appears to be mostly a website, along with a program of “camps” it offers around the country. Judging by the “camp” in my state, which lasts 5 days and charges $745, these camps are really just quick proselytizing jaunts.

We are drawn together by the conviction to live out a biblical worldview in heart, mind, and life. Each summer, we gather in camps across the country to pursue the Reason for living. Just as iron sharpens iron, our faculty and students dialogue and search the scriptures to deepen our knowledge of Christ and come together in following Him.

Whatevs.

They say their faculty will come along and fix you up, but they don’t say … Read the rest

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Jack pulled out a piece of paper

Jan 23rd, 2015 5:52 pm | By

Oh here we go – “they are persecuting me because of my faaaaaaaaith when I all I want to do is say God hates everyone I disapprove of.”

A Colorado bakery is under investigation for religious discrimination after a baker refused to write anti-gay words on a cake.

In March of 2014, a customer named Bill Jack requested several cakes in the shapes of Bibles from the Azucar Bakery in Denver, Colo., according to the bakery owner, Marjorie Silva.

Silva says Jack pulled out a piece of paper with phrases like “God hates gays” and requested her to write them on his cakes.

A Fred Phelps wannabe; just what this world needs.

“After I read it, I was like ‘No

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Time for the UK to cut these ties

Jan 23rd, 2015 4:42 pm | By

Sunny Hundal on the BBC blasts the UK government’s hugging of the Saudi regime.

Blogger Raif Badawi has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for criticising Saudi Arabian clerics on his internet blog.

British blogger Sunny Hundal said this case, and others like it, mean the UK should stop “hugging” the Saudi regime.

In a personal film, he said it was time for the UK to cut these ties and “treat the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with the contempt it deserves”.

We might as well be hugging IS.… Read the rest

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Progressive Muslim voices are actually everywhere

Jan 23rd, 2015 3:33 pm | By

Via Tehmina Kazi, a brilliant piece at Open Democracy by a friend of hers, Akmal Ahmed Safwat, an oncologist in Denmark.

Instead of verbally denouncing terror, many Muslims in the West are now challenging the radical, ultra conservative and violent Wahhabi/salafi version of Islam that gives religious justification for hideous crimes. They are doing so through a growing movement of progressive Muslims such as British Muslims for Secular Democracy, Muslims for Progressive Values (USA) and the Liberal Muslim Network (Norway).

We progressive Muslims do not distinguish between atrocities committed by radical movements like Al-Qaida or Boko Haram and those committed by despotic dictatorships that dare to call themselves “Islamic” governments; the ones that administer the death penalty for apostasy and

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His father blogged about free speech in Saudi

Jan 23rd, 2015 3:02 pm | By

Here’s a good one to pass around.

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