Posts Tagged ‘ FTB ’

Many of them teenage girls

Feb 21st, 2015 5:22 pm | By

The Guardian reports on the peace vigil in Oslo today.

Norwegian Muslims organised a peace vigil in Oslo on Saturday in a show of solidarity with Jews a week after fatal shootings in Denmark targeted a synagogue and free-speech seminar.

As the mainly elderly Jewish congregation filed out of the synagogue after Shabbat prayers, a group of young Muslims, many of them teenage girls wearing headscarves, formed a symbolic ring outside the building to applause from a crowd of more than 1,000 people.

It’s good that many of them were girls, with or without hijab. It’s good to see girls and women out front.

…a traditional Shabbat ceremony was held in the open air with many demonstrators adding their voices

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



In memory of Özgecan Aslan

Feb 21st, 2015 4:47 pm | By

Hurriyet reports on a protest in Istanbul’s Taksim Square in which men wore skirts to protest violence against women.

“I would walk around in Taksim wearing a skirt, if you can do that…”

For many Turkish men, this is a common phrase they use when they want to assert a claim or make a bet. It has turned into reality when a group of men went to Istanbul’s iconic Taksim Square wearing skirts, keeping their word they have been pledging for the past few days on social media.

On Feb. 17, Erkan Doğan had donned a skirt in Istanbul’s Asian side neighborhood of Kadıköy to demonstrate in memory of slain 20-year-old student Özgecan Aslan.

Doğan’s individual action had inspired social

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



Better mongering

Feb 21st, 2015 12:36 pm | By

As Harald said – not everything is shitty in Europe now. Reuters reports:

More than 1000 Muslims formed a human shield around Oslo’s synagogue on Saturday, offering symbolic protection for the city’s Jewish community and condemning an attack on a synagogue in neighboring Denmark last weekend.

Chanting “No to anti-Semitism, no to Islamophobia,” Norway’s Muslims formed what they called a ring of peace a week after Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, a Danish-born son of Palestinian immigrants, killed two people at a synagogue and an event promoting free speech in Copenhagen last weekend.

“Humanity is one and we are here to demonstrate that,” Zeeshan Abdullah, one of the protest’s organizers told a crowd of Muslim immigrants and ethnic Norwegians who

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



Nighthawks

Feb 21st, 2015 12:28 pm | By

A friend comments –

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The time-tested institution

Feb 21st, 2015 11:32 am | By

Oklahoma is not widely seen as one of the most salubrious of the united states in terms of its climate or geography or political culture or friendliness to the arts or promotion of science. It’s seen more as the state that combines the worst aspects of Texas and Arkansas, along with its fame as the spot Andrew Jackson chose as the destination for all the Native Americans he kicked out of fertile farmland in the southern states.

So I guess they decided to put a big ribbon on all that, by voting to ban advanced history classes in Oklahoma public high schools.

Unaware that their state has become a satire on the folly of man, an Oklahoma legislative committee

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



How do we explain this tirade of abuse?

Feb 21st, 2015 10:31 am | By

Brendan O’Neill explains about identity politics at the Spectator. In other news, birds fly north for the summer and water is wet.

His occasion for the surprise-free explanation is the Twitter-mobbing of Peter Tatchell and Mary Beard for signing an open letter about free speech and no-platforming.

How do we explain this tirade of abuse against someone I would describe as the grandfather of gay rights if I wasn’t [weren’t] worried that the use of such a gender-specific title might earn me a tsunami of online abuse? Why are people so incredibly thin-skinned? I think it’s down to the politics of identity. I think the more we’ve made the personal political, the more we define our social and

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The nightmare continues

Feb 20th, 2015 5:53 pm | By

Another horrendous piece of news – from Tom Porter at the International Business Times (which so far seems to be the only English news outlet reporting it) –

Isis supporters call for Charlie Hebdo survivor Zineb el-Rhazoui to be murdered by terrorist lone wolves

So that’s appalling.

Isis supporters have called for lone wolf terrorists to target Franco Moroccan cartoonist Zineb el-Rhazoui, who survived the attacks on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo last month.

Thousands of supporters of the jihadist group have tweeted under the hashtag translated as #MustKillZinebElRhazouiInRetaliationForTheProphet, reports Vocativ, posting her personal details, pictures of her husband and sister, and a map showing places she had visited taken from her Facebook account, as well as

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Talk about free speech but don’t mention Raif Badawi

Feb 20th, 2015 5:31 pm | By

See update at the end.

Chris Stedman wrote a public Facebook post a couple of days ago about a little misunderstanding between him and the people at The National, an English-language newspaper based in the United Arab Emirates. They invited him to write an opinion piece.

I decided to use this opportunity to look at what I think are the most constructive aspects of a UAE-sponsored UN resolution that calls for interfaith dialogue, free expression, and the open debate of ideas.

I would still rather see more secular dialogue (which of course religious people can perfectly well engage in) than interfaith dialogue (which excludes non-religious people). But if the UAE is a fan of free expression and the open debate … Read the rest

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



In protest against official callousness and indifference

Feb 20th, 2015 4:00 pm | By

A terrible event in Afghanistan.

Be warned.

From Afghan Zariza:

In a first-of-its-kind incident in Kabul, which has shaken the collective conscience of the nation, a 23-year-old man set himself ablaze to protest against the harassment of women in this country.

Afghanistan is not a good place to be a woman, or a man who loves a woman.

Feroz, a student of law at Rahnaward University in northern Mazar e Sharif, loved Zohra, a student at Ariana University in Kabul.

They had been seeing each other for many years and had decided to settle down after graduation from university. Everything was going well until the hell broke loose.

Zohra, 19, was abducted by a group of local gangsters in

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A week in blasphemy

Feb 20th, 2015 11:27 am | By

The IHEU provides a great roundup of blasphemy and anti-blasphemy news, The week in blasphemy.

One item I haven’t yet flagged up here –

In Egypt, a student Sherif Gaber, was sentenced on Monday to a year in prison for making “atheist” Facebook posts in 2013 on the charge of “contempt of religion”.

“Sherif Gaber, 22, was studying at Suez Canal University in 2013, when teaching staff and fellow students reported him via a petition to the institution’s President. They said he had made posts supporting atheism on Facebook, and suspected him of being behind a page called ‘The Atheists’.

Subsequently, the university’s then-president Mohamed A. Mohamedein personally filed a legal complaint against the student to the local

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The international outrage and pressure was so overwhelming

Feb 20th, 2015 10:50 am | By

Another Friday with no lashes for Raif Badawi – and no freedom either, and no relief from the horrible suspense, no relief from the horror of 950 lashes still hanging over him.

The Toronto Star talked to Elham Manea.

“He’s been imprisoned for (about) 1,000 days for doing nothing but expressing an opinion. It’s very unjust,” Manea told the Star.

“I think the international outrage and pressure was so overwhelming that in the end, it wasn’t possible to continue with (the lashes),” Manea said.

She added that Badawi’s supporters are waiting to see if the transfer of his case to a Saudi criminal court two weeks ago will help secure his release. “If not, the campaign will continue.”

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Follow, peasants

Feb 20th, 2015 9:57 am | By

Oh god.

click to embiggen

A think tank of thought leaders.

It actually says that. They actually call themselves that.

A think tank of thought leaders.

Thought leaders.

They accept the title “thought leaders.”… Read the rest

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Good ideas, wrong forum

Feb 19th, 2015 5:02 pm | By

A blogger called David Paxton wrote a very long post as an open letter to Laurie Penny on the subject of a tweet of hers saying she wasn’t Charlie Hebdo because Charlie Hebdo is racist. (I’m not sure I think an open letter is supposed to be hugely long. I think if it’s hugely long it’s not an open letter but some other genre…like for instance a blog post.)

I agree with him overall but the post makes me feel…uneasy. It’s too elephant gun. It’s a long essay and it’s in response to a single tweet – that’s overkill, and in the current climate it’s not really all that cool for a man to use overkill on a woman, especially … Read the rest

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



They’re the Asshole Emperors

Feb 19th, 2015 4:35 pm | By

An amusing piece by Luke McKinney on the familiar-I-mean-stale things every anti-feminist says whenever feminism [quick make a sign of the cross] is mentioned.

You could list them in your sleep. “Prove there even is sexism.” Disputing every single word for hours on end because they have all the time in the world and they want to waste yours.

# 6 is Saint or GTFO.

This imperfection attack is digging through someone’s Internet history to see if they’ve ever said anything less than perfect. Because the only allowed options are immaculate saint or total asshole, and the antifeminists have the asshole side locked down. They’re the Asshole Emperors, defending their rule by defecating over everything and everyone who’s made the

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The same ardour as ever in study, and the same gaiety in company

Feb 19th, 2015 11:23 am | By

Bah. Oliver Sacks. Running out of road. Multiple metastases in the liver; terminal. He’s taking his inspiration from Hume.

It is up to me now to choose how to live out the months that remain to me. I have to live in the richest, deepest, most productive way I can. In this I am encouraged by the words of one of my favorite philosophers, David Hume, who, upon learning that he was mortally ill at age 65, wrote a short autobiography in a single day in April of 1776. He titled it “My Own Life.”

“I now reckon upon a speedy dissolution,” he wrote. “I have suffered very little pain from my disorder; and what is more strange, have,

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All around the world, King Salman

Feb 19th, 2015 10:13 am | By

Update: and in Ottawa:

And in Copenhagen today next to the Saudi embassy:

More from Pakistan:

Aw. Note the Amnesty colors.

Grrrl power!

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



Today from Pakistan!

Feb 19th, 2015 10:02 am | By

Wow – Ensaf Haidar posted something amazing an hour ago.

Today from Pakistan! ‪#‎FreeRaif‬

Pakistan! That takes guts. That picture makes me tear up.

Beautiful beautiful people.… Read the rest

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Beware the dreaded Extremist Groups

Feb 19th, 2015 9:16 am | By

Here’s a bit of weirdness. Tara McKelvey at the BBC reports on something labeled an “extremism summit” at the White House yesterday…without ever explaining what it was actually about. Well it was about “violent extremism”…but what is meant by that? She never says. You can tell what it’s about if you already know some things, but it’s utterly bizarre that the BBC is so exceedingly coy about it. I’m tempted to convene a summit on Extremist Evasiveness.

A summit at the White House to counter violent extremism has been criticised for being poorly organised and hasty. Will it be able to achieve anything, whether substantial or superficial?

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, spoke in halting English at the

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Guest post: The difference between waspish criticism and mean shittery

Feb 18th, 2015 6:01 pm | By

Originally a comment by thephilosophicalprimate on The demarcation problem.

I think the difference between “waspish” criticism and just being “mean shits” is easier to articulate than you suggest, Ophelia. What you’re talking about is rooted in this commonly recognized tension: Thoughtful people believe and say, for good reasons, that hostility and contempt aimed at PEOPLE is bad. However, some IDEAS are clearly deserving of hostility and contempt, and nothing but. The difficulty arises because it’s difficult, perhaps even impossible, to keep the hostility and contempt for the bad ideas entirely separate from the people, because it’s the people who embrace the contemptible ideas.

But which comes first, and why, does matter. Criticizing people for having bad ideas is perfectly … Read the rest

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No future

Feb 18th, 2015 5:38 pm | By

The New York Times has a feature by Stephanie Sinclair on child marriage in Guatemala.

In Guatemala, the legal age of marriage is 14 with parental consent, but in Petén, in the northern part of the country, the law seems to be more of a suggestion. Underage brides are everywhere. They parade endlessly through Petén’s hospital in San Benito, seeking medical care. Most have traveled from the villages along the mud-soaked roads that flow out in all directions.

…the physically immature and psychologically unready young mothers were prone to complications during childbirth, which often took place at home. For girls in Petén villages, the journey to competent care could take hours and the consequences dire. According to the International

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