Posts Tagged ‘ FTB ’

234 missing schoolgirls

Apr 26th, 2014 5:01 pm | By

Those abducted schoolgirls in Borno state, Nigeria, are still missing. Borno women appealed for the girls’ release on Wednesday.

Women in Borno State yesterday stated their willingness to go into the Sambisa Forest in search of schoolgirls abducted from the Government Girls Secondary School Chibok two weeks ago.

The women, who appeared in black dresses and sobbed over the incident, spoke to journalists in Maiduguri, where they urged for the release of the female students.
Authorities believe that at least 234 of the schoolgirls are still missing, after some of them escaped from their Boko Haram kidnappers.

Prof Hauwa Abdu Biu, who spoke on behalf of the concerned women yesterday, called on the sect to release the girls, saying the

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

Human rights in Iran

Apr 26th, 2014 4:55 pm | By

Samantha Power, US ambassador to the UN and author of The Problem From Hell, raised objections to a recent UN election.

U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power protested the election of repressive regimes including Iran to the U.N. Committee on Non-governmental Organizations which deals with civil society groups accredited to the United Nations.

Iran’s U.N. Mission responded Thursday by rejecting “baseless accusations” raised by Power on the status of human rights and civil liberties in the country.

Did it? Iran thinks the status of human rights and civil liberties are pretty good in the country?

Power accused Iran in a statement Wednesday night of regularly detaining human rights defenders and “subjecting many to torture, abuse and violations of due process.” She

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

Promoting isn’t starting

Apr 26th, 2014 11:42 am | By

There’s a comment on The racism of the white wolf who cried Islamophobia that suddenly clarified for me what is probably a widespread misconception.

Interesting post, I’m a little bit disheartened by your suggestion of Harris & Dawkins as racist. I know at times they have not provided the nuance on Islam we would all like to see (something especially hard on twitter) but they have at least started a discourse which really did not exist from the liberal perspective circa 10 years ago.

No. That’s seriously wrong.

They have helped to draw attention to that discourse, but they certainly did not single- or rather double-handed start it all by themselves. The two of them did not create or start … Read the rest

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

A person who has died in blasphemy will not receive God’s forgiveness

Apr 26th, 2014 10:55 am | By

Jeswan Kaur is one person in Malaysia who objects to tyrannical theocratic meddling.

The country’s administration is in a mess and still, the ruling government continues to rejoice in demonising other faiths and uphold the superiority of Islam, which the Federal Constitution safeguards as the official religion.

From the threats to non-Malays to back off from using the word ‘Allah’ to the seizure of more than 300 bibles in Iban and Malay languages to the uncalled for Jan 2 raid of the Bible Society of Malaysia premises in Damansara Kim to condemning Valentine Day’s as the ‘root of all evil’, the Barisan Nasional government continues to display its pre-occupation with the persecution of the non-Malays.

See why secularism is … Read the rest

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

Down with equality, liberty, and human rights

Apr 26th, 2014 10:31 am | By

A Malaysian Islamist group makes things helpfully clear by attacking the very idea of equality and human rights.

Equality, liberty and human rights are “godless” and “faithless” ideologies created by atheists to destroy Islam, hardline Islamic group Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (ISMA) said today.

Since Malaysia’s general elections in 2013, the non-governmental organisation has been  growing in popularity, striking a chord with more conservative Malay Muslims who support its push for Malaysia to become an Islamic state.

ISMA’s uncompromising views and bald statements have been criticised mainly by Malaysia’s non Muslim minority and rights groups. Some have likened ISMA to the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Mainly by non-Muslim minority groups and rights groups? Why not the non-extremist mainstream Muslim groups that we’re … Read the rest

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

If only committed Christians would rise to the challenge

Apr 25th, 2014 5:34 pm | By

Want some sophistication? Damon Linker has some for you. Well not exactly sophistication maybe – more like pseudo-sophistication, or silliness that looks like sophistication when it’s placed next to even sillier silliness.

It’s about hell. Eternal punishment. Suffering as the reward for doing bad things.

So you already know what the sophistication is. No no no no no no no hell is not devils and pitchforks, no no no no no, that’s just silly. It’s [drum roll] Alienation From God.

Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhh that’s not a thing. You could accuse me of being alienated from Artemis, if you wanted to, but it would leave me unruffled. It’s the same with god.

But I’ll let him tell it, because he seems to think … Read the rest

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

A pause

Apr 25th, 2014 4:37 pm | By

Afusat Saliu (and her very young daughters) have won a temporary reprieve.

The Home Office had ordered Saliu to fly to Lagos on Friday after she had exhausted all attempts to stop her deportation.

But a last-minute intervention from her MP, George Mudie, has enabled her to stay temporarily in the UK. Mudie has written twice to James Brokenshire, the security and immigration minister, asking him to intervene. The Home Office has told Mudie that Brokenshire will be writing to him about Saliu’s case.

“The assumption is that this is a pause,” said Mudie. “I would be extremely disappointed if they tried to detain her while this is still going on. This is so important and sensitive.

“[Brokenshire] has

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

She knew she had to finish

Apr 25th, 2014 3:49 pm | By

Katherine Switzer on that marathon, and what it meant, and what it felt like to be mauled by an enraged Jock Semple. the rest

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

How far

Apr 25th, 2014 11:31 am | By

Nostalgia for slavery. Well naturally, right? Who wouldn’t miss that?

[14 years ago] Maurice Bessinger, owner of a chain of South Carolina barbecue restaurants called Maurice’s Piggie Park, began distributing pro-slavery tracts in his stores. One of the tracts, called the “Biblical View of Slavery,” said the practice wasn’t really so bad, because it was permitted in the Bible. It argued that many black slaves in the South “blessed the Lord” for their condition, because it was better than their life in Africa.

When the tract was discovered, Mr. Bessinger was denounced and his restaurants boycotted. Many retail stores pulled his distinctive (to be kind) yellow mustardy barbecue sauce from their shelves.

But one prominent South Carolinian decided

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

Welcome home; this may pinch a little

Apr 25th, 2014 11:12 am | By

Oh, horrors. Afusat Saliu is being deported from the UK to Nigeria today with her two very young daughters. The daughters will be cut up there.

Afusat Saliu, 31, and her two children aged one and three, face deportation to Nigeria on Friday. Saliu, who was a victim of female genital mutilation (FGM) as a child, has appealed to the Home Office on the grounds that her daughters could face FGM if sent back to their home country. But her appeal was rejected on Thursday. Nigeria has the highest number of genitally mutilated women in the world.

Sometimes it seems like trying to tidy a beach by picking up a grain of sand and then another and then another…

 … Read the rest

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

Jump to condemn the obviously condemnable

Apr 25th, 2014 9:49 am | By

Marwa Berro at Between a Veil and a Dark Place: Missives of an Ex-Muslim Woman did a post last week wittily titled The racism of the white wolf who cried Islamophobia.

I’m tired of a certain faction of Western liberals, especially white guys, Westsplaining about how anti-Muslim bigotry and Western colonialism and imperialism and international geopolitics provide *essential context* for understanding the sources of Muslim problems, which don’t come from a vacuum, how there are striking *parallels* between liberal critique of Islam and right-wing anti-Muslim bigotry.

Not that there’s no such thing as anti-Muslim bigotry, not that imperialism and geopolitics have never fucked anything up, but…there’s more to it than that.

But those things are not an *explanation*. They

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

Rule 68

Apr 25th, 2014 8:32 am | By

Ireland has National Schools. The Wikipedia version:

In Ireland, a National school is a type of primary school that is financed directly by the State, but administered jointly by the State, a patron body, and local representatives.

I’m not sure what a “patron body” is or how it gets standing to administer state schools. The point I’m interested in though is that they’ve always been entangled with religion. Still Wikipedia -

National schools, established by the British Government with the Stanley Letter in 1831, were originally multi-denominational. The schools were controlled by a State body, the National Board of Education, with a six-member board consisting of two Roman Catholics, two Church of Ireland, and two Presbyterians.

Secularism, apparently, wasn’t … Read the rest

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Back you go

Apr 24th, 2014 6:04 pm | By

It’s possible that Sri Lanka is doing Buddhism wrong. It’s also possible that I have a naïve view of Buddhism, and that non-attachment is entirely compatible with being petty and obsessive about things that don’t matter. You be the judge.

A British tourist is to be deported from Sri Lanka because of a Buddha tattoo on her arm.

Naomi Coleman was arrested as she arrived at the airport in the capital Colombo after authorities spotted the tattoo on her right arm.

A police spokesman said the 37-year-old from Coventry was arrested for “hurting others’ religious feelings”.

Ms Coleman is being held at an immigration detention camp after a magistrate ordered her deportation.

She was going to the Maldives next and … Read the rest

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He’s often wondered

Apr 24th, 2014 5:30 pm | By

Cliven Bundy has more bad ideas he wants everyone to know about.

Bundy is attempting to use his newfound fame to spread more than just his views on grazing rights, telling the Times he planned to hold a daily news conference.

Remember Joe the Plumber? I think what we have here is another such populist hero – Cliven the Cowboy perhaps.

During Saturday’s conference, Bunday shared his views on “the Negro”:

“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there

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

The sad fact is

Apr 24th, 2014 5:18 pm | By

Soraya Chemaly has a piece on the ubiquity and invisibility of everyday sexism.

A point she makes at the end should be a post-it on everyone’s forehead for a few years.

The sad fact is that while it is polite to express sexist ideas, confronting them is considered the height of rudeness and humorlessness. When a man at a neighborhood cocktail party comments rudely on my breasts or when another in a meeting interrupts me incessantly while trying to talk to other men, it is me, not them, who is considered hostile and unpleasant for saying, “My face is up here,” or “Would you please stop interrupting me?” When my children’s school fails, year after year, to teach my

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

Guest post on why secularism matters

Apr 24th, 2014 11:29 am | By

Originally a comment by jesse on Built on Christian values.

Well, unlike the US, England (and the UK as I understand it) still has an established church, as do many other European countries, which may be part of the problem. In the US at least we can be more explicit about secularism, even though there has been a LOT of pushback.

The thing is, I’ve noticed that many westerners have no problem with secularism — until they run into religions and people who are “other.” Then, all of a sudden, it’s a bad idea. The connection between what looks like secularism and entrenched privilege for largely western cultural norms (which can be just as negative and arbitrary as … Read the rest

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

Real enough?

Apr 24th, 2014 10:57 am | By

For the people who think cyberbullying is trivial or unreal or harmless or totally incapable of being traumatic – have a little collection of case studies.

Megan Meier, a 13-year-old Missouri native, started messaging a boy she had never met via MySpace. The comments posted by someone using the account name of “Josh Evans” began friendly but eventually turned aggressive and derogatory. These comments were public and other classmates could read and comment on them. As a result of the cyberbullying on MySpace, Megan hanged herself in her closet. The user “Josh Evans” was later found to have been created by a parent of [one of] Meier’s classmates.

Or how about this one?

Phoebe Prince, a 15-year-old new girl

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

Cameron’s subtext

Apr 24th, 2014 10:22 am | By

The sociologist Abbie Day, who is Reader in Race, Faith and Culture, Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London, has an article on Cameron’s recent issuing of religious instructions.

She notes the low church attendance and census decline but says they’re not all that matters.

…it’s easy to get distracted by numbers, which are themselves never neutral but are instead collected and presented, often anecdotally, to fulfil specific goals and make certain points. What is counted is what is perceived (by certain actors) to count. A group that is small numerically can be a majority in terms of power and voice – which is exactly what we are seeing with Cameron’s assertion and the response.

One-third of primary schools

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Just put up with it, dearie

Apr 23rd, 2014 5:31 pm | By

Have some bad advice.

It’s given by someone called Penelope Trunk, who is the founder of something called Brazen Careerist, which is “a social network for young professionals.” She gives “career advice” at her website, I wouldn’t look to her for advice if I were you.

CBS News disagrees with me though, and offers her advice to a trusting world.

Of course, sexual harassment is ubiquitous. It is so prevalent on the job that girls can expect to encounter workplace harassment the first summer they work during high school. And it continues for a long time.

But don’t report it. That would be most unwise.

 In fact, smart women don’t file formal complaints against ordinary harassment. They either

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

Can he say that on the air? Hell yes.

Apr 23rd, 2014 4:58 pm | By

Sexism? What sexism? I don’t see any sexism. You must be imagining things.

Conservative “pundit” and contributor to Fox “News” Eric Erickson is pissed at the thought that Hillary Clinton might run for president in a couple of years, because she’s so ugly.

“She’s going to be old!” Erickson noted. “I don’t know how far back they can pull her face!” he added.

“Can I say that on the air? I don’t know. Maybe I shouldn’t,” Erickson continued. “You know what I mean, though!” he added.

No, dude, go right ahead. Don’t be inhibited. Say what’s in your heart. Be authentic. If you’re grossed out by the thought of a woman who isn’t 18 and hot, be sure to … Read the rest

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