All entries by this author

Irshad Manji on Freedom of Thought *

Oct 23rd, 2005 | Filed by

It is vital that Muslims be willing to pose questions out loud.… Read the rest

Catholic Church Ruins Women’s Lives in Philippines *

Oct 23rd, 2005 | Filed by

Church condemns contraception and barely a fifth of the population use it.… Read the rest

AI Condemns Iranian Policy on Executions *

Oct 23rd, 2005 | Filed by

Amnesty International outraged that Iran continues to execute minors and stone women to death.… Read the rest

Bladders Makes Least Funny Speech of Career *

Oct 23rd, 2005 | Filed by

Rowan Atkinson spoke of the dangers of politicians pandering to minority religions for votes.… Read the rest

Group Offers Amendments to Religious Hatred Bill *

Oct 23rd, 2005 | Filed by

Atkinson warns of self-censorship, MCB scoffs about media frenzy.… Read the rest

Wake Up

Oct 23rd, 2005 1:15 am | By

People don’t pay enough attention. Maybe they don’t pay any attention. Maybe all those octagonal red signs just flash pointlessly in front of their eyes without being taken in. Maybe everyone is entirely made of wood. I have to wonder sometimes.

It’s this BBC item on Rowan Atkinson, the former Archbishop of Canterbury and others joining forces to urge the government to add three amendments to the religious hatred bill – ‘to ensure people can still ridicule and criticise religion.’

Opponents of the bill, which faces detailed scrutiny in the House of Lords next week, say it would outlaw jokes and criticism of beliefs. They argue that people can choose their religion, unlike their race and so should not be

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Oct 22nd, 2005 7:10 pm | By

I’m not in a mood to be tolerant and accepting. As a matter of fact I’m in a foul savage mood; I’m in a mood to bite the heads off fluffy kittens. Have been ever since yesterday. I’m in the kind of mood where people suddenly rush off to live in the Arctic circle, or quit their jobs, or try to circumnavigate the globe on a bicycle and disappear somewhere in Nebraska. So be careful what you say to me.

So I’m not in an accepting embracing mood. I’m not ready to have secular commercial establishments shoving unrequested religious messages at me. (Like, what? I’m ready for that kind of thing when I’m in a good mood? No. Okay, but … Read the rest

Riot in Alexandria Kills Three *

Oct 22nd, 2005 | Filed by

Riot outside a Coptic church after a protest against a play accused of ‘offending’ Islam. … Read the rest

Iran Bans Films Promoting Secularism, Feminism *

Oct 22nd, 2005 | Filed by

Unethical behaviour, drug abuse, violence, alcoholism, corrupt Western values.… Read the rest

Wayne Booth *

Oct 22nd, 2005 | Filed by

Humanistic education could teach when to distrust certainty.… Read the rest

Judge Mesmerized in ‘Healer’ Case *

Oct 22nd, 2005 | Filed by

‘Healer’ had escaped conviction after saying he could not give blood ‘for spiritual reasons’.… Read the rest

Some Tensions in the Religious Test *

Oct 22nd, 2005 | Filed by

Conversion is not actually such a conservative idea. Uh oh.… Read the rest

Religious School Can Interview Parents on ‘Faith’ *

Oct 22nd, 2005 | Filed by

London Oratory School says it uses interviews to check parents’ commitment to their ‘faith’.… Read the rest

Bernard Crick Urges Secularists to Be Less Fussy *

Oct 22nd, 2005 | Filed by

Says we should not confuse the pinpricks of religiosity with the real threats to freedom.… Read the rest

We’re Doomed *

Oct 22nd, 2005 | Filed by

Starbucks plans to put religious messages on its coffee cups.… Read the rest

Be Relevant: Teach Only What They Already Know *

Oct 22nd, 2005 | Filed by

But what if people want to learn things they don’t already know?… Read the rest

To Silence the Blasphemer

Oct 21st, 2005 4:55 pm | By

Kenan Malik remembers the beginning. He was in Bradford to interview Sher Azam, president of the Bradford Council of Mosques and the guy who burned The Satanic Verses at a demonstration, and he encountered an old friend.

“I’ve been up here a few months, helping in the campaign to silence the blasphemer…No need to look so shocked. I’ve had it with the white left. I’d lost my sense of who I was and where I came from. So I came back to Bradford to rediscover it. We need to defend our dignity as Muslims, to defend our values and beliefs, and not allow anyone – ”racist or Rushdie” – to trample over them.” I was astonished. The Hassan I

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Behe Contradicts Self, Lawyer Points Out *

Oct 21st, 2005 | Filed by

Behe compares ID to big bang, which was also not accepted at first. Therefore…… Read the rest

Le Monde on Homa Arjomand and Sharia *

Oct 21st, 2005 | Filed by

She who made the provincial government of Ontario fold.… Read the rest

Abducted Guardian Journalist Freed *

Oct 21st, 2005 | Filed by

Rory Carroll phoned Guardian to say his captors had released him to Iraqi government.… Read the rest