All entries by this author

Rampant Violence Against Women *

Oct 13th, 2005 | Filed by

UN Population Fund report found 94 percent of women in Egypt think it’s ok to be beaten.… Read the rest



Pinter’s Dramatic Impact *

Oct 13th, 2005 | Filed by

‘Pinter remains…a questioner of accepted truths.’ Some of them.… Read the rest



Bad Poet Wins Nobel Prize for Literature *

Oct 13th, 2005 | Filed by

Good playwright though. … Read the rest



Committee to Protect Journalists is Worried *

Oct 13th, 2005 | Filed by

Articles in the magazine Women’s Rights deemed “un-Islamic” and “insulting to Islam” by local clerics.… Read the rest



‘Religious Leaders’ Demand Long Sentence *

Oct 13th, 2005 | Filed by

Nasab questioned the use of harsh punishments such as amputation and stoning.… Read the rest



Afghan Editor on Trial for ‘Blasphemy’ *

Oct 13th, 2005 | Filed by

Editor of women’s rights magazine charged after after complaints from religious figures.… Read the rest



EU Official Has Lunch With Orhan Pamuk *

Oct 13th, 2005 | Filed by

Pamuk was charged under law forbidding calling Armenian genocide ‘genocide’.… Read the rest



Incompetent Writers Make History Too *

Oct 13th, 2005 | Filed by

Hitler offers a vision of revitalization and rebirth following the perceived decay of the liberal era.… Read the rest



Afghanistan: Women’s rights editor Mohaqiq Nasar arrested for blasphemy

Oct 13th, 2005 | By Rationalist International

Mohaqiq Nasar (50), editor-in-chief of the magazine Hoqooq-i-Zan (Women’s Rights), has been arrested on 29 September 2005 on charges of blasphemy. He was detained on instructions from the religious adviser to President Hamid Karzai, a government official said. President Karzai’s religious adviser – though not explicitly named in this connection – is Mohaibuddin Baloch. The editor’s arrest is violating the press law of Afghanistan, which clearly demands that a journalist can only be arrested after the government appointed media-commission has studied the case, questioned him personally and recommended his arrest. This has obviously not happened. In a letter to President Karzai, Rationalist International strongly condemned the illegal arrest of Mohaqiq Nasar and the act of violation of press freedom and … Read the rest



Vatican, Meet the Supreme Court; Court, Meet Vatican

Oct 13th, 2005 1:33 am | By

Christopher Hitchens is irritated.

What in God’s name – you should forgive the expression – is all this about there being “no religious test” for appointments to high public office? Most particularly in the case of the U.S. Supreme Court, there is the most blatant religious test imaginable. You may not even be considered for the bench unless you have a religion of some kind. Surely no adherent of any version of “originalism” can possibly argue that the Framers of the Constitution intended a spoils system to be awarded among competing clerical sects.

Argue, no, probably not, but then the adherents don’t have to, do they, since no one (Hitchens apart) ever makes an issue of it. Especially not … Read the rest



‘Thought’ for the Day

Oct 12th, 2005 4:44 pm | By

More on the ‘no you may not die until God says you may’ line of cant. This time from Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks on Thought (thought?) for the Day.

Nine years ago my brothers, my mother and I saw my father go through five major operations in his eighties. It was almost unbearably painful to see one who was once so strong and upright, fight a long, slow, losing battle with death. Yet I can’t begin to imagine what it would have been like if he, or we on his behalf, had been given the choice to bring that last day closer. He was a proud man who hated being a burden to others. How easy it would have

Read the rest


The Most Blatant Religious Test Imaginable *

Oct 12th, 2005 | Filed by

You may not even be considered for the Supreme Court unless you have a religion of some kind. … Read the rest



18 Friends?! Who Even Knows That Many People? *

Oct 12th, 2005 | Filed by

Friendship is the new sex – everybody pretends to be good at it.… Read the rest



The Muslim Brotherhood in France *

Oct 12th, 2005 | Filed by

Muslim Brotherhood works to roll back secularism and assimilation.… Read the rest



Not Subconscious Drives but Helicobacter Pylori *

Oct 12th, 2005 | Filed by

A bacterium causes ulcers.… Read the rest



Wayne Booth 1921-2005 *

Oct 12th, 2005 | Filed by

Author of The Rhetoric of Irony, The Company We Keep, The Vocation of a Teacher.… Read the rest



Science by Assumption *

Oct 12th, 2005 | Filed by

ID is an insidious attempt by a religious caucus to impose its views on the whole US.… Read the rest



The Truth About Cats and Dogs

Oct 11th, 2005 8:50 pm | By

Archbishops are very presumptuous, aren’t they.

The Archbishop of Canterbury says even watching his mother’s slow, painful death did not persuade him of the arguments for euthanasia…But despite this experience, he is still against assisted dying “chiefly on the grounds of my religious commitments – the conviction that life is a gift from God that we cannot treat as a possession of our own to keep or throw away as we choose,” he said.

Well that’s a stupid argument. Those grounds are not good grounds – not for a public debate, especially not for a public debate that influences legislation, they’re not. Life is not a gift from ‘God’ any more than it’s a gift from Krishna or Aphrodite … Read the rest



Building Contractors Sent Threatening Letters *

Oct 11th, 2005 | Filed by

Letters say firms will be targeted by Animal Liberation Front if they work for Oxford.… Read the rest



Blogging and Tenure *

Oct 11th, 2005 | Filed by

Why blog when you should be doing real research instead?… Read the rest