All entries by this author

UCL Cleaner Named Among Bomb Dead *

Jul 11th, 2005 | Filed by

Gladys Wundowa had finished her shift, was on way to college in Shoreditch.… Read the rest



New Statesman Reviews Hitchens Book *

Jul 11th, 2005 | Filed by

Has exaggerated idea of unanimity of left in disagreeing with Hitchens.… Read the rest



Museums Restrict Access to ‘Sacred’ Objects *

Jul 11th, 2005 | Filed by

‘Museum directors must not act as priests, nor must they treat the public as their flock.’… Read the rest



Quiet Please

Jul 11th, 2005 2:34 am | By

I listened to part of an Open Book on libaries earlier today. Michael Holroyd talked about how important the library was to him when he was a child – ‘It was a place of light.’ Yes – so it was to me when I was a child. I had two libraries: the public one, in an old brick colonial house painted yellow on Nassau Street, which had a wonderful library smell that I can conjure up whenever I think of it, and which fills me with an intense nostalgia; and the one at school, which was a series of three rooms (painted dark green I think) with arched doorways: it was usually empty (it was a tiny school), and it … Read the rest



Global Pincushion

Jul 10th, 2005 6:51 pm | By

Of course, it’s not just London. It’s never just London – or anywhere else.

It’s a suicide bombing in Iraq which killed more than twenty people, along with more bombings in Mosul and Kirkuk. It’s six Afghan policemen beheaded by suspected Taliban guerillas. It’s at least twenty people injured by a bomb in a litter bin in a tourist resort in Turkey. And this month is the tenth anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre when eight thousand Bosnian Muslims were killed and dumped in mass graves.

All part of the routine.… Read the rest



Ricky Gervais Does Socratic Dialogue With Self *

Jul 10th, 2005 | Filed by

‘He didn’t get his philosophy degree for nothing.’… Read the rest



Salman Rushdie on a Code of Dishonour *

Jul 10th, 2005 | Filed by

Anyone who says a democratic country should have a unified legal system is called anti-Muslim.… Read the rest



Over Twenty Killed in Iraq Suicide Bombing *

Jul 10th, 2005 | Filed by

Along with six people in suicide bomb attacks in Kirkuk and Mosul. … Read the rest



Asking Why Will Dignify Crimes Against Humanity *

Jul 10th, 2005 | Filed by

Yahia Said warns against feeding the illusions of psychopathic murderers.… Read the rest



Nick Cohen on Manic Myopia *

Jul 10th, 2005 | Filed by

Magic of parochial reasoning makes Islamism a protest movement like Make Poverty History. … Read the rest



Literary Webs

Jul 10th, 2005 2:29 am | By

Now for another attempt to return to normal programming – at least for a moment.

I’ve been following several literary discussions lately. There is Daniel Green’s comment on that Judith Halberstam article – the one that Michael Bérubé commented on last month and I commented on the month before, at such length that I had to do it twice. That one – Daniel’s – ended with some comments that I’ve been musing about (on and off) ever since. About the distinction (and whether there is one) between literary and non-literary experience. Michael said one thing, Daniel said another, I said a third, Michael answered – and I’ve been trying to figure out what I think ever since. I’ve … Read the rest



Purity and Corruption

Jul 9th, 2005 7:29 pm | By

A few more salient comments. From the Iranian commentator Amir Taheri:

But sorry, old chaps, you are dealing with an enemy that does not want anything specific, and cannot be talked back into reason through anger management or round-table discussions. Or, rather, this enemy does want something specific: to take full control of your lives, dictate every single move you make round the clock and, if you dare resist, he will feel it his divine duty to kill you.

Specific enough.

With the advent of Islam all previous religions were “abrogated” (mansukh), and their followers regarded as “infidel” (kuffar). The aim of all good Muslims, therefore, is to convert humanity to Islam, which regulates Man’s spiritual, economic, political and

Read the rest


Unappeasable Grievances

Jul 9th, 2005 5:46 pm | By

Harry thinks Galloway may have done for himself now.The thought had occurred to me. I saw both his grandstanding (get me, I’m defiant, I’m brave, I’m passionate, I’m taking the unpopular view) in Parliament and his ridiculous performance on Newsnight – thanks to good old C-Span which (amid the desert of dreck that is US cable tv) has shown Newsnight in its entirety the last couple of days, and the news conference with Ken Livingstone and Ian Blair yesterday. What can I say? He comes across as an obstinate buffoon. (Of course, I already thought he was that, a predisposition which must shape how I view him now.)

Hitchens is a relief from obstinate buffoonery. (Drink-soaked ex-Trotskyist popinjayism goes head-to-head … Read the rest



Johann Hari: a Civil War Within Islam *

Jul 9th, 2005 | Filed by

Between democratic Muslims and fundamentalists who want to enslave or kill them. … Read the rest



Amir Taheri: This Enemy Does Want Something *

Jul 9th, 2005 | Filed by

To take full control of your lives, dictate every move you make, and if you resist, kill you.… Read the rest



Trotting Out the Same Tired – What? *

Jul 9th, 2005 | Filed by

‘the bloody trail of blame leads straight to 10 Downing Street.’… Read the rest



Hitchens on Unappeasable Grievances *

Jul 9th, 2005 | Filed by

Unveiled women, the heresy of democracy, homosexuals, music, art, Jews, Hinduism…… Read the rest



Guardian Readers Unadmiring of Ali’s Analysis *

Jul 9th, 2005 | Filed by

A classic confusion of cause and consequence.… Read the rest



Galloway Says He Was Right to Blame Blair *

Jul 9th, 2005 | Filed by

Heckled in Commons, rapturously welcomed at SWP conference.… Read the rest



Political Islam in the heart of secular Europe

Jul 9th, 2005 | By Maryam Namazie

The following speech was given at the International Humanist and Ethical Union Congress on July 6, 2005 in Paris, France, at a parallel session entitled ‘Women’s rights in religious and secular societies’.

  • Sixteen year old Atefeh Rajabi was publicly hanged in the city centre in Neka in Iran on 15 August 2004 for “acts incompatible with chastity”.
  • In April this year, Amina was publicly stoned to death in Argu district, Afghanistan after being accused of adultery by her husband.
  • This month, physicians have been beaten for treating female patients and women have been brutally attacked for not being veiled in Basra, Iraq.

The list is endless.

These examples are only some of the most visible and heinous aspects of the … Read the rest