All entries by this author


Jan 1st, 2005 1:59 am | By

It can be very difficult to discuss these issues of ‘community’ and cherished beliefs, ‘offense’ and rights, fundamentalism and fuzzy language, without prompting impassioned if inarticulate yells about Robespierre and stigmatization and the like. It can also be very difficult to get a clear statment of why that is – but the thought bubbling away at the bottom appears to be that all this kind of thing is merely more or less covert racism. So it is heartening to read the letter to the Guardian from Pragna Patel, one of the founders of Southall Black Sisters.

As Asian women of Sikh, Muslim and Hindu backgrounds, we have been struggling for many years against attempts to silence our voices in

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Florida Medical Professors Resist Chiropractic School *

Dec 31st, 2004 | Filed by

And create parody map with Bigfoot Institute, Tarot Studies and similar.… Read the rest

Newsflash: Believers a Minority in UK *

Dec 31st, 2004 | Filed by

Fully 35% ‘admits’ it does not believe in god.… Read the rest

Richard Dawkins Points Out that Science Saves *

Dec 31st, 2004 | Filed by

Not only does science know why the tsunami happened, it can give precious hours of warning.… Read the rest

Southall Black Sisters Support Behzti *

Dec 31st, 2004 | Filed by

‘As Asian women of Sikh, Muslim and Hindu backgrounds, we have been struggling for many years against attempts to silence our voices’… Read the rest

How Could a Benevolent Omnipotent God Do This? *

Dec 31st, 2004 | Filed by

A reminder from god that he created the world and can destroy the world. … Read the rest

A Benevolent God? Not Very Plausible… *

Dec 31st, 2004 | Filed by

Perhaps compassion is the only meaning to be found.… Read the rest

Angry Fathers Resort to Intimidation of Court Staff *

Dec 31st, 2004 | Filed by

Threats; publication of names; rotten meat and maggots sent to office.… Read the rest

Irfan Khawaja on the Madrasacracy in Pakistan *

Dec 30th, 2004 | Filed by

Why haven’t US journalists looked into reports of sex abuse in madrasas?… Read the rest

Bad Faith Words *

Dec 30th, 2004 | Filed by

And other ways to hide nonsense or vacuity.… Read the rest

Hajieh Esmailvand Stoning on Hold? *

Dec 30th, 2004 | Filed by

That was the report on December 24…… Read the rest

German MEPs Demonstrate Against Stoning *

Dec 30th, 2004 | Filed by

Many Iranian exiles joined demonstration outside Iranian embassy in Berlin.… Read the rest

Somewhere, Over the Rainbow

Dec 29th, 2004 7:46 pm | By

I’ve been visiting the Other Side. Well not so much visiting it, I guess, as reading about it. Or researching it, you could call it. Sylvia Browne calls it researching, so I don’t see why I shouldn’t.

And never mind about shooting fish in barrels. Not that you would, most of you, but some of you would and do. Some of you seem to think that the targets are too easy and that there’s no reason to shoot at them. Well the targets are easy all right, I’ll give you that, but there is every reason to shoot at them. I’ll show you why.

So why this current interest and acceptance of the absolute truth that yes, there are Angels

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The Guardian on Susan Sontag *

Dec 29th, 2004 | Filed by

‘She had a deeply solitary and precocious childhood.’… Read the rest

Oh But Indeed There is a Right to Offend *

Dec 29th, 2004 | Filed by

Warped version of ‘tolerance’ surrounds belief with hands-off halo of sanctity.… Read the rest

Julian Baggini Does a Mr Manners *

Dec 29th, 2004 | Filed by

Be considerate, be quiet, close mouth when chewing, pipe down on mobile.… Read the rest

Philip Stott on the Disaster *

Dec 29th, 2004 | Filed by

Geology and poverty meet on Asian coasts; failing governments don’t do the necessary.… Read the rest

Why Thai Officials Did Not Warn of Tsunami *

Dec 29th, 2004 | Filed by

High tourist season, hotels full, no way to tell direction of waves.… Read the rest

Laurie Taylor on Dictionary of FN *

Dec 29th, 2004 | Filed by

Too many cheap shots, but some funny bits too. (Cheap? Moi?)… Read the rest

Whose Community, Again?

Dec 28th, 2004 8:27 pm | By

Exactly. How very seldom this kind of thing gets pointed out:

Second, the promotion of religion in public life, especially under New Labour, has not only legitimised “rotten” multiculturalism – where culture has long given way to religion, particularly if it is capable of delivering ethnic minority votes. It has also created space in institutional forums that has been exploited by communities such as the Sikhs. While the sentiments of inter-religious dialogues are noble, the result is often to stifle dissent within religions and essentialise particular traditions as representing the Sikh, Muslim, Christian or Hindu way. In a highly plural and secular society, nothing could be further from the truth.

Just exactly so. All this pious invocation of ‘community’ and … Read the rest