Andrew Sullivan and I both experienced the IRA terrorism in the UK during the 1970s, and the way the British government responded. Reflecting on the news from Gaza, Andrew writes: For years, IRA terrorists bombed Britain’s pubs and shops and eventually nearly killed the entire cabinet in the Brighton hotel bombing. Those terrorists lived among…Read More Responding to terrorism
Via PZ, Barry Duke at Freethinker reports that: The poison of shariah law which has begun infecting Britain is of considerable concern to many, not least British comedian Pat Condell, who posted an attack on this creeping Islamic threat on our legal system on YouTube. Condell, of course, does not mince his words, and his…Read More YouTube blocks Pat Condell's attack on sharia in Britain
Christopher Hitchens sees for himself. I am somewhat proud of my ability to â€œkeep my head,â€ as the saying goes, and to maintain presence of mind under trying circumstances. I was completely convinced that, when the water pressure had become intolerable, I had firmly uttered the pre-determined code word that would cause it to cease.…Read More "if waterboarding does not constitute torture, then there is no such thing as torture"
It’s very strange, living in a world in which satire is so regularly overtaken by reality. Reading this crazy story I imagined how Gilbert and Sullivan might have reacted, by abandoning “Mikado” and looking for another line of work altogether…Read More Arrested for 'flirting'
Over at Secular Philosophy, Dan Dennett points out the opportunity for clarity which the death sentence of the Afghan student, Sayed Parwiz Kambakhsh provides. The time has come for Muslims to step up to the plate and demonstrate that Islam is a great faith that has no need for violence or intimidation to maintain the…Read More "Friends donâ€™t let friends commit, or condone, evil."
From: Human Rights Watch: [A]t at the end of 2006, more than 2.25 million persons were incarcerated in US prisons and jails, an all-time high. This number represents an incarceration rate of 751 per 100,000 US residents, the highest such rate in the world. By contrast, the United Kingdomâ€™s incarceration rate is 148 per 100,000…Read More American exceptionalism?
Could a Muslim doctor refuse to treat a gay patient? Yes – because of his conscientious objection. No – because that would be discrimination. Enter the virtual philosopher: Surely there are role responsibilities that go with taking on the job of being a doctor that include a certain distancing from personal religious and moral stances.…Read More When principles collide
Megan Stack looks back on being a woman reporter in Saudi Arabia: One afternoon, a candidate invited me to meet his daughter. She spoke fluent English and was not much younger than me. I cannot remember whether she was wearing hijab, the Islamic head scarf, inside her home, but I have a memory of pink.…Read More The abhorrent misogyny of Saudi Arabia
From Daily Kos: WHY I PROVIDE ABORTIONS I was assigned a 40 plus year old, poverty stricken mother of several children… This care worn mother-of-several had a large abdominal mass that I rapidly determined to be a well advanced pregnancy. I asked my resident to come and break the news to this woman; it was…Read More "Oh God, doctor, I was hoping it was cancer."
How many of you, in supporting gay rights, have used the argument that discrimination is unfair because being gay, like being black, isn’t a question of choice? And yet, an it harm none, why shouldn’t we be defending the right to a freely-chosen life? Excellent piece over at Shakespeare’s Sister: Reframing Gay Rights: “A wise…Read More Thought-provoking piece on reframing the gay rights question