No attempt would be made to force women to wear the headscarf

Hmm. The BBC is looking on the bright side of life.

The leader of the Islamist party that won the most seats in Tunisia’s elections has said women’s social gains would not be reversed.

Ennahda leader Rachid Ghannouchi promised to strengthen the role of women in Tunisian politics.

“Leaders” promise lots of things; they don’t always stick to their promises. The BBC is a venerable news organization, venerable enough to be aware of this. [Read more...]

If conceptually coherent

Dan Fincke takes issue with dismissiveness toward philosophy, and I agree with him about that, but I’m not sure about the particular example he’s chosen. That could well be just because I’m not a philosopher, so I’m not understanding.

The example is a postdoc fellowship in philosophy funded (lavishly) by the Templeton Foundation.

The fellowship enables young scholars to use contemporary analytic methods to pursue independent research in the fields of divine and human agency, such as moral responsibility and freedom of will; or philosophy of mind and its theological implications, such as the presence of the divine in a natural world and the emergence of consciousness. [Read more...]

Only 377 to go

A Foxhole atheist needs only 377 more signatures on the petition to “End the Military’s Discrimination against Non-Religious Service Members” to get the 5000 necessary, but he needs them in the next four days. If the petition gets to 5000 signatures in the next four days the White House will have to respond. If you haven’t already signed it, please do.

Please sign it: the petition.

Update: people have been having trouble signing in. A Noyd offers a fix:

What I did was sign out using the blue bar at the bottom of the page, refresh the petition page, and sign back in using the “sign in” button between “sign this petition” and “create an account.”  When I did that, the “sign this petition” button turned green and clickable.  Also, it took a few minutes and another page refresh before my signature showed up in the list below the petition, so don’t worry if there’s bit of a delay.

Currently at 215. It’s working.

Defining sexism downwards

A re-post from January 2010 – of quite startling relevance: about a pro-rape Facebook page and sexist epithets and…Rod Liddle saying a woman should be kicked in the cunt. How about that.

January 19, 2010

I did not know – some male students at St Paul’s College at the University of Sydney set up a pro-rape Facebook page.

The group, which was named “Define Statutory”, described its members as “anti-consent” and was listed in the sports and recreation section of the site…It was shut down at the end of [October], but had been live on Facebook since August, according to an investigation by the Sydney Morning Herald…The Sydney Morning Herald said the page was part of a broader culture at the residential colleges that “demeans women in a sexist and often sexually violent way”. [Read more...]

How dare you enforce the law

Stewart sent more links today. I’m still catching up. So…where were we? Oh yes -

Womens’ rights groups and organizations opposing religious coercion have demonstrated against the segregation. Jerusalem councilwomen Rachel Azaria of the Yerushalmim (Jerusalemites) faction and Laura Verton (Meretz) petitioned the High Court of Justice against the practice.

Well guess what. Guess what happened to Jerusalem councilwomen Rachel Azaria. She got an award from the Secular Lawyers’ Guild? No. She got fired. That’s right: fired. [Read more...]

For a free and secular Middle East and North Africa

76 secularists and human rights campaigners, including Mina Ahadi, Nawal El Sadaawi, Marieme Helie Lucas, Hameeda Hussein, Ayesha Imam, Maryam Jamil, Maryam Namazie, Taslima Nasrin, Farida Shaheed, Fatou Sow, and Stasa Zajovic have signed on to a Manifesto for a Free and Secular Middle East and North Africa.

In light of the recent pronouncements of the unelected Libyan Transitional Council for ‘Sharia laws’, the signatories of the manifesto vehemently oppose the hijacking of the protests by Islamism or US-led militarism and unequivocally support the call for freedom and secularism made by citizens and particularly women in the region. [Read more...]

It could turn out like Iran

Middle-class women in Tunisia are not thrilled about the win of the “moderate” Islamist party.

In Sunday’s election Tunisia, birthplace of the “Arab Spring” uprisings,
handed the biggest share of the vote to Ennahda, a moderate Islamist party that was banned under decades of autocratic, secularist rule.

“We’re afraid that they’ll limit our freedoms,” said Rym, a 25-year-old
medical intern sitting in “Gringo’s”, a fast-food outlet in Ennasr. [Read more...]

Wubete and 100,000 more

Ever seen Nova’s “A Walk to Beautiful“? I was sure I’d posted about it at ur-B&W but I didn’t find such a post so I guess I didn’t. It was repeated on one of the local PBS stations last night so I saw it for the third time.

It rips my guts out every time. It’s about a hospital in Addis Ababa that repairs fistulas in women, which means it’s about a hospital that receives women who are outcasts, miserable, isolated, lonely, and repairs them. Everything about it is moving. [Read more...]

Disseminate the word

JT Eberhard of the Secular Students Alliance and Freethought Blogs says spread the word. What word? This word.

1. Like the SSA Facebook page. You do not need to be a student to do this, you need only support our cause.
2. Upvote the reddit article to push back against all the Christian down votes.
3. Become a member of the SSA ($35/year, $10/year for students) and/or donate to the SSA. You do not need to be a student to become a member! The upcoming generation of secular activists requires the support of the previous generation! And you know that we’re a 501(c)(3), so this shiz is straight up tax deductible, homie.
4. Spread the word even further! Tweet about it. Facebook it. G+ it. Shout it from the mountain tops. Get a pic. Do a blog! Tell them the taaaaaaaaaaaaale!

They got a big bounce from being on the front page at Redditt but then the religious types rushed in to downvote and there is a a $20,000 matching offer at stake so they need the word spreaded.

Thank you for your attention in this matter.