Choice is minimised

Iain Brassington comments on Dawkins’s Twitter adventure today at the Journal of Medical Ethics blog (which is a subset of the BMJ blog).

Look, I know that Twitter really isn’t the place for nuanced debate.  But, by that token, everyone else should realise that as well – especially intellectual superstars. So how, then, to explain Richard Dawkins’ spectacular foot-in-mouth moment earlier today?

Well, one leg of that explanation would be that actually Dawkins appears not to realize that. I honestly don’t know why, because 1. I know that people very close to him have told him it, and 2. it seems so blindingly obvious once you’ve been using Twitter for awhile, as he has. (Not to mention 3. doing so has blown up in his face about ten times now, and the last time was just three weeks ago.) [Read more...]

Searching and hoping for comfort

A doctor with MSF, Gabriel Fitzpatrick, gives a heartrending account of working at the center of the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone.

In the suspected cases ward I saw a small child getting his nappy changed by a nurse who was wearing a full body plastic protective suit.

The child was clinging on to the nurse, searching and hoping for comfort in a place which does not allow direct skin-to-skin contact. As a father myself, this image stuck in my mind. [Read more...]

The cabal strikes again

Oh dear. Here we go again. Another item for the big master list of things not to say on Twitter.

InYourFaceNewYorker ‏@InYourFaceNYer 2h
@RichardDawkins @AidanMcCourt I honestly don’t know what I would do if I were pregnant with a kid with Down Syndrome. Real ethical dilemma.

Richard Dawkins ‏@RichardDawkins
@InYourFaceNYer Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice.

The Independent is already on it. [Read more...]

Imposing signature orientalist questions

So let’s sample a bit of Dilly Hussain’s work. Here’s a piece posted at the Huffington Post UK yesterday. It’s about the pressure on Muslims to disavow Islamist violence and repression.

This pressure on Muslims to bend over backwards in distancing themselves from crimes committed by their co-religionists comes in many forms: the war on terror rhetoric our government uses when talking about ‘extremism’ and ‘radicalisation’, the media’s demonisation of Islam linking it to every crime under the sun from sexual grooming, domestic violence to terrorism, and TV/radio presenters’ aggressive methods of interviewing. The sight of prominent Muslim figures and organisations tripping over themselves when they race to condemn on national TV, you can’t help but think, how different it is when let’s say white Britons or Americans commit similar crimes, or Christians or any other ethnic, racial or religious group – this apologetic syndrome has affected Muslims exclusively. [Read more...]

On the nerves of Islamists

Amjad Khan at Harry’s Place introduces us to Dilly Hussain and his methods of disagreeing with that horrifying monster a Liberal Woman.

There seems to be something about women that really gets on the nerves of Islamists such as Dilly Hussain. Namely when they’re doing horrible “Islamophobic” things such as expressing opinions or leaving the confines of their home.

Now for those of you who don’t know ol’ Dilly, he’s a regular on the Huff Po and likes to write about his wonderful Caliphate (you know, the one that beheads apostates and stones women to death) on a bag of crazy called 5Pillarz.

[Read more...]

Sending a message

IS has apparently beheaded the US journalist James Foley, who has been missing for two years, the SMH reports.

Islamic State insurgents who control territory in Iraq and Syria released a video on Tuesday purportedly showing the beheading of US journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago. The group also threatened the life of a second US journalist it claims to be holding.

The video, titled “A Message To America,” was posted on social media sites. It was not immediately possible to verify.

Foley, who has reported in the Middle East for five years, was kidnapped on November 22, 2012, by unidentified gunmen.

God is great.

More Amnesty sources

Amnesty International has a useful Ferguson Storify recording its activities and what its people have seen.

police announcing anyone standing who’s not a member of media will be arrested. Heading back to hotel with @Amnesty crew. stay safe

US can’t tell other countries to improve their records on policing and peaceful assembly if it won’t clean up its own human rights record