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Monthly Archive: December 2013

Dec 28 2013

Gender segregation on campus: a timeline of opposition in UK media

There’s been a lot of friction lately over who the main opponents were of segregated seats for men and women at Islamic campus talks, endorsed till recently by higher education group Universities UK. Priyamvada Gopal, in a December 16 post at the Rationalist Association originally entitled ‘The Right may have hijacked the issue of gender …

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Dec 24 2013

Class dismissed: how I went from homelessness to Oxford, and what Richard Dawkins has nightmares about

The hatred stirred in me by privilege prompts even now a hot, breathless nausea.

Dec 19 2013

No, gay marriage won’t fucking well stop HIV

Not many know gay marriage is a legacy of AIDS. Attempts by same-sex couples at the turn of the nineties to have partnerships legally recognised – in Denmark, New York, Hawaii – were prompted, in the words of the New York Times, by an epidemic that ‘brought questions of inheritance and death benefits to many …

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Dec 17 2013

In support of Priyamvada Gopal

A new coinage of mine is ‘Rorschach text’ – a body of writing read necessarily according to prior sympathies. Scripture is, of course, the best example, but secular texts are just as liable to work this way, and we’re all as guilty of partial interpretation as each other. Yesterday, the Rationalist Association published a piece …

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Dec 17 2013

Do Muslim international students want segregation? Polling on ISocs, religiosity and gender mixing

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You’ve no doubt read by now of the much-maligned support of Universities UK for gender-segregated seating at campus events like those of the so-called Islamic Education and Research Academy, an organisation banned from several universities in Britain whose leaders explicitly oppose feminism and endorse violence against women and whose website doctors out photographs of female speakers offered …

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Dec 16 2013

Bisi Alimi: Anglicanism spurred Africa’s homophobic clampdowns

If you don’t know who Bisi Alimi is, you should – currently he’s in Berlin, on a lecture tour revolving around politics, race, sexuality and secularism. The following is a translation from coverage in Der Tagesspiegel, where he speaks compellingly to the impact of African Anglicanism on recent escalation of state-sanctioned homophobia and civil violence in …

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Dec 09 2013

What England’s creationist schools are teaching

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“It’s the crapness!” yelled my mother, who almost never says anything more offensive than ‘oh blow’. “It’s not the doctrine or the terrible science or the politics… it’s the… CRAPNESS!“ In hindsight, leaving three boxes of Packets of Accelerated Christian Education (PACEs) at her house was perhaps not the kindest thing I could have done. “It’s a bubble!” she continued, warming to her rant. “It’s …

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Dec 08 2013

“Waging all-out war against religion”: New Atheism, Alom Shaha and me

In his book The Young Atheist’s Handbook, Alom Shaha – now a physics teacher at a London school for girls – recounts a friend’s entry in his own school leaver’s book, ‘Watch out … because this boy is going to find out if God really does play with dice.’ He ascribes this statement sheepishly to …

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Dec 07 2013

In defence of the War on Christmas

As 2011’s royal wedding happened, the Guardian hit on a stroke of genius. Perched in easily missed white type atop its sprawling coverage, a tiny button read “Republicans click here”, which when activated hid all related stories. The button, which proved popular enough to reappear this year when the couple’s child was born, made the …

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