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Monthly Archive: January 2012

Jan 31 2012

More from the marketplace of outrage

Sikhs offended by Jay Leno’s comments have filed a lawsuit against him for his ‘racist’ comments. His crime? He made a joke about the US Presidential candidate’s wealth, saying that the Sikh Golden Temple was Romney’s summer home. In an ironic turn of events, the Ahmadiyyas who were so outraged by the Jesus and Mo cartoon …

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Jan 31 2012

Jesus and Mo is the point

Some atheists are not happy with One Law for All’s use of the Jesus and Mo cartoon on leaflets to promote the 11 February Day in defence of free expression. They feel that since the Jesus and Mo cartoons have been deemed offensive, it is best not to use them. But that’s the whole point …

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Jan 31 2012

What about the children?

In a letter to the National Secular Society, Children & Families Minister Tim Loughton has said he was not convinced that it would be practicable for Government to implement a national register of madrassas and that any consideration of this would have to include all supplementary schools. To focus only on madrassas would appear discriminatory …

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Jan 30 2012

What about all those leaving Islam

I am meant to be working rather than blogging right now (it’s getting addictive). But I just got this email, which of course I must share with you. [email protected] on behalf of [email protected] writes: I was just wondering how it feels that despite all your propaganda on Islam, tens of thousands of people (especially Christian …

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Jan 28 2012

Charges of offence and Islamophobia are secular fatwas

Here is my speech at today’s Blasphemy Conference in London: There have been a number of recent attacks on free expression here in the UK. They include 17 year old Rhys Morgan being forced to remove a Jesus and Mo cartoon or face expulsion from his Sixth Form College and demands by the UCL Union …

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Jan 28 2012

Blasphemy is always good

I’ll be speaking at the Blasphemy, religious hatred, and human rights: Who speaks for the sacred? conference today Saturday at Conway Hall in London. My talk will focus on how accusations of blasphemy, offensive speech and ‘Islamophobia’ censor and restrict free speech, limit citizen rights, and aid and abet Islamism. With all that’s going on, …

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Jan 27 2012

LSE Student Union: Can we have a resolution on Christianity-phobia, Atheism-phobia and Judaism-phobia too?

I ask that the LSE Student Union hold another Emergency meeting to issue a resolution on Judaism-phobia, Christianity-phobia and Atheism-phobia. If criticising Islam is racist and discriminatory, well why not the criticism of Judaism, Christianity, or Atheism? I feel left out and to be honest – slightly offended… Here’s what the resolution on Christianity-phobia would …

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Jan 27 2012

LSE Student Union supports criticism of religion – just not Islam

One way that people in Iran survive under the Islamic Republic of Iran is by making fun of its leaders and the clergy. Mockery can be a form of resistance too. Such jokes can be considered blasphemous, particularly since the regime’s leaders represent god’s rule on earth. Free expression, including mockery, though, is sometimes all that …

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Jan 26 2012

People’s beliefs are only respectable to themselves

The below is an interview with the late Marxist Mansoor Hekmat on the ‘Fight against Religion’. And a fight it is… This like everything else of his is a must read: Azar Majedi: In a recent interview with Porsesh magazine you said, “secularism is a set of minimum conditions”, and that [you] “do not want …

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Jan 25 2012

The right to offend is fundamental to free expression

Here’s One Law for All’s statement in support of LSE ASH: One Law for All calls on the London School of Economics Student Union to respect and uphold the rights of the Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society (ASH), in particular its right to freedom of expression. Their accusation that the publication of a cartoon featuring …

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Jan 25 2012

We give this kuffar the right to speak

Bruce Gordon has written about the attacks on free speech and 11 February Day for Free Expression in the South African Times Live. He ends by saying: These are direct attacks not only on the freedoms and rights of atheists and skeptics, but on everybody, everywhere. These are attacks on the basic human right to …

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Jan 25 2012

Iran: Two trade unionists released, but more arrested

24 January 2012 Two worker activists by the names Sharif Saed Panah and Mozaffar Saleh Nia, both members of the Free Union of Iranian Workers, who were arrested earlier this month, have been released on bail. The release follows several weeks of campaigning both inside and outside Iran. The released workers were jubilantly greeted by …

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Jan 24 2012

Islamophobia is used to scaremonger people into silence

The Guardian has published a letter calling for an inquiry into the ‘anti-Islam’ press. Whilst racism must be unequivocally condemned, the signatories – like the Guardian, confuse racism with a criticism of Islam. They are not one and the same no matter how many letters and articles the Guardian publishes. Islamophobia is nothing but a …

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Jan 23 2012

It’s London School of Economic’s turn

Now it is the London School of Economics Student Union;s turn having instructed the LSESU Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society (ASH) to remove cartoons featuring Jesus and Mohammed from their Facebook page. LSESU ASH is not complying with the instruction and has appealed to LSESU to withdraw it. Good on them. LSESU ASH President Chris …

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Jan 23 2012

Free Expression Day of Action is our chance to take a stand

The One Law for All 11 February rally for Free Expression is being held in London from 14:00-16:00 hours at the Old Palace Yard opposite the House of Lords. [Here is leaflet for download and distribution.] Confirmed Speakers at London Rally: Hasan Afzal (Stand for Peace), Jenny Bartle (National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular …

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Jan 23 2012

Inaccurate, dogmatically secularist scaremongering!?

Ah yes, the old ‘inaccurate, dogmatically secularist scaremongering [which] plays directly into the hands of the far right and will be used to bolster a racist narrative about the Islamic threat to the West’ response to Joan Smith’s article on the Islamist threat to free expression. I know, I know. Saying that people have a right to …

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Jan 23 2012

When offending sensibilities is more important than death threats

A complaint has been lodged against four authors who read out excerpts from Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses in protest to his being prevented from attending Jaipur Literature Festival due to death threats. One of the authors, Hari Kunzru, says: ‘We wanted to demystify the book. It is, after all, just a book. Not a bomb. …

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Jan 22 2012

How freedom goes

The recent attacks on free expression have been mentioned in the press, by well-known secularists, namely Joan Smith: ‘Strong religious belief is no excuse for intimidation‘ and Nick Cohen: How Freedom Goes. Both have endorsed the 11 February One Law for All day of action in defence of free expression. They may be ‘lone voices’, …

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Jan 22 2012

Human Rights Watch – You are Disgusting!

Human Rights Watch director Kenneth Roth says in the group’s annual report that the past year’s Arab Spring uprisings across the region have shown it is vital for the West to end its policy of backing ‘an array of Arab autocrats’ in exchange for supporting Western interests. So far so good. But then the organisation …

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Jan 22 2012

I want to live

So says the trembling voice of a 21-year-old youth in Karaj prison. Zaniar says that his death sentence and that of his cousin, Loqman, have been confirmed on appeal, but the prison authorities have not officially informed them. “Please do something”, he fearfully asks me. “I am very worried. They might call me at any …

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