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In Defence of ‘New Atheism’

In Defence of ‘New Atheism’

It’s become fashionable in recent years to attack and denounce the project of New Atheism along with its most high profile representatives. It was always the case that religious demagogues would object to the exposure of gaping holes in their ideologies, but the attacks now invariably come from fellow atheists and ex-fans who complain that their former luminaries are bigots and racists who’ve aligned themselves with the far-right or alt-right (or merely “the right” in circles where those two words constitute a pejorative.)

People who largely forged their online personas around challenging divisive beliefs and cultism, have now devolved into a sub-community of aspiring witch-hunters and Woke cultists searching high and low for the vaguest hints of leftist apostasy.

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Posted by on June 14, 2021 in Atheism, Islam, Politics, Scepticism

 

Doing the Work of Islamists

Doing the Work of Islamists

Lizzie Dearden is a Home Affairs journalist for the Independent and someone whose work I’ve admired in the past. She primarily covers extremism and terrorism, which is why her output often piques my interest, and why I find her recent article attacking extremism and terrorism expert Robin Simcox so bizarre.

Simcox was recently appointed by Priti Patel as the interim lead of the Commission for Countering Extremism and the appointment was a good one. He is an expert with years of experience in the fields of extremism, terrorism, and related national security issues.

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Islamofauxbia – The Smearing of Steven Greer

Islamofauxbia – The Smearing of Steven Greer

As Bristol University Professor David Miller comes under scrutiny for his latest outburst of conspiratorial anti-Semitism, a suspiciously-timed set of complaints against another Bristol University Professor have emerged, this time related to apparent Islamophobia.

The University of Bristol Islamic Society (BRISOC) have mounted a targeted campaign against Steven Greer, Professor of Human Rights at University of Bristol Law School, accusing him of espousing; “Islamophobic hate speech”, “colonial bigoted views”, “anti-Muslim rhetoric”, and even implying that his lectures justify “hate crime towards Muslims”.

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The Lies of the Anti-Prevent Lobby

The Lies of the Anti-Prevent Lobby

Two stories have emerged recently which have generated the usual tiresome attacks against the prevention strand of the UK government’s anti-terrorism strategy.

Firstly, the role of Independent Reviewer of Prevent was recently given to William Shawcross – the author and son of head British prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes tribunal, Hartley Shawcross.

As is customary in such circumstances, opponents of Prevent quickly set about searching for incidents to dredge up from the new appointee’s past that could conceivably be used to contest his abundant suitability for the job.

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The Sacrilegious Right

The Sacrilegious Right

The depressingly inescapable issue of blasphemy has once again become topical in recent days.

If the spectacle of adult human beings in the 21st century furiously outraged on behalf of an imaginary friend or a long dead warlord wasn’t ludicrous enough, spare a thought for the mental capacity of people willing to inflict violence and subjugation upon anyone with the temerity to express less than flattering takes on these apocryphal characters.

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Posted by on September 8, 2020 in Extremism, Free Speech, Islam, Terrorism, Violence

 

The Killing of Rayshard Brooks

The Killing of Rayshard Brooks

Around 10:30pm on Friday 12th June, Atlanta police responded to a call of a man asleep in his car in the drive-through lane of a local Wendy’s restaurant, blocking other customers’ access to the establishment.

Officer Devin Brosnan arrived to find Rayshard Brooks, a 27 year old black man, passed out at the wheel of his vehicle. He approached Brooks and ordered him to pull into a parking bay and clear the way for other customers to use the outlet. Brosnan was then joined by Officer Garrett Rolfe 14 minutes later who suspected that Brooks was intoxicated rather than, say, a narcoleptic for whom spontaneously losing consciousness while queuing for a burger was a run of the mill occurrence, and asked him if he would be willing to complete a field sobriety test. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2020 in Police, Psychology, Racism, Violence

 

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Drive-By Sympathy

Drive-By Sympathy

Last weekend incredibly tragic news broke that a 19 year old girl had been gunned down outside a Blackburn supermarket in a drive-by shooting.

There were many notable characteristics about the victim. She was “beautiful, much-loved, bright, passionate, hard-working, and ambitious”. She was involved in charity work and was studying to fulfil her ambitions of becoming a solicitor. The one characteristic that overrode all of these however, at least in the minds of cynical and irresponsible ideologues, was that she was a Muslim. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2020 in Islam

 

24 Carat Goldblum

24 Carat Goldblum

I’ve long enjoyed the work of eccentric actor Jeff Goldblum. The calibre of films he’s appeared in over the years is wildly varied but his stilted and quirkily emphasised delivery of even the most pedestrian and poorly scripted dialogue can render fodder like Independence Day reasonably enjoyable, despite the less than helpful presence of Will Smith.

Last weekend though, Ru Paul’s Drag Race – a garish reality TV competition about cross-dressing performers – became an unlikely vehicle for Goldblum to instigate a dialogue of actual substance. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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The Gilding of Mehdi Hasan

The Gilding of Mehdi Hasan

If I were to write a list of things that could make life under a global pandemic lock-down exponentially more torturous, I doubt I’d have an imagination sadistic enough to conjure up the atrocities that have been inflicted upon us recent days.

First up was the news that the BBC were replacing Match of the Day with re-runs of Mrs Brown’s Boys: a bawdy and archaic cookie-cutter sitcom roughly as amusing as a cancer diagnosis in a Christmas card.

Next, a naked Madonna broadcasting from a candlelit bathtub full of rose petals, informing us from behind a mask of six figure Botox that we’re all in the same boat really. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Approaching Racism

Approaching Racism

“I’d rather punch 300 innocent people and 1 genuine Nazi, than punch no Nazis at all.” – Godfrey Elfwick

Stardate 2020 is in full swing and yet our primitive and tedious obsession with race and skin-colour trundles forward with grating obstinacy. Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle received something of a hard time in the media not long back since she and her husband announced some boring decision about their boring lives in a boring tone of voice that I’m too bored to go into. Almost inevitably this castigation of the young Duchess, we were told by “experts”, was motivated by the fact that she’s a black woman – this despite her being significantly lighter-skinned than I would be after a lunch-hour in a beer garden on a reasonably clement day. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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