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Category Archives: Politics

The Comic Con

The Comic Con

There’s a charming line of argument popular among the godly, which posits that a lack of religious faith is responsible for the crimes of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot, that morality is impossible without submitting to the authority of a supernatural creator, and that the only psychological state necessary to commit mass murder is a lack of belief in deities. There is even an entire book devoted to this nonsense entitled The Amorality of Atheism by Giorgio Roversi.

Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins have spent much of their careers as ‘New Atheist’ authors and speakers, kicking these arguments into orbit.

A recent mutation of these trite and fatuous accusations of atheism-inspired violence has begun to spread, which argues that New Atheism’s criticism of religion’s inherent menace is tantamount to incitement to violence.

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The Trial of Louis Smith

The Trial of Louis Smith

Another day, another episode of what Christopher Hitchens once described as “theocratic encroachment on free society”. This time it’s Olympic medallist and Strictly Come Dancing winner Louis Smith MBE who’s been thrown on the pyre – or more accurately – banned for 2 months from British Gymnastics after a video he recorded of his inebriated friend taking the piss out of the Islamic prayer ritual got snared by The Sun and circulated around the internet.

Being that I don’t care too much for gymnastics, nor do I occupy my time watching inexplicably popular ballroom dancing competitions, I only had a vague idea who Louis Smith was until the video of him and his mate drunkenly Allahu Akbar’ing appeared on my radar. Naturally I warmed to him in an instant. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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The Swimsuit Issue

The Swimsuit Issue

I’ve got to hand it to Islam, it regularly forces me to confront questions I could otherwise have spent my entire life happily not giving a moment’s thought. For instance: is it ethical for the French authorities to criminalise the natural human instinct to rush to the beach cloaked from head to toe in a suffocating black body-stocking in 90 degree weather?

It’d be tempting to say ‘no’ and have done with it. I view every new prohibition as an incremental reduction in the overall freedom and liberalism of the country that enforces it. I have a general knee-jerk reaction to the introduction of bans, which is to denounce the erosion of liberty and to moan a lot.

However, in the case of the burkini – the Islamic beachwear recently banned and then unbanned by a number of French towns – I have genuinely mixed feelings which I’m going to thrash out here if only to collect my somewhat contradictory thoughts on the topic. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2016 in Islam, Politics

 

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A Letter to the Future

A Letter to the Future

I’m writing this article in the year 2016. Consider it a time capsule of sorts. If you’re reading this centuries or even mere decades from now, as one of the few remaining survivors of the human race, stuck in a future in which the earth is a smouldering thermonuclear wasteland, and you’re desperately searching for a historical record of how things ended up this way – it was Islam. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2016 in Islam, Islamisim, Politics, Religion

 

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Recommended Reading (The Blog of The Re-Enlightenment)

Recommended Reading (The Blog of The Re-Enlightenment)

Have you ever finished reading an article that so completely encapsulated your own views on a topic, and did so in such an entertaining and lucid way, that you immediately felt the compulsion to stand bolt upright and applaud? There’s something to be said for someone else expressing your views in a manner so succinct and persuasive and funny and articulate that you feel a vague sense of shame in your inability to espouse your own opinions better than someone else can. Charlie Brooker managed this when he talked about shit TV shows (although he manages it considerably less when talking about shit politics.)

This is precisely the feeling I get from reading The Blog of The Re-Enlightenment. This is a blog covering a wide range of subjects, most of which would fall under the banner of what we could probably call ‘secular politics’ – free speech, religious intrusion on society, Islamic terrorism, Islamophobia, homophobia, racism, secularism and politics (unsurprisingly.) Read the rest of this entry »

 

Weaponised Word – A Defence of Offence

Weaponised Word – A Defence of Offence

DISCLAIMER – I’m going to be quite sweary and generally pretty coarse in this article. Why? Because I can. And because it’s fun. Yep fun – you remember that don’t you? It’s pretty fucking important if you want to make it through life without opening your wrists up on a gloomy Monday.

One of my favourite TV moments of all time was in 1976 when the Sex Pistols appeared on the Bill Grundy show and bollocked the patronising old duffer for leering over their female companions. Back in ’76, someone being called a “dirty bastard” and a “fucking rotter” on tea-time telly was enough to end careers. Nowadays the BBC would probably have to broadcast Johnny Rotten ferociously sodomizing Grundy’s corpse with a whaling harpoon to elicit anything more than a handful of complaints. Read the rest of this entry »

 

24 Hours in Luton

24 Hours in Luton

It’s become something of a cliché in recent years that to criticise the doctrine of Islam, or the behaviour of its more ‘conservative’ fans, is to expose one’s self as a disgusting racist. As has been pointed out once or twice before: Islam is not a race. It’s a set of ideas. It’s impossible to convert to, or apostatise out of, a race. The obviousness of this observation does roughly nothing to dissuade the cognitively challenged from chucking accusations of racism towards anyone with the bare faced cheek to disapprove of theocratic fascism.

This idiocy was taken to dizzying new heights in Channel 4’s most recent broadcast of the fly-on-the-wall documentary series 24 Hours in Police Custody. The show takes place in Luton and surprisingly takes four series’ to get around to covering the religious tensions that plague the town. You see, Luton is something like the epicentre of Islamic extremism in the UK. The infamous image of the 7/7 bombers walking into a train station on the morning of the London Transport attacks was taken from CCTV at Luton Station. Read the rest of this entry »