Once again, a crowd of innocent people enjoying a night out at a music concert have had their lives taken in a senseless and vicious act of brutality and callousness. On Sunday 1st October, 62 year old Stephen Paddock killed 59 people and injured over 500 more in a mass shooting in Las Vegas. From his 32nd floor room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel, he opened fire with an arsenal of modified semi-automatic assault rifles, upon concert goers attending a country music festival. Read the rest of this entry »
Category Archives: Politics
Dear Mr Burnham,
I’m writing this because I wish to acknowledge your remarkable achievement on BBC’s Question Time on 25th May 2017. Only two days prior to your appearance, I woke up to the news that a young man had strolled into a pop concert being held at the Manchester Arena and detonated a suicide bomb in a crowd of primarily teenaged girls and their parents. My initial reaction was to be overcome by a mixture of painful emotions. Outrage. Grief. Disgust. Devastation. Followed by a tidal wave of unbridled, unimaginable anger. Your achievement, Mr Mayor, is to have made me feel even more apoplectic than I did already. To increase the rage that I already felt upon finding out that children had been murdered en masse, should have been a truly impossible task. And yet you managed it. Effortlessly. Read the rest of this entry »
Back in the autumn of 2010, an online magazine produced and published by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula entitled Inspire, urged it’s readership to attack “the enemies of Allah” by ploughing vehicles into pedestrians in crowded locations. “Narrower spots are better because it gives less chance for the people to run away” they advised. “It is a simple idea and there is not much involved in its preparation. All what (sic) is needed is the willingness to give one’s life for Allah.”
Similarly, in 2014 Islamic State spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani issued the following statement directed at enthusiastic ISIS supporters without the means for acquiring explosives and firearms: Read the rest of this entry »
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.
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 »
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 »
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 »