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Category Archives: Religion

Believer

Believer

Imagine a series of An Idiot Abroad in which effortlessly amusing man-child Karl Pilkington is replaced by an effeminate Topman mannequin in a silver-flecked wig. Congratulations, you’ve just imagined Believer with Reza Aslan.

Yesterday I finally got round to watching the first episode of CNN’s six-part travelogue, in which Aslan cosies up with members of various eccentric belief systems in the hope of convincing us that religions are nothing more than “different languages” used to express the same inherent faith. Or something.

This is not the kind of condescending, new age guff that I like to hear about real-world ideologies that are responsible for the death and abject misery of countless billions of real human beings, and so I was very much looking forward to hating this show. To that extent I was disappointed. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2017 in Hinduism, Islam, Religion, Reza Aslan

 

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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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Spelling Out the Obvious

Spelling Out the Obvious

For 300 years the Muslims of the Barbary States carried out the unprovoked kidnapping of more than a million Westerners; besieging their ships, raiding their towns, enslaving them and killing those whose ransoms were not paid. In 1786 U.S diplomats Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were dispatched to London to meet with Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, the ambassador of Tripoli, to enquire as to the reason for this brutality towards a country with no history of aggression towards Muslims, and in fact with no history of any kind considering that the United States had only been founded a decade prior.

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Posted by on August 5, 2016 in ISIS, Islam, Islamisim, Religion

 

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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 »