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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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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 »

 

Blasphemy, Blas-For-You, Blas-For-Everybody

Blasphemy, Blas-For-You, Blas-For-Everybody

In 2010 a Pakistani Christian Woman named Asia Bibi was involved in a verbal altercation with some Muslim women who objected to her drinking water from the same mug as them on the grounds that her religion rendered her “unclean”. She reportedly reacted to this bigotry by making a mildly derogatory remark about the Prophet of Islam and was promptly reported to the Pakistani authorities for blasphemy, whereby she was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging. A petition was filed against Bibi’s execution by a leading Pakistani politician named Salmaan Taseer, who also criticised his country’s noxious and archaic blasphemy laws. As a retaliation to this presumably offensive display of progressivism, one of Mr Taseer’s own bodyguards – Mumtaz Qadri – shot him to death with an AK-47, a crime for which Qadri was eventually hanged this week.

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan. You’ve gotta love it. Read the rest of this entry »

 

He’s Not the Messiah…

He’s Not the Messiah…

A contender for the most infantile, irritating criticism of atheists and secularists is that we deify celebrity atheists and engage in cultism. If you doubt this, I encourage you to do a Twitter search for the terms “cult” and “worship” against the usual list of cognitively challenged Islamic apologists.

According to mouth-breathers like CJ Werleman and Nathan Lean; agreeing with any points made by Sam Harris or Richard Dawkins or Bill Maher or Ayaan Hirsi Ali or Christopher Hitchens, or criticising misrepresentations of their views is to engage in sycophantic hero-worship of unimpeachable cult leaders. They insist that the only motivation someone could have for arguing in favour of any of the views espoused by these people is one of personal adoration, equivalent to a school girl’s juvenile crush on her geography teacher. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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A Conversation on Islamic Extremism

A Conversation on Islamic Extremism

I recently had a Twitter discussion on the topic of Islamic extremism with a blogger named David (name changed upon request) in which I felt the character limitations of the Twitter platform were doing a disservice to both of our arguments. I contacted David and suggested a conversation via email that would allow us to discuss the topic in greater detail. David generously accepted and kindly agreed that the resulting exchange could be published on both of our blogs if it was sufficiently interesting. What follows is our full discussion. Although we don’t really cover any new ground in our conversation I did find it interesting and came to consider certain factors that I had not previously entertained. However, I think it’s fair to say that neither of our views were substantially changed.

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Posted by on February 15, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Maajid Nawaz -Beating The Drum

Maajid Nawaz -Beating The Drum

Liberal Muslim Maajid Nawaz is currently touring Australia on a number of speaking engagements. As such he appeared yesterday on an Australian Talk Show called The Drum to discuss his approach to Islamic reform and counter radicalism. He appeared on the panel with a Muslim human rights activist and ‘refugee advocate’ named Sara Saleh who proceeded to trot out a spectacularly shambolic and confused diatribe against him that, in any sane world, should instantly undermine her as somebody having any competence to speak on the subject of Human Rights. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2016 in Uncategorized