Opinion

The Disappeared: The veil and the erasure of the female body

When I was 12 years old, soon after the Islamists took power in Iran, their thugs came to my school to keep boys and girls separate in the playground. Even at 12, we girls were seen to be the source of chaos and fitnah in society. This Islamist obsession with sexualising the girl child and […]

Small car, big heart?

People still talk sentimental drivel about what a nice man the Pope is. It may be that he is a nice man in a personal sense – he may be the kindest, warmest, sweetest guy you’d ever want to meet. We’ve heard that he’s a simple-lifer, preferring a humble little guest house to the gilt […]

We need to stop conflating ‘Muslims’ with Islamists

It’s insidious how the Islamist narrative has become mainstream everywhere – in the media, in social policies, in discussions around minority communities and human rights, in ‘progressive’ politics … it’s also very much part and parcel of how some freethinkers view ‘Muslims’ – homogenised masses whose default is always the Islamist no matter how many […]

The she-demons of Ireland

Last week two women set up a Twitter account, TwoWomenTravel, to document their journey from Ireland to the UK for an abortion. Priest-ridden Ireland of course still bans all abortion except (grudgingly) those absolutely necessary to save the woman’s life. They tweeted a photo of the plane under a lowering sky, of their message of […]

French secularism risks being destroyed by political ambition

Despite occasional conflicts, France’s tradition of secularism has served both social cohesion and religious freedom well. Terry Sanderson, above, President of the National Secular Society, argues that misusing secularism for political aims risks undermining both. The French ban on so-called burkinis – all enveloping swim suits – raises all kinds of questions about the state’s […]

Sharia courts are a human rights scandal

It is a human rights scandal that Sharia “courts” exist in Britain; it’s where the greatest abuses of minority women takes place. For example, under Sharia rules, a woman’s testimony is worth half that of a man’s; a man can have four wives and divorce his wife by simple repudiation, whereas a woman has limited […]

Democracy in America

The US has a long inglorious history of hucksterism and fraud. You’d think it was something we took pride in, along with the Enlightenment ideas in the Declaration of Independence and the hot dog. Think of the meeting of the Duke and the Dauphin in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, for example. “What got you […]

Why I hate Jesus

I don’t hate the flesh and blood Jesus who walked the dusty roads of Palestine, nor do I hate the Jesus found in the pages of the Bible. These Jesuses are relics of the past. I’ll leave it to historians to argue and debate whether these Jesuses were real or fiction. Over the centuries, Christians […]

The thin fabric

Well this has been a shock. I don’t know why I wasn’t more prepared for the Brexit win – just a foolish trust in people’s reluctance to vote for unabashed xenophobia, I guess. I thought the UKIP poster, above, that coincided with the murder of Jo Cox last week would be a turn-off, for one […]

A challenge to the Islamists

On June, 24, 2016, the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain is calling for a day to defy fasting rules in solidarity with those who face persecution for eating during fasting hours in Ramadan. We will be having an “eat-in” at various embassies in London, including the Bangladeshi, Egyptian, Iranian, Moroccan, Pakistani and Saudi embassies. We […]