Opinion

Religion is fundamentally patriarchal and anti-woman

As US suffragette Elizabeth Cady Stanton once said: You may go over the world and you will find that every form of religion which has breathed upon this earth has degraded woman. In one Hadith, Mohammed, Islam’s prophet says: “I have left behind no fitnah more harmful to men, than women” (Al-Bukhari, Muslim). Hatred of […]

Celebrating apostasy and blasphemy in London in July

The Freethinker interviews Maryam Namazi and Marieme Helie Lucas ahead of the International Conference on Freedom of Conscience and Expression in the 21 Century scheduled to take place in London between July 22 and 24, 2017. Why organise an international conference on free conscience and expression? Maryam Namazie: Atheists and freethinkers are targeted by Islamists […]

Apologise? No way!

A FEW months back I was appointed by Round Town News, a weekly newspaper on the Costa Blanca in Spain, to write a regular, LGBT-slanted column, and in the Easter edition I reported on the death of Gilbert Baker, above, the San Francisco artist who, in 1978, created the rainbow for the LGBT community. Within […]

Mandatory suggestions

Last Saturday, April 22, people around the world took part in the March for Science to defend the discipline against political interference. From climate change and pollution to medicine, men and women who support science were motivated on Saturday by the coverage of the recent Women’s March and are mobilising to make their concerns heard. You would […]

So, which religion is right?

Eighty-four percent of the world’s population (5.8 billion out of 6.9 billion in 2010) are affiliated to one religion in some form. Seventy-seven percent identify themselves as a member of one of the five widely recognised world religions: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism. With over 4,300 religions spanning the Earth, how can people be […]

Not much wisdom

There’s this idea that even if you’re not a believer and you don’t see Holy Books as divinely dictated, still they’re a good source of wisdom. I’m not convinced of that. There’s a lot of gorgeous language in the King James translation of the Bible, to be sure, and some of the remarks attributed to […]

Marginalising religious minorities harms society

Between a rock and a jihad place If a secular and pluralistic society wishes to function well, it must not disadvantage religious minorities. Indeed, it is critical – whether you are a doctor, a school teacher or the head of the BBC’s religious programming – that your cultural and religious background does not handicap you. […]

Fuck modesty for International Women’s Day on March 8!

Wherever Islamism gains power and influence, it comes for women first. And it’s always a sign of worse to come, hence the saying: ‘the freedom of society is measured by the freedom of women.’ Islamism but also the Christian-Right, Buddhist-Right,  Jewish-Right,  Hindu-Right, Sikh-Right … have turned misogyny into an art form. They police women’s behaviour […]

Doors slamming shut in the US

Trump’s war on free everything is raging right along over here. (I apologize for his manners toward Theresa May. He just doesn’t know how to act. That hand-holding thing was gruesome, and we’re all embarrassed about it.) He attacks the free press nearly every day; he attacks freedom to protest, freedom from forced pregnancy, freedom […]

O Hitchens, where art thou?

Bill Maher’s lazy comparison between Milo Yiannopoulos and Christopher Hitchens shows just how much we need ‘the Hitch’. Donald Trump performs the astonishing feat of “covering 90% of his head with 30% of his hair”, and Hillary Clinton is “hopeless on health care, and flippant and fast and loose with national security.” These are the […]