Topic / Op-ed

Sharia courts pose a growing threat to women’s rights

This week more than 300 women who have faced abuse issued a warning of the growing threat to their rights by Sharia courts and parallel legal systems. Also this week, One Law for All submitted devastating new evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee Inquiry into Sharia Councils on how violence and gender inequality lie […]

The rise of university ‘faith warriors’

The protagonists of the anti-communist hysteria were commonly referred to as ‘cold warriors’. The trademark of the cold warrior was the obsession with their ideology, and the ideology of the respective other. The only lens through which the cold warrior could see the world was ‘with us or against us’, communist or anti-communist. The far-right […]

My Family

It is easy, looking around us, to believe that humans are the pinnacle of evolution, the masters of the world. We have developed tools with which we have spilt atoms, put probes on other planets and cured diseases amongst many thousands of other incredible achievements. We drive to work in super-efficient cars, take calls on […]

Wrong, Mr Trudeau!

On April 10 the satirical cartoonist Garry Trudeau, creator of Doonesbury, gave a speech at the George Polk Awards in Journalism ceremony where he received a lifetime achievement award. In that speech he spat in the eye of satirical cartoons as a genre and satirical cartoonists as colleagues and comrades. I’ve been a fan of […]

Gita Sahgal was right

Five years ago Gita Sahgal, head of the gender unit at Amnesty International, told the Amnesty bosses that it was a mistake to collaborate with Moazzem Begg, a mistake that would damage Amnesty’s reputation. The Sunday Times reported at the time:  Sahgal describes Begg as ‘Britain’s most famous supporter of the Taliban’. He has championed […]

Making Jesus ‘cool’

Christianity’s Suicidal Embracing Of Pop Culture Churches change. The Catholics threw over neo-Platonism when Aristotelianism turned trendy. The Southern Baptists gave up – evennnnn….tuallllllllly – the overt racism that defined them for a century and more. Anybody who thinks of religion as a bastion of stability as against the temporal flux of modernity is willfully […]

Joey Barton says ‘privatise religion’

In the run-up to the General Election in the UK, the Independent is publishing the views of 100 people, none of whom are politicians. Last Friday it published a piece by footballer and philosophy student Joey Barton, who said that if he were Prime Minister he would ‘privatise religion’. Barton, who plays as a midfielder […]

No cringing!

Now that the nightmare in Copenhagen is over, the commentary is rolling in, and as always, some of it is enragingly eager to adopt the point of view of the murderous theocrats at the expense of their targets. Take the BBC’s Malcolm Brabant in Copenhagen for instance, summing up the day after a gunman shot […]

Raif Badawi’s torture

Last May the liberal Saudi blogger Raif Badawi was sentenced to one thousand lashes along with ten years in prison and a one million riyals fine for ‘insulting Islam’ and setting up a web forum called the Liberal Saudi Network. You know what that sounds like? Why it sounds like the action against the founder […]

The new religion of madness

How the Christian concept of mental illness still infests psychiatric treatment. Emerging from the subway in San Francisco, before the sight of the city strains into view, you are hit with the smell of it – a bit of marijuana, a bit of smog, and an unavoidable nasal punch of urine and feces.  There are […]