Category Archives: Rant

Mo Ansar Calls Me A ‘Paranoid Racist’

Image taken from BBC Documentary: 'When Tommy Met Mo'.

Image taken from BBC Documentary: ‘When Tommy Met Mo’.

Like reputable media outlets and the general public, I was happy to forget all about Mo Ansar. A malicious fraud who was exposed in grand fashion last May when several mainstream media outlets reported on his fairytale C.V and Islamist sensibilities. Journalist Jeremy Duns appears to have collated the most comprehensive account of Ansar’s lies and malice. I encourage you to share it far and wide.

During this time, I tweeted out an offer for Mo Ansar to clear his name on my podcast, perhaps even a discussion with Jeremy Duns on these allegations.

PodcastOfferAnsarHateMo then accused me of a campaign of ‘hate and harassment’ (a tweet he subsequently deleted when pressed for examples) and decided he would just ignore the charges against him, presumably in the hope they would go away. Well, they won’t. He’s still yet to publish a response to these serious, career ending allegations over a year later. Read more

Fox News Blames Atheism For Virginia Shooting


The debate surrounding gun control is once again dominating discourse Stateside after the brutal gunning down of two Tv news journalists live on air.

The usual suspects wasted no time in exploiting this atrocity to further their own political agendas and prejudices.

So, what does the Fox say? Now, I know most sensible people would agree that Fox ‘News’ is a wretched little propaganda hole that would only merit a mention were it to actually deviate from its usual M.O. of sowing fear and hate.

However, given Fox is the main source of information for countless American citizens – I can’t help but feel they’ve certainly played their part in influencing some of the disconcerting polling data regarding American attitudes towards atheists. Read and weep at the thought that some consider atheists to be less trustworthy than rapists & murderers in the land of the free.

Let’s take a look at what Mayor of Bullshit Mountain Bill O’Reilly had to say in the aftermath of this horrific crime (via The Examiner):

“Every single murderer over 40 years that I have covered in these circumstances has been either atheistic, agnostic, no religious basis at all.”

O’Reilly continued, claiming that Americans were “tending away” from religion and spirituality.

AlterNet has already gone to the trouble of pointing out a number of examples to falsify O’Reilly’s dubious claims, but what of the shooter in this particular crime?

Sometime after gunning down Allison Parker and Adam Ward live on air, suspect Vester Flanagan found the time to fax a 23 page suicide note and list of grievances to ABC News, before eventually turning his gun on himself, ending his life.

Contained amongst the slew of grievances he’d highlighted about his former colleagues and employers, was this item of note (ABC):

He said Jehovah spoke to him, telling him to act.

I wonder if that’s spiritual enough for Bill O’Reilly.

Needless to say, of all the things Vester Flanagan may have lacked, religion doesn’t appear to be amongst them.

Stephen Knight is host of The #GSPodcast. You can listen to The Godless Spellchecker Podcast here, and support it by becoming a patron here.

BBC Guidelines on Depicting Muhammad

BBC_GatesIn the wake of the appalling Islamist terror attacks (still currently unfolding at the time of writing) in France this week over apparent cartoon based satire of Muhammad – one deeply obscene question is doing the rounds yet again; ‘Should news channels show the cartoons in question?’.

The fact that this question is even asked, and indeed that most news channels will not show the cartoons integral to their reporting proves we’ve already lost our freedom of expression in this area.  It’s gone.

I was appalled to learn this week that depicting Islam’s prophet on the BBC is actually prohibited as per their own stated editorial guidelines:

“The prophet Mohammed must not be represented in any shape or form.”

Full of bluster, indignation & aspirations of petitioning – I was half way through a ranty blog post on the topic when the BBC pulled the guidelines in question from their website and announced they were making revisions:

They’ve spared you my unlettered ramblings at least, but I do wonder at which point was prohibiting depictions of Muhammad considered ‘in date’ or acceptable?  It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve reported on their refusal to promote freedom of expression over the ‘hurt feelings’ of the godly.

I await the revised guidelines with anticipation1. When will a mainstream news channel take a brave stance on this?  Or even an honest one?  Let’s no longer pretend we are concerned about upsetting the sensibilities of the religious – we’re scared we will be killed.  And for good reason.  Only when you admit the problem can you even hope to combat it.

As Ayaan Hirsi Ali has said, now is the time to ‘spread the risk’.

UPDATE: 09/01/15

The updated guidelines are in.  The relevant section reads:

Any content dealing with matters of religion and likely to cause offence to those with religious views and beliefs must be editorially justified as judged against generally accepted standards and must be referred to a senior editorial figure or, for independents, to the commissioning editor.

To me, this seems like a long-winded way of refusing to clarify the actual issue at hand whilst keeping the previous position alive – but unstated.  I can’t help but think this has simply been an exercise in reducing the BBC’s embarrassment at having their cowardice and self censorship exposed in plain black & white for all to see.  Let me know what you think in the comments.

You can listen to The Godless Spellchecker Podcast here, and support it by becoming a patron here.

Permanent Suspension: An Open letter to Twitter #09914411

Image Source:

Image Source:

Update 06/12/2015- My main account has been fully restored. A HUGE thank you to everyone who shared this page and asked questions on my behalf. It means a lot. Reason has prevailed!

After several suspensions, Twitter has decided to ban me permanently.  The reasons given are usually violations of their terms and services related to ‘Targeted abuse or harassment’.  Even though I ask, I’ve never received a single example of my engagement in this behaviour.  I don’t believe the big wigs at Twitter are being anti-atheist, or anti free-speech, or any other such silly victim nonsense, but rather a flawed and automated reporting system is being abused to silence criticism.  My lofty goal with the below open letter is to prompt an actual human being at Twitter to review my case and provide me with some feedback as to what exactly I tweeted that was deserving of permanent suspension from Twitter.  Please share this post and amplify it to Twitter execs, @Support and those with influence in the ‘atheist community’ etc:

Case Id #09914411

Dear Twitter,

I joined your micro blogging service back in 2012, when ‘join the conversation’ was the mantra. And join it I did, and I fell in love with you immediately. I created the account @Gspellchecker when I noticed a steady stream of badly spelled anti-atheist bigotry and hate working through the Twitter servers. I decided before I’d even sent my very first tweet that I’d never use a single expletive, engage in any abuse, nor reward or encourage any such behaviour from those kind enough to follow me. I kept to that set of ethics right up until my permanent suspension in Jan 2015 where I was forced to bow out to a total of 49,600 followers.

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Sony pulls the plug on ‘The Interview’ along with freedom of expression.

KJUThe upcoming release of the Seth Rogan-James Franco comedy caper ‘The Interview’ has been officially canned by Sony Pictures, marking the latest in a series of controversies surrounding the movie, and indeed the studio.

The movie’s fictional plot revolves around an assassination attempt on North Korea’s ‘Supreme Leader’ Kim Jong-un by our aforementioned leads. Here is the film’s synopsis from The Internet Movie Database:

Dave Skylark and producer Aaron Rapoport run the celebrity tabloid show “Skylark Tonight.” When they land an interview with a surprise fan, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, they are recruited by the CIA to turn their trip to Pyongyang into an assassination mission.

You can view the trailer here, which is still up at the time of posting. As you can see, this is comedic farce at its most potent and obvious. Needless to say, we are not dealing with a sensitive game changing political exposé here. The movie was scheduled for release on Christmas day in the U.S, but its future now hangs precariously in the balance after Sony confirmed they have scrapped all current plans for its release, without indicating when – or if – the movie will even be released at all.
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I Don’t Believe Andrew Brown Knows What He’s Talking About

Image from

Image from

When engaging with honest critics of Islam, the popular weapon of choice for apologists is often misrepresentation. Commonly we’ll read that those voicing concerns about the doctrines of Islam, and their earthly consequences do so only as a symptom of their bigotry towards all Muslims as people. One smear is rarely sufficient in this regard however, so a conflation with racism is seemingly necessary to give it that extra bite. Andrew Brown seems to be ticking all the boxes in his latest Guardian piece: ‘Why I don’t believe people who say they loathe Islam but not Muslims’

Yes, we are now essentially being told: “No, this is what you really think”. This is as lazy as it is dishonest.
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