Tag Archives: Featured

‘Muslim’ Woman Singled Out In Viral London Terror Photo

 

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Details are still coming in after yesterday’s terror attack in Westminster and the official investigation is only just underway. I suspect I’ll be blogging and podcasting a considerable amount in the coming days and weeks about this devastating act of Islamic terror.

At the time of writing this we know that at least 4 people are dead and many more are injured. The suspect is said to be British-born and the attack has been described as ‘Islamist’ in nature by the British Prime Minister.

In the meantime, as we wait for all the details to emerge, one particular injustice caught my eye which is worth pushing back against.

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BBC Asks “What Is The Right Punishment For Blasphemy?”

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Earlier this week it was reported that Facebook were sending a team to Pakistan to discuss the concerns of Pakistani officials regarding ‘blasphemous’ content on the social media platform. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has previously described ‘blasphemy’ as an “unpardonable offence”.

The fact that Facebook is even entertaining this sort of thing deserves no small amount of opprobrium, but it should come as a surprise to no-one that Pakistan would be heavily engaged in this area.

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Reporting From Secularist Of The Year 2017

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I’m currently en route to London for the National Secular Society’s ‘Secularist Of The Year Awards 2017’.

It’s a fantastic occasion celebrating the dedication and bravery of secular activists. I was on hand in 2015 and 2016 to bring you audio coverage of the event and hope to do so again today.

You can keep an eye on my Twitter account ( @Gspellchecker) or Facebook (facebook.com/gspellchecker) for updates throughout the day. If I can snag a wi-fi connection, I may attempt to live stream some of it.

This year’s shortlist of nominees:

Professor Steven Kettell, for co-ordinating a secular response to the Commission on Religion and Belief. His work helped rebut calls for more religious privilege, and set out the urgent case for a new secular constitutional settlement in the UK.

Professor Kettell said it was “a great surprise and a genuine honour to be shortlisted for the Secularist of the Year Award.” He said his own research had convinced him that “secularism is the best means of ensuring equal rights and freedoms for all citizens, regardless of their religion or belief.”

Professor Ted Cantle CBE has been nominated for his advocacy of integrated education and social cohesion. He has been particularly vocal in his opposition to the Government’s plan to allow a new wave of faith schools free to discriminate in 100% of their admissions.

He said it was “crucial that we support the secular principle of the separation of governance from religious doctrine.”

Asma Jahangir, the former UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion,for her principled advocacy of universal human rights and her commitment to secular justice. She spent much of her career defending women’s rights, the rights of children and the rights of minorities in Pakistan.

Asma has campaigned against Pakistan’s deadly blasphemy law and has been a vocal proponent of human rights in her home country.

Houzan Mahmoud and the Kurdish Culture project, for their initiative to provide a platform for Kurdish writers, feminists, artists and activists to advance gender equality, freedom and universal rights.

Houzan said, “For the work in activism that I have done for nearly two decades against Islamism and Sharia Law in Kurdistan, Iraq, the UK and beyond, to be recognised by the NSS is one of the greatest honours I could be conferred.”

Scott Moore and Let Pupils Choose, a Northern Ireland Humanists campaign,for challenging compulsory worship and religious privilege in Northern Ireland’s schools.

Scott said “The Let Pupils Choose campaign wants to let over 16s/post-GCSE pupils opt out of collective worship without parental permission. Children of all ages are guaranteed religious freedom under UK, European and international human and children’s rights laws.”

He said he was “very grateful to the NSS for recognising the work I and others have been doing.”

Yasmin Rehman, for her advocacy of a secularist approach to tackling hate crime and promoting the human rights of women. She said, “I am incredibly honoured and humbled to be included in the list of nominees for this award particularly given the work being done across the world by so many brave and courageous people fighting against the hatred and violence being perpetrated by the religious Right of many faiths.”

Good luck to all the nominees. I’m looking forward to learning all about their work.

Online tickets sales are now closed, but if you can still contact the NSS office on 020 7404 3126 or email events@secularism.org.uk to enquire about availability.

You can support the National Secular Society by becoming a member here.

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

West Midlands Police Do Not See ‘Benefit’ In FGM Prosecutions

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Female genital mutilation (FGM) is an utterly barbaric practice that has been illegal in the UK since 1985. Despite its legal status, there were 5700 recorded cases of FGM between 2015 and 2016 alone. As of today there is yet to be a single prosecution for this debilitating crime.

For those unfamiliar with this life-changing ‘procedure’.

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Orthodox Jews Disrupt A Flight (Again)

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Ultra-Orthodox Jews caused ‘absolute bedlam’ on an easyJet flight from Tel Aviv to Luton according to a report from The Daily Mail.

A number of male Orthodox Jews refused to take their seats prior to take off and during the flight – ignoring several instructions from the flight crew as well as causing numerous other disruptions. Why? Because their antiquated belief system will not permit them to take a seat next to a woman.

Of course, coming from the Daily Mail, an amount of incredulity was inevitable. However, this is not the first, or even fifth time something like this has happened.

I reported back in March 2016 about the holocaust survivor, who due to nothing more than her chromosomes was asked to move seats by cabin crew to accommodate the ideological shortcomings of a Jewish man-child.

Planes have suffered severe delays for this exact problem on many other occasions. Over on his website ‘Why Evolution Is True’, the excellent Jerry Coyne has documented many examples of this utter madness. Not to mention the queer case of the Jew in the plastic bag

This particular flight touched down to a warm welcome from Bedfordshire Police. Since easyJet don’t offer flights to 1312 BC, it would be my suggestion that we charge these men, send them back the way they came (if not British citizens) and prevent them from flying again. That is until they are prepared to acknowledge and respect the mere existence of the fairer sex.

On a selfish note, I’m desperate for a similar episode to occur from an Islamic bent so that I may use the headline ‘Sheiks On A Plane’. I’ll keep you updated.

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

Ep#94 – Matt Dillahunty – Free Speech & Violence

It’s a great pleasure to welcome the return of Matt Dillahunty (@Matt_Dillahunty) to The #GSPodcast. We talk about the ethics of punching Nazis, free speech, violent protests at UC Berkeley, Donald Trump, trigger warnings, safe spaces, racism, labels, Milo Yiannopoulos and much, much more!

Also available on iTunes and Stitcher.

Support the podcast at www.patreon.com/gspellchecker

Listeners get a free audiobook and trial with Audible at http://www.audibletrial.com/gs

#GSPodcast Theme by Dorian Silk & The MCH


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