Unveiled Syrian Facebook post stirs women’s rights debate

The BBC reports that a page supporting women’s rights has suddenly received a wave of attention because of an image posted there by one of its followers. The picture was of 21-year-old Dana Bakdounis, without the veil she had grown up wearing – and it polarised opinion. Dana Bakdounis has been brought up in conservative Saudi … Read more

Religious Freedom vs Secular Freedom – what is the right balance?

As an atheist, there are specific things that have clear simple answers, for example God claims can be dismissed due to the lack of evidence,  attempts by the religious to impose by force their crazy ideas can also be rejected, obnoxious behaviour or abuse motivated by irrational beliefs can and should be denounced, but what … Read more

Is freedom a religious or secular idea?

Paula Kirby has written a fabulous and thought provoking article in Today’s Washington Post. Paula, like myself, is a former Christian, so she can view this from all sides. Here is how it starts …

Is freedom a religious idea? As John McEnroe would have said, “You cannot be serious.”

If you value freedom, you should flee from religion as the antelope flees the lion. Religion is the very antithesis of freedom, insisting on our complete subjugation to the unachievable demands of an invisible but supremely powerful overlord. Think of Islam, whose very name means ‘submission’! Think of Christianity, which claims it is disobedience that brought original sin into the world, with all that entails in terms of suffering and injustice and even earthquakes and tsunamis. Imagine! To claim that human obedience is so imperative that the purposes of an omnipotent deity and the very fabric of the planet, if not the whole universe, depend upon it and can be catastrophically disrupted at the first whiff of rebellion – and then to claim that such a religion is the source of human freedom!

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WikiLeaks: the emperor wears no clothes – Pledge to Fight for freedom

John Pilger, the famous war correspondent, film-maker and author, who has also twice won British journalism’s highest award, that of Journalist of the Year, has published a pledge in today’s UK Guardian. He starts off with … Since Sunday, 28 November, WikiLeaks and five major newspapers from around the world (the Guardian, the New York … Read more