A Sickening Act of Violence Has Struck Us Today

An act of sickening violence has occurred. Let’s keep our hearts with the victims and our minds vigilantly on the look out for ways we can proactively help them. And let’s especially remember not to be hasty about posting unsubstantiated rumors and accusations and speculations about who is behind this or about the full nature of what has happened today, whether ideologically or factually. Fear mongering, hate mongering, warmongering, and conspiracy-mongering all begin with rumormongering. So, let’s hold our bars for evidence and for justice as high as they should always be and focus on our compassion for all innocent people, including those who others might treat with guilt by association. [Read more...]

Arrested For A Mean Tweet?

If this is all the relevant information, this English arrest seems unjust to me: After coming fourth in the men’s synchronised 10m platform diving event on Monday, the 18-year-old from Plymouth received a message telling him he had let down his father, Rob. Rob Daley died in May 2011 from brain cancer. A 17-year-old boy [Read More...]

Is Religious Circumcision of Male Infants Morally Defensible?

Last month a court in Cologne, Germany ruled against allowing the circumcision of children too young to give consent. CBS News summarized the facts: a German court ruled that circumcision infringes on a child’s right to be protected from bodily harm. The regional court in Cologne said that circumcision went against the “fundamental right of [Read More...]

Vatican Loses Part of its Tax Exempt Status in Italy

The financial crisis in Italy has made indulging religious economic privilege intolerable.  130,000 people signed a petition as part of making this happen: Prime Minister Mario Monti has announced the Vatican must pay taxes on non-religious property, from which it previously enjoyed an exemption. The annual cost could be up to 720m euros ($945m; £598m) according [Read More...]

Ayaan Hirsi Ali Warns of "Rising Genocide" Due to "Christophobia" in Muslim World

Ayaan Hirsi Al’s case is alarming: We hear so often about Muslims as victims of abuse in the West and combatants in the Arab Spring’s fight against tyranny. But, in fact, a wholly different kind of war is underway—an unrecognized battle costing thousands of lives. Christians are being killed in the Islamic world because of their religion. It is a [Read More...]

Now A Muslim Extremist Terrorizes The Audience, Not Just The Speaker

The New Humanist recounts a chilling, appalling, infuriating story: Yesterday evening, a talk on “Sharia Law and Human Rights” organised by the Atheism, Secularism and Humanism Society at Queen Mary, University London, had to be cancelled after threats of violence. The talk was due to be given by Anne Marie Waters of the One Law [Read More...]

The State of the Arab World

Fareed Zakaria’s depressing summation of the findings of the United Nation’s Arab Development Report, which he considers to be “the most important book of the last decade”: To what extent can we blame modern Islam for all of this? To what extent neo-colonialism? To what extent something else? I am inclined to say that the [Read More...]

What A "War on Terror" Should Mean vs. What it Has Meant

Princeton’s emeritus philosophy professor Michael Walzer is co-editor of Dissent. He is not a George W. Bush yes-man. But he thinks that “war on terror” is a legitimate concept even as many leftish thinkers oppose it as a confusion. People argue that terrorism is a tactic, not a specific enemy you can target. In “Terrorism [Read More...]

Norwegian Imam Argues For Beheading Students Who Don’t Fast For Ramadan

Your Thoughts? [Read more...]


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