Gay Rights and Persecution Around the World

Johann Hari celebrates the remarkable progress for gay rights, achieved through peaceful democratic pressure around the world in the 40 years since Stonewall.  But then he highlights some of the places where being gay means being murdered: Jamaica is Taliban Afghanistan for gay people. If caught, gays and lesbians face ten years’ hard labour – [Read More...]

Muslim Mayor Ahmed Marcouch Vs. Homophobia

He’s the mayor of a conservative (mostly Muslim) suburb of Amsterdam: Ahmed Marcouch, 41, is on a self-appointed mission to end homophobia in Slotervaart, just a stones’ throw from the capital but light-years away from its anything-goes mentality. To make his point, Mayor Marcouch recently invited Amsterdam’s annual Gay Pride parade to pass through his [Read More...]

Moral Integration, or the Pros and Cons of Moral Absolutism and Ethical Pluralism

Aaron writes this wonderfully thought provoking reply to my post about moral motivation apart from reference to God: I had an argument a few years back with someone over this. She thought I’d go to hell for not believing in Jesus, even thought she thought I was a great person. I found that troubling. It [Read More...]

A Muslim Woman Against the Burqa

From Feministing, worth reading in full: But then the argument goes: surely for the women who choose to wear the burqa, the garment is a choice not a tool for suppression. This argument obscures the fact that there is a pervasive, sexist propaganda in many Muslim communities in favor of the burqa. Many women are [Read More...]

Teenagers’ Limbs Cut Off For Stealing

as a crowd of 300 men, women, and children watched: Somalia’s capital Mogadishu was witness, Thursday, to the public amputation of the left leg and right hand from each of four thieves.  They were all teenagers, about seventeen years old. The thieves, were convicted of stealing some mobile phones and two guns by a Whahbist [Read More...]

Playing Sarkozy’s Advocate

Njustus has kindly accepted my gauntlet to readers to offer on the possibility of the French government outlawing women from publicly wearing burqas.  And his reply is a good one: From a Lockean ’social contract’ perspective, I believe the state should have the power to regulate the wearing of burqas if it can offer a [Read More...]

France Considers Banning Burqas in Public and I Consider Haidt on Pluralism

France, which has already banned headscarves in schools, purportedly as an effort to separate church and state, is now considering banning the burqa in public since it represents servitude and indignity for women (according to Sarkozy).  Click here for the full story and links to perspectives on the option. Would the effects of this be [Read More...]

Happy 80th Birthday Jürgen Habermas!

Jürgen Habermas, whose powerful account of deliberative democracy every one should study at some point, turns 80 today.  Here are some remarks they got from him about current events: ‘Politics ridicules itself if it moralizes, instead of basing itself on the coercive right of the democratic lawmaker” ‘In most countries of the continent there are [Read More...]


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