What Made Saudi Arabia Panic at the UN Human Rights Council?

[Note: This is an expansion on a previous post, meant to give full context and background to the story for those just learning about this issue.]

The human rights abuses of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are not secrets. A monarchy under Islamic Law, with only rare and arbitrary local elections, and almost total subjugation of women, the West looks on with disapproval, but impotence. They are, infamously, a U.S. “ally,” being a huge source of oil and perceived as a bulwark against Islamic terrorism in an unstable region of the world. We see the oppression, the medieval treatment of half its population, and the astounding opulence of its aristocracy, and we shrug. It’s their culture; what can we do?

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Nigerian Man Held Against Will in Psych Ward Due to His Atheism

Yesterday, the International Humanist and Ethical Union confirmed a rumor that had been floating around for days: Mubarak Bala, a Nigerian atheist, was being held against his will at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital.

What put him in there?

Well, he’s an atheist… and… um… that’s it.

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John Oliver’s Brilliant Segment on Dr. Oz’s Support of “Miracle” Drugs

John Oliver offered a fantastic — and substantive — take on Dr. Oz and his desire to push bullshit “miracle” supplements on Sunday’s episode of Last Week Tonight:

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Saudi Arabia Tries to Shout Down Center for Inquiry at UN Human Rights Council

Yesterday, we got a rare glimpse of how sensitive Saudi Arabia is to its human rights abuses being exposed. At a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council, a representative of my organization, the Center for Inquiry, was repeatedly shouted down by the Saudi representative in an attempt to stop her from delivering our statement condemning its crackdown on free expression and belief, and its persecution of dissidents such as Raif Badawi and Waleed Abu al-Khair.

And lucky for us, there’s video. [Read more…]

Bill Maher: President Obama is “Drop Dead Atheist, Absolutely”

On last night’s Daily Show, comedian Bill Maher said something he’s said on his own show many times before: President Obama is a “drop dead atheist, absolutely.” (You can see the full clip at Mediaite, or on the Daily Show‘s own website, whenever they get around to updating it.)

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