The Benefit of Long-Form Conversations

Last night, Sam Harris appeared on CNN to talk about his criticism of Islam with anchor Don Lemon:



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Salman Rushdie, in Speech, Assails “New Age of Religious Mayhem”

Novelist Salman Rushdie picked up another major literary award (the PEN Pinter Prize) the other day and minced no words about the Islamist ideology that has literally threatened his life for the last quarter-century.

It’s pretty brave, if you ask me. The death threats are ongoing, and yet Rushdie appears in public and speaks out.

Rushdie voiced his fears that the language of “jihadi-cool” is seducing young British Muslims, many via Twitter and YouTube, into joining the “decapitating barbarianism” of Isil, the group also referred to as Islamic State or Isis. …

Rushdie defined “jihadi-cool” as “the deformed medievalist language of fanaticism, backed up by modern weaponry,” saying: “It’s hard not to conclude that this hate-filled religious rhetoric, pouring from the mouths of ruthless fanatics into the ears of angry young men, has become the most dangerous new weapon in the world today.”



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Mike Huckabee: If the GOP Gives Up Fighting Marriage Equality and Abortion Rights, I’ll Leave the Party

Mike Huckabee has terrible news for Republicans: If they accept the legal reality of marriage equality, the former Arkansas governor and 2008 Republican presidential hopeful will be done with them. Not just a little done, but completely done.

Huckabee was on the American Family Association’s radio broadcast this week discussing the Supreme Court’s decision not to take up the same-sex marriage cases before them — leaving in place lower court rulings that declared those bans unconstitutional — when he made the comments in question:



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China Sentences Two Cult Members to Death After They Fatally Beat a “Possessed” Would-Be Convert

Back in May, five members of a strange Chinese cult called Eastern Lightning — a.k.a. the Church of the Almighty God — walked into a McDonald’s restaurant in Zhaoyuan and harassed one of the customers, trying to recruit her into the cult. When the woman, Wu Shuoyan, declined to hand over her phone number, the five decided that she deserved to die “because she’s a monster, she’s an evil spirit,” explained Zhang Lidong (55), an unemployed pharmaceutical salesman who led the attack.



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If This Iranian-Born Atheist Doesn’t Get Asylum in Scotland, He Could Be Killed Back Home

Ramin Forghani wears a lot of important hats. He’s the Vice Chair of the Scottish Secular Society, founder of the Iranian Atheists Association, and chairman of Ex-Muslims Scotland.

However, the 25-year-old Forghani (below) is only in Scotland temporarily, studying at the University of Strathclyde… and if he’s forced to go back to his home country of Iran after obtaining his masters degree, there’s no telling what will happen to the now-apostate:



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