September 26, 2008

Emily Mapfuwa, the Christian who was so offended by a statue of Jesus with a penis that she decided to take the art gallery to court, never actually visited the exhibition in which it was displayed, a local radio station has confirmed. Mapfuwa’s lawyer, Michael Phillips of the Christian Legal Centre, was interviewed on BBC Radio Essex, where he was asked the question, “Did Emily actually visit the exhibition?” He replied, Er, no. She didn’t. While we should not be… Read more

September 25, 2008

The news that a Catholic high school in Prestwich is refusing to allow its girls to be vaccinated against cervical cancer is all over the mainstream media, so it is unlikely to be news to Freethinker readers. But the extraordinary thing about this case is not the fact that members of the governing board of Saint Monica’s Roman Catholic High School appear to be putting their own moral/sexual squeamishness above the health of the girls in their charge. It is… Read more

September 24, 2008

…the Diocese of London runs a special day-long seminar for the clergy entitled, “Beyond The God Delusion: Theological resources for a sceptical age” (.rtf download). According to Ecumenical News International, a certain atheistic best-seller by a certain Oxford professor has got the Anglican clergy in such a tizzy that emergency measures are being taken: The Anglican bishop of London, Richard Chartres, is to host a study day at St Paul’s Cathedral in the British capital to help clergy counter the… Read more

September 23, 2008

For decades the Organisation of the Islamic Conference has been trying to undermine international human rights via the UN’s Human Rights Council. The concept of “Islamic Human Rights”, as presented in the Cairo Declaration, has been continually pushed forward as being “complementary” to the International Declaration of Human Rights. But, in fact, it severely limits freedom of expression and equality by putting universal rights through the mincer of sharia law. Now, sixty years on from the original Declaration, the UN… Read more

September 22, 2008

Three times a year thousands gather to watch as a glass phial containing the dried “blood” of Saint Januarius is removed from its locked vault, given a discreet shake, and held in the vicinity of his corpse where it “miraculously” liquefies. It happened again on Saturday 19th, according Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, archbishop of Naples, who announced the miracle to the credulous crowd. They set off fireworks and fired a 21-gun salute in celebration. According to the legend, when Januarius was… Read more

September 20, 2008

The Center For Inquiry is a global institution dedicated to the promotion of science and reason. Yesterday they released a star-studded promotional video. It is rather good: Nothing to disagree with there! Read more

September 19, 2008

It always came on when he was in the shower. As it was too dangerous to leap out of a slippery tub and switch stations for a few minutes, he tried sticking his soapy fingers in his ears and singing “LALA! LALA! LA!’ at the top of his voice. But that didn’t work either. Eventually, Peter Hearty, a university research assistant and life member of the National Secular Society, found himself actually listening to Thought for the Day, and the… Read more

September 17, 2008

The Asian Human Rights Commission has released an urgent appeal after a popular Pakistani TV presenter called for followers of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community to be killed. Within days of the broadcast on September 7th, two eminent Ahmadi leaders were murdered. Aalim Online is a popular religious affairs program put out by Geo TV. It is available all over the world, including the UK, Canada and the USA. During this particular show, the presenter Aamir Liaqat Hussain (former Federal Minister… Read more

September 16, 2008

Last month we carried the story of loopy Saudi cleric Muhammad Al-Munajid condemning all the naked female flesh on display at the “bikini” Olympics. Well, he’s at it again, only this time the target of his righteous wrath is somewhat smaller: the common mouse. Apparently it is “one of Satan’s soldiers”. Speaking on a religious affairs programme broadcast on al-Majd TV, Sheikh “Mickey” Munajid said: The Shari’a refers to the mouse as “little corrupter,” and says it is permissible to… Read more

September 16, 2008

FOR those of us who think that the Koran itself is one almighty blunder, there’s deep irony in the news that two people have been given lengthy jail sentences in Afghanistan for publishing a translation of the Muslim murder manual “containing errors”. The translation of the Koran into the Dari language by former journalist Ahmed Ghous Zalmai led to his arrest last November after clerics and parliamentarians went into full outrage mode. They claimed the translation contained errors and misunderstandings… Read more

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