Butterflies and Wheels weekly update

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Ophelia Benson

Jan 24, 2012, 8:19:22 PM1/24/12
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Hello. It's been a busy week - lots of enthusiastic stomping on free expression and lots of bullying of secularist teenagers and infidel writers.

New in "Latest News"

Top Muslim Brotherhood woman on women’s rights
“When a woman marches to defend her rights, this affronts her dignity.”
Filed: January 16, 2012

The Guardian is defending sharia again
It’s disturbing that ‘leading’ barristers and newspapers can say Sharia is compatible with human rights whilst it amputates, stones to death, imposes veiling, and kills apostates.
Filed: January 16, 2012

BBC on growing use of Sharia by UK Muslims

IKWRO is campaigning to bring an end to the practice. "The councils are dominated by men, who are making judgements in favour of men,'' said Diana Nammi.
Filed: January 16, 2012

“Angry Brides” game targets Indian dowry demands
The parody of "Angry Birds" throws a spotlight on dowry demands and harassment.
Filed: January 16, 2012

U of London: meeting on sharia disrupted by threats
One Islamist filmed everyone at the meeting and announced he would hunt down those who said anything negative about Islam’s prophet.
Filed: January 17, 2012

New Humanist on disruption of sharia talk at U of London
"He shouted ‘listen up all of you, I am recording this, I have your faces on film now, and I know where some of you live'."
Filed: January 17, 2012

Rhys Morgan threatened over Jesus and Mo
His sixth form college is considering expelling him if he doesn't remove the cartoon from his profile.
Filed: January 17, 2012

Freedom of expression under threat by violent extremists
Ann Marie Waters asks, is it the role of speakers and students to face off against potentially violent Islamists in defence of our free speech?
Filed: January 17, 2012

How defamation law can be used to chill legitimate debate
Criticising the motivations of public figures, or calling on them to be more candid about their motivations, should not be actionable.
Filed: January 17, 2012

Paula Kirby on the pile-up of censorship efforts
It is no longer just the religious who would inhibit our freedom of expression: increasingly, secular bodies are buying into this invidious idea too, all in the name of 'tolerance' or 'community relations' or 'respect'.
Filed: January 17, 2012

Independent reports disruption of meeting at Queen Mary
Enquiries by Tower Hamlets police are ongoing.
Filed: January 18, 2012

Rhode Island state senator sneers at Jessica Ahlquist
Senator Beth Moura tweets: "Look at ACLU sweetheart's Twitter acct and rhetoric of her followers. Not good."
Filed: January 18, 2012

Paula Kirby on how atheists find meaning in life

Do we really need a deity to tell us that a life spent curing cancer is more worthwhile than one spent drinking in the gutter?

Filed: January 18, 2012

Bangladesh: teacher arrested over Taslima Nasreen novel
Yunus Ali, the Head Teacher of KC Technical and Business Management College of Pirojpur, was arrested for having allegedly kept a copy of “Lajja” (“Shame”) in the college library.
Filed: January 18, 2012

President of UCL ASH society resigns

Adam Walker of Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association: "There is no need to print these things other than to cause offence and history has told us that these things cause offence."
Filed: January 19, 2012

Quackometer on Burzynski in court
According to the Courthouse News Service, an elderly cancer patient is suing Burzynski for allegedly "bilking her of nearly $100,000″.
Filed: January 19, 2012

Cranston florists refuse to deliver roses to Jessica Ahlquist
That's telling her!
Filed: January 19, 2012

Muslim feminists targeted by Islamists
They face a backlash in the form of persecution, intimidation and death threats.
Filed: January 19, 2012

For God so loved the 1%
Complaints about economic inequality are inconsistent with the concept of “one nation under God,” but only because the “1%” of an earlier era intended it that way.
Filed: January 19, 2012

Rushdie’s absence from Jaipur festival “a stain on India”

Rushdie's staying away from Jaipur sets a dreadful precedent for its artists who are deemed by religious groups to be producing "blasphemous" material.
Filed: January 20, 2012

London: “blasphemy” event January 28
Kenan Malik, Austin Dacey, Andrew Copson, Jacob Mchangma, Maryam Namazie speaking informatively and provocatively on this controversial topic.
Filed: January 20, 2012

Atheism is illegal in Indonesia

An Indonesian man who said that God did not exist in a posting on a Facebook page for atheists was attacked by a mob, could face jail and loss of his job.
Filed: January 20, 2012

Malawi: women assaulted and stripped for wearing trousers

Hundreds of people have protested in Blantyre including Vice-President Joyce Banda, the gender minister, several MPs, church leaders, university lecturers and activists.
Filed: January 20, 2012

Nigerian reporter murdered while covering bombings
Enenche Akogwu, 31, was shot by unidentified gunmen as he attempted to interview witnesses of a deadly terrorist attack in Kano.
Filed: January 20, 2012

Guardian on Rushdie not in Jaipur
A cleric's description of Rushdie as having "hurt the sentiments of Muslims all over the world" was widely reported in India, and prompted calls for Rushdie to be denied a visa.
Filed: January 20, 2012

Praveen Swami on Salman Rushdie and India’s new theocracy
Rushdie's censoring-out from the ongoing literary festival in Jaipur will be remembered as a milestone that marked the slow motion disintegration of India's secular state.
Filed: January 21, 2012

Church in Spain goes for the crazy
Bishop of Córdoba: "Cardinal Antonelli told me a few days ago in Zaragoza that UNESCO has a program for the next 20 years to make half the world population homosexual."
Filed: January 21, 2012

Nigeria: bombs kill at least 120 in Kano

Boko Haram said they carried out the attacks. A BBC reporter in Kano said he had counted 150 bodies in the mortuary of the city's main hospital.
Filed: January 21, 2012

Egypt: Islamist parties win

The overall results mean that Islamist parties control around two-thirds of the seats in the assembly.
Filed: January 21, 2012

David Remnick on a writer under threat again
The festival is an astonishingly diverse and gaudy affair, with five enormous venues centered around the Diggi Palace, smack in the middle of Jaipur’s Pink City.
Filed: January 21, 2012

‘Rajasthan police invented plot to keep away Rushdie’
Local cops made up a story that hit men were planning to kill Rushdie in a plot to deter him from attending the Jaipur Literature Festival, police sources have told The Hindu.
Filed: January 21, 2012

Telegraph obit of Frank Cioffi
Later critics of Freud such as Frederick Crews, Allen Esterson and Malcolm Macmillan always acknowledged their debt to Cioffi, and Freud’s frequent departures from truthfulness are now conceded by even ardent admirers.
Filed: January 21, 2012

Joan Smith on a dreadful week for free speech
Why hasn't there been a furore about all these incidents? Why aren't MPs and ministers insisting on the vital role of free speech?
Filed: January 22, 2012

Nick Cohen on how freedom goes
The people the liberal mainstream lets down are liberal Muslims and ex-Muslims who need help in their fight against theocratic oppression.
Filed: January 22, 2012

More on arrest of Indonesian atheist
Official said that he had yet to decide whether Alexander would be dismissed from his post. “I told him that there was no place in this country for his beliefs,” he said.
Filed: January 23, 2012

Karen Armstrong says how great Islam is
"The ancient rituals of the hajj...have helped pilgrims to form habits of heart and mind that – pace the western stereotype – are non-violent and inclusive."
Filed: January 23, 2012

Skeptic lawyer on the two sorts of limits to law
The first concerns what one ought to do (with law). The second concerns what it is possible to do (with law). Principled v means-end.
Filed: January 23, 2012

Nigeria: police find bomb-filled cars in Kano
Police said they found cars and vans filled with explosives in Kano three days after Boko Haram carried out a deadly attack there.
Filed: January 23, 2012

LSE Students’ Union issues statement on ASH
"The offensive nature of the content on the Facebook page is not in accordance with our values of tolerance, diversity, and respect for all students."
Filed: January 23, 2012

New in "Articles"

My Visit to Australia
By Leo Igwe
What started as an invitation to deliver a lecture gradually ‘evolved’ to become a grand tour that would take me to all states in Australia.
Filed: January 20, 2012

New in "Notes and Comment Blog"

That's it! This week is shaping up to be no less busy. You'll hear about it next week.

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