Tag Archives: Islam

Islamic Terrorism in Paris and Charlie Chaplin’s Hitler Ballet

It occurs to me this evening that Charlie Chaplin’s classic globe dance, as a means of trying to enter and represent visually the psyche of Hitler, is curiously apropos to the why question surrounding Paris tonight. The idea of violently … Continue reading

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Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Increasingly Repudiates Nonviolence

The Muslim Brotherhood is every bit as dangerous for Egypt as the Nazis were for Germany. And recall that Egypt, like Germany in the 1930s, has a vulnerable minority, readily susceptible to terrorist violence (in Egypt’s case, Coptic Christians make … Continue reading

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What’s Good About Monotheism, Again? What Part Of It Is Worth Treasuring And Rooting For? And Why, Exactly, Is God Always Gendered Male?

Robbed, killed, raped, enslaved–all in the name of God. Ain’t monotheism grand? Is This the End of Christianity in the Middle East? ISIS and other extremist movements across the region are enslaving, killing and uprooting Christians, with no aid in … Continue reading

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Saturday Night Live: Is This A Representation Of The Prophet Muhammad–Or Not?

After Charlie Hebdo and Pamela Geller, Prophet Muhammad drawing is amusingly dealt with below by Saturday Night Live. In a picture drawing game, what could a blank canvas be inferred to be–but the Prophet Muhammad himself? So was the Prophet … Continue reading

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Soft on Islam?

Andrew Sullivan notes an irony in the Islam debate: It’s a little amazing to me to watch some liberals who get extremely upset at religious people refusing to bake a cake for someone else’s wedding on religious grounds, suddenly seeing … Continue reading

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Woman Stoned in Nuclear Pakistan

Stoned to death. In the 21st century. And she was three months pregnant. And Pakistan has about 100 nuclear weapons. Think about that. What if fanatic, populist, fundamentalist Muslims of the sort that stoned this woman for “family honor” attain … Continue reading

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Alan Sokal on Faith

Physicist Alan Sokal, the famed skewer of postmodernism, in an article at Massimo Pigliucci’s Scientia Salon, gives faith a well deserved towel snap: “Faith” is not in fact a rejection of reason, but simply a lazy acceptance of bad reasons. “Faith” … Continue reading

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John Stuart Mill on the “Omnipotent Author of Hell” (God)

For John Stuart Mill (1806-1873), a good reason to reject Christianity and Islam is hell belief, and in his Autobiography he recalls his father’s strong views on the matter: [H]is aversion to religion, in the sense usually attached to the term, … Continue reading

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Penguin Withdraws and Destroys Scholarly Work on Hinduism

A pretty disturbing incident of censorship is taking place right now in India. A retired school teacher has been campaigning for the banning of a book, and Penguin is relenting, pulping its remaining copies. You can read the whole sorry … Continue reading

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The Religion Tree: A Poem

THE RELIGION TREE I. The leaf doesn’t fall far from the tree, and we are all leaves on the same tree, and will take our leave from there. II. The yellow leaf signals fall, the green leaf, pride before the fall. … Continue reading

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What Apologetics Really Is

In psychology, you can change your attitude or you can change your behavior, and it’s always easier to change an attitude than it is to change a behavior. That’s apologetics; what it is really. Apologetics gives the doubting believer heavily … Continue reading

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The Muslim Brotherhood and Religious Fascism

This is being reported by the AP today: Mustafa Hegazy, a political adviser to interim President Adly Mansour, told a press conference Saturday that […] Egyptians took to the streets on June 30 – the day that led to Morsi’s ouster … Continue reading

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Hell Belief

Three problems with it: Hell belief is authoritarian. If it is true that most people go to hell, and it is eternal torture over flames to be there, then the only way to save yourself from such a ridiculous fate … Continue reading

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Social Butterfly Becomes a Submissive and Hijab Draped Caterpillar

The Protean nature of the self (that is, the water-shifting nature of the self, from the ancient Greek sea god Proteus) is on disturbing display in Katherine Russell, the widow of Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Here’s The New York … Continue reading

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Which Religion is Best? The Admirable Superhero Criterion

There are five major world religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. They can be judged by any number of criteria. Which one has the most admirable superhero? There are certainly compelling characters in four of the five: Jesus is awesome … Continue reading

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Jihad in Boston

A razor sharp bit of analysis from Rafia Zakaria, a Pakistani columnist in Pakistan, on why the Boston Marathon bombing grips the world’s attention even as the death count is low: As a weekly columnist for the Pakistani newspaper Dawn, I’ve … Continue reading

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Is Nietzsche Important To The Atheist-Theist Debate? And What About Socrates?

I agree that Nietzsche is important to the atheist-theist debate and that contemporary “new atheists” tend to ignore him, but it should be remembered that Nietzsche never made any direct case against theist arguments, but instead went straight to the … Continue reading

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The Living Statue of Liberty vs. the Old Junos (and Jesus on the Cross)

Robert Wright has recently given up blogging at The Atlantic to write a book about Buddhism. His parting admonitions on foreign policy include these two sensible gems: [1] The world’s biggest single problem is the failure of people or groups to look … Continue reading

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Egypt without Jews, Christians, and Pyramids?

Jews have been a part of Egypt and its history for over three thousand years, but Islamic fundamentalism’s steady rise in the country has absurdly driven their numbers literally into the dozens. A new documentary, made by an Egyptian and … Continue reading

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Pushback against Biblical Literalism Directed at Homosexuals

John Corvino provides some pushback to biblical literalists on the subject of homosexuality: __________ And Marc Ambinder recently wrote a moving reflection on how difficult it still is for young gay teens: Since moving to Los Angeles, I’ve met a lot … Continue reading

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