Iran has a conflicting relationship with the internet. On one side, a large portion of the population are online, and even President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had a well-publicized blog in 2006 (though it now seems to be offline). Then there was Iran's internet revolution in 2009, when there were country-wide internet censorship that was countered by use of web proxies. Later that same year, a company affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps purchased a majority share in the nation's telecommunications monopoly. The fact that IRGC was involved with a for-profit company was not news, as IRGC has long been involved in Iran's economy, but their role in communications was more troubling. The latest news causing a stir is a "halal" internet for Iran, "an internet that conforms to Islamic principles, to improve its communication and trade links with the world," according to a quote from head of economic affairs with the Iranian presidency, Ali Aqamohammadi. [more inside]
Calls for a ban on Halal and Kosher slaughtered meat in the UK are being called an attack on religion or necessary to improve the welfare of farm animals... Where to start thinking about this? Take 1: Is there a vast right-wing, um, wait, left-wing, um wait, err, something-wing conspiracy against Muslims right now? Take 2: Is this a case of "colliding waves of political correctness"? Take 3: As a vegetarian (works for me, ain't gonna preach) the notion of killing animals nicer is kind of funny. Why couldn't we just survey the animals as they enter the slaughterhouse? "Slash to throat? Bolt to head? Electrocution? Thank you, drive through." Whichever way you look at the story, it just goes to show you, the world's a complicated place and you can't please anyone.