In the wake of the national furor over the arrest of a high schooler over a digital clock, one prominent atheist ponders if this wasn't part of some elaborate plan this whole time. [more inside]
A 14 year old in Dallas builds a digital clock. He takes it to school to show his teacher. The school has him arrested. [more inside]
A profile on Michel Houellebecq. [The Guardian] [Books]
“It’s not my role to be responsible. I don’t feel responsible,” he says. “The role of a novel is to entertain readers, and fear is one of the most entertaining things there is.” To him, the fear in Submission comes in the dark violence at the novel’s start, before the moderate Islamist party comes to power. Was he deliberately playing on a mood of fear in France? “Yes, I plead guilty,” he says. For Houellebecq, the job of a novelist is foremost to hold a mirror up to contemporary society.[more inside]
“When a kid tells you he’s not ‘Charlie’, he’s not saying ‘I’ll kill everybody in two months time’, he’s trying to say something in his own vocabulary, in the space where he is at. We have to stop looking at this with adult eyes”, says Truong.Valeria Costa-Kostritsky looks at the challenges teachers and pupils face in France, a month after the Charlie Hebdo massacre.
Der Spiegel asks if cultural tolerance is coming to an end in Germany as Pegida (“Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the Occident”) keeps growing. 17,500 people gathered in the opera square in Dresden yesterday to protest against immigration and what they perceive as the “Islamisation” of Europe, an increase of 2,500 compared to last Monday—in a state with a Muslim population of less than 1 %. The organisers had planned to sing traditional Christmas carols in the light of the opera house. But the building stayed dark in response, and white flags were hoisted by the management, reading “Open your hearts. Open the doors. Human dignity is inviolable,” the latter a quote from the first paragraph of the German constitution. [more inside]
Actor spouts extreme views about Muslims to gauge reaction of public. In an attempt to test whether Canadians feel safe in the presence of Muslims following the fatal shooting of Corporal Nathan Cirillo by an Islamic extremist last week, director Omar Al-Bach conducted the experiment in Cirillo's home town of Hamilton to see how many people would defend a supposed Muslim from verbal abuse. (link to The Independent)
We Hunted The Mammoth digs deep into the varied worlds of Mens Rights Activism to examine anti-feminism through such lenses as giant harassment machines, pro-life horror movies, MRA automation, Islamophobia, Metafilter's own Scott Adams, and flatulence. Trigger warning: every imaginable type of MRA language. Also, explaining the mammoth thing.
In the fifth round of the NFL Draft, the NY Jets selected a guard/tackle from the University of Virginia. His name is Oday Aboushi. While not a first round pick, Aboushi has garnered a lot of media attention. Why? Oday Aboushi is a Muslim Palestinian. MLB.com's New Media Coordinator Jonathan Mael compared Aboushi to Aaron Hernandez,the former New England Patriots tight end charged with murder. [more inside]
This is why we can't have nice things. Swedish SAP ousts substitute member of the governing board, over issues stemming from his role as chairman of the Swedish Islamic Association. Media outlets are found to have been fast and loose in their reports concerning the member. [more inside]
Glenn Greenwald thinks so. Noted atheist Sam Harris recently made some inflammatory comments about Islam and Muslims in his twitter feed. This is not a new development. Is this a defining characteristic of New Atheism?
Just over five months after the ban came into force, the Guardian reports on the impact of France's so-called burqa ban on niqab-wearing women.
How We Train Our Cops to Fear Islam. There aren’t nearly enough counterterrorism experts to instruct all of America’s police. So we got these guys instead.
Is "Muslim" a derogatory term? An online reputation defense company warns a San Francisco civil rights group that a Google search for their name pulls up a "derogatory comment."
"Israel is our only hope as the post-American president is aiding and abetting a nuclear Iran. Barack Obama is enabling Iran’s Islamic bomb" - Pamela Geller
As the "ground zero mosque" story approaches bipartisan consensus, thanks to unexpected statements by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (joining a growing opposition), several journalists trace the origins of how the Park 51 community center became(warning: CNN) a toxic subject. What they found was Pamela Geller, a blogger at Atlas Shrugs, who has some very interesting vlogs. You may previously know her from this cozy 2006 interview with Bush's infamous anti-UN UN ambassador John Bolton.
Tabloid Watch and Daily Mail Watch (previously) keep a beady eye on what Nick Davies' Flat Earth News calls "churnalism" in British media. So, you can find out if PC Officials Tone Down Punch and Judy, if Councils Install Muslim-only Toilets or if Muslim Bus Drivers Turf Guide Dogs off the Bus.
Shame on him for saying it, and shame on us for tolerating it. In an article in Monday's Guardian, the writer Ronan Bennett argued that the lack of a popular outcry against Martin Amis' remarks about Islam (covered previously) represents a cultural failure that ought to shame us. Yesterday, Christopher Hitchens and Ian McEwan wrote attacking Bennett and defending Amis. Perhaps they ought to have deployed a slideshow.
Advocate or Adumbrate? Martin Amis writes an open letter to Yasmin Alibhai Brown for her suggestion that after reading everyone's favourite last living Marxist Terry Eagleton's comments on this (posted previously), Amis is 'with the beasts' on Muslim-hating. He may have been adumbrating not advocating, but is there another way to describe patronising and smug?
Salman Rushdie defends fellow writer Michel Houellebecq, the autonomy of the literary text and its right to be considered on its own terms with characters of every sort.