To overcome the awe of guilt we seek refuge in religion, which demands our unconditional subservience to its hegemony. For his faith — genuine or not — man remains prepared to take life The Greek word blasphemia means speaking ill or using impious language. The word has two elements: blas, which has no clear meaning, is perhaps rendered as ‘in a spirit of hurtfulness’, while pheme is ‘utterance’. Prior to the hegemony of monotheistic religions, ‘blasphemy’ had a rare existence, though its echo can be heard as far back as 400 BC in one of the orations of Demosthenes. Among … Continue reading Blasphemers — the first victims of neurosis?
The 10 Habits of Highly Unflabby People So you want to keep an eye on the old waistline, but you hate diets. Join the club. Rather than give you recipes for “yummy” quinoa-kelp granola, we suggest following these simple rules, rituals, and metabolic sleights of hand. You’ll eat better, eat less, and burn calories all day long, even while checking your e-mail BY JEFF VRABEL ILLUSTRATION BY RAMI NIEMI Your Eating Habits 1. Grease your pans with olive-oil cooking spray. This is twenty-nine calories less than a pat of butter. One time, no big deal. But if you cook … Continue reading The 10 Habits of Highly Unflabby People @JeffVrabel
The occasion was an event held to mark International Women’s Day, a couple of days after it is celebrated on March 8 every year. The venue was a public university in Islamabad. The organisers were girl students and women teachers of a department within the university. The audience included mostly students and some teachers, both women and men. The participants, who presented a variety of performances, ranging from songs and poems to speeches and mimes, comprised bold and bright girl students from the university. The event had to conclude with a panel discussion on this year’s theme for … Continue reading Ah! The Muslim woman
Pantomime of the stooges – continueth Ayaz Amir Islamabad diary In box office terms this is already a roaring success, the longest comedy show currently running in the country. Three of the four characters tasked by the government to grapple with the Taliban and bring them round to the ways of peace stand retired, replaced by three performers whose names most people would not have heard of and who, I am fairly certain, would not be taken by the Lucky Irani Circus were they to apply there for an opening. These are the new Talleyrands, along with friend … Continue reading Dancing With Mullahs – Pakistan.
Palestinian poet’s work removed from Saudi book fair Youths from the religious police complained that Mahmoud Darwish’s work was blasphemous Works by the celebrated Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish have been withdrawn from the Riyadh International Book Fair amid allegations that they contain blasphemous passages, a Saudi news site reported. The publications administration at the book fair, one of the biggest of its kind in the Arab world, ordered the removal of all books containing Darwish’s work after youths from the religious police complained about the content of the books. A verbal confrontation broke out between the youths and a stall … Continue reading Mahmoud Darwish Attacked By Saudi Salafist Police!
The CII ruling is wrong Imran Ahsan Nyazee The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has issued a ruling to the effect that a restriction placed on the unfettered Islamic right of a husband to take a second (or third or fourth) wife without seeking permission of the existing wife is wrong, and should be removed. The issue runs much deeper than a mere seeking of permission from the first wife. It involves the methodology of the CII in interpreting the texts of the Quran and the Sunnah. Theoretically, the CII should be following the Hanafi system of interpretation, which … Continue reading The Mullahs of Pakistan are WRONG!
By Jim Lobe WASHINGTON – A familiar clutch of hawks have taken wing over the rapidly developing crisis in Ukraine, as neo-conservatives and other interventionists claim that President Barack Obama’s preference for diplomacy over military action invited Russian aggression. At stake in the current crisis, according to these right-wing critics, are not only Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, but also Washington’s “credibility” as a global superpower and the perpetuation by the US and its Western allies of the post-Cold War international order. Some right-wing commentators, such as Michael Auslin of the neo-conservative American Enterprise Institute, which played a major role in drumming … Continue reading US hawks take flight over Ukraine
Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is a neologism for a perceptual phenomenon characterized as a distinct, pleasurable tingling sensation in the head, scalp, back, or peripheral regions of the body in response to visual, auditory, olfactory, and/or cognitive stimuli. The nature and classification of the ASMR phenomenon is controversial. Tom Stafford, a professor at the University of Sheffield, says, “It might well be a real thing, but it’s inherently difficult to research.” Origins of the term in popular culture Online discussions by groups such as the Society of Sensationalists formed in 2008 on Yahoo! and The Unnamed Feeling blog created in 2010 by Andrew MacMuiris aimed to provide a community for … Continue reading Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response
The New Fascism: Terms and Conditions Let’s talk about those pesky terms and conditions. Last month, I had a chance to talk with John McAfee, the founder of the popular McAfee computer security programs. We talked about how people usually don’t read the terms and conditions of the smartphone applications that they download onto their phones. But McAfee did read the terms and conditions of the Bank of America smartphone application, and what he saw was pretty shocking. McAfee told me that, by agreeing to the terms and conditions for the Bank of America application, “You give the Bank of America … Continue reading Militant Corporate Fascism!
Labour – deserves better? Ed Miliband seriously needs to start thinking out of the box – in fact he needs to throw away the box! That if he is serious about the leadership of the UK let alone New Labour. What has Ed done to make his party representative of the people of the United Kingdom as he promised in his last conference speech? Take the example of Birmingham: Near 50% of the people and 80% of the Labour Party ‘ground troops’ are what Labour regards as ‘Black and Ethnic’ minority – then you look at the larger picture in … Continue reading Britain deserves better?