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A reflective Churchman

The ever-reflective former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams responded as follows to a question on Darwin and the conundrum of human evolution put to him by Nick Spencer of the Christian think tank Theos, One of your key points is that human beings “live in an environment where intelligible communication is ubiquitous – where there is…

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A Personal Impression: Celebrating a special people

The Palestine Book Awards ceremony in London on Friday, 18th November, required the judges panel to select from 40 titles – when this annual event commenced five years ago, there were only a handful to consider. The increase is testimony to both the determination of a growing number of writers to make Palestine a centre…

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The Slip Up

The OIC Secretary General has fallen on his sword for his slip up when calling on the Tunisian President  Beji Caid Essebsi to the podium at a recent conference:  “Mr President Beji Caid al-Sisi. Essebsi. Sorry. This is a big mistake.” However Iyad Madani then tried some humour: I’m sure your fridge has more than water, Your…

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Lessons from Egypt

El-Baradei’s statement about events in July/August 2013 middleeastmonitor.com reports, November 2016, ‘. . . The armed forces called on the representatives of all the political forces to come to a meeting on the afternoon of 3 July 2013. It was believed that this was aimed at discussing the explosive situation on the ground in response…

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Fun and Faction

Fly on the wall – some Fun and Faction Downing Street ,Thursday 20 October, 8 a.m. Prime Minister’s breakfast meeting with her PPS. PM: Patch me to Parker. Now. PPS sets up secure line to Thames House: PM for the DG. Now. PM: Parker, have you seen today’s Guardian? Parker:  PM, I read the Telegraph…

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Fly on the wall

French hypocrisy So is the French state really neutral about religion? Not from President Francois Hollande’s latest statement (11th October 2016, reported in lexpress.fr). “Ce n’est pas l’islam qui pose un problème dans le sens où ce serait une religion qui serait dangereuse en elle-même, mais parce qu’elle veut s’affirmer comme une religion dans la République.”…

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Archives’ sorry tales

An unhappy catalogue of lost (or concealed) archives…. Ian Jack in The Guardian, ‘. . . When Britain quit India in 1947, a colonial official noted that “the press greatly enjoyed themselves with the pall of smoke which hung over Delhi with the mass destruction of documents”. By the time of Malayan independence in 1957, the…

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Torture – a shared value?

                  Spencer  Ackerman in the Guardian, 11 September 2016, ‘Bush was, for the first time, acknowledging the existence of the program that Senate intelligence committee staff investigator Daniel Jones would later expose as taking power drills to the heads of captured men; making them stand with their…

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Censorship is OK for some!

So there are limits to freedom of expression after all! But not if it applies to Muslims. If Muslims protest, then it becomes a battle to preserve artistic freedoms and the rights of expression, regardless of the insult caused. However, censorship is widespread… UK Self-censorship at the Catholic Herald, reported by Roy Greenslade in the…

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The Honey Traps

Martin Evans and Ben Farmer in the Daily Telegraph, ‘. . . [Anjem] Choudary was eventually prosecuted after swearing an oath of allegiance to Isil and posting YouTube videos in which he praised the murderous group. But there have been questions about why it took the authorities so long to prosecute Choudary, with some suggesting the…