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Hit for a Six!

Failing the litmus test? A few weeks ago, the Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan put forward a proposal that  GCSE religious studies students should learn about two faiths – this would mean making it mandatory, say on an Islamic faith school, to teach Christianity. According to the Daily Mail, the proposal was a response from…

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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. Catholic theologian banned A female Catholic theologian has been banned by the Archbishop of St Andrews…

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Torture – a shared value?

                    “Kat Craig, legal director of the charity Reprieve, told the Guardian: ‘Yunus Rahmatullah faced 10 years of unlawful detention without charge, trial or explanation. Now that he has finally been reunited with his family, he wants answers. He wants to know why he was subjected…

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Extremists – what us?

“Forget the sobering fact that the western-backed Saudi regime has beheaded dozens in public in recent months, including for ‘sorcery’, or that British troops infamously had themselves photographed with the severed heads of guerrillas during the Malayan war in the 1950s”. Seamas Milne in the Guardian, 18 September 2014. “Every year the American historian William Blum…

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Immigration – Britain cannot do without!

            “Foreign students should be excluded from the government’s target for cutting non-EU immigration, the former Deputy Prime Minister Michael Heseltine has urged.[...] His remarks were supported by Labour’s shadow business secretary, Chuka Umunna. “Government immigration policy and rhetoric has already done immense damage to higher education – one of the…

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Dodgy Padres!

Wobbly church fathers,monks and rabbis! The Churches during the National-Socialist era Charles Marsh’s recent biography on the heroic Pastor Bonhoeffer provides some insights on the less laudable responses of the Churches to the Nazis in 1930s Germany. Christian teachings “could be commandeered in the service of Germany, especially when the German theological establishment prsumed the…

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Terrorism Laws – crows come home to roost?

The misuse of Britain’s hastily conceived anti-terrorism/counter-terrorism laws and security regimes is now affecting society as a whole…  The current British definition of terrorism is so broadly drawn that it could even catch political journalists and bloggers who publish material that the authorities consider dangerous to public safety, said the official counter-terrorism watchdog [David Anderson…

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Gaza: merely a retaliation?

Ilam Pappe was brilliantly incisive in his recent contribution to Electronic Intifada: The present genocidal wave has, like all the previous ones, also a more  immediate background. It has been borne out of an attempt to foil the Palestinian decision to form a unity government that even the United States could not object to [...]…

That Special Relationship

    What is the nature of the special relationship between Britain and the US? “Britain’s special relationship with the US is so special only one side knows it exists” – Helmut Schmidt July 2014   In a remarkably frank articulation of London’s subservience to Washington, William Hague said in response to the Isis advances: ‘We…

Blair – the tired/tiring record

July 2014 One of the attractions for Blair in working with the United Arab Emirates and al-Sisi is apparently that the latter two have turned against the Muslim Brotherhood. Blair is a profound Islamophobe and hates the Muslim religious Right, even though he has been perfectly happy to shill for the Christian religious Right. Al-Sisi…