The IHEU is today releasing a report on discrimination against non-religious people, with examples drawn from all over the world. It makes for interesting reading, because in addition to all the cases that get widespread media attention, the problem of discrimination against the non-religious is perhaps a larger one than many people realise. The report… Continue reading IHEU report on social media and discrimination against the non-religious
In June this year, a court in the German city of Cologne heard a case involving a four-year-old child from a Muslim family who was admitted to hospital with bleeding following a circumcision. The doctor who performed the circumcision did so at the request of the boy’s parents, and was acquitted of the charge of… Continue reading The German circumcision ruling
Take a vast chasm, a tightrope, pea-soup mists and swirling, vicious gusts of wind – then a person steps onto that rope, destination unseen. Such are the ingredients for the kind of ‘recipe for disaster’ if a country embarks on creating charter upon charter of special privileges for one or more interest groups – no… Continue reading Staring into the abyss of special privileges
It appears that not only South African schools are willing to ignore the National Policy on Religion and Education (pdf). As previously observed, certain schools routinely violate the requirement that religious instruction needs to focus on religion in general – allowing for freedom of belief by not requiring that students are exposed to only one religion,… Continue reading Religion at South African universities
Prominent spokespersons for divisive views can make their arguments in more or less divisive ways. And while we shouldn’t confuse whatever offence is caused by antagonistic expressions of a viewpoint with the legitimacy of that viewpoint, we also shouldn’t ignore the fact that persuasion becomes more difficult when your audience is pissed off. Read more at Synapses.
André Gide remarked that “everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again”. So it is with the recent article by Mandy de Waal, who took Sam Harris (and the ‘new atheists’ in general) to task for ‘hate speech’, ‘bigotry’ and encouraging so-called Islamophobia. It’s… Continue reading Sam Harris, ‘new atheism’ and alleged Islamophobia
Of course it is unfortunate, and prejudiced, for many commentators to have assumed that Breivik was a Muslim – and for those who assumed this, the bias is clear in how they concocted quite torturous narratives to explain why a Muslim would target kids at a Labour Party camp. It made little sense that he… Continue reading Breivik, terror and Islamophibia
Why do newspapers continue to publish astrological readings, and why are we not more concerned by the fact that so many people find it plausible that holograms can aid your balance?
Despite the stated commitment of Awka Ibom State Governor Goodswill Akpabio to rooting out the exploitation of children for the Pentecostal witch industry, people like Leo – who are allies in that cause – are frequently arrested and subjected to other rights violations.
The South African Charter of Religious Rights and Freedoms should be of concern to all who are committed to South Africa’s Constitutional values, particularly those endorsing and defending freedom of speech.