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March 13 2015

surveyork
15:01

A controversial trade deal being negotiated between the European Union and the United States risks an unacceptable “race to the bottom” on environmental standards, MPs have warned.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) could weaken European and UK regulation in areas including genetically modified crops, chemicals in cosmetics and meat treated with growth hormones, as a result of efforts to align standards between the US, where rules are laxer, and the EU.

A report by the parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee also suggested it could make it harder to strengthen rules on issues such as animal welfare or climate change – particularly if the deal allows US companies to sue governments for bringing in new regulations that harm their business.

surveyork
14:58

France has blamed a communication "failure" after EurActiv revealed the existence of a letter instructing French MEPs how to vote on the controversial question of ISDS. Paris tried to rectify the error by sending another confidential letter to MEPs on 4 March. EurActiv France reports.

On 26 February, EurActiv France published the contents of a letter advising French MEPs on the official French position on the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism (ISDS) in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement.

The letter, from the French Secretariat General for European Affairs (SGAE), was relaxed about the question of international arbitration tribunals, contrary to the harder line previously adopted by the government.

March 12 2015

surveyork
22:48


Pay close attention to how reasonable and benevolent Qureshi sounds in the beginning. For the first 10 minutes or so, he comes off as a fine spokesman for a moderate Islam that has been unfairly stigmatized by Western paranoia. However, once he is asked to denounce the most despicable aspects of shari’ah—Can non-Muslims be taken as slaves? Should women be stoned to death for adultery?—the mask suddenly slips. It is an amazing moment, when shameless guile reaches the precipice of religious superstition: Qureshi is clearly afraid to misrepresent his faith, lest he blaspheme and break trust with all the religious maniacs standing at his back. In the end, he can’t even pretend to have values remotely commensurate with our own. All he can muster is the lamest of dodges: “I’m not a theologian.”

[...]

Look again at the dissembling of Qureshi. Listen to all his seemingly sane and balanced talk about the “disenfranchisement” and “unnecessary targeting” of young Muslim men, about “cycles of violence,” and about jihad’s being nothing more than the universal principle of “self-defense.” And then realize that this voice of moderation believes that in a properly constituted caliphate, gays, apostates, blasphemers, and adulterers will be stoned to death, Jews and Christians will be forced to pay a protection tax, and all other non-Muslims will live as slaves.
Theocracy with a Human Face - Asim Quresh of CAGE : Sam Harris

March 11 2015

surveyork
20:48

February 27 2015

surveyork
05:56
UPDATED: Norwegian police raided the offices of the Catholic Church’s diocese in Oslo on Thursday, and charged the diocese, Bishop Bernt Eidsvig and the church’s finance director with serious fraud. The church leaders are suspected of wrongfully claiming as much as NOK 50 million (USD 13 million) in state support by presenting fraudulent membership statistics.

February 05 2015

surveyork
14:09
Play fullscreen
Robert Reich takes on the Trans-Pacific Partnership - YouTube

January 20 2015

surveyork
13:42

There are no women’s rights in Islam; there are no women rights in most Muslim countries. And as there is no freedom of expression in these countries, people have become virtually voiceless.

Child bride in Pakistan.

Yet many people, especially the so-called progressives, seem to find limitless excuses for fundamentalist Islamic atrocities against women. These include beheadings, stonings, domestic violence, honor killings, female genital mutilation, official legal inequality, home confinement, child marriages, and Saudi Arabia’s prohibition against women driving, to name a few.

Statements that come up with “multicultural” excuses to provide cover for the practices of fundamentalist Islam, however, never have, and never will, help to liberate women who suffer under Islamic misogyny, gender apartheid and jihad.

To make a positive change in Muslim countries, we need to be able to speak openly and tell the (too-often criminalized) truth about what Islamic teachings and traditions actually contain. Yet in Muslim countries, it is impossible speak openly about what is in these Islamic teachings and traditions, without putting one’s life at risk.

There is a situation even more frightening. It now seems to be difficult to speak openly about fundamentalist Islam even in Western countries, in part thanks to the dangerous enchantment of Western progressives and feminists who romanticize Islamism.

Women in the Muslim world desperately need the voice of Western progressives and feminists. But when it comes to finding excuses to neutralize critical questions about Islamic violence, Western progressives seem endlessly creative. Known by an increasing number of women as “Excuses for Abuses,” these include:

Criticizing Islam is racist and reveals “intolerance,” “bigotry” and “Islamophobia.”

For the record, Islam is not a race. Moreover, if you discuss the violent and misogynous teachings of Islam, it does not mean that you hate or are intolerant of Muslims, just of violence and misogyny.

The West's Dangerous Enchantment with Islam
Reposted byatanudey atanudey

January 17 2015

surveyork
20:27

There are no Charlie Hebdos in India. Je suis declarations notwithstanding, freedom of expression now seems to be an abstract ideal, a distant dream of our founding fathers.

At around the time that TV was breathlessly covering the 3.7 million people rally in Paris, there was considerably less attention on the protests in India against Tamil writer Perumal Murugan. Poor Murugan might have at the very least merited a stray nod from all those fulminating talking heads. Instead, the writer announced his retirement from writing.

For 25 years Murugan has written poetry, short stories and novels and single-handedly compiled a dictionary of the Kongu dialect. But it was his 2010 novel, Madhurobhagan (One Part Woman), set 100 years ago about a childless couple who attend a religious festival in the author’s hometown of Tiruchengode where women have consensual sex with men other than their husbands in the hope of conceiving, that has earned the ire of the RSS and caste organisations like the Hindu Munnani.

A sustained campaign included posters, a planned bandh and the distribution of selected pages. Murugan and his family were forced to flee town on the advise of the police. And a peace meeting among the author, agitators and district administration ended with an apology by Murugan and an assurance that future editions would excise the name of the town.

Je suis Charlie, hell yes. Je suis Perumal. Anyone?
surveyork
20:01

Every time someone ‘insults the religious sentiments’ of Muslims, ‘freedom of speech’ comes into the spotlight. From Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses to the YouTube video ‘Innocence of Muslims’ fatwas from all over the Muslim World have been slashed on the heads of those who ‘misuse’ their freedom of speech to ‘insult Islam’.

However, when someone implements those very fatwas at the cost of human life, the handful of moderate Muslims defensively bellow that the act has nothing to do with Islam or Muslims. The barefaced deceit gets the backing of the liberal left of the West, that gets extra brownie points for speaking up about the self-inflicted ‘marginalisation of Muslims’, most of whom continue to avoid befriending ‘Jews and Christians’ because their scripture ostensibly prohibits it.

And so when the Charlie Hebdo office was attacked in Paris last week, everything from France’s occupation of Algeria over half a century ago to the economic disparity between Muslims and non-Muslims in the country was touted as the raison d’etre. Fingers have been pointed everywhere except at the awkward truth that the majority of Muslims around the world, and their version of Islam, endorse killing ‘blasphemers’.

January 15 2015

surveyork
19:36

January 07 2015

surveyork
02:57

January 03 2015

surveyork
23:46
surveyork
23:46
surveyork
22:42
Right-wing Hindu groups allied to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party — and whose members are overwhelmingly BJP members — have conducted a series of ceremonies across India over the past week to convert Christians and Muslims to Hinduism.
surveyork
03:25

January 02 2015

surveyork
01:26

If a passenger was being verbally or physically abusive to airline staff, they would immediately be removed from the plane.

If a passenger was flouting the rules for take-off, thereby causing flight delay, they would immediately be removed from the plane.

If a passenger was openly engaging in racial or religious discrimination against another passenger or flight attendant, they would immediately be removed from the plane.

Why then, does El Al Airlines allow gender discrimination against women?  Why does El Al Airlines permit female passengers to be bullied, harassed, and intimidated into switching seats which they rightfully paid for and were assigned to by El Al Airlines? One person's religious rights do not trump another person's civil rights. 

December 22 2014

surveyork
11:02

Priests’ vows of celibacy may have led to paedophilia, the Roman Catholic Church in Australia has said, in what is believed to be the first such admission by Catholic officials worldwide.

A group advising the Australian Church on how to deal with thousands of cases of child sex abuse said celibacy may be psychologically damaging for some priests.

“Obligatory celibacy may also have contributed to abuse in some circumstances,” said a 44-page report from the group, called the Truth, Justice and Healing Council.

surveyork
01:33

The future of special religious instruction in government primary schools is in doubt, with state funding uncertain and new data revealing that fewer than one in six students are enrolled in the program.

The popularity of the weekly 30-minute classes fell dramatically in the past six months – from 92,808 students to 53,361 – a 42 per cent plunge in enrolments in less than a year.

Religious instruction faces massive enrollments drop, funding uncertainty

December 21 2014

surveyork
11:52
Reposted fromtentacle tentacle
surveyork
11:51
Reposted fromqb qb viatentacle tentacle
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