The Shame and the Disgrace of the Pro-Islamist Left

Dec 15, 2015

by Jamie Palmer

By supporting fundamentalists, the Left simply chooses one camp in a political struggle without acknowledging it.

Maryam Namazie, a trenchant campaigner against religious fundamentalism, made this observation last week during a fraught lecture at Goldsmiths, University of London. It would turn out to be pertinent.

Namazie’s appearance at Goldsmiths was causing trouble before the event had even begun. The day before the event, the university’s Islamic Society (ISOC) let it be known that they considered Namazie to be a “renowned Islamophobe” whose presence on campus would cause ISOC members to feel “extremely uncomfortable”, and constitute a violation of their “safe space”. Such a reaction was tiresome but unsurprising. Goldsmiths’ ISOC is, after all, an Islamist-led organization, dominated by people who hold precisely the kind of beliefs Namazie spends her days attacking.

When expressions of Islamist self-pity failed to get her disinvited, ISOC members resorted to childish disruption of the talk itself, giggling, talking, heckling, and interfering with her power-point as she tried to speak. The video of the event (which can be seen here) makes for a depressing watch.

But what followed was more depressing still, and offered an instructive example of the moral collapse of the activist Left to which Namazie had referred in her lecture. “Solidarity,” she had warned…

…has become increasingly defined, not in political terms, as collective action in pursuit of certain political ideals, but in terms of ethnicity or culture. And since those in power [within Muslim communities] determine the dominant culture, many student unions – those on the Left, and even feminists – side with Islamism at our expense.

And so it was that when ISOC misrepresented the event as an unhappy tale of marginalization and Islamophobia, both the Goldsmiths Feminist Society and the LGBTQ+ Society quickly released statements pledging their support and solidarity with ISOC.

“We support them,” FemSoc soberly declared:

…in condemning the actions of the Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society and agree that hosting known islamophobes at our university creates a climate of hatred. 

Two days later, the LGBTQ+ Society came up with this:

We condemn AHS and online supporters for their islamophobic remarks, attitudes, and harassment. If they feel intimidated, we urge them to look at the underpinnings of their ideology. We find that personal and social harm enacted in the name of ‘free speech’ is foul, and detrimental to the wellbeing of students and staff on campus.

In a positively craven gesture, the Goldsmiths Student Union has since written to Namazie requesting that the recording of the event be removed from youtube. (She refused.)


Read more by clicking on the name of the source below.

 

90 comments on “The Shame and the Disgrace of the Pro-Islamist Left

  • @OP – And so it was that when ISOC misrepresented the event as an unhappy tale of marginalization and Islamophobia, both the Goldsmiths Feminist Society and the LGBTQ+ Society quickly released statements pledging their support and solidarity with ISOC.

    It is perhaps unsurprising that the champions of unthinking ideologies who gather in revolutionary student organisations, flock together!

    Feminist Society and the LGBTQ+ Society, quickly released statements pledging their support and solidarity with ISOC.

    Perhaps they should try arranging some of their meetings, and discussions in Mecca – as steep learning experience!

    The day before the event, the university’s Islamic Society (ISOC) let it be known that they considered Namazie to be a “renowned Islamophobe” whose presence on campus would cause ISOC members to feel “extremely uncomfortable”, and constitute a violation of their “safe space”.

    Perhaps the presence of Saudi Arabia on this planet, causes many people to feel “extremely uncomfortable”, and constitutes a violation of their “safe space”. –

    Particularly those who wish to participate in rational critical discussions, or women who wish to drive or dress as they please!



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  • Second-wave feminism
    From Wikipedia:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second-wave_feminism

    Second-wave feminism is a period of feminist activity that first began in the early 1960s in the United States, and eventually spread throughout the Western world and beyond. In the United States the movement lasted through the early 1980s.[1] It later became a worldwide movement that was strong in Europe and parts of Asia, such as Turkey[2] and Israel, where it began in the 1980s, and it began at other times in other countries.[3]

    Whereas first-wave feminism focused mainly on suffrage and overturning legal obstacles to gender equality (i.e., voting rights, property rights), second-wave feminism broadened the debate to a wide range of issues: sexuality, family, the workplace, reproductive rights, de facto inequalities, and official legal inequalities.[4] At a time when mainstream women were making job gains in the professions, the military, the media, and sports in large part because of second-wave feminist advocacy, second-wave feminism also drew attention to domestic violence and marital rape issues, establishment of rape crisis and battered women’s shelters, and changes in custody and divorce law. Its major effort was the attempted passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the United States Constitution, in which they were defeated by anti-feminists led by Phyllis Schlafly, who argued as an anti-ERA view that the ERA meant women would be drafted into the military.
    Many historians view the second-wave feminist era in America as ending in the early 1980s with the intra-feminism disputes of the feminist sex wars over issues such as sexuality and pornography, which ushered in the era of third-wave feminism in the early 1990s.[5][6][7][8][9]

    Numerous feminist scholars, especially those from the late 20th century into the 21st century, critique the second-wave in the United States as reducing feminist activity into a homogenized and whitewashed chronology of feminist history that ignores the voices and contributions of many women of color, working-class women, and lesbians.[10][11]

    All of the text above is from the Wiki article. I include this here because I suspect that there are those readers who would lump all feminists into one homogenous ball of dough and this is not the case. I am a second-wave feminist and have benefitted greatly from the progress of our first and second wave feminists as have all women in my society (and men too).

    There has been plenty of infighting between us and I have no problem with that. We don’t have to agree all the time and I don’t require agreement between all atheists all the time either. I just want to keep moving ahead incrementally and we will agree to disagree sometimes for the benefit of all.

    Given that, I want to say that I am disgusted with the feminists who are undermining Maryam Namazie at a time when she needs our support the most. I have questioned some of her opinions in the past but I know that she is working tirelessly, at some substantial risk to her own life against the hideous violation of human rights that is going on in front of our eyes to Muslim women.

    How did this go so wrong?

    Goldsmiths Feminist Society and the LGBTQ+ Society quickly released statements pledging their support and solidarity with ISOC.

    From a proud Second-waver to the Goldsmiths Feminist Society – You are rotten to the core and your leadership should be ashamed of it’s capitulation to the forces of misogynist oppression. Get your fucking house in order.



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  • Alan4discussion

    Perhaps they should try arranging some of their meetings, and discussions in Mecca – as steep learning experience!

    I absolutely agree with this. I’d be so happy to take them directly into the Casbah for a view of what they’re supporting. The feminists and lesbians who are supporting Islamic fundamentalism would be lucky to get out of there alive. They are stupidly naive.



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  • Same goes for their LGBTQ+ Society. (I’ve checked my privileges.)

    We need to better understand what is going in in these peoples’ minds.

    This is a Toxic Werdz response to the idea of critiquing ideologies. This is an often over-read impression of harm to a third carefully played upon and irritated into an ulcer.

    Being a bit slow to visceral empathy and having my worst suspicions confirmed by Nicholas Epley in Mindwise, I am deeply suspicious of those who feel deeply and quickly about the harm to others, the feelings of others. They are more often wrong than right.

    The world of goodies and baddies is fueled by the flip side of oxytocin. For added group bonding and reassurance in troubled times the huddled hurting in-group must have the clearest of threats. Solidarity is only ever against something. The good and bad of oxytocin is entirely di-polar, like real magnets you can’t have purely a north pole.



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  • It really should not be left to the extreme right wing, to point out the obvious problems with unintegrated Islam in European countries!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-35104632

    French National Front leader Marine le Pen has been acquitted of charges of inciting hatred on the December 2010 campaign trail in Lyon, France.

    The charges relate to her comments comparing Muslims praying in the streets to the Nazi occupation of France in World War Two.

    In October Ms Le Pen told a court in Lyon she did not commit any offence.

    Prosecutors said she had exercised her right to free speech and was not referring to all Muslims.

    She was charged in July 2014 after her immunity as a member of the European Parliament was lifted following a vote requested by French authorities.

    In her 2010 speech to far-right National Front supporters, broadcast by French media, she said that France had initially seen “more and more veils”, then “more and more burkhas” and “after that came prayers in the streets”.

    She said: “I’m sorry, but some people are very fond of talking about World War Two and about the occupation, so let’s talk about occupation, because that is what is happening here…

    The case was originally dropped last year by the Lyon court of appeal but was revived by anti-racism groups who made a civil complaint.

    Another bunch of muppets who don’t know the difference between a race and a religious ideology!!

    Praying in the streets was banned in Paris in 2011 in response to growing far-right protests.

    In the same year France became the first EU state to ban public wearing of the face-covering Islamic veil (niqab).



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  • I’m one who benefited from having feminist friends and acquaintances in the eighties.

    But my contacts with the far left put me off politics, and their conduct now with regard to Islam is about the same as it was in 1980 when they rejoiced at the return of Ayatollah Khamenei to Iran, in that, as I understand it, female party members are obliged to sit at the back in meetings, out of respect for Islam.

    I wonder what the late, lamented, Christopher Hitchens would think of that.



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  • As a “Leftie”, I think I am getting a very small insight into what it must have felt like to be a Jew in Christendom. We are blamed for everything. Far from supporting religion, Marxists were labelled as “atheists”. And when it comes to supporting fundamentalist religions, then does anyone have to look further than Reagan supporting Al Quaeda against the (godless) USSR in Afghanistan.
    My brand of “leftieism” leans towards the anarchistic and is opposed to authoritarianism in all its forms and there is no more authoritarian manifestation than religions.



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  • My personal experience is Christians are orders of magnitude worse than Muslims. But then I am gay and live in Canada where they are more prevalent. I have found Muslims friendly and helpful people both at home and abroad.

    There are over a billion Muslims on this planet and only a tiny fraction of them are terrorists.

    Further, we in the west attacked them first, unprovoked and killed them by the millions. They have every right to seek revenge. We don’t want them to attack, but they have every moral justification to.



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  • When Erdogan won the recent elections, Turkey was shown to rejoice in the decision. The internet showed quite a different Turkey. There was no internet at the time in Iran or FaceBook.

    As for Hitchens. The only thing I disagree with him on was his isolating, categorisation and politicising Islam and placing it apart from the main argument against belief in gods. That, in my view, has helped this situation to grow. It has given Islam an excuse to claim victim status. This is apart from the politics of countries and is purely a movement based argument. Logic has given way to emotion and where clear logic has no opposition, emotion can have many.



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  • @ 2:27

    we – them

    Ad Infinitum. I guess strategically speaking this makes some kind of sense.

    However, this would be no comfort to my sweet in-law, who is quaking in her boots. To wit, I’m not going to say “but we deserve it, all our fault!”.



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  • The ‘activist left’ has always been backwards looking. Seeking bogeymen in the USA or Israel , or whomever else they choose. Unlike others profess, I would never willingly die to allow others to express their harmful views, but certainly in this case, there is no need to expose my delicate liver to their outrageous demands.

    I say this as a socialist who believes in the equal rights of all humanity without regard to race or sex.



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  • I would like to see a world where a religious person is invisible day to day. If the person holds a religious view, then that is a private matter contemplated quietly with ones mouth closed. When this day comes, we will be able to discuss anything without anyone getting upset or offended.



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  • My personal experience is Christians are orders of magnitude worse than Muslims. But then I am gay and live in Canada where they are more prevalent. I have found Muslims friendly and helpful people both at home and abroad.

    But what about the OP. Does your personal experience prevent you commenting about the actions of Goldsmiths Islamic Society. Do you think they were friendly and helpful? Here is the video as reminder:

    Goldsmiths University Islamist thugs fail to disrupt speech on blasphemy and apostasy

    They managed some useful discussion in the Q&A despite some ISOC members trying to shut it down. The problem is, groups like ISOC are able to prevent these talks at some Universities before they even start – and it seems feminist and LGBT groups are providing unthinking support in shutting down these events.

    There are over a billion Muslims on this planet and only a tiny fraction of them are terrorists.

    There are over 7 billion people on this planet and only a tiny fraction of them are murderers.

    Further, we in the west attacked them first, unprovoked and killed them by the millions. They have every right to seek revenge.

    Maryam Namazie was talking mainly of the oppression and murder of Muslims in Muslim countries by Islamists. Are those Muslims being murdered in revenge against the West?

    We don’t want them to attack, but they have every moral justification to.

    Have they not been attacking? There have been countless terrorist attacks in recent decades. Vast majority in Muslim countries. Here in Europe not so many, however do you think the Madrid & Moscow train bombings (2004), the London underground bombings (2005), the Glasgow airport attack (2007), Frankfurt Airport shooting (2011), Lee Rigby (2013), Paris attacks (Jan, Nov 2015) were morally justified? And do you think such discussions should not be allowed at centres of education such as universities?



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  • I would like to see a world where a religious person is invisible day to day. If the person holds a religious view, then that is a private matter contemplated quietly with ones mouth closed.

    ? Are you serious? Sounds like the way atheists are treated in some countries?

    When this day comes, we will be able to discuss anything without anyone getting upset or offended.

    Surely many of those with their mouths closed will be offended.



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  • Indeed an important record. Perhaps Maryam Namazie would find these photos useful in her talks. Can anyone here translate the Arabic on the placard held by one of the protesters?



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  • Further, we in the west attacked them first, unprovoked and killed them by the millions. They have every right to seek revenge. We don’t want them to attack, but they have every moral justification to.

    So? If the West never existed do you think those billions would be saner for that?

    Their internal hell is of their own making.



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  • Have you read “God is Not Great”, Olgun; the main criticism of the book is that the title contains one too many words.

    In light of your specialist knowledge Olgun, I realize that I’m now about to step onto very thin ice indeed!

    I think that in his book Hitchens provides ample reasons why Islam should be concentrated on; principal among them is, that it comprises the only set of monotheistic dogmas and doctrines that have not undergone a reformation.

    This is because, and you will undoubtedly correct me if I’m wrong, the Qur’an is considered by Muslims to contain God’s final declarations; as Hitchens puts it, and I paraphrase: from now on, all the rest is commentary.

    I think the one huge fault in Hitchens’s analysis was his support for the Bush/Blair invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, the mad dictator had to be removed, but what happens when the keystone is carelessly removed from an edifice?



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  • Stafford Gordon
    Dec 16, 2015 at 6:26 am

    Have you read “God is Not Great”,

    A lot of differences between theist and atheist understandings of god(delusion)s, is the concept of “greatness”!

    Theists see their gods as grandiose and impressive.

    Atheists tend to see them as dominating and prominent – a bit like a half brick hanging on a diamond necklace!



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  • Alan4; although it is impossible to prove a negative, Atheists think that gods do not exist, but are figments of the human imagination; or a misfiring of it.

    From which it follows that whether gods are this, that, or the other, is meaningless.

    For my part, for two reasons, I’m a secularist: because it’s a way of life which is inclusive; and, because I don’t give a toss about whether or not there’s a sky fairy!

    I’d just like the slaughter to stop.



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  • Stafford Gordon
    Dec 16, 2015 at 7:07 am

    From which it follows that whether gods are this, that, or the other, is meaningless.

    While the forms of god-delusions are “meaningless” per se, unfortunately they are not meaningless in the actions the god-delusion parasitic memes cause their human hosts to perform!



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  • 35
    Pinball1970 says:

    <Dave R Allen posted “If the person holds a religious view, then that is a private matter contemplated quietly with ones mouth closed”

    I heard someone compare religion to pornography, if you want to do it dont sell it in public, keep it between yourselves behind closed doors and for heavens sake keep it away from the kids.



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  • I have so much reading to do Stafford and that is the reason I can’t pick and quote willy-nilly to re-enforce my arguments of observation and logic which, sometimes are right and quite often wrong or are corrected by others with a gentle nudge. This means I have no specialist subject but can sometimes put my duel nationality and my sensitive nature to good use. As in:

    that it comprises the only set of monotheistic dogmas and doctrines
    that have not undergone a reformation.

    Did those Iranian women in that photo in Lauries link look like they needed a book to tell them to reform?

    the Qur’an is considered by Muslims to contain God’s final
    declarations

    Again, the example above and all the muslims I have ever met who would be totally crippled if they followed the koran word for word, as the west think they do. This phenomena is so real to me as I hear it from both sides. I hear muslims say the same thing about christians, those that do not have too much contact or common sense that is, that everything the west does is because of christian beliefs and against muslims. I went to school with a few muslim denominations and also worked with a few more and they did not live every moment of their lives in strict adherence to any book, although the guilty pleasures were always on their consciences but no more than a catholic say, without the get-out clause of confession. For example, they own many many food catering businesses in which pork is handled and sold on a daily basis. This is strictly forbidden but it goes on. They find some little glint of dispensation to satisfy their guilty feeling and get on with life. Smoking, drinking, going out and fornicating, first when teenagers and the need is great and later with prostitutes. Not praying 5 times a day. Letting their children marry christians etc etc etc……

    The above and the fallacy that ALL muslims think the koran ( I can’t even bring myself to use the politically correct/snobbish arabic/western spelling of the book) is the final word of god or that ALL muslims go to prostitutes or that ALL muslims follow culture rather than the words written in the same book that SOME have in their homes or are THAT different from any other human walking on this earth and they need to be singled out because WE the westerners do not fully understand they are no different from the faulty human beings we see every day in our own little worlds is, as I see it, our own closed minded problem.

    My wifes nan, who never ventured further abroad than the Isle of White, used to say of her very thoughtful niegbours who were virtually from all over the world and of mixed religions and who used to visit her every day to bring food and make sure she was alright, “I speak as I find”. Knowing she threw all of the food out because she did not like foreign food and always referred to the people who brought her this food by the colour of their skin or country of origin and never bothering to find out their names, that saying of hers used to make me angry. It was only that I knew her, and her husband, to be the sweetest grandparents I have ever met and it was her untravelled ignorance that made her that way helped in handling my anger. We are a people who can now travel the length of the world at the flick of a computers mouse but it seems we can no more connect then the people who came before us. Empathy at its best allows us to do that but fear and misunderstanding gets in the way. I believe Hitch had a political agenda that clouded his view a little. I could be wrong, but I believe that it was his connection with the Kurdish people that started it, who ironically are muslims, but he took on these ‘long suffering’ people as his pet subject and thought that the reformation would come through them. The political position has them firmly in the middle of all of this as ‘the problem to solve’ so that Europe can get its gas and oil supplies through Turkey. Assad got in the way. Turkey wanted the whole region sorted and the Kurdish problem solved before she allowed any resources to pass over her land. The great political manoeuvrings have brought us to todays mess. Everything is connected!!!

    A little insight into my mind in which I try not to isolate one bit of reasoning from another just as I try not to isolate one person from another and oversimplify their behaviour from a book. Whether a lemon tastes sour to one and sweet to another it is still taste and varied from one person to another as it is from one country to another and one religion to another and…..one sex to another. I have the same fears and loves as women……what a revelation on our doorstep!!!

    Feeling emotional and melancholic at the same time today. Enjoy.



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  • What gets me is that this isn’t simply about being ‘Muslim’! After all both sects of Shia and Sunni Muslims believe in the same Allah and yet their fanatics hate and kill each other because of a leadership issue. How juvenile and pathetic is that?



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  • Once again Olgun, thank you!

    It isn’t so much that “every” Muslim thinks the Qur’an is the final word of god, but that the powers that be within the religion preach and teach that it is.

    Of course, people are now increasingly questioning the the book’s content, and it’s excellent that women are courageously breaking out.

    Anyway, I bow to your superior knowledge of the subject Olgun, and accept what you say.



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  • but he took on these ‘long suffering’ people [Kurds] as his pet subject and thought that the reformation would come through them.

    He championed many, not least those in northern Afghanistan led by the widely revered Amad Shah Massoud. In 2006 he reflected on 9/11

    One must have a blunt answer to the banal chat-show and op-ed question: What have we learned? (The answer ought not to be that we have learned how to bully and harass citizens who try to take shampoo on flights on which they have lawfully booked passage. Yet incompetent collective punishment of the innocent, and absurd color-coding of the “threat level,” is the way in which most Americans actually experience the “war on terror.”) Anyone who lost their “innocence” on September 11 was too naïve by far, or too stupid to begin with. On that day, we learned what we ought to have known already, which is that clerical fanaticism means to fight a war which can only have one victor. Afghans, Kurds, Kashmiris, Timorese and many others could have told us this from experience, and for nothing (and did warn us, especially in the person of Ahmad Shah Massoud, leader of Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance). Does anyone suppose that an ideology that slaughters and enslaves them will ever be amenable to “us”? The first duty, therefore, is one of solidarity with bin-Ladenism’s other victims and targets, from India to Kurdistan.

    I recommend Hitch22 to understand the depth and breadth of his concerns, how things could possibly improve. In coming to his decisions he heaped a huge amount into both pans of his scales.

    My own view is that Hitchens had a failure of imagination on collateral damage and wrongly expected that ALL those previously harmed groupings would work more cooperatively than they did.



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  • not just Islam.. All religion is of another time-period, when man (and woman, lesbian, gay, transgender..) were less educated/ uneducated.. not that education per se gives rise to non-religious among us.. a lot of fundies have an education.. their souls are just lost… poor buggers



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  • Pinball1970
    Dec 16, 2015 at 8:08 am

    I heard someone compare religion to pornography, if you want to do it don’t sell it in public, keep it between yourselves behind closed doors and for heavens sake keep it away from the kids.

    It seems in some places despised by the USA, they actually enforce this if it looks damaging to the state or public!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-35109452

    North Korea’s highest court has sentenced a Canadian Christian pastor to a life term of hard labour for “crimes against the state”.

    He was detained in February and in July a KCNA report said Mr Lim had given a press conference in Pyongyang where he admitted to using humanitarian work as a “guise” for “subversive plots and activities in a sinister bid to build a religious state”.

    He also reportedly admitted to giving lectures that “North Korea should be collapsed with the love of ‘God'”, and to helping the US and South Korea to aid North Korean defectors.

    The Toronto-based pastor, who is of South Korean origin, was shown at a news conference earlier confessing to a plot to overthrow the government and set up a “religious state”.

    North Korea bans religious activity.

    The authorities periodically detain foreigners for religious or missionary activity and similar cases have seen staged public confessions from prisoners.

    He was convicted of joining the US and South Korea in an anti-North Korea human rights “racket” and fabricating and circulating false propaganda materials tarnishing the country’s image.



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  • The “Uber” left have little interest in progress and absolutely no long term interest in democracy. They see democracy as a means to gain power, which can thereafter be speedily dismantled in the common interest. Similarly, they are obsessed with the media as a route into power , but they have little interest in a free press. Right wing media barons are perceived as having undue influence on public opinion, but in truth they only reflect common concerns. Here in the UK there are a myriad of left leaning websites and publications available to those that want them. The fact that ever fewer numbers are interested in reading them suggests that their opinions are out of sync with those of the general public. For the hard left this is a serious problem – they can’t be seen to hate their fellow citizens, only those that influence and thus corrupt them. Ultimately the extreme left think that we can educate and legislate human instinct out of the equation, but at this stage of our evolution, this is a ridiculous notion.
    Meanwhile at Goldsmiths we see extremist religious zealots getting into bed with a bunch of gender obsessed, tambourine banging navel gazers, and in doing so, proving an old adage. Extremists on the left and right are truly different sides of the same coin.



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  • Is there a link to Maryam Namazie’s address that provoked this reaction? I have never heard of her. It is difficult to evaluate this situation without knowing what her position actually is, or what she said. After all, like many on this list, I do not believe in the unseen.



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  • David
    Dec 16, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Is there a link to Maryam Namazie’s address that provoked this reaction?

    Basically any criticism or challenges to delusions of a nicey religious claim, or pointing out real-world facts which may require people to think, is deemed to be “insulting”.

    Here is an earlier discussion:-

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2015/10/the-problem-with-religious-tolerance/
    The reasoning was simple. Namazie, an Iranian-born former Muslim, routinely challenges radical Islamist beliefs and criticizes many aspects of Islam.



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  • Unless they are Muslims, they won’t even get INTO Mecca [or Medina] because no
    infidel [filthy najis kafir] is allowed to set foot there. Did you not know this?

    True Islam-supporting western feminists ought to submit and have their ‘basr’ cut
    out as per Muhammad’s recommendation….



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  • Your ‘personal experience’ is worthless. I know hundreds of Muslims having lived in Turkey;
    yes, they were all wonderful people but that is NOT the issue- which is the Koran, the most vile,
    racist, hate-filled and murderous book ever composed.
    Muslims are brainwashed from birth into believing this ‘beautiful religion’ and it’s cruel psychopath [sorry, ‘prophet’, Pigs be Upon Him] by their imams, whose job is to keep the 106 verses of violence hidden from the Muslim sheeple.
    Plus the hundreds of others preaching hate of the kuffar and the sacred duty of Jihad.

    Further, we in the west attacked them first, unprovoked and killed them by the millions.

    Ridiculous! 1400 years ago invading Islamic armies surged out of Arabia and enslaved half the known world- killing an estimated 270 million ‘kuffar’ in spreading their repulsive ‘religion’.
    Now we see a resurgence fueled by oil revenues and western ignorance and appeasement.

    Roedy, your naivety is astonishing; that, or your leftist indoctrination has robbed you of your critical faculties. Western ‘interference’ was a big mistake but did NOT create a single Islamic terror group- it did however facilitate the conditions for their growth.

    The Creator was the Koran and the Sunnah of Muhammad, today as it was 14 centuries ago.



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  • You have two conflicting thoughts in the same comment.

    1) You make the statement that the “activist left” (whatever that even means?) has always been backwards looking (sic)

    2) Then you say “I say this as a socialist who believes in equal rights of all humanity without regard to race or sex.” But you don’t count “beliefs and philosophies” in your equality statement?

    You either believe in equal rights for all…or you don’t. Which is it?

    and please–What is the “activist left?”



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  • How can the human constructs of beliefs and philosophies be equal? Why make more than one? Why try to progress and do better, reduce harms produce better boons? What are “values” for?

    Why care?

    Kids.

    Why leave them to the genital and mental mutilators?

    Stuff what the activist left might be. Thems not important until we can understand what you’re saying.



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  • Blockquote I would like to see a world where a religious person is invisible day to day. If the person holds a religious view, then that is a private matter contemplated quietly with ones mouth closed.

    I believe in our First Amendment.

    I also believe in the essentially Voltairean principle: “I wholly disapprove of what you say—and will defend to the death your right to say it.” Voltaire probably did not write these phrases but it does fit in with his mindset.

    People can believe or say anything they want–as long as they are not yelling “Fire” in a crowded theater—in other words putting people’s lives in danger…HOWEVER even THAT quote by Justice Oliver Wendall Holmes IN 1919 was NEVER binding law and was struck down 40 years ago.

    David you are describing a totalitarian regime such as North Korea or Pol Pot’s Cambodian hell. Freedom is freedom whether you like what someone says or not.



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  • How juvenile”

    Linguists have said that Donald Trump speaks at a fourth grade level. Juvenile is the way to go in the USA! USA citizens are next to last in average IQ of all OECD countries~95. He knows EXACTLY what he is doing. Hillary Clinton speaks at a tenth grade level..so she loses most of this base voting group.



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  • Let me add I am very far from anti-Muslim. Plenty distance themselves from FGM, it not being innate to Islam and quite a few are entirely for rounded education for all their kids. These are Muslims of admirable achievement with regards to beliefs and philosophies too often policed by bullies. It is an insult to them most to not notice this more caring set of child directed beliefs and philosophies.



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  • Blockquote “…although it is impossible to prove a negative,”

    Then you haven’t ever proven a null hypothesis. My husband went missing in Hawai’i–gone! Left his cell phone, wallet, DL, military ID, keys, car–all behind. You can’t get off the island without ID. His markedly decomposed body was found four months later three blocks from our home.

    So how to prove I didn’t kill him (It was VERY horrific!) and thus be able to not only collect his life insurance but to have my name cleared in the neighborhood. Easy. He was last seen on TV camera in a televised live tennis tournament. I had flown to West Africa to Doctors without Borders a month BEFORE his disappearance and did not return until AFTER his body was discovered. I was televised in that MSF documentary on ebola. And my colleagues and MSF have extensive journals showing where I had traveled.

    You CAN prove a negative.



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  • Both sects?

    Here are a FEW:
    Although Sunnis make up the majority of Muslims, not every Muslim belongs to the same Islamic sect. A Muslim’s Islamic beliefs may take one of these forms:

    Sunni Muslims include 84%–90% of all Muslims. Sunni means “tradition,” and Sunnis regard themselves as those who emphasize following the traditions of Muhammad and of the first two generations of the community of Muslims that followed Muhammad.

    A number of movements to reform Islam have originated mainly in the 20th century. Some are limited to one country and others have a broader influence. Most are Sunni movements, such as the Wahhabis, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Jama`at-i-Islami.

    Shiite Muslims comprise 10%–16% of all Muslims. Shiites are the “party of Ali,” who believe that Muhammad’s son-in-lawAli was his designated successor (imam) and that the Muslim community should be headed by a designated descendent of Muhammad. Three main subgroups of Shiites are Twelvers (Ithna-Asharis), Seveners (Isma`ilis), and Fivers (Zaydis).

    Sufis are Islamic mystics. Sufis go beyond external requirements of the religion to seek a personal experience of God through forms of meditation and spiritual growth. A number of Sufi orders, comparable to Christian monastic orders, exist. Most Sufis are also Sunni Muslims, although some are Shi`ite Muslims. Many conservative Sunni Muslims regard Sufism as a corruption of Islam, although most still regard Sufis as Muslims.

    Baha’is and Ahmadiyyas are 19th-century offshoots of Shiite and Sunni Islam, respectively. Bahai’s consider themselves the newest of the major world’s religions but recognize that historically they originated from Shiite Islam in the same way that Christianity originated from Judaism. Ahmadiyyas do regard themselves as Muslims. Most other Muslims, however, deny that either group is a legitimate form of Islam and regard members of both groups as heretics — people who have corrupted and abandoned Islamic belief and practice.

    Druze, Alevis, and Alawis are small, sectarian groups with unorthodox beliefs and practices that split off from Islam. Druze and Alevis do not regard themselves as Muslims and are not considered Muslims by other Muslims.Alawis have various non-Islamic practices, but debate continues as to whether they should still be considered Muslims.

    http://www.real-islam.org/73_8.htm



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  • The debate is only for them. They choose their identity. Cultural Muslims, secular Muslims included, whoever, can choose a history to align with. The Golden Age of Islam, carried the beacon of enlightened classical Greek thought, progressed it most usefully, produced some decent philosophy itself, the first Atheists of the second millenium and sparked the long delayed Rennaissance. This is a culture to buy into and treasure quite apart from any religious guff.



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  • JimJFox

    Unless they are Muslims, they won’t even get INTO Mecca [or Medina] because no
    infidel [filthy najis kafir] is allowed to set foot there. Did you not know this?

    Are you addressing me? If so, consider including the commenters name in your box because as these threads get longer the comments can get scrambled into the wrong order.

    I’ll assume that you are addressing me and surprise surprise; I actually do know that the kaffar are not welcome in those areas! It’s perfectly fine with me since I have no intention of going there anyway. Did you try to visit there and got refused entry Jim? Pity. But it’s not in my top ten desirable vacation destinations. The casbah that I was referring to is the Algerian one which is massive, deep and dark. It’s a wonderful place by the way, and I’m lucky to have done some exploring there in years past. It is untouched by tourism but I can go strolling in there whenever I feel like it since I hold a resident’s visa to that country. That casbah is an Anthropologist’s dream but not to be undertaken without a guide. Truth be told, Algeria doesn’t take kindly to tourists from the West at all. They don’t need the tourist dollar because they have gas up the ying-yang and they scoff at Morocco and Tunisia which both have tourist based economies and are seen as pathetic accomodationists of morally corrupt nudie infidels. Ah well, it’s a weird place, what can I tell ya.

    True Islam-supporting western feminists ought to submit and have their ‘basr’ cut
    out as per Muhammad’s recommendation

    Please submit your reference for this and don’t give me any effing haddith. You get me a quote from the koran because you know damn well that the haddith is a bunch of bullshit and half the Muslims on this earth agree with that.



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  • Never can seem to get it in one….sorry.

    We must never presume to reinforce the work of the cleric, assiduously policing their flock.

    A religion as lived is what its adherents believe it to be.

    A culture as lived is what the encultured believe and wish.



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  • Thanks, David. You spared me the trouble of posting that comment. You did it for me. Who is this woman? I never heard of her either. She might be a beast for all I know. You can be right about some things and still be a beast. It behooves us all to find out as much as we can before we rush to judgment and to someone’s defense.
    Maybe she’s wonderful. I don’t know anything about her.
    I googled her. Found very little.



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  • Namazie emphasises the difference between ‘normal’ Muslims on the one hand, who support human rights activists like Malala Yousafzai, and Islamists on the other, who are dangerous because they form repressive political movements that have seized power in some countries. She argues that globally, the Christian Right is less successful in repressing women’s rights than Islamist movements.

    Like Malala she has strongly left leaning egalitarian principles. This for me is the best use of ideology (to which I am normally alergic). It is a quick way of grafting over say sharia nonsense a coherent set of beliefs to at least get you going in a better direction.

    She also started a TV channel putting programmes into Iran.
    Bread and Roses



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  • Helen:

    You have two conflicting thoughts in the same comment.

    I don’t think so. I think the “left” is reactionary, if you like, the guilty conscience of capitalism. Largely offshoots of the old Communist Party with its anti- American, pro the then USSR agenda. But the USSR was capitalist through and through, there never was any ‘socialism’ there. OK, it was state capitalism where the government owned and controlled much of the means of living, but the workers worked for wages there lived and died in poverty, had to fight Russia’s wars, suffer hardships, bad housing etc just as workers elsewhere in the world did, but it was almost certainly worse in Russia.

    I don’t want to divert this conversation away from the Islamic reactionaries, but, I will just say that in my mind at least, ‘socialism’ means the common ownership and democratic control of the means of living, the world’s resources, by ALL of society equally, not by a plutocratic group of warring capitalists whose motivations are profit through political power.



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  • Helen :

    I also believe in the essentially Voltairean principle: “I wholly disapprove of what you say—and will defend to the death your right to say it.” Voltaire probably did not write these phrases but it does fit in with his mindset.

    Ah a brave girl Helen ! For me ‘discretion is the better part of valour‘ ! Yes I am all in favour of free speech of all kinds, but not when my neck is threatened. Luckily, in Britain, although not a First Amendment right, free speech is the norm, and even more ‘free’ than perhaps in the USA ? In other places, I would have to be far more circumspect in expressing my opinions.



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  • I’m astounded at the idiocy. Queers for Islam? Feminists for Sharia (etc etc)…. How dumb can they be? That was rhetorical, I know, dumber than you can even imagine. If they’re hoping for some reciprocal solidarity, well, they must have been stoned. Or will be, when the islamic revolution comes….

    Aside: how much infighting was there to get the LGBTQ+ designation. How come L gets to be first? And why B before T and Q? And what’s the + for, and how come minus gets left out, again?
    Oh, to have been a fly-on-the-wall at those discussions. Was it by a show of hands? I demand a referendum.

    My OCD side thinks it really should be BGLQT, (alphabetic order), though I’m open to other suggestions….



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  • the mad dictator had to be removed

    Had to? Unquestioned? The keystone analogy is appropriate. Who said this keystone had to be removed. And at what cost? Oh, yes, I remember, there’s so much oil that Iraq can pay for its own reconstruction. Not just a free lunch, a whole free war. Bring it on.

    There never was a reason, just excuses. This is what those with their hands on the controls of the US war-machine wanted to do. Why they wanted this is a matter of psychology, or psychiatry, plenty of madness all round. The reasons they gave were never valid, and kept changing as reality caught up with them.



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  • Okay, I’ll check it out, Laurie.
    I wrote something in response to your last one on the Saudi Arabia thread.
    Too bad there isn’t a way of notifying other members of replies.
    You see those boxes below that say “notify me”? They don’t work.
    I hope your father is doing okay.
    That debate. Wow. The Republicans have reached an unprecedented level of degradation!
    I feel sorry – and I have to say this – for any small child who happens to be Muslim and who was sitting with her father (or whoever) while he was watching that debate. “Why do they hate us, Dad?” What else could he or she be thinking?
    I know ISIS is horrible, but all that talk about killing and carpet bombing and Muslim this and Islamic that. It’s just sad and pathetic.
    Does that make me a “Pro-Islamist Leftist”?
    On the flip side: Malala is great but she’s naive. You can’t “dialogue” with unreasonable brutes.



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  • 76
    NoKiddingMan says:

    As an ex-Muslim atheist, I am not surprised at Islamists’ stupidity. Well, why should I be? And, why should anyone else be? I am sure Maryam expected this idiocy. You are the best Maryam!



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  • Dan

    boxes below that say “notify me”? They don’t work.

    🙂 I noticed that too.

    all that talk about killing and carpet bombing and Muslim this and Islamic that. It’s just sad and pathetic.

    They’re just blustering. It’s empty braggadocio to impress their ignorant followers who get all starry eyed over loud obnoxious bullies. Remember back on the school playground and there was always that stupid bully going around with an entourage of simpering idiots? The playground bully is Trump. Exactly the kind of oaf that as he’s going after the next victim, you’d love to stick your foot out and watch him go flying to the cheers and admiration of the whole playground. hahahaha.

    Does that make me a “Pro-Islamist Leftist”?

    No! It makes you a realist and apparently somewhat informed about the screwed up Middle East.

    Malala

    The poor thing, but they probably consider her to be an annoying fly and moved on to more exciting targets.



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  • 79
    NoKiddingMan says:

    As a child, Islam was shoved down my throat. When around 16, I rejected the religion (I came to know about B. Russel, which helped). Later I rejected any belief in any superstition. I demand evidence and humanity in any debate I have with these people (Muslims, Christians etc) . They are so weak. They suffer so much. I am happy, because I am in touch with reality whether it is pleasant or not. I am also so proud, because I got it right when I was a teen. What these people are proud of? Their support or participation in crime against humanity? Who is a truly good human? An atheist with a moral compass based on reality and innate love for humanity, or a bunch of people following bronze age savagery? The answer is clear to any rationalist.



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  • Malala is great but she’s naive. You can’t “dialogue” with unreasonable brutes.

    Its unlikely that someone who looked her would be assassin in the eyes and was then shot in the head would be naive. Nor is she dialogue-ing with brutes. She is building up the courage of her peers. She is a Magnificent One or the Singular Samurai to be filmic about it.

    Her book (I bought it for my daughter, then snook it back) and her thinking is impressive.



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  • As David R said, but more bluntly, I’ve seen written elsewhere, lets see if I can phrase it so it gets past the mods:

    Your religion is like your ****** You’re welcome to it, and you can be as proud as you like of it, but don’t show it in public, and especially don’t try to ram it down my kids’ throats.



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  • Are you serious?

    Religion should be practiced by consenting adults in private and no longer has any place in the town square.

    There is no evidence for god, or religion or any woo of any description. So if a person bases a decision on what their personal god tells them, then they are acting under a delusion. It harms no one except themselves. They are better off making rational evidence based decisions, but if they chose irrationality, its not my job or responsibility to stop them. If a whole religion makes a decision in the absence of evidence (god) and then tries to impose that decision on its followers, and worse on the rest of the homo sapiens on this planet, then I say no. I will go to the barricades to oppose you. That is the evil that religion has perpetrated on our species since we became sentient. Enough.

    If a person wants to engage with their personal choice of god, then I will go the the barricades to support their right to do so. As long as they don’t impose their personal god’s demands on another soul.

    Marktony. This is a fine distinction. This is not the the way atheists are treated in some countries My edict allows people to participate in the religion of their choice, but it is not available as a source of public decision making. That is the reserve of rational evidence based considerations, tempered by secular morality and ethics.

    So yes. I am serious.



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  • I just think there is a point when dialogue comes to an end, and more extreme measures (like sanctions) are needed.
    She’s always talking about dialogue. No, dialogue is not always the answer.
    I don’t doubt anything you say about her.



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  • I just think “sending books and teachers” to the Taliban is all well and good, but it’s naive and idealistic.

    However, education is ultimately the answer – or an answer. But they have to want to change, have to be open.

    And Namazie did not handle the heckling too well. She should be prepared for that and be able to deal with it. I felt more sympathy for the hecklers. She kept barking at them. “Leave, leave, leave!” You are as good as your hecklers, as Mailer said. In other words, a doctor is only as good as his patient; the more challenging the patient is the more the doctor’s capabilities and resources are put to the test. (He said it better.)



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  • True freedom to practice any religion in public is actually impossible in practice, and a moment’s thought will reveal why.

    If you are practising Santeria in the streets and I step in the blood from the sacrificial goat that is running all over the sidewalk, ruining my new shoes, you have violated my rights.

    If I as a practising Satanist go dancing naked around a maypole in the high street, and you cop an eyeful, I am violating your rights.

    If someone is proselytising in the streets, they violate someone else’s deepest beliefs – that religion should be kept private.

    Now who is to say whose beliefs take precedence?

    All conceivable religions (actual or hypothetical) simply cannot all be practiced in public without someone’s beliefs/rights infringing on someone else’s.

    The only reasonable solution is to keep religion private.

    To all religious humanity, of whatever creed or religion: Keep your kooky beliefs to yourself, in your home or private property such as churches, and keep them out of the public sphere.
    Don’t inflict them on others, and don’t expect to be respected when you do; some people are going to exercise their rights to call a spade a spade, and label you an idiot for believing in that crap.



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  • I’ve heard that sort of thing (how enlightened Islam was back in the day) so many times before, and it never seems to get challenged. So here goes. 😉

    Said culture was into slavery in a big way, and the leaders were big on harems (and more than just a handful of “wives”) and had a nasty habit of creating sexless individuals (those that didn’t die) by full castration, to use either as soldiers, bureaucrats or sex toys, and they were also aggressively, relentlessly imperialistic (in modern terminology). The conquered could convert (sometimes at the point of a sword) but were never fully trusted if they did, or they could stick with their old religion and live under a variety of restrictions and extra taxes.

    The fact that some leaders were “enlightened” enough to sponsor scientists and artists as a hobby on the side might be compared with the Borgias, though the Borgias as a whole seemed far nicer people.

    Lest I seem unfair to Islam, let me turn to Christianity and my Terry Jones inspired tinfoil hat conspiracy theory of history – the Renaissance was only necessary in the first place because of (Roman) Christianity.

    (And when it happened it was in the face of fierce opposition from the dominant religions, not with their help.)

    The lovingly preserved books that they sometimes like to brag they helped preserve throughout the Dark Ages they helped create, were just the tiny fraction remaining after they’d burned all the rest.

    (I can’t recommend Terry Jones’ Barbarians highly enough. Take with a large pinch of salt.)



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  • I’ll take your Terry Jones list of terrors and raise you Jim AlKhalili’s “Pathfinders. The Golden Age of Arabic Science.” and Charles Freeman’s “The Closing of the Western Mind”.

    As for castrati their tradition in Roman Catholic culture is quite as eye watering, the last castrato (Roman Catholic) dying in 1922.

    The fact of Omar Khayyam and Ibn Rushd a hundred years and more before the best of Christendom in Aquinas yet being centuries ahead, indeed being exceptionally modern in their thinking tells me Freeman and AlKhalili had a point.



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  • Thanks Olgun; I don’t quite know what you’d call it, but whatever it is, it’s bloody funny, because, alas, it is fundamentally true!

    As my old mum used to say: Sometimes, it’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry.



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  • While apologists and appeasers make excuses for those disrupting lectures which criticise their delusional beliefs, in Nigeria their better armed counterparts do so more forcefully!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-35159024

    An Islamist insurgency has kept about one million children out of school in Nigeria and three neighbouring states, the UN children’s agency has said.

    More than 2,000 schools were shut, while hundreds had been attacked, looted or set ablaze, Unicef said.

    Boko Haram has also targeted schools because of its opposition to Western education, which it believes corrupts the values of Muslims.

    In April 2014, it abducted more than 200 girls from a boarding school in north-eastern Chibok town, an incident which drew international attention to the insurgency.

    Our correspondent says the north-east has always been seen as one of the poorest parts of Nigeria with low levels of education, and the insurgency has worsened the the social and economic crisis in the region.

    In September, Borno governor Kashim Shettima said $1bn (£670m) would be needed to rebuild infrastructure destroyed in the insurgency.



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