The (literal) Islamophobia of the British media

This is a small chunk from The Diversity Illusion chapter 11, ‘The New Blasphemy Laws’ on how Europe responded to the Danish cartoon crisis. Seems appropriate today.   The Danish Prime Minister and Foreign Minister blamed the cartoonists, while European and world leaders went out of their way to condemn these grossly offensive comics. The Foreign Office declared in a message to the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation: ‘The whole international community stands with them in their staunch rejection… Read on

Spectator: the Left’s multiculturalism morality play

Spectator blogs Germany is on its feet again, ja, so what can go wrong? This week Good Germans have been taking to the streets to counter-protest the PEGIDA (the Bad Germans) and their ‘anti-Islamisation’ rallies that began in Dresden; Europe’s media is horrified, if also slightly fascinated, with the clear subtext being ‘if the rest of Europe can’t go in for flag-waving there’s no way you lot can’. Not that media hostility will make much difference, I imagine; across… Read on

I’m a Catholic, and I have a confession: I love Richard Dawkins

I love Richard Dawkins. I’m not keen on the whole God-bashing thing, which I think is based on faulty arguments, but being a fan of JC and a member of “the world’s second most evil religion”, I’m bound to say that. When I was a young teenager I remember reading The Selfish Gene and it having a profound influence on the way I saw the world; one of the best books of our age. It may well have influenced my… Read on

Can Islam ever accept higher criticism?

Last night’s Islam: The Untold Story will have made uncomfortable viewing for some people. It certainly seemed to be for one of the featured experts, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, an Iranian Islamic philosopher who had the look of a man whose faith is facing the rising tide of scepticism and godlessness. It is one Christians of the past century and a half, from the early days of higher criticism to the recent plummet in religious attendance, will recognise well. In this… Read on

A historical look at the birth of Islam

If I were a theologian, my idea of Valhalla would be something like a villa in Languedoc, an endless supply of red, a smoke (I assume that won’t be a problem in the afterlife) and a good history book. Among my favourite authors is Tom Holland, whose previous publications Rubicon, Persian Fire and Millennium have accompanied me on those increasingly rare periods of relaxation abroad. Holland writes about antiquity with great flair and authority, capturing the sense of struggle, anxiety… Read on