Tag Archives: islam

Existential threats and other difficulties

Young man, there’s a great deal of ruin in a nation. So Adam Smith responded to a correspondent who feared that a successful revolt by the American colonies would ruin Britain.  Looking back, Adam Smith was right and the fearful young man was wrong. Indeed, Britain proceeded to gain and give up a great empire, and […]

Enlightenment foreclosed?

Uttering the cliche that “what Islam needs is a Reformation” merely shows that the speaker understands neither Islam nor the Reformation. The Protestant Reformation was the rejection of traditional accretions in favour of the authority of scripture; an attempt to return to “original” Christianity. Islam has experienced waves of such reformism throughout its history, also […]

Righteous Rage

In September, there were two horrific jihadi attacks in Africa against “soft targets”–the 21 September attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya and the 29 September massacre of students in the male dormitory of the College of Agriculture in Gujba, Yobe State, Nigeria.  The first attack killed at least 61 civilians (plus 6 […]

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold … A post somewhat about China

Historically, taxing land (rents) and trade have been the dominant income sources of rulerships not reliant on labour service (not to be confused with taxes on labour income, which have a different dynamic).* Trade was a particularly attractive source of income because it often involved taxing outsiders. But trade was also mobile–too much tax for […]

Forever England

The soldier killed in an attack in London has been named as Drummer Lee Rigby of the 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. Drummer Rigby, 25, from Manchester, leaves behind a two-year-old son. Two suspects shot by police after Wednesday’s attack in Woolwich remain under arrest. A further two people have been arrested on […]

The social consequences of theology

The BBC recently noted that interest rates on public debt in the Eurozone varied according to the religious majority of the population — Orthodox Greece had the highest interest rates, followed by the Catholic countries with the Protestant countries having the lowest. Interest rates being a measure of risk, this represented clear market judgements on […]

Delusions of Relevance

  About 200 Muslims have staged a protest outside the Scottish Parliament. The group were demonstrating against the anti-Islam film, Innocence Of Muslims, made in the US, which has caused offence across the Muslim world. The rally was attended by Muslims from across Edinburgh who were demanding action to curb religious hatred. Demonstrators waved banners […]

Can we have an intelligent conversation about Islam?

My recent post about “green on blue” killings in Afghanistan provoked the sort of comments that indicate we have, in the modern West, a real problem having an intelligent conversation about Islam. Not the to-and-fro about the geo-strategic issues regarding Afghanistan, but comments about beliefs within Islam and their possible consequences. The sort of comments […]

I think I’d better think it out again

More than 200 protesters gathered outside the US Embassy in London on Friday in protest at the anti-Islamic film that has sparked scenes of violence and murder in cities across the Middle East. The demonstrators, some of whom concealed their identities behind headscarves, were led by Anjem Choudhary, a well-known activist and former spokesperson for […]

God is Great (but you are SH*TE)

EIGHT people are expected to be charged after violent clashes between hundreds of police and protesters erupted in Sydney’s CBD. Six police were injured and 17 others were treated for the effects of capsicum spray today when a demonstration against an anti-Islamic film got out of hand. Eight of the protesters were expected to be […]