Welcome to the Theology News Blog - an attempt to provide a 'one-stop shop' for all news stories, podcasts and TV programming related to religion, philosophy and the theory of knowledge (TOK). It grew out of a similar site created for GCSE and A-Level/IB students in students but is now being offered as an open-to-all resource. It will hopefully be of use to any and all with an interest in these subjects. For notification of all updates either follow us by email or on Twitter (@theologynews) by clicking on the links in the right-hand column. For my own theological writing, please follow the link in the right-hand column to my other blog.

Friday, 12 October 2012

If anti-Muslim ads are protected, so must be my free speech right to protest (N.B. strong language)

Five days after I spraypainted over a racist and bigoted advertisement in the New York subway, a man set fire to my brother's local mosque. He struck just a few hours after the mosque's kindergarten had been filled with children at Sunday school, including my four nieces and nephews.
It was a coincidental correlation but there was nothing casual about either the hate speech on the walls of the subway – which a judge declared "protected political statement" – or the arson in Ohio, which was described as an "act of terrorism" by officials who announced federal hate crime charges against the suspect.
American rightwingers – in between calling me a "bitch" and "cunt" countless times – would have you know I'm an "Islamo-Nazi anti-speech ungrateful immigrant" incapable of appreciating the wonders of the first amendment. The right is incredibly deft at getting earnest about all the wrong things. It was precisely my love of the first amendment that made me join sidewalk activists in 2010 to support an Islamic community center's right to open in Lower Manhattan. As a member of a minority whose very presence has been considered an offense – "Why can't you just move a few blocks away? Can't you see you're hurting our feelings?" – of course, I believe in the right to offend: it's a two-way street. Read more...

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