Culture

The Roma are yet again scapegoats for society’s ills

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Lurid claims of child sexual abuse have emerged just as they are becoming free of the grip of predatory landlords Kevin McKenna The Guardian In Govanhill, a little network of streets and avenues on Glasgow’s South Side, the besmirching of another immigrant community is in full spate. A century ago, it was the poor Irish, fleeing famine and persecution by the British government, who were being demonised. Now it’s the turn of the Roma people. Britain’s largest concentration of Roma ... Read More »

The Warlock Hunt

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Moral Panics The #MeToo moment has now morphed into a moral panic that poses as much danger to women as it does to men #Metoo, of course. CLAIRE BERLINSKI  Women are not going nuts for no reason. The American Interest We’re fed up with feeling prickles down our spine as we walk alone on dimly lit streets. Fed up with thinking, “If he feels entitled to send me that message, what might he feel entitled to do to if he knew where ... Read More »

Lindsay Shepherd: My Laurier interrogation shows universities have lost sight of their purpose

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How can humanities departments justify charging students tuition if they are not teaching them to think critically? Lindsay Shepherd National Post One of the research paper topics that students from Communication Studies 101 at Wilfrid Laurier University can choose to write about this semester is communication bubbles. Communication bubbles refer to the phenomenon of people becoming entrapped in ideological echo chambers as a result of only seeking out, or being fed, news that confirms their existing beliefs. This trend has ... Read More »

Sogyal Rinpoche and the abuse accusations rocking the Buddhist world

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Punching. Emotional abuse. Eye-popping sexual misdeeds. David Leser The accusations made against Sogyal Rinpoche – a key lama in the uptake of Buddhist principles by the West – have rocked devotees, including many in the top echelons of Australian business. The Canberra Times On a late September evening this year, a group of leading Australian business figures gathered in a Sydney boardroom to discuss a series of allegations that had scandalised the Buddhist world, and shaken their own to the core. ... Read More »

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee taken off Mississippi school reading list

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<link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” href=”https://assets.guim.co.uk/stylesheets/3182ded386486b8933feafdc9cbe6aff/content.css”/> Official: ‘some language in the book makes people uncomfortable’ Story of racism in the US south has been removed from schools before Guardian staff and agencies To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee’s classic novel about racism and the American south, has been removed from a junior-high reading list in a Mississippi school district because the language in the book “makes people… The Sun Herald reported that administrators in Biloxi pulled the novel from the 8th-grade curriculum ... Read More »

Raise boys as feminists to change ‘culture of sexism’, says Justin Trudeau

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Canada’s prime minister writes article for Marie Claire saying boys ‘have the power and the responsibility to change our culture of sexism’ Staff and agencies The Guardian Boys need to be raised to be feminists as much as girls because “our sons have the power and the responsibility to change our culture of sexism”, Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, wrote in an essay published on Wednesday. Teaching boys to be feminists gives them a sense of justice and empathy and ... Read More »

Christians and Yazidis see a bleak future in a proposed independent Kurdish state

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BASHIQA, Iraq — Shortly after the Islamic State was pushed out of his home town last year, Ivan Abdulla bought a new house in the traditionally Yazidi enclave. It was an investment in the place where generations of his family were raised, he said. Tamer El-Ghobashy  The Washington Post But the father of three already regrets his decision.The hilltop town of mostly Yazidis and Christians — two of Iraq’s most vulnerable minorities — has become the focus of a tug of war ... Read More »

Austria burqa ban: Government warns Muslim women to show faces in public or be fined

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Breach of new integration law will be punished with €150 fine Chris Baynes  The Independent The Austrian government has issued posters and leaflets threatening Muslim women with fines for wearing face veils ahead of the introduction of a controversial ban. The authorities launched the publicity drive to raise awareness of the legislation outlawing niqabs and burqas, which will come into force on 1 October. Under the new “integration” policy, anyone wearing clothes that obscure their face in public can be fined €150 (£132) ... Read More »

Tunisian women free to marry non-Muslims

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Tunisia has overturned a law that banned women from marrying non-Muslims A spokeswoman for President Beji Caid Essebsi made the announcement and congratulated women on gaining “the freedom to choose one’s spouse”. BBC Until now, a non-Muslim man who wished to marry a Tunisian Muslim woman had to convert to Islam and submit a certificate of his conversion as proof. Tunisia, which is 99% Muslim, is viewed as one of the most progressive Arab countries in terms of women’s… Tunisian ... Read More »

Liar, liar, pants on fire! Groups lie more than individuals, according to new research

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Key Takeaway: Something as simple as communication within groups, even if each group member has previously behaved honestly, can be the key to triggering collaborative, dishonest behavior. EurekAlert! CATONSVILLE, MD, September 6, 2017 – Do you pride yourself on being an honest person? Even individuals who have a proven track record of honest behavior are no match for the potentially negative influences present in a group dynamic, especially when money is at stake, according to a new study, published in ... Read More »

The Hajj and the Struggle for Islamic Hegemony

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The ethnic Sunni-Shiite rift parallels the Saudi-Iranian political rift, the Wahhabi-Muslim Brotherhood ideological rift, and the historic rift between Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Mordechai Kedar BESA Tensions over Islamic hegemony arising from these rifts are likely to come to a boil at the 2017 Hajj. Wednesday, August 23, 2017, is the first day of Zhu–l-Hijjat, the Muslim month in which two important events take place: the pilgrimage to Mecca, one of the most central ... Read More »

Universities should ban PowerPoint — It makes students stupid and professors boring

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Do you really believe that watching a lecturer read hundreds of PowerPoint slides is making you smarter? I asked this of a class of 105 computer science and software engineering students last semester. Universities should ban PowerPoint — It makes students stupid and professors boring – Business Insider Paul Ralph The Conversation  Business Insider  An article in The Conversation argued universities should ban PowerPoint because it makes students stupid and professors boring. I agree entirely. However, most universities will ignore this ... Read More »

The Tree Of Languages Illustrated In One Gorgeous Infographic

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When linguists talk about the historical relationship between languages of the world, they oftentimes use a tree metaphor. By Amanda Froelich Truth Theory The textbook version tends to be drab and boring, however, which is why Minna Sundberg, the creator of the webcomic Stand Still. Stay Silent took the time to create a much more imaginative version.   Arika Okrent of Mental Floss writes, “An ancient source (say, Indo-European) has various branches (e.g., Romance, Germanic), which themselves have branches (West Germanic, ... Read More »

Mathematical secrets of ancient tablet unlocked after nearly a century of study

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Dating from 1,000 years before Pythagoras’s theorem, the Babylonian clay tablet is a trigonometric table more accurate than any today, say researchers Maev Kennedy The Guardian At least 1,000 years before the Greek mathematician Pythagoras looked at a right angled triangle and worked out that the square of the longest side is always equal to the sum of the squares of the other two, an unknown Babylonian genius took a clay tablet and a reed pen and marked out not ... Read More »

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson wears burqa in Senate question time stunt

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Face fully covered, the woman in black didn’t need to say anything as she entered the Senate. Pauline Hanson had made her point. Amy Remeikis The Age The One Nation leader took her seat for question time wearing a black burqa, ahead of her motion to ban the garment that was due for debate later on Thursday. The Queensland senator has rallied against the burqa since returning to Parliament last… Senate President Stephen Parry admitted there was not a lot he could ... Read More »

An Open Letter To Our Fellow Jews

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To our fellow Jews, in the United States, in Israel, and around the world: We know that, up to now, some of you have made an effort to reserve judgment on the question of whether or not President Donald Trump is an anti-Semite, and to give him the benefit of the doubt. Michael Chabon Ayelet Waldman Berkeley, California, 8/16/17 ExtraNewsFeed Some of you voted for him last November. Some of you have found employment in his service, or have involved ... Read More »