Saudi Arabia is Going to Execute a Poet

There are few occasions on which the United Nations is able to disgrace itself more effectively than when it comes to making appointments to committees and sinecures. Iraq, for example, was due to take the chairmanship of the special committee on disarmament in 2003; a move prohibited not by any common sense on the part of the U.N. but because the US-led intervention in that same year made such an appointment impossible. Iran has recently been re-elected to a seat on the U.N’s Commission on the Status of Women. Robert Mugabe, the subject of a wide-ranging travel ban, was asked … Continue reading

Taking advantage of Islam

michel houellebecq

On January 7 2015, Cherif and Said Kouachi, two French Algerians radicalised by the war in Iraq, entered the offices of Charlie Hebdo. It was a Wednesday, and the writers had gathered for an editorial meeting. When the shooting began, the satirists thought it was firecrackers.The deaths of a dozen journalists shook France. It was the deadliest terror attack on French soil since 1961 when the OAS, a fascist paramilitary group, bombed a train killing 28 passengers. At the time, the front cover of Charlie Hebdo bore a caricature of Michel Houellebecq on the front cover. In the unflattering cartoon, Houellebecq … Continue reading

In defence of obscenity

Whenever you hear the prattle of ‘Western values’ you should recall Gandhi’s words when asked what he thinks to Western civilisation: “I think it would be a good idea”. It’s undeniable, Charlie Hebdo spewed a lot of filthy racist trash. However, free-speech should extend to precisely those people with despicable viewpoints; but it’s odd that the West pretends it does so. If the French establishment did believe in free-speech then it wouldn’t have criminalised Holocaust denial. The same can be said of other countries, if the UK government gives a damn about free-speech then it should ditch its crazy libel laws. As Noam Chomsky once … Continue reading