30 March 2009

An inside look at the UN's new "defamation of religion" resolution

During the last two weeks in March, I participated in the negotiations over the new UN Human Rights Council resolution combating "defamation of religions."  I just published some of my impressions at Religion Dispatches.

26 March 2009

UN Human Rights Council does it again

The UN Human Rights Council has done it again. It has again resolved to "combat the defamation of religions." I actually sat through hours of negotiations over the draft text of this resolution in Geneva, and I still don't know what in God's name the defamation of religions is.

Similar resolutions have been passed by the Council since 1999 and by the General Assembly since 2005. The resolution passed with 23 in favor, 11 against, and 13 abstentions, gaining two additional votes since the last time it was adopted by the Council.

11 February 2009

Indian journalists arrested for offending Muslims after reprinting Hari article

The editor and publisher of a top English-language Indian daily were arrested and briefly detained in Calcutta after the paper, The Statesman, reprinted Johann Hari's article from U.K.'s Independent, entitled, appropriately enough, "Why should I respect these oppressive religions?" As reported by the BBC, the editor, Ravindra Kumar, felt compelled to apologize for an "editorial misjudgement."

Hari quotes me. Does this make me an accomplice?

02 February 2009

The Independent's Johann Hari on respecting religion

Writing for The Independent (UK), the excellent Johann Hari exposes the erosion of free expression at the United Nations, citing the recent report by me and Colin Koproske.

01 January 2009

What will change everything?

I contributed a response to the Edge.com "World Question" for 2009: What will change everything? What game-changing scientific ideas and developments do you expect to see? The answers were released at midnight on New Year's Eve.

Meanwhile, I've taken a leave of absence from my position at the Center for Inquiry, and left New York City for a spell to explore some options for my next project.