Richard Dawkins & the humanist's dilemma: When faced with Islamic State does "moderate" religious discrimination really matter?
This piece first appeared in The Big Issue magazine - journalism worth paying for. Available from street vendors UK wide or subscription. Blackwell's bookshop in Oxford has 3 and a half miles of books. It's a wonderful place. The deputy manager told me how they staged Doctor Faustus in its stacks recently. Nearly 25 years ago as a student, I was there for what turned out to be Salman Rushdie's last public reading from The Satanic Verses. I was the only person to ask whether he feared his Muslim background meant he was going to be treated in a way no other writer would. Rushdie said no, and it's highly probable he believed it at the time. It felt like a a singular madness. When I agreed a year ago to chair some discussions for the World Humanist Congress, in Oxford in August, it was as a favour to the head of the British Humanist Association (BHA), who'd introduced me to the TV show Buffy The Vampire Slayer. But the weekend turned out to be a thought-provoking chance to connect what
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