This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Reflections on Political Violence

Thanks to LWS for the link.
When Mumtaz Qadri shot Pakistani politician Salman Taseer, he didn't even bother to offer an excuse.

The best political speech I ever heard was delivered by the late Paul Foot, scion of one of England's great radical and socialist families, at the Oxford Union in the late 1960s. The motion before the house was in favor of the African National Congress and its decision to renew "armed struggle" against the white supremacist regime in South Africa. By then, I knew enough about apartheid to be convinced that such a policy was justified almost by definition, but Paul wasn't content with that. Using extraordinary skill and patience, he reviewed the efforts of the trade unions, the legal parliamentary opposition, the churches, the censored but still active press, and all the other constituents of "civil society" to resist or even to ameliorate the conditions imposed on the majority by a pitiless oligarchy and its iron-bound cult of racist and fundamentalist theology. He detailed the efforts of the ANC to make its case at the United Nations and other international forums and chronicled the heroism of its lawyers in defending both individual and communal rights before the rigged South African courts. To every attempt of this sort, as he demonstrated, the response had been increased repression and the confiscation of even more land, more rights, and more liberties. Having at one point laid down the gun, the ANC now had every right to take it up again.
... Read more

TAGGED: CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS, COMMENTARY, ISLAM


RELATED CONTENT

Science journalism through the looking...

Chris Chambers and Petroc Sumner -... Comments

Science has an uneasy relationship with journalism, so what can be done by both sides to improve coverage

In defence of obscure words

Will Self - BBC News Magazine 100 Comments

We chase "fast culture" at our peril - unusual words and difficult art are good for us, says Will Self.

Your Brain on Fiction

Annie Murphy Paul - New York Times 26 Comments

New support for the value of fiction is arriving from an unexpected quarter: neuroscience.

The spectre of militant secularism

Nick Cohen - The Spectator 40 Comments

If you turn on the news tonight and hear of a bomber slaughtering civilians anywhere from Nigeria to the London Underground, I can reassure you of one point: the bombers will not be readers of Richard Dawkins.

A brutal price still paid for daring to...

Amol Rajan - The Independent 39 Comments

Their assault illustrates the extent to which defenders of religion still dominate our press, the brutal retaliation exacted on clever opponents of faith and the incorrigible stupidity of Sayeeda Warsi's claim about "militant secularism" last week.

The Sins of the Fathers [Also in Polish]

Richard Dawkins - RichardDawkins.net 341 Comments

I can’t help wondering at the quality of journalism which sees a scoop in attacking a man for what his five-greats grandfather did.

MORE

MORE BY CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS

Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens

Christopher HItchens - - 32 Comments

Unspoken Truths

Christopher HItchens - Vanity Fair 49 Comments

Until cancer attacked his vocal cords, the author didn’t fully appreciate what was meant by “a writer’s voice,” or the essential link between speech and prose. As a man who loved to talk, he turns to the masters of such conversation, both in history and in his own circle.

Cynicism by the Book

Christopher HItchens - Slate 75 Comments

The Blair Hitch Project

Christopher HItchens - Vanity Fair 63 Comments

MORE

Comments

Comment RSS Feed

Please sign in or register to comment