something rotten in the State of Ulster

She was a nice wee girl, very friendly.. mind you all the same, I don’t know what her religion was. So goes the art of the cautious compliment in Belfast. This backhanded, potentially deprecating form of description is as authentically Northern Irish as the orange sash, the armoured Land Rover and your mammy’s fried soda bread. Northern Ireland is a peculiarly strange and difficult thing … Continue reading something rotten in the State of Ulster

The Quality of Mercy is strained in the Bali Nine case

There is a sad case developing in Indonesia, with two Australian drug traffickers, who attempted to smuggle heroin out of Bali, on death row and facing execution within the next two weeks.  Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan had appealed for clemency from the Indonesian president but their requests were denied. With this avenue exhausted, their lawyers are left with only the chance of one more … Continue reading The Quality of Mercy is strained in the Bali Nine case

Orientalism and Genocide

Paris – Belgium – Nigeria – Afghanistan, and we’re still only in January. This coming so soon after a bumper 2014 in which a Christian genocide took place in Iraq at the hands of Islamic State, and countless Muslims in Syria were murdered by the same. The response to this assault on civilisation is a most peculiar thing to watch: like the smoke of an … Continue reading Orientalism and Genocide

Muslim Rage, still?

Salman Rushdie is still deplored east of Istanbul: looking at his twitter stream, it is obvious he finds it difficult to restrain his contempt for the illiterate death threats and abuse he still receives for his alleged, but absent blasphemy in The Satanic Verses. I say ‘absent’, because, ten years ago, when England still had laws against blasphemy, 13 Muslim barristers brought a case against … Continue reading Muslim Rage, still?