Tag Archives: islam

#51 – Betrayal: The Rotherham Abuse Scandal

The Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal is arguably the worst child safeguarding failure in British history. In August 2014 an inquiry led by Professor Alexis Jay concluded that at least 1,400 children, the majority of whom were white girls aged 11–15, had been sexually abused in the English town of Rotherham between 1997 and 2013. This abuse had been committed predominantly by British-Pakistani men. As shocking as the scale of the abuse was, what made the events even more unbelievable was the sheer incompetence of the authorities and their subsequent attempts to suppress the truth of what had been really happening. The abuse was an open secret in the town and further afield. What was not known was that the authorities were failing to produce a meaningful, transparent response of any kind. In this edition of the podcast, Aidan talks to solicitor, David Greenwood, also Chairman of Stop Church Child Abuse, to discuss this real-life horror story.  David and his team of solicitors represented – and continue to represent – several of the young girls who were subjected to sexual abuse by gangs of men in Rotherham over an astonishing 16 year period. This is not a classic far-right conspiracy yarn nor is it a grisly fiction novel, though it appears as far-fetched as anything you could ever read about. Sadly it is a true story of what happens when a society and its institutions abrogate their moral responsibilities. Aidan previously spoke to David for episode 37, ‘Dogmatic Silence: Abuse in the Church’, which examined the failures of the Catholic and Anglican Churches in dealing with child sex abuse.

Additional notes regarding items discussed on this episode:

In the United Kingdom, you can report criminal offences to CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111.

For listeners in the United States, see the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. Visit https://www.rainn.org/ for more information.

Sarah Wilson’s book is called ‘Violated: A Shocking and Harrowing Survival Story from the Notorious Rotherham Abuse Scandal’ and is widely available, including via Amazon.

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#45 – De-Platformed: Challenging Bad Ideas

On July 21, the noted evolutionary biologist and author, Richard Dawkins, was de-platformed by a ‘progressive’ radio station in California because of comments he had previously made about Islam. This decision – powered by the moral confusion that maliciously designates fair criticism of religion as hate speech – is yet another example of the left’s deeply dishonest, nonsensical, virtue-signalling and outlandish apologising whenever Islam is discussed. In this episode, Aidan is joined by Sadia Hameed, spokesperson for the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, for an honest conversation on the challenging issues of appraising Islam, leaving the faith, the media’s obsession with ‘Islamophobia’, the widespread cultural relativism and obscurantism espoused on the left, the conflation of peaceful Muslims and archaic Islamists by the right, and much more, including the de-platforming of Dawkins. This is an important conversation regarding the interactions of the ideas of Islam and the world. For more information on the Council, visit their web site at https://www.ex-muslim.org.uk/.

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Extraordinarily Bad Ideas

python

A scene from the religious satire, Monty Python’s Life of Brian, 1979, directed by Terry Jones.

My latest podcast, Notes on Belief, in which I argue that beliefs matter and are open to reasonable scrutiny.

The phrase, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” was famously offered by Carl Sagan as a response to beliefs formed despite a lack of tangible certification. Christopher Hitchens, likewise, stated that, “What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.”

These quotes typify my approach to unsubstantiated claims and superstitious beliefs. I released a podcast on June 15, Notes on Belief, which was well-received by the majority of those who heard it (and listened to the argument carefully). As I was so grateful to receive such positive feedback, I have decided – in case you missed them – to point out a selection of other Aidan Project podcasts in which irrational religious beliefs are rightly challenged. I am quite sure that more such episodes will follow, as there are no shortage of theocratic outrages deserving criticism, in the past, in the present and, inevitably, in the future.

It is imperative that society tackles the issues surrounding belief honestly. No free pass for religion, ever. My mission is to speak candidly and to challenge abhorrent ideas.

Liberalism does not mean rolling over for fear of causing offence. Liberalism means standing up for decency and veracity in pursuit of a just world, not apologising for the obscenities of others. I want to do something during my fleeting existence that, even in the most minute way, pushes society towards a brighter future. It is a rather modest, microscopic, contribution amongst such a vast array of discourse, but it is my own.

Thank you for your support,
Aidan

t: @theaidanproject
f: facebook.com/theaidanprojectblog
e: theaidanprojectblog@gmail.com

All of the following show links open in a new web browser tab, or you can find all of my previous episodes on iTunes or YouTube.

Notes on Manchester – My thoughts on militant Islam.

Western Downfall: Why Trump Won – In a wide-ranging episode, the issue of belief – both secular and religious – is addressed.

The Art of Terror – How do you win a battle against a theocratic enemy that values death more than the West values life?

Left to Die: Whilst Liberals Slept – The regrettable issue of liberals apologising for obscene religious beliefs and turning on would-be reformers.

#30 – Notes on Manchester

Aidan talks about the Manchester bombing, which took place at Manchester Arena, England, on 22 May 2017. Aidan feels we need an honest debate on the issues which led to this latest outrage, and that liberals need to attend to a problem of their own: moral confusion. What do you think about the modern, virtue-signalling, ‘liberal’ reaction to any criticism of Islam? Aidan is on Twitter @theaidanproject

Links to items discussed on this episode:

https://www.facebook.com/Morrissey/posts/1349891061714098

https://twitter.com/AsraNomani/status/867109727024631808

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#26 – The Great Cat Massacre

On this edition of The Aidan Project, Aidan is joined once more by Jared Miracle, a cultural entomologist with an M.Ed. and a PhD. in anthropology from Texas A&M University. In this episode, Aidan and Jared discuss the infamous cat killings from The Great Cat Massacre, Robert Darnton’s noted scholarly work on the cultural history of France. Why did early modern Europeans find cats to be completely deserving of such harsh treatment? Along with this incredible story and the wider context surrounding it, Aidan and Jared also discuss the mythical Mexican chupacabra, religion, Artificial Intelligence, and much more. You can follow Jared on Facebook (facebook.com/jaredmiraclewriter) and Twitter (@DocKungFu).

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#21 – Project Extra: Imposing The Divide

This is a bonus podcast from Aidan Coughlan’s conversation with Sami Ramadani from the episode, ‘The Tragedy of Iraq’. Sami grew up in Baghdad, departing as a political exile during Saddam Hussein’s reign. In previously unreleased audio, Sami explains that, contrary to what is widely believed, the sectarian fighting in Iraq is something of a new phenomena. You can find Sami on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SamiRamadani1.

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#16 – On Liberty and Free Speech

The title of this episode is an homage to an important philosophical work by John Stuart Mill, ‘On Liberty’, which was published in 1859. In this edition of The Aidan Project, Aidan is joined by journalist, podcaster and activist, Joshua Thomas, host of Liberty Live and the Political Conundrum Podcast. Whilst Aidan and Joshua disagree on several points, a true liberal democracy’s interpretation of free speech must surely mean that diametrically opposed arguments can be made without shouting your opponent down. In addition to the central theme of the episode, also discussed and defined are ‘fake news’, ‘the regressive left’ and ‘social justice warriors’. Aidan and Joshua also look at the Daily Mail infamously labelling UK judges as ‘enemies of the people’, and much more. For more information on Joshua, you can catch Liberty Live every Saturday evening at 8PM GMT on YouTube, where you can also find the Political Conundrum Podcast. Joshua is on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/PoliticalConundrum/) and YouTube (http://bit.ly/2g4ZXiN).

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