Against Identity Politics: Spectres, Joylessness, & the Contours of Ressentiment Reply

Free Radical Radio.

Click on these words to listen to the audio book/audio essay

Lupus Dragonowl’s “Against Identity Politics: Spectres, Joylessness, & the Contours of Ressentiment,” originally publishd in AJODA, is read aloud by Arabella Story Tella.

This essay discusses and critiques identity politics and identity politicians and offers a different way of seeing and viewing the identities forced upon us by society and its structures. Using a Stirnerian critique, Dragonowl breaks down the thoughts, actions, and ideas of identity politics, defining them as another iteration of leftism. Full of anecdotes from the anarchist and radical milleu, this essay attempts to shed light on the workings of identity politicians.
Click here to check out AJODA Magazine, Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed

The written version can be found here: click on these words

Author: Chris Combe from York, UK, who does not endorse this use of the work

Beyond Social Justice 7

A discussion with Ian Mayes, Nexus X Humectress, and Keith Preston about how social justice activism has led anarchist movements astray and lots of other stuff.

Topics include:

  • Anarcho-pacifism
  • Intentional communities
  • Beyond Social Justice: how historical opposition to valid injustices has now evolved into something absurd.
  • How totalitarian humanism’s focus on privilege and microaggressions forestalls social revolution.
  • Is feminism necessary in the West?
  • Radical gender equality.
  • How the men’s rights movement fits the dictionary definition of feminism.
  • MGTOW: Men Going Their Own Way, the new subculture of anti-marriage relationship nihilists.
  • No “hope” for revolution.
  • “Anarchist” as an identity.

More…

Keith Preston: US doesn’t want direct confrontation with Russia in Syria Reply

Press TV. Listen here: http://presstv.ir/Default/embed/431434

The United States does not want a direct military confrontation with Russian forces in Syria, an American political analyst based in Virginia says.

But the primary objective of the Obama administration is the overthrow of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with the assistance of terrorist groups including Daesh (ISIL), said Keith Preston, the chief editor and director of AttacktheSystem.com.

Preston made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV while commenting on a statement by Republican Senator Bob Corker, who said on Wednesday that the Pentagon should target both the Assad government and ISIL.

Corker’s comments came shortly after Russia carried out its first airstrikes against ISIL terrorists near the Syrian city of Homs.

“The Obama administration seems to be pulling back from waging the war on ISIS,” Preston said, using an alternative acronym for the terrorist group, which is operating in Syria and Iraq.

“They are conducting military operations against ISIS, but I don’t think the total destruction of ISIS is something they are really that motivated to achieve, because they see ISIS as the weapon against the Assad regime,” he said.

“I think that the first objective of the American foreign policy in Syria is to bring down the Assad regime. They see ISIS as perhaps the useful force towards that end, but they are also concerned ISIS potentially threatening American allies,” the analyst noted.

“Now that the Russian have gotten involved, I think the Obama administration really doesn’t want a direct confrontation with the Russians,” he observed.

“Bob Corker comes from the opposition party, from the Republicans, which take a more hard-line perspective on foreign policy than the Obama administration,” Preston said. “He seems to be more eager for a confrontation with the Russians.”

“I think he wants [the US] to fight ISIS more aggressively and tries to take down the Assad [government] at the same time. And that’s totally unrealistic objective, because there’s no viable alternative in Syria,” he pointed out.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since March 2011. According to reports, the United States and its regional allies – especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey – are supporting the militants operating inside the country.

Daesh terrorists, with members from several Western countries, have been active in Iraq, Syria and more recently in Libya, committing acts of terror against people of different religious and ethnic communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians and others.

Trojan Horde Reply

An unapologetically Nietzschean take on the refugee crisis.

By Dr. Robert M. Price

Thus Spake Zarathustra

I have read two books that turned out to be truly prophetic. Not clairvoyant, mind you, just prescient. The authors were like Isaac Asimov’s futurologist Hari Seldon in his Foundation epic: they had a far-reaching grasp of how present trends would turn out. One of these books was Andrei Amalric’s Will the Soviet Union Survive until 1984? It was published in English in 1970 and already foresaw that the USSR must unravel because of irreconcilable ethnic tensions between the disparate Soviet “republics.” Okay, he was just a few years early.

The other book was Jean Raspail’s novel, The Camp of the Saints (English publication in 1975),camp of the saints book cover whose title comes from Revelation 20:7-9: “And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be loosed from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations which are at the four corners of the earth, that is, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city.” It suddenly occurred to the author one day as he relaxed at the beach: what if the inexhaustible hordes of the scarecrow poor from all over the Third World were to show up on the shores of affluent Europe? Would the survivor guilt of the liberal West sap any and all resistance to the invading army whose only weapon was their terrible neediness? Would Europe throw open its doors, welcoming the destruction of their culture with the famous last words, “Give me your tired, your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores”? You know they would. And now, in 2015, they have.

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Privatize the Borders! 3

From Liberty Chat.

__________

By Robert P. MurphyLibertyChat.com contributor

Bryan Caplan has become perhaps the leading libertarian spokesman for “open borders,” the term that many people are using to mean that national governments do not place restrictions on the movement of people across the outer boundary of a country. Although I agree with the economics of Bryan’s analysis, I strongly disagree with his rhetoric. In particular, I think the very term “open borders” is awful on two counts: It incorrectly states what the libertarian position actually is, and–perhaps more serious–it concedes the nationalist framing of the immigration question in a way that will hasten the transformation of the U.S. into a giant police state.

First let me deal with the question of the libertarian ideal. If politics weren’t an issue, and we could get the society we really want, I think both Bryan and I would want all real estate held in private hands. There would be no such thing as “immigration policy” or “border control,” except for what each landowner decided for his or her property boundary. If the current border between the U.S. and Mexico ended up being divided among 2,870 different people, owning contiguous plots of land that collectively reached from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean, then those individuals would have the legal right to decide whether to build a fence to keep out Mexicans or whether to have a giant neon sign saying, “Hola Amigos!”

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Octave Mirbeau on Voting Reply

Ann Sterzinger‘s translation of a poll-dodging polemic by 19th century French anarchist and author Octave Mirbeau. Warms the cockles of my cold, anti-democratic heart….

Also, be sure to check out her translation of his novel In the Sky, available for the first time in English from Nine-Banded Books.

~MRDA~

____________

One thing amazes me prodigiously—I’d say it stuns me: that even during the scientific era in which I write, after umpteen examples, after all the newspaper scandals, there can still exist, in our dear France (as they say in the budget committee), a voter, one single voter—that irrational creature, unnatural and hallucinatory—who consents to interrupting his affairs, his dreams, or his pleasures, to go vote in favor or anything or anyone.

If you think for one second, isn’t this surprising phenomenon the perfect way to derail the most subtle philosophies and muddle our reason? Where is the new Balzac who will describe for us the physiognomy of the modern voter? Or the Charcot who will explain the anatomy and the mentality of this incurable nutjob?

We’re waiting!

More…

So Where Are the Feminists? Reply

 wherearefeminists

Ann Sterzinger asks the question at RightOn, spotlighting how the clash in the feminist worldview between “Enlightenment Person” and “Mommy Goddess” curtails any meaningful criticism of the more predatory and illiberal residents of Dar al-Islam. I notice the bifurcation a lot in abortion debates, where feminists talk about personal autonomy with one breath only to endorse the subjugation of unwilling fathers to the wombocracy with the next; and let’s not get into the decidedly maternalist bent of feminist anti-sex-industry campaigns.

Of course, the mistake made here is taking the feminist “equality” spiel at face value, instead of simply acknowledging the special pleading that forms the backbone of the ideology. On a related note, I’m somewhat wary of the reports of a “rape epidemic” in Scandinavia, given not only the prevalence of feminist dogma, but also expanded definitions of “rape”, the possibility of false/mistaken reports, and questionable reporting procedures (particularly in Sweden); it certainly raises the question of how embellished the “epidemic” is by such factors.


Why do radical feminists remain silent on the issue of mass immigration into Europe, in spite of the fact that the statistics show that European women are among its primary victims?

I’m not the first to ask this, but the more times it gets asked, the better.

During this debate on just how we’re going to get millions of Muslim migrants settled in Europe—since Europe’s politicians apparently have never seriously considered the option of actually securing their borders—where the hell are the feminists?

Because rape is bad, right?

Have they read the rape statistics regarding the millions of devout Muslims who are already ensconced in the Land of the Unbeliever?

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Sylvanian Families being stalked by ISIS banned from art gallery Reply

 

Sylvanian Families being stalked by ISIS banned from art gallery

From The Metro. The tragicomedy writes itself!

Also, this is the most media coverage I’ve seen Sylvanian Families receive in decades.

________

An exhibition celebrating freedom of expression has become the unlikely victim of censorship – after an artwork which showed Sylvanian Families being terrorised by ISIS was banned from the display.

The Passion for Freedom exhibition is currently being held at London’s Mall galleries – and features work such as ‘The Great Wall of Vagina’ – an eight foot long wall cast from the genitals of 400 women.

But the ‘Isis Threat Sylvania’ piece was removed after police became concerned that it was ‘potentially inflammatory’ and told organisers that they would have to pay £36,000 for security if the piece was displayed.

More…

Tyranny of the Weak Reply

By Aleksey Bashtavenko

“There is no progress in human history. Democracy is a fraud. Human nature is primitive, emotional, unyielding. The smarter, abler, stronger, and shrewder take the lion’s share. The weak starve, lest society become degenerate: One can compare the social body to the human body, which will promptly perish if prevented from eliminating toxins” Vilfredo Pareto

“Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5

The debate between Thomas Paine and Edmund Burke is widely regarded as the foundational difference between the left and the right. Thomas Paine regarded politics as similar to any other intellectual endeavor that requires the capacity for deep thought, critical analysis and creative synthesis. Resembling Plato’s Philosopher King, the politician regards the problems of society as that of “applied metaphysics” where solutions to all social ailments can be obtained through the exercise of reason alone. In line with Aristotle’s distinction between episteme and techne, Burke regarded politics as a practical rather than an intellectual endeavor. He rejected the doctrine of Socratic intellectualism that underpinned the Philosopher King thesis, asserting that people who know what constitutes the good are capable of acting in an evil manner.

More…

The Daily Shoah! Episode 51: Standard Clock Party 8

This is a virtual orgy of political incorrectness, including an interview with Christopher Cantwell, a discussion of the divisions within the U.S. libertarian movement and a discussion of the Donald Trump candidacy. Listen here.

A huge fucking Shoah. Seventh Son, Mike Enoch, Ghoul, Hateful Heretic, Bradshaw Wilson, and The Autiste gather for a massive 3+ hour episode. Featuring the Merchant Minute and Between Two Lampshades with Christopher Cantwell.

The Trump Phenomenon: Lew Rockwell and Tom Woods Discuss Reply

An interesting discussion between Lew and Tom. Listen here.

No doubt Donald Trump would be a bad president, as they all are — though his observation that the Iraq war was a disaster, and that while Saddam kept terrorists under control, Iraq is now a haven for terrorism, is better than we hear from anyone else — but surely there is more to say about the Trump phenomenon. Lew Rockwell joins Tom for a freewheeling discussion!

U.N., rights groups call on Saudi Arabia to spare man from beheading, crucifixion Reply

CNN.Com

A group of U.N. experts has joined rights groups in calling on Saudi Arabia to halt the execution of a Shiite man convicted of crimes reportedly committed as a teenager during protests inspired by the Arab Spring.

Ali al-Nimr, the nephew of firebrand Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, faces execution by beheading and an additional rare punishment of “crucifixion,” which means publicly displaying the body after death as a warning to others, according to Saudi state media.

“Any judgment imposing the death penalty upon persons who were children at the time of the offense, and their execution, are incompatible with Saudi Arabia’s international obligations,” the U.N. group said in a statement Tuesday, invoking the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Saudi Arabia is a party.

Arrested as a teenager

Ali al-Nimr was a 17-year-old high school student when he was arrested for taking part in Arab Spring-inspired protests in 2012 calling for social and political reforms in the country’s restive and predominantly Shiite province of Qatif.

A court later convicted him of charges including belonging to a terror cell, attacking police with Molotov cocktails, incitement, and stoking sectarianism, according to the state media report.

His final appeal was rejected when the Appeals Court and High Court ratified his verdict last week, the report said.

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After Beheading 100 People This Year, Saudi Arabia Joins U.N. Human Rights Council With U.S. Support Reply

This is beyond pathetic.

By Justin Salhani

Think Progress

President Barack Obama, right, meets with King Salman of Saudi Arabia in the Oval Office of the White House, on Friday, Sept. 4, 2015, in Washington.

The State Department has welcomed news that Saudi Arabia will head a U.N. Human Rights Council panel. Criticism has regularly been levelled at Saudi Arabia by human rights groups due to perennial human rights violations.

Saudi Arabia beheaded over 100 people this year through June. That’s already more than they beheaded in the entirety of 2014. The regime there is also known for its use of floggings and implementation of the death penalty against people convicted as minors. A group of U.N. experts called on Saudi Arabia as recently as this week to spare the nephew of a prominent Shia cleric from beheading and crucifixion. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia is regularly the target of international rights groups’ critiques due to their complete disregard for international human rights standards on free speech, freedom of religion, and a plethora of other violations.

“Saudi Arabia … systematically discriminates against Muslim religious minorities, notably Twelver Shia and Ismailis,” a Human Rights Watch (HRW) 2015 report on Saudi Arabia reads. This development has been widely denounced by figures who see the appointment as a way for Saudi Arabia to justify their current practices.

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3 AK-47-wielding women reportedly decimate ISIS militants Reply

Women in the World/New York Times

Embedded image permalink

A trio of women has formed an all-female fighting force to seek revenge on ISIS for atrocities committed against Yazidi women in Iraq, and it’s reportedly been decimating the enemy recently. The women hail from Turkey where they left their ordinary lives to travel to Kurdistan, in northern Iraq, and take the fight right to ISIS. According to The Daily Mail, the three AK-47 rifle-wielding and grenade-throwing women have been killing up to 10 ISIS jihadists per day of late in what are often bloody showdowns on the battlefield. The women are not the only all-female group of warriors taking on ISIS in the region. “When we heard ISIS were coming to Sinjar and killing women, we came to stop the humanitarian crisis,” Roza, 22, told The Daily Mail. Raparin, another of the women fighters, said the three “smuggled” themselves into Iraq from Turkey, and she vowed total vengeance for the enslavement and killing of Yazidi women. “We were sometimes killing 10 of them a day,” she said. “We are one with the Yazidis and will fight ISIS to take revenge for what has happened to the women.”

Read the full story at The Daily Mail.

Why Judges and Prosecutors Don’t Care If They’re Right Reply

By Matt Kaiser

AbovetheLaw.Com

Judge Alex Kozinski has written the preface for the latest edition of the Georgetown Law Journal’s Annual Review of Criminal Procedure.

Put simply, it’s a barn burner.

He lays out 12 views that are widely held by judges and lawyers to justify what happens in our criminal justice system — that forensic evidence is reliable, that juries follow jury instructions, that human memory is reliable, that the prosecution is at a disadvantage because of the burden of proof, that long sentences deter crime — and explains why there is substantial reason to doubt each of them based on what we know about the how the legal system actually works, what we’ve learned from empirical studies of how human brains function, and scientific literature casting doubt on much of what happens in the courtroom.

For example, on the reliability of forensic evidence, Kozinski quotes a piece in the journal Science that concludes that:

Spectrographic voice identification error rates are as high as 63%, depending on the type of voice sample tested. Handwriting error rates average around 40% and sometimes approach 100%. False-positive error rates for bite marks run as high as 64%. Those for microscopic hair comparisons are about 12% (using results of mitochondrial DNA testing as the criterion).

Another powerful Kozinski point is about jury instructions. More…

Bernie Sanders’ Foreign Policy Includes Military Aid To Israel, Saudi Arabia Reply

Bernie Sanders: The Rand Paul of the Left. Fuck these sellout assholes.

Mint Press

Like most modern presidential candidates, Bernie Sanders doesn’t talk much about foreign policy. Despite the dearth of his statements on the subject, Sanders has supported more military aid to Saudi Arabia because he claims, in opposition to available evidence, that the Saudi government is key to fighting ISIS.

In February, Sanders told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that the battle against ISIS is “a battle for the soul of Islam” and urged more involvement from wealthy countries in the region, including the House of Saud. He expounded:

[T]his war is a battle for the soul of Islam and it’s going to have to be the Muslim countries who are stepping up. These are billionaire families all over that region. They’ve got to get their hands dirty. They’ve got to get their troops on the ground. They’ve got to win that war with our support. We cannot be leading the effort.”

His stance remained unchanged despite a months-long, devastating Saudi-led campaign of bombing in Yemen that’s led to more than 1,000 dead children. While continuing to advocate against U.S. “boots on the ground,” and admitting that the U.S. had led to the destabilization in the region that directly spurred the rise of ISIS, Sanders told Blitzer in May that as one of the world’s biggest military spenders Saudi Arabia is “going to have to get their hands dirty in this fight. … [W]e should support those countries taking on ISIS.”

In an essay re-published Thursday by TruthDig, Sam Husseini, communications director for the Institute for Public Accuracy, questioned this unflagging support for a despotic regime:

“Why should a U.S. progressive be calling for more intervention by the Saudi monarchy? Really, we want Saudi troops in Syria and Iraq and Libya and who knows where else? You’d think that perhaps someone like Sanders would say that we have to break our decades-long backing of the corrupt Saudi regime—but no, he wants to dramatically accelerate it.”

Husseini also noted that Blitzer is openly supportive of Israel’s wars, so Sanders’ choice to appear on his show to voice support makes strategic sense, given the growing alliance between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

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Prison Without Punishment Reply

The Germans are adopting a model of prison reform that ARV-ATS has advocated for 15 years.

By Maurice Chammah

Vice

Inmates attending a yoga class at Heidering prison, on the outskirts of Berlin. Photos by Julian Röder

Published in partnership with the Marshall Project

This article appears in VICE magazine’s upcoming Prison Issue, which will go online Monday, October 5

Last year, Gregg Marcantel, the secretary of New Mexico’s Corrections Department, voluntarily placed himself in solitary confinement for 48 hours. He was one of a rare few who could choose to do such a thing, and it was a very Gregg thing to do—dramatic, physically demanding, good for a story. Since taking the job a few years before, Marcantel had worked to reduce the number of prisoners held in their cells for 23 hours a day, and he wanted to better understand what these prisoners actually experienced. He told a reporter, “There are just things sometimes that you gotta feel, you gotta taste, and you gotta hear, and you gotta smell.”

The video footage of his two days in a 12-by-7-foot cell has an eerie intimacy. Wearing standard-issue yellow scrubs and a bright orange beanie, Marcantel, a former cop who resembles a bodybuilder, looms around the cell. He listens to the shouting and clanging outside his door, writes in a notebook, and picks at some rubbery breakfast meat. His face alternates between boredom and curiosity. He reads Night, the Holocaust memoir by Elie Wiesel, and a business book called Boundaries for Leaders.

The stunt was not Marcantel’s only effort to address solitary confinement, though it was the most public. Working with the Vera Institute of Justice, a nonprofit organization based in New York, his staff was implementing a program called Restoration to Population, which would allow inmates affiliated with prison gangs to renounce their membership and earn their way out of solitary confinement through good behavior. Another program would allow inmates who had been held in solitary for their own protection—informants and the young and weak—to live together in regular housing. The number of New Mexico state prisoners in solitary dropped from 10.1 percent in late 2013 to 6.9 percent in June 2015.

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Putin to Russian army officers: operation ‘Salvation’ shall begin soon, you must prepare to cleanse Syria from Obama’s terrorists Reply

Russia moves to prevent genocide in the Middle East

AWD.Com

Addressing the Russian top brass on Wednesday, Vladimir Putin lambasted U.S. Middle-East policy for being ‘disastrous’ as Saudi-backed rebels vowed to purge Syria and Iraq from Christians and other ethnic and religious minorities.

“We have nearly two million orthodox Christians in the Levant—Syria and Lebanon— and approximately 5 million Christians across Middle-East. Regardless of America’s presidential election outcome, White House craves chaos in that oil-rich region by supporting fanatic Islamist organizations, i.e. ISIS and al-Nusra Front,” Moskovskaya Pravda cited the Russian president as saying.

It is morally incumbent upon Russia to change this terrible status quo in the Middle-East , added Mr.Putin ,  prepare for operation ‘Salvation’ and with God almighty’s aid , we shall cleanse Syria from Obama’s ruthless terrorists.

Amid accusations from the United States that Moscow is beefing up its military presence in Syria, there are unconfirmed satellite pictures and intelligence reports about building several runways across Syria suitable for landing the giant Antonov An-225 Mriya , allegedly transferring battle tanks,  heavy armored vehicles, offensive weapons  and Russian elite forces to be deployed and then engaged directly with radical terrorist groups.

White House spokesperson criticized on Tuesday Russian military movement in Syria, suggesting Moscow tries to establish a central air base at an airfield south of Latakia Province – President Assad’s stronghold– that has been at the heart of a recent Russian military buildup in Syria.

Russia has been providing arms to Damascus since Soviet times and Moscow has been the key international ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the conflict that started with Islamist rebellion against Syria’s secular system.

Over the past year, evidence has steadily emerged of a growing Russian military presence in Syria. As Syrian army struggles to defeat al-Qaeda rebels but according to Russian officials, the time has been arrived for Russia to save Middle-East.

Putin and Assad have made fools of the West Reply

By John R. Bradley

The Spectator

Bradley

At the outset of Syria’s brutal four-year civil war, I was an almost unique voice in the British media deploring the push to depose the secular dictator President Bashar al-Assad, especially in the absence of a genuinely popular uprising against him. Here in The Spectator I tried to point out that such a short-term strategy would have devastating long-term consequences. Assad, I argued, would not fall, because the people of Damascus would not rise up against him. The so-called secular rebels were in fact vicious Islamists in disguise. Western interests in the region would be dramatically undermined by Saudi and Iranian militias, who would fight a devastating proxy war. Syria’s extraordinarily diverse population risked annihilation as a result. And we could even end up provoking a full-blown war with Russia.

No one listened, and I tired of trying to convince them of their folly. Four years on, the suffering of the Syrian people — 250,000 slaughtered, half of the population internally displaced and millions more made refugees — is obvious. And last week, in the midst of Europe’s biggest refugee crisis since the second world war (brought about in no small part by fleeing Syrians), the extent of the West’s geopolitical miscalculations became painfully evident. Jihadists of various affiliations, who are now unequivocally the only opposition, were encroaching on Syria’s Alawite-dominated coastal heartland, and inching ever closer towards Damascus. So the long-time Syrian ally Russia called Washington’s bluff by establishing military bases in the regime stronghold Latakia. In a flash its tanks, fighter jets, military advisers, warships and even its most modern anti-aircraft missile system were in place. Its engineers constructed an airport landing strip almost overnight, as its navy conducted menacing drills in the nearby (Russian-leased) Syrian port of Tartus.

This was the most brazen overseas military deployment by Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union. But it caught Nato off guard. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. After all, we learnt of the Islamic State’s new caliphate — arguably the most important development in the region since the founding of Israel in 1948 — only when its leader announced the event on YouTube. Still, the question remains: why did the Russians move to guarantee Assad’s survival? The short answer is because the West’s Syrian strategy was in such disarray that Russia could expect Nato to look the other way.

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Tajikistan to introduce harsh jail terms for ‘witchcraft’, ‘sorcery’ 1

An example of why we cannot have mass immigration from regions of the world whose level of social development is still in the pre-Enlightenment stage. With rare exceptions, virtually all Westerners, from militant atheists to ultra-fundamentalist Christians accept the Enlightenment principle of separation of religion and state (with the remaining points of contention either being on the periphery, or concerning matters of where to draw the line between “free exercise” and “non-establishment”). That’s not the case in some other parts of the world.

Australian News

Tajikistan to introduce harsh jail terms for witchcraft , sorcery
Tajikistan to introduce harsh jail terms for ‘witchcraft’, ‘sorcery’

Dushanbe (Tajikistan) (AFP) – Tajikistan is set to introduce legislation that would punish practitioners of ‘witchcraft’ and ‘sorcery’ with prison sentences of up to seven years, state television said Thursday.

The authoritarian ex-Soviet country’s government sent to parliament on Wednesday amendments to the criminal code that will see purportedly magical practices previously punished by fines criminalised.

Although the exact activities the legislation will cover were not specified, the law is likely intended to target witch-doctors and healers that have turned their claims to special powers into a business in recent years.

The amendments will face no opposition in the parliament where lawmakers are exclusively loyal to 62-year-old strongman President Emomali Rakhmon.

Tajikistan is known for its harsh legislation which made international news in August when a young man was fined over $600 for sharing cake with friends in a pub on his birthday.

A local court determined he had violated a law on parties which forbids public birthday celebrations and sets limits to the number of guests at weddings and funerals among other restrictions.