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Bill Maher 1, Ben Affleck 0

By: Michael Tomasky 

The Real Time host’s spat with the 'Gone Girl' star gets to the heart of a major and longtime problem within contemporary Western liberalism

Every once in a great while, something happens on television that you know while you’re watching it: Well, this is unusual. Those old enough to know what I’m talking about when I say “Al Campanis”  will remember that that was one of your more extreme cases. The exchange between Bill Maher and Ben Affleck on last Friday’s Real Time wasn’t a Campanis moment, but I knew instantly—watching it in, well, real time, as it were—that this was going to spark discussion,  as indeed it has.

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It’s official: We’ll have a referendum to remove blasphemy from the Constitution

According to The Journal, Irish voters will have be asked to vote on whether to remove the crime of blasphemy from the Constitution, it was announced this morning.

Junior Minister Aodhán Ó’Ríordáin told the Dáil:

“The Government accepts the main recommendation of the [Constitutional Convention], which is that a referendum should be held on removing the offence of blasphemy from the Constitution.”

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Vatican arrests defrocked former archbishop on paedophilia charges

According to Reuters, The Vatican last week arrested a former archbishop accused of paying for sex with children while he was a papal ambassador in the Dominican Republic, the first-ever arrest inside the city state on charges of paedophilia.

Jozef Wesolowski, a Pole who was defrocked by a Vatican tribunal in June, has been placed under house awaiting a criminal trial, the Vatican said in a statement.

The 66-year-old Wesolowski is the most prominent church figure to be arrested since Paolo Gabriele, a former papal butler convicted in 2012 of stealing and leaking private papers of former Pope Benedict XVI.

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Cape Town to shut pro-gay mosque

South Africa’s first gay-friendly mosque, which also allows women to lead prayers, must close, a local official has told the BBC.

A City of Cape Town councillor says the newly established Open Mosque has violated municipal by-laws by not having any parking spaces.

The mosque officially opened its doors on Friday despite criticism from members of the local Muslim community.

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'Trojan Horse' Scandal 'Worse in London than Birmingham' Claims Department for Education

Some schools in east London are being taken over by Muslim extremists who are trying to convert pupils and staff to their hardline ideology, according to a report in today's Sunday Times.

The newspaper spoke to a contact within the Department for Education (DfE) who clams the problem there is even worse than in Birmingham, where a 'Trojan Horse' plot to take over schools was revealed this year.

"Tower Hamlets is expected to be the next Birmingham," said the DfE source, "but even worse, because the problems surrounding Muslim fundamentalists imposing their views on education seems to be more embedded."

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Fears of forced hijab fuel alarm over Turkey’s Islamic school surge

ISTANBUL (AFP) – When Turkish pupils received their school entry exam results after the end of last term, textile worker and father Halil Ibrahim Beyhan received a surprise that was unpleasant to him.

His daughter had been assigned to a religious high school, like thousands of other students under a new system that caught many parents off guard.

According to Aquila Style,  parents, educators and civil society groups have decried the move as another attack on Turkey’s secular principles by the Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) co-founded by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accusing the government of imposing religion on students.

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Egypt ‘gay marriage’ video detainees to face trial

 According to Gulf News, eight men arrested in Egypt for appearing in a “gay marriage” video that went viral on the Internet have been referred to trial for inciting debauchery, judicial sources said on Monday.

Homosexuality is not included in a list of sexual offences explicitly outlawed by Egyptian law, but it can be punished under several different statutes on morality.

Seven of the nine men identified from the video were arrested on September 6. They tested negative after they were put through medical exams to detect whether they were homosexuals.

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LGBT Egyptians Go Into Hiding As Regime Cracks Down

“The targeting of gay persons in Egypt happens when someone, on the senior level, chooses for it to happen,” an Interior Ministry official told BuzzFeed News.

Last week, eight men went before an Egyptian judge in the country’s highest-profile trial over homosexuality in more than a decade. The men stand accused of appearing in a video showing two men exchanging wedding rings, and face the possibility of more than three years in prison.

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Stephen Hawking Says 'There Is No God,' Confirms He's An Atheist

According to Huffington Post, Stephen Hawking says he's an atheist, arguing that science offers a "more convincing explanation" for the origins of the universe and that the miracles of religion "aren't compatible" with scientific fact.

"Before we understood science, it was natural to believe that God created the universe, but now science offers a more convincing explanation," the celebrated physicist said in a video posted by Spanish newspaper El Mundo. "What I meant by 'we would know the mind of God' is we would know everything that God would know if there was a God, but there isn't. I'm an atheist."

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Backyard Terrorists

WRITTEN BY ANNE KELLEY, AAI NEWS TEAM

Several recent raids on Sydney and Brisbane homes have brought to light a dangerous extremist ring of Islamic ISIL/ISIS supporters with plots to carry out terrorist attacks, including a plot to abduct and behead a random member of the Australian public on camera.

Law enforcement officials have told journalists that they are worried about civil unrest after these raids, as “the people who normally calm down the hotheads are not here”. Whilst the Islamic community has come together in many displays of anti-extremist ideologies, subversive voices continue to flood into the community. Australia is now joining numerous other countries that are currently dealing with Jihadist recruiters, encouraging young Islamic Australians to partake in warfare in Syria and Iraq, taking money and people to the Middle East to waste on a religious war costing lives and sanity.

The current tension in Brisbane is pliable, with the G20 summit around the corner. Anti-terrorist measures are clear around the city, with even common trash receptacles being welded shut to prevent terrorist attacks.

With other Islamic Australians coming out publicly in favour of the ISIS/ISIL terrorist group, it is unknown how many more raids and terrorist threats from religious institutions will have to be thwarted before the terrorist threat level in Australia is lowered to a less unsettling standard: for the first time in eleven years the alert is "high". Unfortunately Australia’s more secular and multicultural way of life is being threatened by some of the very people who came here for those freedoms.

 

Gays — Muslim Or Not — Face Caning With 100 Lashes In Indonesia If Proposed Sharia Bylaw Passes

According to Inquisitr, gay rights are not a thing in one particular region of Muslim-majority Indonesia, not by a long shot. Under a new proposal in Indonesia’s Aceh province, gays face 100 lashes with a cane if caught engaging in homosexual acts. This would apply to both Muslims and non-Muslims in the region. The proposal is expected to pass as soon as Monday.

The Deputy Mayor of the Aceh province, Illiza Sa’aduddin Djamal, has been pushing for the measure against gays since at least May of 2013. Her province is the only area of Indonesia that enforces Islamic Sharia Law. Implementation of Sharia has been gradual since its introduction in the northwestern province of Indonesia in 2001.

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