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Today-- Burma and Darfur

Anu Anand | 14:38 UK time, Monday, 1 October 2007

We're on air now - click here to listen

Hi there, I've just spent the last hour deleting hundreds of messages from a really persistent spammer. Only you know who you are 'Hofner'... but to those who've written to say you're still having trouble posting on the blog, Hofner isn't helping. Stranger still is that the spam has no link for car insurance or Viagra, so it really is utterly pointless. That's a roundabout way of saying-- we're doing our best to sort out the spam/posting problems. In the meantime, feel free to email your comments and we'll post them manually from here.

To those of you who expressed solidarity with Burmese protestors last week-- do you now think the worst has transpired? Have the protests failed? Someone said this morning on the World Today, the BBC World Service breakfast programme, that the regime had succeeded in frightening another generation of Burmese into silence. Is that because the regime is simply too well-armed, and too intractable? Is it because the world has failed Burma again? Is it because individually and collectively, people have failed to act: to write to their representatives, to protest, to speak out?

Several of you have written to say that the world should boycott the Beijing Olympics because of China's military and economic support to Burma's generals. Would you or have you written to your leaders to suggest just that?

Many times when we've discussed a peacekeeping force for Darfur, you've said, 'It's Africa's problem, let Africa sort it out.'

Well, this weekend, rebel forces stormed a base in northern Darfur and killed African Union peacekeepers. Forty are still missing. Does this attack show that Africa can't bring peace to Darfur? Next year the UN and AU will jointly deploy the world's largest peacekeeping force - 26,000 troops - to Darfur. But, if the world has failed Burma... is it inevitable that it will fail Darfur too? What would you ask the 'elders' - Bishop Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter, Graca Michel and former UN Iraq envoy Lakhdar Brahimi- who have just arrived in Khartoum for talks?

Here's the story: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7021429.stm

I doubt we'll get to this on-air today, but we all agree it's high time to put your concerns about religion to the rest of the world. There are more than 16 million results for 'atheism' on the internet search I just did. Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, remains on the New York Times best-seller list (albeit now right at the bottom) nearly a year on... Would the world be better off without religion? Or are atheists just another kind of fundamentalist?

F*** Islam is a site on Facebook (warning-- you can't access it unless you're already on Facebook). Here are its stated aim in its own words:

"The Quran contains many lies and threats. Islam is false, no god exists, and someone should say that loud and clear. Heaven and hell are fables, prayer is a waste of time, and angels and jinn are obviously mythology.

This is not a group against Muslims. [emphasis mine] They have it bad enough. If you doubt that go to Palestine. If you hate Muslims or are here to harrass them or promote your religion, go away. Muslims can be and usually are peaceful and respectful.

The best thing for the whole world is a rejection of all religions and a renewed discovery of the love for humanity and naturalism.
F*** Christianity and Judaism as well. These religions are just as false and have a variety of disadvantages."

F*** Islam has 924 members. A petition against the group and against Facebook has already had 72,702 people sign up.

Is it possible to criticize Islam without insulting Muslims? Or is the word F*** a blatant and inexcusable insult?

Bye for now,


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