Contents

Editor's Pick

Letter to myself

19 Jan 2015

Dear Younger Self, Salam alaikum! I am writing to you from the future. In a couple of years I will be 40; you have just…

Choosing our battles

10 Jan 2015

On 10 July 2013, two days after 51 demonstrators were killed and another 435 were injured in protests against the military coup in Egypt, Charlie…

Awake

3 Jul 2014

Pinch yourself. Awake! The Internet is like Alice in Wonderland, a strange unreality, so unbelievably true. The maddening clamour of decapitated voices call to folly,…

Keyboard warriors

2 Jul 2014

The keyboard warriors are doing battle, clashing on all frontiers. With rage they tap ever faster on keyboards of glass and plastic, outdoing their opponents…

Of a mountain

18 Sep 2011

The reality of this road is that it is difficult. It may be straight, but it is steep and at times rough, and often vulnerable…

Virtuous Reality

28 Jun 2010

Who sits this side of the computer terminal, tapping out words that shoot out across the web? Nobody knows. Nobody knows if the author is…

Fitna

15 Jun 2010

Two or three years ago in one very insignificant corner of the internet, a huge argument broke out between proponents of vaguely different interpretations of…

Chasing wild geese

16 Nov 2009

I opened The Independent this morning to find a photograph of someone I once knew staring back at me. An entire decade has passed since…

More than bricks and mortar

6 Oct 2009

Recent months have seen a sudden upsurge in devotion to the Christian faith amongst followers of the British National Party (BNP) and the English Defence…

“Towards the latter days of indiscriminate violence be like the first and better of the two sons of Adam who said, ‘If you raise your hand to kill me, I will not raise mine to kill you; surely I fear God, the Lord of the Worlds'” — Hadith

Preserving our
humanity in times
of brutal conflict

Whose side were you on?

Politics prevent us from condemning atrocities universally. Politics make us blind to some victims and extraordinarily sympathetic to others. Politics demand that we adopt a…

The sanctity of life

The past century has witnessed such extreme violence, with 160 million people killed in war, that our leaders are incapable of taking a stance based…

Together

The world is too emotionally terrifying today, too draining and too frightening. Politicians, militants and social commentators alike want to divide us into groups, into…

The Propagandist

In one breath you dismiss the faith of millions of your brothers, writing them off as sell-outs, apostates and hypocrites, while in the next you…

Taking a side

I have read Tony Blair’s Bloomberg speech in full, long winded though it was. It contains some truths, and some realities for Western interests. I…

Women and Children

As sections of the media and governments worldwide congratulate themselves for telling Israel off for shooting civilians on the Mavi Maramara earlier this week, I…

Who said we were pacifists?

Who said Muslims were pacifists? I have never heard a Muslim say such a thing. In fact, the only religious community I have encountered personally who take an anti-war stance are the Quakers. My father is now an Anglican priest, but his passionate faith did not prevent us from spending our childhood climbing all over tanks, artillery and fighter planes at military museums and air shows.

In Defence of Civilisation

I have before me a copy of The Telegraph—it isn’t mine; my grandmother left it with us after her visit today—and there is a photograph and a headline on the front that occupy me. I keep on returning to the dining table to sit hunched over it, studying the photograph and the words that accompany it.

I cannot promise

This weekend I intended to tidy my study, which is indisputably the messiest room in our house. Unfortunately, as often happens, I soon found myself side-tracked from the task and absorbed in reading a document that had no obvious place amongst my piles of bills and letters. It turns out it may not have been the most appropriate reading material for a Sunday afternoon, because now imagined images keep flashing before my eyes, causing me to weep.

Unravelling the web: surviving life online

Casualties of war

People are sharing an image purporting to show 13 children executed by ISIS for watching a football match on television. I did a reverse image search…

Are any of these claims true?

A friend posts conspiratorial claims on the Internet. I am surprised, because he is a student of knowledge who knows all about the importance of…

Gateways to the soul

Our senses, notably our eyes and ears, are gateways to our hearts. In an interview, recorded just hours before his execution in 1989, serial killer Ted…

Awake

Pinch yourself. Awake! The Internet is like Alice in Wonderland, a strange unreality, so unbelievably true. The maddening clamour of decapitated voices call to folly,…

Keyboard warriors

The keyboard warriors are doing battle, clashing on all frontiers. With rage they tap ever faster on keyboards of glass and plastic, outdoing their opponents…

The way of truth

To me, it is remarkable that the progeny of a community which invested so heavily in the sciences of verification and authenticity to preserve the…

Image Search

We are finding out the hard way about the power of the web. As site/blog/twit owners we need learn and relearn the ethics of posting…

Virtuous Reality

Who sits this side of the computer terminal, tapping out words that shoot out across the web? Nobody knows. Nobody knows if the author is…

Obsessive Compulsive 2.0

I’m not really sure about this Web 2.0 malarkey. I’ve just deleted my Facebook account again. Last time it was because I imagined a fantastical…