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:: Sunday, February 14, 2010 ::

Link Dump

Witches and Jedis put hex on UK census

"The 2011 census is likely to be Britain’s last following concerns that the 209-year-old survey is unable to cope with the nation’s rapidly changing population — and respondents’ lies.

"When a voluntary question on faith was asked for the first time at the 2001 census, 390,127 respondents drew inspiration from Star Wars and stated their religion as “Jedi” or “Jedi Knight” — more than the number of people who said they were Jewish or Buddhist. Some 7,227 people declared themselves as witches, adherents of the pagan religion of Wicca"


I gave my religion as Jedi last time round in the hope of preventing them from asking such a stupid question again. Looks like it was more successful than I imagined. Although the transient population is a larger factor in the flaws with the current survey.

The conscience stifled by Amnesty

When Gita Sahgal questioned the human rights group’s links to Islamic radicals, it suspended her. Now she fears for her safety.

"Last week Gita Sahgal, a highly respected lifelong human rights activist and head of Amnesty’s gender unit, told The Sunday Times of her concerns about Amnesty’s relationship with Cageprisoners, an organisation headed by Moazzam Begg, a former Guantanamo internee.

"Since his release in 2005, Begg has spoken alongside Amnesty at a number of events and accompanied the organisation to a meeting at Downing Street last month. Sahgal felt the closeness of the relationship between Amnesty and Cageprisoners — which appears to give succour to those who believe in global jihad — was a threat to Amnesty’s integrity. “To be appearing on platforms with Britain’s most famous supporter of the Taliban, whom we treat as a human rights defender, is a gross error of judgment,” she wrote to Amnesty’s leaders following the Downing Street visit."


Interesting. It's getting into the same murky water that free speech campaigners got into when they started delivering the BNP leaflets that the posties refused to. It's also worth noting that the Times seem to have an axe to grind on this issue. I searched their website for articles about Amnesty and the first five hits were attacks on it. (Thats a live search link and will change over time.)

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