All posts filed under: Debate

Debate

Canada’s struggle to get more women into the military

The Trudeau government released a new defence policy in early June, after months of speculation about the size of the defence budget, purchase of major equipment and Canada’s future role in military operations. The election of Donald Trump in the U.S. no doubt threw the process off course and forced certain revisions to the policy, which was initially due in January. The policy offers guidelines on the types of operations the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) might undertake and promises a steady increase in funding over the next decade. But its main focus is on people — the women and men who dedicate their life to military service. Highlighting the importance of diversity, the policy pays special attention to female service members and aims “to further increase the representation of women in the military by one per cent annually towards a goal of 25 per cent in 10 years.” Driving this shift is the assumption the CAF is in need of culture change — and that more women and the use of gender perspectives will improve …

Myth of Britain’s gifts to India

Many modern apologists for British colonial rule in India no longer contest the basic facts of imperial exploitation and plunder, rapacity and loot, which are too deeply documented to be challengeable. Instead they offer a counter-argument: granted, the British took what they could for 200 years, but didn’t they also leave behind a great deal of lasting benefit? In particular, political unity and democracy, the rule of law, railways, English education, even tea and cricket? Indeed, the British like to point out that the very idea of “India” as one entity (now three, but one during the British Raj), instead of multiple warring principalities and statelets, is the incontestable contribution of British imperial rule. Unfortunately for this argument, throughout the history of the subcontinent, there has existed an impulsion for unity. The idea of India is as old as the Vedas, the earliest Hindu scriptures, which describe “Bharatvarsha” as the land between the Himalayas and the seas. If this “sacred geography” is essentially a Hindu idea, Maulana Azad has written of how Indian Muslims, whether …

Skeptic Society Magazine Sam Harris and the Collapse of the Counter-Jihad Left

Sam Harris and the Collapse of the Counter-Jihad Left

A failure of nerve. A few years ago, atheist writer Sam Harris became one of the very few high-profile figures on the Left to break ranks with the Left’s general denial of the jihad threat and willingness to ignore or even excuse the most inhumane Sharia oppression. His calling Islam “the mother lode of bad ideas” on a famous appearance on Bill Maher’s show with Ben Affleck was only the most notorious of many criticisms he made of Islam and jihad, to the fury of many of those who had previously admired his work. Indeed, the reaction was furious from what his friend and coauthor Maajid Nawaz dubbed “the regressive Left”: Glenn Greenwald and others skewered Harris as an “Islamophobe,” and Reza Aslan, with his typical dishonesty, misrepresented statements Harris had made in order to portray him as a racist, genocidal maniac. Harris held out, but he was clearly stung by the tidal wave of negativity he received from people whom he had previously counted as friends and allies. He went out of his way …