Occupational Hazards In Education

Education isn’t an easy profession to endure, but teachers in Australia these days face a more ominous occupational hazard than say, repetitive motion injuries sustained from grading papers or typing up homework assignments:

Teachers at a primary school in Sydney, Australia have been threatened with beheading and other violence from young Islamic students, prompting one of them to quit her job. Students as young as those in Year 5, according to the Daily Telegraph, are making the violent threats and pressuring others to read the Koran at Punchbowl Public School in Sydney.

Documents given to the newspaper allege that three staff members have taken a leave of absence owing to stress, received counselling and been awarded compensation after bullying from Islamic students.

One female teacher reportedly quit her job after it got too much for her. She claims she quit after receiving death threats to her family from her year 5 and 6 students, with some saying they would behead her. The teacher also said she made numerous complaints back in 2014 about the extraordinary behavior in the class. For example, she said, she was abused by students after she stopped them from hanging a Syrian flag in the classroom.

In another example, she claimed she was pushed into a corner by students who began marching around her chanting the Koran.

Before you commit thoughtcrime by merely acknowledging that something might be a little off about this, repeat after me, before the police come to take you away:

Religion of peace

Diversity is our strength

Free speech is hate speech

The progressive-left has already made it abundantly clear that no conversations shall be had about these ideas, and that any criticism of a religious doctrine which commands the beheading of infidels is “gross and racist“.

Whenever anyone even meekly asserts that they’d really rather not be “culturally enriched” by suicide bombing, sharia law, or female genital mutilation, they risk character assassination in addition to actual assassination.

Dark humor aside, and the usual #NotAllMuslims caveats already in place and ready for me to repeat ad infinitum, what will it take for people in the west to wake up and realize that this is not compatible with Western civilization?

Whatever it takes, my greatest hopes lie with the liberal, secular Muslim reformers who risk their very lives to be murdered as apostates or heretics to speak of an Islamic Reformation so desperately needed for a soft landing between Islam and the West:

In ‘Current Year’ the BBC Asks ‘What is the Right Punishment for Blasphemy?’

Recently, Pakistan reached out to Facebook to help identify people suspected of blasphemy to aid in their prosecution, according to CNBC:

Under Pakistani law anyone suspected of blasphemy can be prosecuted and potentially sentenced to death.

According to Reuters, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said Thursday that an official in Pakistan’s Washington embassy has approached the two social media companies in an effort to identify Pakistanis, either within the country or abroad, who recently shared material deemed offensive to Islam.

Authorities in Pakistan have already identified 11 people suspected of blasphemy and would seek the extradition of anyone living abroad.

Facebook said it reviews all government requests carefully, “with the goal of protecting the privacy and rights of our users.”

After the news of this broke, the BBC, under the guise of the BBC Asian Network, asked not whether blasphemy laws are right, but instead asked what the “right” punishment for blasphemy should be:

The BBC attempted to “clarify” the bit as a “poorly worded question”, though I too don’t see how that makes the question any better.

The BBC Asian Network didn’t seem at all fazed by the fact that you can be murdered in Pakistan for criticizing one particular religion.

Gad Saad is a Lebanese Jewish atheist, and has been an open and vocal critic of religious extremism, especially since his family fled from that country’s civil war because his family faced summary execution for being Jewish:

Needless to say, he took a pretty good rip out of the BBC’s bizarre question:

It’s incredible to me that in “current year“, 2017 that this is even a question for any media outlets of western origin — that it comes more specifically from the “BBC Asian Network” makes little difference to me because the parent company is still the BBC.

That I’m an American makes little difference to me as well — I wouldn’t care for religious extremism propagandized at taxpayer expense were it from NPR, so I can imagine that British patriots wouldn’t either like that the extremist ideology of Lee Rigby’s murderers is funded by British taxpayers either.

It’s worth noting that one particular Muslim reformist — whom I’d seriously consider taking a bullet for — was none too pleased:

Biology Deniers and “The XX Factor”

Claire Lehmann published an article at Commentary Magazine about the dangers of ignoring or dismissing very real biological differences between men and women for the sake of ideology.

In “The XX Factor” she mentions the creeping, stultifying influence of “intersectionality” in the sciences.

In particular she mentions intersectionality creep in science and medicine, as gender feminists are apparently willing to sacrifice advances in human health by denying basic human biological truths in service to the dramatically untrue claim that “biological sex is a social construct“.

She cites as an example of this ideology a work the works of Australian social psychologist Cordelia Fine who in her 2010 book, Delusions of Gender  wrote (as Lehmann quotes) that neuroscientific findings “reinforce and legitimate the gender stereotypes that interact with our minds, helping to create the very gender inequalities that [they] seek to explain.”

In short, all neuroscientific findings must conform to intersectional feminist ideology, no matter how ridiculous, and no matter the damage it does to science or humanity:

Fine’s 2013 call for neuroscientists to incorporate intersectionality is just one of the more recent attempts by anti–sex difference academics to dilute the objective methods of the natural sciences with theories emanating from the humanities. This is bad news. The Ambien and Addyi fiascos make clear that women would benefit from more rigor in science, not less. Instead of injecting subjectivity into scientific methods, feminist advocates should be demanding that the influences of biological sex differences be investigated and accounted for systematically, as a matter of routine practice.

Most disturbing, Fine and her fellow travellers are often held up by the uninformed press as fearless advocates for women; “a pinnacle piece of feminist literature” is how one reviewer in the Huffington Post described Fine’s Delusions of Gender. In reality, their contributions amount to little more than obscurantism. That women have many more adverse drug reactions than men and that male subjects are consistently overrepresented in the early stages of clinical research at women’s expense seem not to register with them as legitimate issues to care about. These realities are merely mentioned in passing, or in glib disclaimers about why they are not prima facie opposed to studying sex differences (just as long as they don’t show that male and female brains are actually different).

The discovery of sex differences in the human brain and nervous system should not be seen as a blow to gender equality. Men are not the “gold standard” version of the human species, and women should not be viewed as a deviation from the norm. In stoking fears about difference, these political activists dressed in scholars’ clothing unwittingly imply that female-typical traits are something to be ashamed of and are by default inferior. Why would the discovery of differences be so ominous if one didn’t secretly harbor the view that female-typical traits were unsatisfactory? Whether such attitudes will ultimately be remembered as sexist or feminist is something only history can decide.

When the aims of political zealots converge with institutional inertia and profit-hungry industry, significant harms can result. And while it might be fun and games to the humanities scholars who spend their time waxing lyrical about the social construction of gender, for clinicians and their patients, ignoring the reality of sex can be fatal. Long impugned for being a “neurosexist,” Larry Cahill now has the beleaguered appearance of a man who has carried the weight of a heavy and inconvenient truth for years. Meanwhile, Cordelia Fine has just recently been celebrated in the New York Times and the Guardian with hagiographic reviews of her latest pop-science book

Anti-sex difference academics are not personally responsible for women overdosing on sleeping pills and not being able to access medical treatments tailored specifically to their sex. But it is becoming increasingly clear that the ideology they have pushed for years—that biological sex differences are trivial—almost certainly is. The scientific enterprise and its quest for truth will win in the long run. But how many casualties will this battle eventually claim?

It’s well worth the read, particularly how Lehmann cites the cases of Ambien, Addyi, and Thalidomide as why it’s so dangerous to dismiss sex differences in the science or medicine for any reason, to say nothing of appeasing radical ideologues.

You can read the rest of “The XX Factor” here.

The Middle Majority Livestream

Fairly recently some friends of mine got together to form a private Facebook group called “The Middle Majority” as “A non partisan alliance standing against political intolerance from across the ideological spectrum,” born in the wake of the 2016 election as well as the fallout from the U.S. election result that shocked the world.

While we call ourselves “The Middle Majority”, we don’t mean to be arrogant — perhaps we call ourselves that out of hope that we are of the majority of people who hope for a new small-l liberal political center against the emerging political extremes.

As much as has transpired especially since the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, we’ve decided to have a public chat with a private group of friends who are worried about the state of politics and creeping extremism from both the left and right ends of the political spectrum.

We’ll discuss the normalization of political violence on the left (“Everyone I don’t like is a ‘Nazi'”), how Trump’s critics sabotage themselves, Vault 7 and more.

For more information contact me, Jacob Santillan on Twitter @Digital_Heretic