German officials have suspended a lawyer’s passport to prevent him from traveling to Iran to attend a proposed conference questioning whether the Holocaust ever happened. Horst Mahler is a former attorney for the National Democratic Party of Germany, a fringe party that political analysts accuse of having neo-Nazi tendencies.
Groups say Patriot Act being used to stifle academic debate
Feb 21, 2006
Highlighting the case of a prominent Muslim scholar barred from a tenured post at Notre Dame, the ACLU and three other groups, including the large American Academy of Religion, have filed a federal lawsuit seeking to strike down a USA Patriot Act clause they say is applied wrongly to stifle academic debate.
Military action against Iran is unwarranted and unwise: one, a nuclear threat is not imminent. Two, the U.S. and Israel’s military superiority should discourage Iran from aggressive action. Three, the destruction of Iran’s nuclear facilities would be difficult: they are widely dispersed, with many in underground bunkers. Four, Iran has the means with which to retalliate. Five, Iran could embargo its oil and plunge the world into deep depression. Finally, military action would strengthen hardline Islamists (Richard Falk, the Nation, Feb. 13).
By a 216-214 vote, the House of Representatives has passed a controversial budget-cutting bill opposed vigorously as “immoral” by mainline and ecumenical church leaders late in 2005. The bill, which President Bush said he would sign, trims federal budget programs by nearly $40 billion over the next five years. The February 1 vote by the House included no Democrats in favor.
Pope Benedict XVI has issued the first encyclical of his papacy, dedicating Roman Catholicism’s highest form of writing to a reflection on love and charity that calls for a “purification” of erotic love between men and women.