For a lazy Sunday:
- Egypt's Coptic Pope needs more time in hospital: church - Baba Shenouda continues to be seriously ill
- The crescent and the cross - FT review destroys "Eurabia" books
- What’s Behind the Reversal of Tunisia Hijab Ban? - A look at a recent court decision to reverse longstanding ban
- When the bikini line turned to a battleline - bodily hair in Islamic and Western culture, mentioned here because of very bizarre opening paragraphs:
Christopher Hitchens, hammer of Islamism, rationalist supernova, has just had a “back, sack and crack wax”. Here he is in December's Vanity Fair, pudgy hands clasped in unlikely prayer pose, while a cadre of beauticians yank swatches of what seems to be shag-pile from the nethermost Pelt of the Hitch. Antiwar types might relish his agonised depilation diary — “like being tortured for information that you do not possess, with intervals for a (incidentally very costly) sandpaper handjob” — and wonder if it might afford him some deeper insight into activities inside Guantanamo.
Yet, strangely, in submitting to this ritual for a feature on self-improvement to celebrate his recently acquired US citizenship (he also traded fag-stained British hat-pegs for twinkly Hollywood gnashers) Hitchens has stepped into a rare place where Islam and Western consumerism concurs. For both agree that body hair, in its lush, natural form, is gross and repellent, a problem that must be eradicated at all costs.