march & april 2008
38] Malls and mausoleums Iran refuses to conform to our expectations, finds Nina Power when she travels to Tehran
42] Argod catalogue Comedian Christina Martin’s roundup of the best in religious tat
columNs 7] Diary Peyvand Khorsandi visits India’s hugging saint 15] Opinion Bill Cooke celebrates humanism’s 200th birthday 20] Thinker Simone de Beauvoir was dedicated to freedom for all, says Toril Moi
book Reviews 44] Natalie Haynes endorses an attack on alternative medicine 45] Shirley Dent believes Rushdie is the ultimate humanist story teller 46] Andrew Mueller travels back in time to acid House 47] Bill Thompson finds Michio Kaku’s science impossibly bad 48] Philip Womack has something to tell you about Hanif Kureishi’s latest 49] Peter Wayne serves up the supernatural
Peyvand Khorsandi is the son of the exiled Iranian satirist Hadi Khorsandi. He has written for the Financial Times, Big Issue and Iranian.com. In his diary on page 7 he describes his trip to see amma, the Indian hugging saint.
Michael Binyon was Moscow correspondent for The Times from 1979 to 1982. He is a member of the Valdai Discussion Club, an international group of journalists and academics that meets the Russian president each year at the end of a seminar on Russian policy. On page 10 he asks what Vladimir Putin’s continued influence means for the Orthodox Church.
Joan W Scott is Professor of Social Science at the Institute for advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey. Her many books include Only Paradoxes to Offer: French Feminists and the Rights of Man; Paritéé: Sexual Equality and The Crisis of French Universalism. Her latest book The Politics of the Veil (Princeton University Press) was published in 2007. She writes about the French ban on the headscarf on page 28.
Nina Power describes her experiences on her third visit to Iran on page 38. She lectures in philosophy at Roehampton University and is a regular contributor to New Humanist. Her PhD was on humanism and anti-humanism in postwar French philosophy.
MaRCH aPRIL 2008 New Humanist 5