The Sunday Magazine

Mugging Elizabeth May; Ayaan Hirsi Ali; Alan Borovoy; Sex worker starts over; Crawford on digital distraction

The Mugging of Elizabeth May - Michael's essay Ayaan Hirsi Ali launches a call for drastic reform in Islam. Remembering Alan Borovoy, the happy warrior for free speech and civil liberties who died this week. "A walk in her shoes" - an Alisa Siegel documentary. For 12 years, Jillann Mignon sold her body on the streets; then one day, she decided - enough. Matthew Crawford decries the distraction we inflict on ourselves with our screens, apps, texts, games and email.

The mugging of Elizabeth May - Michael's essay: (00:00:25) Here's an excerpt: "What I found astonishing was the press coverage, print and electronic, of the event. Given the sheer tonnage of the reporting, one would be forgiven for thinking that Ms. May had set fire to her hair after stabbing the emcee in the eye with a fish fork."

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: (00:05:18) In her latest book, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now, Ayaan Hirsi Ali launches a call for drastic reform in Islam. Such reform is needed because, she argues, there is a violent political ideology embedded in Islam. Her fierce critique has brought her fame, admiration - and death threats. She is lionized by conservatives and shunned by many moderate Muslims and western liberals, who say she contributes to the rampant Islamophobia of our post-9/11 world. Michael probes her ideas - and the many criticisms of them - in a feature interview.

Alan Borovoy: (00:48:53) The happy warrior for free speech and civil liberties died this week at the age of 83. We revisit Michael's 2009 interview with Alan Borovoy on the occasion of his retirement as general counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, a position he held for over 40 years.

"A walk in her shoes" - an Alisa Siegel documentary: (00:56:21) For 12 years, Jillann Mignon sold her body on the streets. Then one day she decided - enough. She made her way into the Ve'Ahavta Street Academy, a charitable program that helps the worst cases start over. Today, at age 28 and a college student, that's what Ms. Mignon is trying to do.

Matthew Crawford: (01:17:40)  He is a motorcycle mechanic, philosopher and, according to The Sunday Times of London, "one of the most influential thinkers of our time". His first best-selling book was Shop Class as Soulcraft. In his latest book, The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction, Crawford examines our fixation on our screens, apps, texts, games and email to the point where our smartphones and iPads really ARE our surroundings. Crawford believes we are so captivated by technology that we have been pulled away from the work of becoming ourselves.

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