Joan Smith

Known for her human rights activism and writing on subjects such as atheism and feminism, Joan Smith is a columnist, critic and novelist. An Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society and a regular contributor to BBC radio, she has written five detective novels, two of which have been filmed by the BBC.

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Isis threatens Palmyra, the ancient city that stands for both empire and resistance

The art and architecture express something which speaks to us centuries later

Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha arrive to N10 Downing street in London

Human rights are at risk under our new Conservative Government

Some classes of people living in the UK will no longer be able to use the legislation

Joyce Carol Oates is among 150 writers to protest that the award decision was ‘neither clear nor inarguable’

Charlie Hebdo's PEN Freedom of Expression Courage Award is well deserved

Those who oppose the award have fallen for a false narrative of universal Muslim victimhood

The Nato campaign to support Libyans who wanted to oust Gaddafi failed to plan for the aftermath

Toppling despots is the easy bit, as the PM should know by now

Ed Miliband was right to highlight the irresponsibility of unseating Gaddafi without a plan for afterwards

Ashya King arriving at the Proton Therapy Centre in Prague in September

Ashya King: The summer of hate experienced by the hospital that treated him shames us all

One letter sent to staff at Southampton General Hospital expressed the hope that the doctor's own children would get cancer and die

Depending on which media outlet you believe, Ed Miliband has either already lost the general election, or very much hasn't

General Election 2015: Is this the campaign off to a good start? Hell, no!

Demands for politicians to show their true selves are likely to have the opposite effect

Clifford is already serving an eight-year jail sentence for indecent assault

Keith Vaz has got it wrong - protecting men should not be the aim of rape laws

I don't doubt it is unpleasant to be wrongly accused of rape but such events are rare

Red Cross health workers in Liberia

Inequality remains the real killer in Africa - as the Ebola outbreak has shown

Images of listless patients, lying on mats in makeshift clinics, play into a false narrative of inevitability

Half Life: Women in India are expected to keep themselves out of harm’s way

India is in denial about its rape culture - but then so are we

The banning of a documentary about a horrific attack on a young woman in Delhi has terrible echoes elsewhere

The shrine of Iman al-Mahdi, Karbala. He is expected to return at the end of time

Jihadi John: Why are so many from Britain giving up everything to join a terrorist organisation that tortures and kills?

The appeal of Isis lies in its messianic belief that the final victory for Muslims is imminent

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