Johann Hari

Johann Hari

Johann Hari was a columnist for the London Independent until 2011. He reported from Iraq, Israel/Palestine, the Congo, the Central African Republic, Venezuela, Peru and the US, and his journalism has appeared in publications all over the world. 

Articles by this author

Views
Friday, May 08, 2009
Dear God, Stop Brainwashing Children
Let us now put our hands together and pray. O God, we gather here today to ask you to free our schoolchildren from being forced to go through this charade every day. As you know, O Lord, because You see all, British law requires every schoolchild to participate in "an act of collective worship" every 24 hours. Irrespective of what the child thinks or believes, they are shepherded into a hall, silenced, and forced to pray - or pretend to. If they refuse to bow their heads to You, they are punished.
Read more
Views
Friday, May 01, 2009
Paying the Price for Cheap Meat
A swelling number of scientists believe swine flu has not happened by accident. No: they argue that this global pandemic - and all the deaths we are about to see - is the direct result of our demand for cheap meat. So is the way we produce our food really making us sick as a pig? At first glance, this seems wrong. All through history, viruses have mutated, and sometimes they have taken nasty forms that scythe through the human population. This is an inescapable reality we just have to live with, like earthquakes and tsunamis.
Read more
Views
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
From Now on, Equality Needs to Be Our Organizing Principle
In the smoking rubble of market fundamentalism, we are all being forced to rethink the principles that order our societies - and one small, shining idea is rising from the wreckage. It is the idea of human equality.
Read more
Views
Monday, April 13, 2009
You Are Being Lied to About Pirates
Who imagined that in 2009, the world's governments would be declaring a new War on Pirates? As you read this, the British Royal Navy - backed by the ships of more than two dozen nations, from the US to China - is sailing into Somalian waters to take on men we still picture as parrot-on-the-shoulder pantomime villains. They will soon be fighting Somalian ships and even chasing the pirates onto land, into one of the most broken countries on earth. But behind the arrr-me-hearties oddness of this tale, there is an untold scandal.
Read more
Views
Friday, April 03, 2009
Why We Should Listen to the Protesters
When this hinge-point in human history is remembered, there will be far more sympathy for the people who took to the streets and rioted than for the people who stayed silently in their homes. Two global crises have collided, and we have a chance here, now, to solve them both with one mighty heave - but our leaders are letting this opportunity for greatness leach away. The protesters here in London were trying to sound an alarm now, at five minutes to ecological midnight.
Read more
Views
Friday, February 13, 2009
The Answer to The Problems of Free Speech is Always More Free Speech
Last week, I wrote an article defending free speech for everyone - and in response there have been riots, death threats, and the arrest of an editor who published the article.
Read more
Views
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Obama and the Lethal War on Drugs
With the global economy collapsing all around us, the last issue President Barack Obama wants to talk about is the ongoing War on Drugs. But if he doesn't - and fast - he may well have two collapsed and haemorrhaging countries on his hands. The first lies in the distant mountains of Afghanistan. The second is right next door, on the other side of the Rio Grande.
Read more
Views
Friday, February 06, 2009
The Nightmare of Netanyahu Returns
Israel is about to make a misjudgement as disastrous - and deadly - as the attack on Gaza. In a few days, it looks as if it could elect Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister once again. This is a man calling for the violent re-occupation of Gaza to "liquidate" its elected government. This is a man who says he will "naturally grow" the West Bank settlements. This is a man who says he will "never" negotiate over Jerusalem, or the Golan Heights, or control of the West Bank water supply.
Read more
Views
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Strike, Yes – But Not at This Target
And so the rage begins. For months we have sat inert as the economic roof collapses in on us. The Greeks and the French rioted, but we - the British - were shocked into silence. Until now. The pervasive insecurity has finally taken physical shape, with thousands of unofficial strikers taking to the streets bearing fury-streaked banners.
Read more
Views
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Why Should I Respect These Oppressive Religions?
The right to criticise religion is being slowly doused in acid. Across the world, the small, incremental gains made by secularism - giving us the space to doubt and question and make up our own minds - are being beaten back by belligerent demands that we "respect" religion. A historic marker has just been passed, showing how far we have been shoved. The UN rapporteur who is supposed to be the global guardian of free speech has had his job rewritten - to put him on the side of the religious censors.
Read more

Pages