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Challenging Religious Privilege

NSS Blog & Opinion

It may be a new velvet glove, but it’s the same old iron fist at the Vatican

It may be a new velvet glove, but it’s the same old iron fist at the Vatican

Posted: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 12:43 by Terry Sanderson

Terry Sanderson argues that Pope Bergoglio won't move the Catholic Church forward and help it reform.

It’s not culture, it’s a crime against humanity

It’s not culture, it’s a crime against humanity

Posted: Fri, 26 Jul 2013 15:18 by Anne Marie Waters

Women's rights are being ignored and side-stepped under the guise of 'culture', 'tradition' and religion, argues Anne Marie Waters.

Convictions for female genital mutilation: France - 100; Britain  0

Convictions for female genital mutilation: France - 100; Britain 0

Posted: Thu, 25 Jul 2013 10:58 by Joan Smith

This country has a very poor record on the prevention of female genital mutilation. A new approach from the police could change that. But they need help, writes Joan Smith.

Muslims must be protected. Islam must not.

Muslims must be protected. Islam must not.

Posted: Wed, 24 Jul 2013 15:46 by Terry Sanderson

Terry Sanderson argues we must not allow the current attacks on the Muslim community to justify anything that looks even remotely like a blasphemy law.

Same Sex Marriage Act - time to separate religion from politics

Same Sex Marriage Act - time to separate religion from politics

Posted: Tue, 23 Jul 2013 09:44 by Keith Porteous Wood

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill has passed with overwhelming support. It has done little more than re-brand civil partnerships, but symbolically its passing was a breath-taking moment of the zeitgeist, writes Keith Porteous Wood.

How do we keep religious education out of the hands of the evangelists?

How do we keep religious education out of the hands of the evangelists?

Posted: Mon, 22 Jul 2013 12:32 by Terry Sanderson

Terry Sanderson argues why we need a more balanced and secular approach to teaching religion in schools.

Free speech?

Free speech?

Posted: Tue, 16 Jul 2013 15:31 by Calum Grant

NSS member Calum Grant questions how narrow are the limits afforded to freedom of speech when criticising or satirising religion.

Human rights are for humans, not for ideologies

Human rights are for humans, not for ideologies

Posted: Mon, 15 Jul 2013 10:49 by Terry Sanderson

Terry Sanderson argues that human rights are not there to fulfill religious demands; but to protect individuals.

Will the UN finally bring the Vatican to account for its child abuse crimes?

Will the UN finally bring the Vatican to account for its child abuse crimes?

Posted: Thu, 11 Jul 2013 11:30 by Keith Porteous Wood

As a United Nations Committee on children's rights confronts the Vatican on its abysmal record on clerical paedophilia and criminal cover-ups, Keith Porteous Wood describes his role in bringing the Holy See to account.

Public perceptions and reality - have we got it wrong?

Public perceptions and reality - have we got it wrong?

Posted: Thu, 11 Jul 2013 11:15 by Terry Sanderson

Poll claims British public vastly overestimate the number of Muslims and underestimate the number of Christians – Terry Sanderson questions if we have.

Our secular society is wiser than the Church

Our secular society is wiser than the Church

Posted: Wed, 10 Jul 2013 10:08 by Oliver Kamm

Oliver Kamm reflects on how our secular society moves forward whilst the Church struggles to catch up.

Channel 4’s call to prayer during Ramadan is more of the same old, same old

Channel 4’s call to prayer during Ramadan is more of the same old, same old

Posted: Tue, 09 Jul 2013 11:06 by Maryam Namazie

Maryam Namazie argues that if Channel 4 wants to do something really provocative; it should show Muslims as 21st century human beings and citizens with countless characteristics like everyone else.

Three cheers for Channel 4 for trying to move Muslims into the mainstream

Three cheers for Channel 4 for trying to move Muslims into the mainstream

Posted: Tue, 02 Jul 2013 13:02 by Terry Sanderson

Channel 4's controversial move to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer has set the cat amongst the pigeons. Terry Sanderson argues that the media needs to do more to show a balanced reflection of the Muslim community.

The “cutting season” and FGM in the UK: A national disgrace, a national shame

The “cutting season” and FGM in the UK: A national disgrace, a national shame

Posted: Tue, 02 Jul 2013 11:36 by Elizabeth O’Casey

After teenager Soheir Mohamed died whilst undergoing female genital mutilation in Egypt last month, Elizabeth O'Casey looks at the practice within the UK context and examines how little is being done about it.

New EU guidelines on religion and belief make plain that no religion is entitled to special rights

New EU guidelines on religion and belief make plain that no religion is entitled to special rights

Posted: Thu, 27 Jun 2013 15:02 by Terry Sanderson

The EU Foreign Affairs Council this week adopted a report with 71 Guidelines to promote the right to freedom of religion and belief worldwide. Terry Sanderson highlights here some notable quotes.

A secular society is the key

A secular society is the key

Posted: Mon, 24 Jun 2013 10:22 by Oliver Kamm

Oliver Kamm explains why a Charedi faith schools' refusal to teach evolution doesn't just impoverish children's minds, but also violates their rights.

Why the Guides’ new Promise is something to be celebrated

Why the Guides’ new Promise is something to be celebrated

Posted: Thu, 20 Jun 2013 14:24 by Stephen Evans

With the uproar over the Girlguides omitting 'God' from its new Promise; Stephen Evans blogs on why this is a step in the right direction.

Multiculturalism and Cultural Relativism

Multiculturalism and Cultural Relativism

Posted: Thu, 20 Jun 2013 14:00 by Maryam Namazie

Maryam Namazie argues why we must oppose the far-tight of all varieties, but also the pro-Islamist left and side with universalism, equality for all and secularism, irrespective of beliefs.

Conscientious objection in Scotland: a worrying precedent

Conscientious objection in Scotland: a worrying precedent

Posted: Wed, 19 Jun 2013 10:35 by Louise Finer

With NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde seeking to appeal the ruling for the allowance of conscientious exemption from abortion procedures, Louise Finer of Reproductive Health Matters argues that judges must not forget the rights of women – to health, autonomy, dignity and respect

Reaction to Woking parking challenge reveals national implications

Reaction to Woking parking challenge reveals national implications

Posted: Thu, 13 Jun 2013 15:29 by Terry Sanderson

The reaction to our challenge to Woking Borough Council's policy of providing free parking for worshippers reveals the national implications of our legal action.

Secular petitions highlight the sectarian issues in Scottish education

Secular petitions highlight the sectarian issues in Scottish education

Posted: Thu, 13 Jun 2013 10:16 by Alistair McBay

With two secular petitions on Religious Observance in play in Scotland, Alistair McBay blogs about the problematic relationship between religion and Scottish schools.

Woking: equal treatment vs. religious privilege

Woking: equal treatment vs. religious privilege

Posted: Wed, 05 Jun 2013 13:44 by Stephen Evans

Our legal action against Woking Borough Council has met with mixed reactions; Stephen Evans comments on why The National Secular Society is going to court over free parking.

Turkey: What would Ataturk think?

Turkey: What would Ataturk think?

Posted: Wed, 05 Jun 2013 12:58 by Octavia Nasr

Middle East commentator Octavia Nasr on why the founder of the modern secular Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, must be turning in his grave from the turn of events throughout Turkey and the political implications they usher in.

The Same-Sex Marriage Bill delivers a blow to the bishops in the House of Lords

The Same-Sex Marriage Bill delivers a blow to the bishops in the House of Lords

Posted: Wed, 05 Jun 2013 11:17 by Terry Sanderson

This defeat for the Church of England may yet have more serious ramifications. It has been speculated that gay marriage will bring the nation nearer to disestablishment.

Questions raised about the running of the BBC’s religious affairs department

Questions raised about the running of the BBC’s religious affairs department

Posted: Tue, 04 Jun 2013 14:07 by Terry Sanderson

Private Eye's coverage on Aaqil Ahmed's latest headache at the BBC.