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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Tags: Equality & Human Rights

Gender segregation: breaking the law to appease Islamism

Gender segregation: breaking the law to appease Islamism

Posted: Mon, 21 Mar 2016 16:13 by Chris Moos

The LSE and their Students' Union need to stop breaking equality legislation that is designed to protect students, and start listening to the Muslim women challenging gender segregation, argues Chris Moos.

Do we need ‘religious approaches’ to Human Rights?

Do we need ‘religious approaches’ to Human Rights?

Posted: Thu, 17 Mar 2016 16:29 by Keith Porteous Wood

Keith Porteous Wood offers a critical review of a new book that claims Human Rights owe their existence to religion – when the greatest modern threat to Human Rights comes from organised religion.

Publicly funded services shouldn't be a platform to proselytise

Publicly funded services shouldn't be a platform to proselytise

Posted: Fri, 06 Nov 2015 10:27 by Stephen Evans

Any attempt to give faith-based organisations more room to discuss religion when running public services risks making their services less inclusive. Besides, public money shouldn't be funding evangelism, argues Stephen Evans.

The unreasonableness of ‘reasonable accommodation’

The unreasonableness of ‘reasonable accommodation’

Posted: Fri, 16 Oct 2015 11:56 by Stephen Evans

Calls to introduce a new workplace duty of 'reasonable accommodation' for religion and belief are a flawed solution to a problem that doesn't really exist, argues Stephen Evans.

Time for Christians of goodwill to say “Not In My Name”

Time for Christians of goodwill to say “Not In My Name”

Posted: Tue, 26 May 2015 08:48 by Terry Sanderson

Most Christians don't feel the need to be exempt from equality legislation in order to live their lives in accordance with their religious beliefs. Terry Sanderson says it's time they spoke out against those that do.

The Christian “fired for praying at work” – here’s the other side of the story

The Christian “fired for praying at work” – here’s the other side of the story

Posted: Thu, 23 Apr 2015 12:15 by Terry Sanderson

The British media unquestioningly promulgates the false narrative of Christians being discriminated against in the workplace. Terry Sanderson looks at the latest case involving a Christian disciplined for subjecting a subordinate to unwanted and intrusive proselytising.

There is no widespread discrimination against Christians in the workplace

There is no widespread discrimination against Christians in the workplace

Posted: Fri, 13 Mar 2015 13:29 by Terry Sanderson

NSS president Terry Sanderson challenges the notion that Christians are widely discriminated against in the workplace, and calls for fairness, justice and common sense.

The Christian Legal Centre makes another attempt to gain privileges for Christians in the workplace

The Christian Legal Centre makes another attempt to gain privileges for Christians in the workplace

Posted: Mon, 02 Mar 2015 13:46 by Terry Sanderson

The Christian Legal Centre's latest 'discrimination' claim follows a familiar pattern – but its use of dissembling tactics shouldn't be permitted to manipulate a change in equality laws, argues Terry Sanderson.

The rise of political Islam in Turkey: how the West got it wrong

The rise of political Islam in Turkey: how the West got it wrong

Posted: Tue, 04 Nov 2014 10:21 by Safak Pavey

Political Islamism has undermined the Turkish Republic's secular social order, education and legal systems and Western pundits manifestly failed to see this coming, argues Turkish opposition MP, Safak Pavey.

‘Shariafication by stealth’ in the UK

‘Shariafication by stealth’ in the UK

Posted: Sat, 18 Oct 2014 16:08 by Pragna Patel

The state's adoption of 'faith based' approaches to address minority issues are increasingly marginalising women from minority backgrounds and denying them the right to participate in the wider political community as equal citizens, argues Pragna Patel.

Conquering fear with hope: Secularism 2014

Conquering fear with hope: Secularism 2014

Posted: Thu, 09 Oct 2014 17:42 by Gita Sahgal

Ahead of this weekend's conference on the Religious-Right, Secularism and Civil Rights, Gita Sahgal highlights the importance and bravery of secular activism in the Global South.

Apostasy and blasphemy laws: an affront to human rights

Apostasy and blasphemy laws: an affront to human rights

Posted: Wed, 01 Oct 2014 11:20 by Alastair Lichten

Iran's execution of Mohsen Amir-Aslani on apostasy charges illustrates the injustices caused by such laws in the Middle East and around the world, argues Alastair Lichten.

25 years: women working against fundamentalism in the UK

25 years: women working against fundamentalism in the UK

Posted: Wed, 10 Sep 2014 12:52 by Nira Yuval-Davis and Sukhwant DhaliwalI

An interview with Nira Yuval-Davis and Sukhwant Dhaliwal, co-editors of the new book telling the story of Women Against Fundamentalism, set up in 1989 by women of many faiths and none to work at the interface of feminism and anti-racism.

Secularism, today, now

Secularism, today, now

Posted: Thu, 04 Sep 2014 10:22 by Marieme Helie Lucas

Ahead of an historic conference on the Religious-Right, Secularism and Civil Rights in London this October, Algerian secularist, Marieme Helie Lucas calls on secularists everywhere to mobilise to counter the rise of the Religious-Right – and to urge the elements of the left that support them to reconsider their stance.

Principles of secularism and equality must be defended

Principles of secularism and equality must be defended

Posted: Fri, 22 Aug 2014 10:57 by Stephen Evans

Attempts to erode equality and undermine secularist principles must be challenged, argues Stephen Evans.

Don’t merge human rights with religion, even in Africa

Don’t merge human rights with religion, even in Africa

Posted: Fri, 15 Aug 2014 09:36 by Achieng Maureen Akena

Political religion, particularly that exported from the US, is impeding the struggle for universal human rights in Africa and the two must be kept separate, argues Achieng Maureen Akena.

Kerry County Council crucifix a challenge to religious diversity

Kerry County Council crucifix a challenge to religious diversity

Posted: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 07:27 by Dr Ronan McCrea

Following the erection of a crucifix in the newly renovated Kerry County Council chambers, Dr Ronan McCrea argues that the values of a particular faith should not be given predominance in State institutions.

Will the Equality Act be battered into submitting to religious exemptions?

Will the Equality Act be battered into submitting to religious exemptions?

Posted: Mon, 30 Jun 2014 11:25 by Terry Sanderson

Misleading reporting of individual cases and calls for "conscience clauses" feed into a false narrative of Christian persecution aimed at undermining the Equality Act, argues Terry Sanderson.

Terry Sanderson’s speech to the Religious Freedom Conference, Chatham

Terry Sanderson’s speech to the Religious Freedom Conference, Chatham

Posted: Tue, 24 Jun 2014 13:44 by Terry Sanderson

On 21 June 2014, NSS President Terry Sanderson spoke at the Chatham Unitarian Church, about the importance of equalities protections and secularism to religious freedom. This is a transcript of his speech.

The debate over David Cameron’s call to Christianity has taken a wrong turn

The debate over David Cameron’s call to Christianity has taken a wrong turn

Posted: Tue, 22 Apr 2014 14:49 by Terry Sanderson

Terry Sanderson argues that the debate over David Cameron's assertions that the UK is a "Christian Nation" has led away from the important question of whether it should be.


Religion as a human rights liability

Religion as a human rights liability

Posted: Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:23 by Nida Kirmani

While human rights movements must engage people of all religions and none, Nida Kirmani argues that explicitly linking religion to human rights can lead to the exclusion and persecution of minority groups and undermine human rights' claims to universality.

Secular values, not religion, make us a tolerant society

Secular values, not religion, make us a tolerant society

Posted: Sat, 29 Mar 2014 08:27 by Oliver Kamm

When trying to reach reasoned and compassionate judgments, religion is frequently a source of confusion rather than light, argues Oliver Kamm.

Fundamentalist Christians seek to use Council of Europe to entrench religious privilege

Fundamentalist Christians seek to use Council of Europe to entrench religious privilege

Posted: Tue, 25 Feb 2014 16:59 by European Humanist Federation

A new report from the Council of Europe which uses anti-discrimination rhetoric to justify discrimination and obscurantism, poses a potential threat to democracy and secularism in Europe, argues the European Humanist Federation.

Religion is not accommodated, it is privileged

Religion is not accommodated, it is privileged

Posted: Wed, 05 Feb 2014 14:56 by Anne Marie Waters

Anne Marie Waters reports on an event, held on 4 February, organised by the Cutting Edge Consortium, a group which campaigns against homophobia in religion, and looks at how far religious belief should be, and is being, accommodated in employment and public life.

Double-talk and betrayal put massive obstacles in the way of women’s rights

Double-talk and betrayal put massive obstacles in the way of women’s rights

Posted: Thu, 12 Dec 2013 20:30 by Anne Marie Waters

Using the language of freedom, Islamists are turning back the clock on women's human rights. Segregation in universities is just another example, argues Anne Marie Waters.