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Fri, 29 Sep 2017

NSS calls for judges' Anglican service to be scrapped

NSS calls for judges' Anglican service to be scrapped

The annual Anglican service at Westminster Abbey marking the official opening of the legal year undermines judicial impartiality and should be scrapped, the NSS has said.

The Guardian

LSE accepts Islamic Society’s gender segregated event was ‘unlawful’ – based on NSS-backed complaint

LSE accepts Islamic Society’s gender segregated event was ‘unlawful’ – based on NSS-backed complaint

A top UK university has accepted that gender segregation at a gala dinner, when women and men were separated by a curtain, was unlawful. The NSS's Stephen Evans said this should all universities should note "that turning a blind eye to such discriminatory practices will not be tolerated".

The Independent

French Cardinal Barbarin faces trial for failing to report child sex abuse by priest after NSS intervention

French Cardinal Barbarin faces trial for failing to report child sex abuse by priest after NSS intervention

The Archbishop of Lyons is to go on trial next year on charges of failing to report known child abuse carried out by an RC priest in the late 1980s. Keith Porteous Wood says the NSS felt forced to intervene in the case by writing to the French Ministry of Justice.

Church Times

London church rebuffs efforts to get it to remain concert venue

London church rebuffs efforts to get it to remain concert venue

St Sepulchre-without-Newgate in Holborn, widely known as the National Musicians' Church, is set to ban non-religious events.

The Guardian

Anglican church faces sanctions after first same-sex wedding

Anglican church faces sanctions after first same-sex wedding

The first same-sex church wedding in the UK has taken place despite the threat that it will prompt punitive sanctions against the Scottish Anglican denomination that held it.

The Times (£)

Same sex couples get their own ketubah

Same sex couples get their own ketubah

The world's first marriage contract from a synagogue movement for same sex couples will also be adapted for "those who prefer a non-binary or gender neutral format".

The Jewish Chronicle

Students ‘invite radical Islamic speakers to over 110 events in a year’ despite Government crackdown

Students ‘invite radical Islamic speakers to over 110 events in a year’ despite Government crackdown

Radical Islamic speakers have been invited to more than 100 events hosted by student societies over the past year, according to a report by the Henry Jackson Society.

Daily Mail

'Only when sectarian forces relinquish control will Northern Ireland's future be genuinely shared'

'Only when sectarian forces relinquish control will Northern Ireland's future be genuinely shared'

David Capener says Northern Ireland requires "a needs-based politics that transcends religious divides".

Belfast Telegraph

EU justice commissioner resists calls for legislation on online ‘hate speech’

EU justice commissioner resists calls for legislation on online ‘hate speech’

Vera Jourova says she is not ready to promote EU-wide legislation to fine internet companies for failing to take down 'hate speech'.

The Guardian

Promoters of pop concerts and other events may ditch Malaysia as hard-line Islam gets a grip

Promoters of pop concerts and other events may ditch Malaysia as hard-line Islam gets a grip

Organisers of pop concerts and some other big events are increasingly wary of including Malaysia on their itineraries, amid growing intolerance toward activities regarded as insulting to Islam by some Muslim groups.

Reuters

The decline of Turkish schools

The decline of Turkish schools

President Erdogan has made plenty of headway on his pledge to bring up a "pious generation" of young Turks.

The Economist

Film of Tsar Nicholas II’s lust for dancer angers Church

Film of Tsar Nicholas II’s lust for dancer angers Church

A new Russian film, Matilda, explores the love affair between Nicholas II and a ballerina. The Russian Orthodox Church and pro-Kremlin MPs are among its critics. Conservative activists have threatened to disrupt screenings and the biggest cinema chain will not show the film to "protect cinemagoers".

The Times

Thu, 28 Sep 2017

Scottish Anglican church faces sanctions over vote to allow same-sex marriage

Scottish Anglican church faces sanctions over vote to allow same-sex marriage

Leaders of the global Anglican communion are expected to impose 'consequences' on the Scottish church for its embrace of LGBT+ equality when they meet in Canterbury next week.

The Guardian

Give children terror attack advice in schools, say police

Give children terror attack advice in schools, say police

Children in schools should be taught what to do in the event of a terrorist attack in the UK, Met Deputy Assistant Commissioner Lucy D'Orsi has said.

BBC

‘The death of secularism’

‘The death of secularism’

Andrew Copson says secularism is under threat – and ignorance is perhaps its greatest enemy today.

OUP Blog

Inside an illegal school

Inside an illegal school

A former student says he remembers being hit with a wooden spoon or a stick almost every day at Talmud Torah Tashbar school in North London.

The Telegraph

Ireland to hold referendum on blasphemy next year

Ireland to hold referendum on blasphemy next year

Hemant Mehta says the referendum will not only be a chance to remove an archaic law from the books: it could help set the course for how barbaric nations handle dissenting voices.

Patheos

Pressure rises on Varadkar to reveal his abortion view

Pressure rises on Varadkar to reveal his abortion view

Leo Varadkar, Ireland's prime minister, has been challenged to reveal his position on abortion before the wording of a potential constitutional amendment is decided.

The Times (£)

Christian ‘extremist’ Roy Moore wins in Alabama primary

Christian ‘extremist’ Roy Moore wins in Alabama primary

Roy Moore, who wants to make gay sex illegal and says the US Constitution was written to "foster religion and foster Christianity", has won the Republican party's primary for a special election in Alabama. He now appears likely to become a US Senator on 12 December.

Patheos

Russians impersonated American Muslims to stir chaos on Facebook and Instagram

Russians impersonated American Muslims to stir chaos on Facebook and Instagram

Sources familiar with the Facebook group United Muslims of America say it was an imposter account on the world's largest social network that's been traced back to the Russian government.

The Daily Beast

Saudi Arabian women demand laws to drive out all inequality

Saudi Arabian women demand laws to drive out all inequality

Saudi Arabian women have urged the government to abandon its guardianship law that gives men sweeping powers over female relatives, after it dropped a ban on women drivers.

The Times (£)

Nepalese Christians released after being imprisoned for praying for a mentally ill woman

Nepalese Christians released after being imprisoned for praying for a mentally ill woman

Four Nepali Christians who were sentenced to five years' imprisonment for 'violence and witchcraft' after praying for a woman with mental illnesses have had their sentences overturned. The wrongful imprisonment signals the increasing restrictions on religious freedom in Nepal.

Christian Today

Halal holidays boost Muslim tourists to Turkey

Halal holidays boost Muslim tourists to Turkey

There is debate over whether Turkey should adopt an accreditation system that would rate accommodation, travel agencies, catering and transportation on how well they meet religious standards.

Financial Times

Wed, 27 Sep 2017

'Compulsory hijab' uniform policy at two Bradford schools criticised – reaction to NSS research

'Compulsory hijab' uniform policy at two Bradford schools criticised – reaction to NSS research

NSS research found that schools in Bradford were forcing girls to veil. Reaction here comes from Ishtiaq Ahmed, spokesman for the Council for Mosques, and human rights activist Sara Khan.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus

Saudi Arabia driving ban on women to be lifted

Saudi Arabia driving ban on women to be lifted

Saudi Arabia's King Salman has issued a decree allowing women to drive for the first time.

BBC

Saudi Arabian authorities ‘still tolerate’ incitement against minority groups, report finds

Saudi Arabian authorities ‘still tolerate’ incitement against minority groups, report finds

State-affiliated clerics and government agencies are using language which is derogatory towards the country's Shia and Sufi minorities and non-Muslims, a new report from Human Rights Watch (HRW) has found.

The Independent

Labour MP wants a change in the law to stop protests outside abortion clinics

Labour MP wants a change in the law to stop protests outside abortion clinics

Rupa Huq is planning to table an amendment to new domestic violence legislation being brought about by the government, which would see "buffer zones" created around family planning centres.

Huffington Post

Luxembourg to end religious education in schools

Luxembourg to end religious education in schools

Religious teaching will be replaced by classes in 'life and society'. Under the centre-left government of Xavier Bettel, full Church-State separation is to be phased in over two decades.

The Tablet

RE content in New Zealand is ‘disturbing’, says secular education lobbyist

RE content in New Zealand is ‘disturbing’, says secular education lobbyist

Tanya Jacob, of the Secular Education Network, says as many as four in 10 state schools have religious content that tells children their friends can die or suffer because of their sin, or has parallels with child grooming.

Newshub

‘Education about religions is broken, but it can be fixed’

‘Education about religions is broken, but it can be fixed’

Andrew Copson says education on religious issues needs to be accurate, grounded in the real world and inclusive.

Huffington Post

Ireland to hold referendum on abortion as papal visit looms

Ireland to hold referendum on abortion as papal visit looms

Leo Varadkar, the Irish prime minister, confirmed yesterday that a national ballot on repealing its eighth amendment would be held in May or June 2018.

The Times (£)

Danish museum refuses to include Muhammad cartoon in exhibition on blasphemy

Danish museum refuses to include Muhammad cartoon in exhibition on blasphemy

The Skovgaard Museum in Viborg, Denmark, has decided not to include a drawing of Muhammad in a new exhibition about blasphemy since the Reformation.

Reuters

Tue, 26 Sep 2017

‘The morality of the faith and faithless’

‘The morality of the faith and faithless’

Amina Lone says equality rights campaigners are nervously awaiting the High Court judgement in a gender segregation case. She predicts that these types of case will increase.

Sedaa – Our Voices

Cage director convicted over withholding password from counter-terror officers

Cage director convicted over withholding password from counter-terror officers

One of the directors of the campaign group Cage has been found guilty of wilfully obstructing police by refusing to hand over his security details after being stopped at Heathrow Airport last year.

BBC

‘How smearing a woman’s reputation was irresistible for the media’

‘How smearing a woman’s reputation was irresistible for the media’

Many news organisations published an Edinburgh university student's claims to have been victim of a PC stitch-up over his criticisms of Islamic State. Nick Cohen says the facts of the case show a very different side to the story.

The Guardian

‘Why the constitutional treatment of religion in Great Britain matters in religious disputes’

‘Why the constitutional treatment of religion in Great Britain matters in religious disputes’

Javier Garcia Oliva says religion has been, and remains, part of Britain's legal system, and this has shaped the way in which cases involving religion are dealt with.

UK Constitutional Law blog

‘A remote Nordic school made me realise it’s wrong to segregate our children by faith and privilege’

‘A remote Nordic school made me realise it’s wrong to segregate our children by faith and privilege’

Lucy Sherriff reflects on her experience at the UWC Red Cross (RCN) school in Norway, and asks what example segregating by faith sets to children.

Huffington Post

Saudi women allowed in national stadium for first time

Saudi women allowed in national stadium for first time

Women in Saudi Arabia have been given a glimpse into one of the country's male-dominated bastions for the first time, for celebrations to mark the Gulf kingdom's 87th anniversary.

The Times (£)

Religious-secular culture wars ‘heating up anew’ in Israel

Religious-secular culture wars ‘heating up anew’ in Israel

Nathan Jeffay says the country is witnessing contentious debate over charedi draft deferments, kashrut standards, prayer at the wall and blacklisted rabbis.

Jewish Week

Conservative Catholic group accuses Pope Francis of promoting heresy on divorce

Conservative Catholic group accuses Pope Francis of promoting heresy on divorce

A group of conservative Roman Catholics has accused Pope Francis of spreading "heresy" by signalling his openness to letting some divorced and remarried Catholics receive Holy Communion.

Huffington Post

‘Will outlawing ‘instant divorce’ advance justice for Muslim women in India?’

‘Will outlawing ‘instant divorce’ advance justice for Muslim women in India?’

Z. Fareen Parvez says a recent ruling in India's courts is "one small step toward a greater vision of gender justice".

The Conversation

Mon, 25 Sep 2017

State-funded schools force girls to wear hijab – based on NSS research

State-funded schools force girls to wear hijab – based on NSS research

Girls as young as four are being forced to wear the hijab as part of approved school uniform in Islamic schools, including state-funded ones. NSS research has found that 54 of the 176 schools it surveyed require the headscarf to be worn by female pupils.

The Sunday Times (£)

Girls as young as four forced to wear hijabs in state-funded Islamic schools – NSS quoted

Girls as young as four forced to wear hijabs in state-funded Islamic schools – NSS quoted

The NSS has written to the Education Secretary over schools forcing the hijab on pupils. Campaigns director Stephen Evans said "schools should be empowering girls to make their own decisions once they are ready to do so".

Evening Standard

‘New enemies threaten the Enlightenment’

‘New enemies threaten the Enlightenment’

Matt Ridley argues that censorious students and online witch-hunts have joined religious dogma in challenging liberties won over centuries.

The Times (£)

‘A bold plan to address the weaknesses in RE’

‘A bold plan to address the weaknesses in RE’

John Hall, who chairs the Commission on Religious Education, gives his take on its interim findings.

Church Times

110 Anglican churches closed in Wales in 10 years

110 Anglican churches closed in Wales in 10 years

More than 10 Anglican churches a year are closing Wales, figures have shown. Falling attendance is part of the reason for the trend.

BBC

Give us the power to break into illegal schools, Ofsted chief says

Give us the power to break into illegal schools, Ofsted chief says

Matthew Coffey, the chief operating officer at Ofsted, said that the individuals running unregistered schools are escaping prosecution, despite inspectors identifying hundreds of suspected illegal premises.

The Telegraph

Altrincham mosque stabbing: Surgeon attacked in 'hate crime'

Altrincham mosque stabbing: Surgeon attacked in 'hate crime'

A doctor has been stabbed in the back of the neck on his way to a mosque in Greater Manchester, in a suspected hate crime.

BBC

‘It is time to stop cruel animal slaughter in the name of religion’

‘It is time to stop cruel animal slaughter in the name of religion’

Keith Rossiter says stunning is the law in Britain, and the law should apply equally to all of our citizens.

Devon Live

‘Are the Tories about to "betray" Catholic voters?’

‘Are the Tories about to "betray" Catholic voters?’

Andrew Cusack says the whispers in Westminster are that Catholic free schools are now under threat.

Catholic Herald

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