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Tue, 21 Nov 2017

‘Going overboard on religious protections could come back to bite in multicultural Australia’

‘Going overboard on religious protections could come back to bite in multicultural Australia’

Michelle Grattan says those pushing for more protections in Australia's same-sex marriage bill, in the name of religious freedom, may not have thought through the consequences of what they are advocating.

The Conversation

France to stop Muslims praying in the street, interior minister says

France to stop Muslims praying in the street, interior minister says

France will stop Muslims from praying in the street in a Paris suburb, the interior minister has said, following skirmishes between worshippers and authorities. Gerard Collomb said more mosques were needed in the area.

The Independent

Morocco minorities call for religious freedom

Morocco minorities call for religious freedom

Representatives of Morocco's religious minorities have urged the government to clarify the law on freedom of worship in Morocco, where Islam is the state religion.

Daily Mail

Mon, 20 Nov 2017

Schools could be in breach of equality laws if they require girls to wear religious garments – NSS cited

Schools could be in breach of equality laws if they require girls to wear religious garments – NSS cited

Schools which only require girls to wear religious garments could be in breach of equality laws, Ofsted's chief inspector announced on Sunday. NSS research has found that 42% of Islamic schools have uniform policies requiring girls to wear the hijab.

The Independent

Ofsted seeks to address concerns about wearing of hijab in primary schools – NSS cited

Ofsted seeks to address concerns about wearing of hijab in primary schools – NSS cited

Amanda Spielman, Ofsted's chief inspector, has announced measures designed to address concerns over the wearing of the hijab.

The Evening Standard

‘Outdated and incoherent’ RE curriculum needs overhaul, academics say

‘Outdated and incoherent’ RE curriculum needs overhaul, academics say

An "incoherent, confusing and outdated" religious education curriculum is turning children off the subject and needs radical reform to stay relevant, academics have said.

TES

Catholic Church asks Nicola Sturgeon for 'dialogue' on abortion pill plans

Catholic Church asks Nicola Sturgeon for 'dialogue' on abortion pill plans

Catholic church leaders have criticised Scottish Government plans to allow women to take an abortion pill in their own home.

The National

Sinn Fein votes to soften abortion policy

Sinn Fein votes to soften abortion policy

Sinn Fein delegates have overwhelmingly supported a motion allowing abortion where "a woman's life, health or mental health is at risk" and in cases of fatal foetal abnormality and rape or sexual abuse. Some criticised them for not going further.

The Belfast Telegraph

‘Why we chose to take off our headscarves’

‘Why we chose to take off our headscarves’

Helen Rumbelow speaks to Muslim women who have made the decision to stop wearing the hijab.

The Times (£)

Six in 10 Muslim wives ‘not legally married’

Six in 10 Muslim wives ‘not legally married’

About 6 in 10 Muslim women who have had traditional Islamic weddings in Britain are not legally married, according to a survey.

The Sunday Times (£)

Policewoman demoted three ranks after inquiry into remarks on Catholicism

Policewoman demoted three ranks after inquiry into remarks on Catholicism

A Glasgow Rangers-supporting senior detective has been demoted to constable after an inquiry. Detective Chief Inspector Ruth Gilfillan joked about refusing to eat a Celtic fan's birthday cake and children being at risk of abuse in Catholic schools. A friend said the punishment was "excessive".

The Daily Record

Turkey bans LGBTI events in Ankara 'to maintain public order'

Turkey bans LGBTI events in Ankara 'to maintain public order'

Turkish authorities have announced a ban on all LGBTI cultural events in Ankara province until further notice to "maintain public order".

The Guardian

Bangladesh arrests militant suspect in US blogger killing

Bangladesh arrests militant suspect in US blogger killing

Bangladesh police said on Sunday they had arrested a suspected leader of an Islamist group wanted in connection with the death in 2015 of a blogger critical of religious extremism.

Reuters

Nurse deported from Sri Lanka 'over Buddha tattoo' wins compensation

Nurse deported from Sri Lanka 'over Buddha tattoo' wins compensation

A British woman has won nearly £4,000 in compensation from a Sri Lankan court after being wrongly deported for having a Buddha tattoo on her arm.

The Independent

Sri Lankan police arrest 19 after Buddhist-Muslim violence; four injured

Sri Lankan police arrest 19 after Buddhist-Muslim violence; four injured

Sri Lankan police arrested 19 people after a clash between "extremists" from the majority Buddhist and minority Muslim communities in which four people were injured, a spokesman said on Saturday.

Business Insider

Fri, 17 Nov 2017

Christians Envious Of The 'Respect' Islam Enjoys Should Be Careful What They Wish For - NSS Campaigns Director

Christians Envious Of The 'Respect' Islam Enjoys Should Be Careful What They Wish For - NSS Campaigns Director

"A common accusation during the furore over Greggs replacing baby Jesus with a sausage roll in advent calendar was one of double standards. Many of those voicing opposition to the bakery chain's promotional picture pointed out that they wouldn't do that to Muhammad. And of course, they're right."

The Huffington Post

Greggs sausage roll advent calendar - NSS Executive Director speaks

Greggs sausage roll advent calendar - NSS Executive Director speaks

NSS Executive Director Keith Porteous Wood speaks on the JVS show (from 49:15)

BBC

Minister seeks to explain Sunday closing letter to shop

Minister seeks to explain Sunday closing letter to shop

A minister said a request was made to a businesswoman to close her shop on Sundays in a bid to encourage people to "enjoy the peace of the Sabbath".

BBC News

Majority of our councils no longer hear prayer before meetings

Majority of our councils no longer hear prayer before meetings

Just four councils in Northern Ireland still hear prayers before their monthly meeting.

Belfast Telegraph

Same-sex marriage survey: religious belief matched no vote most closely

Same-sex marriage survey: religious belief matched no vote most closely

Migrant communities in western Sydney electorates have been pinpointed as the strongest element of the no vote. But religious belief correlates much more strongly than overseas birth.

The Guardian

'Religious dudes' paint over the high-profile mural in wake of same-sex marriage vote

'Religious dudes' paint over the high-profile mural in wake of same-sex marriage vote

Local residents have slammed a group of 'threatening religious dudes' who spent the night painting over a provocative mural in support of marriage equality.

Daily Mail

Religious orders clinging on to properties within abuse deal

Religious orders clinging on to properties within abuse deal

Religious orders still have to transfer 19 properties to the state as part of their contribution to a redress scheme for the victims of abuse.

The Times

School cancels Muslim speaker after teacher organising presentation receives threats

School cancels Muslim speaker after teacher organising presentation receives threats

Officials are criticised by local Muslim-American association for succumbing to 'public pressure'

The Independent

British Muslim who applied for a teaching job in Kuwait is told she would have to remove her hijab

British Muslim who applied for a teaching job in Kuwait is told she would have to remove her hijab

A British Muslim who applied for a job as a nursery teacher in Kuwait was told she would have to remove her hijab because it is 'an English school'.

Daily Mail

Indonesia's Orang Rimba: Forced to renounce their faith

Indonesia's Orang Rimba: Forced to renounce their faith

The Sumatran rainforests of Indonesia are home to the Orang Rimba - the people of the jungle. Their faith and nomadic way of life are not recognised by the state and, as their forests are destroyed to make way for palm oil plantations, many are being forced to convert to Islam to survive.

BBC

Believe in socialism not sorcery, China tells party members

Believe in socialism not sorcery, China tells party members

Members of the officially atheist Communist party have always been required to shun religion. However, activists say hostility to religion has intensified since Xi Jinping became China's leader in 2012 and began clamping down on potential sources of opposition.

The Guardian

China Urged to Ban Conversion Therapy Meant to 'Cure' Being Gay

China Urged to Ban Conversion Therapy Meant to 'Cure' Being Gay

he Chinese government should stop hospitals and other medical facilities from subjecting LGBT people to conversion therapy that in some cases has involved electroshock, involuntary confinement and forced medication, a human rights group said Wednesday.

Time

 What Yogi Adityanath Has All Wrong About Secularism In India

What Yogi Adityanath Has All Wrong About Secularism In India

"The fight for secularism is a fight not about the use or misuse of a word, but a fight to defend the basic structure of the constitution of India."

NDTV

"Only a flaky Christian would get annoyed by Greggs’ sausage roll Jesus"

"Only a flaky Christian would get annoyed by Greggs’ sausage roll Jesus"

Peter Ormerod says that the Greggs' sausage roll Jesus "prompted the kind of misguided, humourless reaction that gives us Christians a bad name", but also says that mocking Christianity is not the same as mocking Islam.

The Guardian

Thu, 16 Nov 2017

Court hears transgender woman's appeal over access to her Jewish children

Court hears transgender woman's appeal over access to her Jewish children

A parent who left a tight-knit ultra-Orthodox Jewish community to embark on a new life as a woman has taken her battle to be allowed access to her five children to the court of appeal.

The Guardian

Greggs apologises after replacing baby Jesus with a sausage roll

Greggs apologises after replacing baby Jesus with a sausage roll

Greggs replaced Jesus with a sausage roll in a Nativity scene to promote its advent calendar. Some took offence at the image. The chain has now apologised.

The Telegraph

MPs criticise role of bishops in House of Lords

MPs criticise role of bishops in House of Lords

MPs have criticised the bishops' role in a debate in Westminster Hall.

Ekklesia

Wetwang sex abuse vicar David Fletcher loses appeal

Wetwang sex abuse vicar David Fletcher loses appeal

A vicar who was jailed for sexually abusing a boy 30 years ago has failed to have his conviction overturned.

BBC

Global terrorism deaths fall for second year in a row, says report

Global terrorism deaths fall for second year in a row, says report

The number of global deaths from terrorism has fallen for the second year in a row, signalling "a turning point in the fight against radical Islamist extremism," a report has concluded.

The Independent

Pakistani police clash with protesters at anti-blasphemy sit-in

Pakistani police clash with protesters at anti-blasphemy sit-in

Pakistani police have clashed with protesters and arrested dozens in an attempt to disperse an anti-blasphemy sit-in staged by a hardline cleric. The protest has blocked a main entrance to Islamabad for a week, choking traffic and putting the capital on near lockdown.

The Guardian

Australia's PM wants marriage equality by Christmas after 'overwhelming' vote

Australia's PM wants marriage equality by Christmas after 'overwhelming' vote

The Australian parliament must commit to deliver marriage equality by Christmas, the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has said after the 'yes' side won a national postal vote.

The Guardian

Australia’s curious path to legalising gay marriage

Australia’s curious path to legalising gay marriage

The public opinion survey that yielded majority approval for same-sex marriage in Australia on Wednesday was an emotional breakthrough born of a long, curious and still-continuing struggle.

The New York Times

If Saudi Arabia reforms, what happens to Islamists elsewhere?

If Saudi Arabia reforms, what happens to Islamists elsewhere?

Kamel Daoud says changes in Saudi Arabia could force Islamists around the world to follow suit or risk winding up on the wrong side of orthodoxy.

The New York Times

Twitter unverifies anti-Muslim activists

Twitter unverifies anti-Muslim activists

Anti-Muslim activists are among those who have lost the blue tick which verifies their identity on Twitter.

Slate

Rise in recorded anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim hate crimes in US

Rise in recorded anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim hate crimes in US

The FBI recorded 684 anti-Jewish hate crime incidents and 307 anti-Muslim hate crime incidents in 2016.

Pew Research Centre

Atheists sue taxpayer-funded animal shelter over religious “blessing” ceremony

Atheists sue taxpayer-funded animal shelter over religious “blessing” ceremony

The American Atheists Legal Centre says no possible secular purpose could be served by inviting a Franciscan Bishop to a government facility, the Bergen County Animal Shelter in New Jersey, to "bless" residents' pets.

Patheos

Wed, 15 Nov 2017

New row about Sunday openings on Isle of Lewis – NSS quoted

New row about Sunday openings on Isle of Lewis – NSS quoted

A businesswoman on the Isle of Lewis has been asked to close her shop on Sundays to "protect the traditional custom of honouring the Sabbath". The NSS has backed Leona Rawlinson's decision to open her shop.

BBC

‘Observing the Sabbath should be up to individuals’ – letter from NSS vice-president

‘Observing the Sabbath should be up to individuals’ – letter from NSS vice-president

NSS spokesperson Alistair McBay says it is for each individual to decide on their own attitude and observance of the Sabbath, or indeed their allegiance to any form of religious ritual, up to and including no observance at all.

The Herald

Staffordshire schools told to offer virtual tours of mosques after parents ban children from visits

Staffordshire schools told to offer virtual tours of mosques after parents ban children from visits

Schools are offering virtual tours of mosques after parents refused to allow their children to visit them on school trips. Some parents have voiced concerns about safety and say a "political agenda" is behind the visits.

The Times (£)

Australians decisively support marriage equality

Australians decisively support marriage equality

Australians have overwhelmingly voted in favour of legalising same-sex marriage in a historic poll.

BBC

‘The marriage equality survey is won, but the battle against discrimination continues’

‘The marriage equality survey is won, but the battle against discrimination continues’

Timothy Jones says it is conceivable that "no" campaigners in Australia always aimed to extend religious exemptions to discrimination legislation, rather than to win the plebiscite.

The Conversation

‘Religious freedom is, and should be, limited’

‘Religious freedom is, and should be, limited’

Michael Bachelard says 'religious freedom' lobbyists "should be required to obey the same laws as the rest of us".

The Sydney Morning Herald

Why multicultural communities registered huge 'no' votes on same-sex marriage

Why multicultural communities registered huge 'no' votes on same-sex marriage

Australia's 'no' campaign targeted conservative immigrant cultures and it showed, says Eryk Bagshaw. In particular Islamic and Chinese Christian migrant communities regarded the process with suspicion, believing it had been hijacked by out-of-touch inner-city leaders.

The Sydney Morning Herald

Catholic schools asked to drop words ‘mother’ and ‘father’ from admissions forms

Catholic schools asked to drop words ‘mother’ and ‘father’ from admissions forms

Catholic schools will be asked to remove the terms "mother" and "father" from admissions forms, after a government ruling that the terms could be too restrictive.

The Catholic Herald

Sayeeda Warsi accuses UK press of hate speech and ‘Islamophobia’

Sayeeda Warsi accuses UK press of hate speech and ‘Islamophobia’

The former Conservative cabinet minister has delivered the Leveson lecture, hosted by the Hacked Off campaign. She accused British newspapers of 'Islamophobia' and hate speech and called for a parliamentary investigation into the issue.

The Guardian

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