Mon, 02 Oct 2017
The Secret Teacher blog addresses the place of Muslim students in the classroom after recent terrorist attacks.
Police forced some women in Austria to remove their facial coverings on Sunday as an anti-burqa law came into effect. Other measures that came into force include immigrants signing an "integration contract" and compulsory courses in the German language and "values".
Fri, 29 Sep 2017
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.
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".
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.
St Sepulchre-without-Newgate in Holborn, widely known as the National Musicians' Church, is set to ban non-religious events.
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 (£)
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
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.
David Capener says Northern Ireland requires "a needs-based politics that transcends religious divides".Belfast Telegraph
Vera Jourova says she is not ready to promote EU-wide legislation to fine internet companies for failing to take down 'hate speech'.
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.
President Erdogan has made plenty of headway on his pledge to bring up a "pious generation" of young Turks.
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".
Thu, 28 Sep 2017
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.
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.
Andrew Copson says secularism is under threat – and ignorance is perhaps its greatest enemy today.
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.
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.
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 (£)
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.
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 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 (£)
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.
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.
Wed, 27 Sep 2017
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's King Salman has issued a decree allowing women to drive for the first time.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Andrew Copson says education on religious issues needs to be accurate, grounded in the real world and inclusive.
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 (£)
The Skovgaard Museum in Viborg, Denmark, has decided not to include a drawing of Muhammad in a new exhibition about blasphemy since the Reformation.
Tue, 26 Sep 2017
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
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.
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.
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’
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.
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 (£)
Nathan Jeffay says the country is witnessing contentious debate over charedi draft deferments, kashrut standards, prayer at the wall and blacklisted rabbis.
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.
Z. Fareen Parvez says a recent ruling in India's courts is "one small step toward a greater vision of gender justice".
Mon, 25 Sep 2017
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 (£)
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".
Matt Ridley argues that censorious students and online witch-hunts have joined religious dogma in challenging liberties won over centuries.
The Times (£)
John Hall, who chairs the Commission on Religious Education, gives his take on its interim findings.
More than 10 Anglican churches a year are closing Wales, figures have shown. Falling attendance is part of the reason for the trend.
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.
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.
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