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Thu, 16 Nov 2017

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

‘Myanmar and Buddhist extremism’

‘Myanmar and Buddhist extremism’

Paul Fuller looks at the humanitarian crisis underway in Myanmar, centring around the Rohingya Muslims. He says the battle between the two emerging forms of Buddhism in modern Myanmar is linked back to two core principles of the religion.

The Conversation

Turkish marriage law a blow to women's rights, say activists

Turkish marriage law a blow to women's rights, say activists

Activists and opposition politicians say a law that allows Muslim clerics to conduct civil marriages is a blow to women's rights and secularism and part of an ongoing effort to impose religious values on a polarised society. Critics also say it could lead to more child brides.

The Guardian

Nine-year-old girls in Iraq could be forced to marry under new Muslim laws

Nine-year-old girls in Iraq could be forced to marry under new Muslim laws

Human rights activists are warning that a new Iraqi law could legalise marriage for children as young as nine and set women's rights back 50 years.

The International Business Times

Roy Moore allegations prompt reflections on fundamentalist culture in which some Christian men date teens

Roy Moore allegations prompt reflections on fundamentalist culture in which some Christian men date teens

Allegations of sexual misconduct have surfaced against Roy Moore, a candidate for the US Senate in Alabama. They have shed light on the courtship of underage girls in some conservative religious communities.

The Washington Post

Tue, 14 Nov 2017

Shopkeeper on Isle of Lewis says she has been intimidated over Sunday opening

Shopkeeper on Isle of Lewis says she has been intimidated over Sunday opening

A shop owner in the Western Isles claims she has been the victim of "appalling" harassment from sabbatarians after opening her shop on a Sunday. The NSS highlighted her case last week.

The Telegraph

Catholic Church: Scottish gender change plan 'deeply disturbing'

Catholic Church: Scottish gender change plan 'deeply disturbing'

The Catholic Church in Scotland has claimed government moves to make it easier for young people to change their gender are "deeply disturbing".

The Herald

‘This “Islamophobia” obsession does Muslims no favours’

‘This “Islamophobia” obsession does Muslims no favours’

Hifsa Haroon-Iqbal, a Prevent co-ordinator, says some groups consciously miss the role terrorism plays in fuelling anti-Muslim hate.

The Times (£)

Report urges new definition of ‘Islamophobia’

Report urges new definition of ‘Islamophobia’

The Runnymede Trust has published a new report urging the Government to define the term 'Islamophobia' as "anti-Muslim racism". Here Omar Khan explains his argument.

The Times (£)

Rein in Isis and terrorism coverage, police chiefs tell media

Rein in Isis and terrorism coverage, police chiefs tell media

Britain's top counterterrorism officers have urged the media to rein back on coverage about Islamic State and terrorist attacks because of concerns that it helps to spread propaganda.

The Guardian

Evangelical quits Church of England leadership over 'heretical' stance on sexuality

Evangelical quits Church of England leadership over 'heretical' stance on sexuality

A prominent Church of England evangelical has quit one of its most senior bodies claiming that its stance on sexuality is "heretical".

The Telegraph

LGBT+ campaigners welcome Church of England guidance for schools

LGBT+ campaigners welcome Church of England guidance for schools

LGBT+ charities and campaigners have welcomed the Church of England's new guidance for schools urging them to refrain from making pupils conform to gender stereotypes.

The Guardian

Persecution continues for Pakistani religious minorities in UK

Persecution continues for Pakistani religious minorities in UK

British Pakistani religious minorities have been violently persecuted by Sunni Muslims in the UK. Some say authorities are looking the other way.

Conatus News

Nigerian atheists kick against worship in corporate organisations

Nigerian atheists kick against worship in corporate organisations

The Atheists Society of Nigeria has criticised the banking industry and other organisations which start the day with prayers and worship.

The Sun (Nigeria)

Australian liberals divided over religious protections on eve of same-sex marriage survey result

Australian liberals divided over religious protections on eve of same-sex marriage survey result

Australia's Attorney General says there "will be a debate" within the Turnbull government's ranks over the law used to legalise same-sex marriage if the nationwide postal survey returns a 'Yes' result tomorrow.

SBS Australia

US Supreme Court to decide whether withholding abortion information is first amendment right

US Supreme Court to decide whether withholding abortion information is first amendment right

The US Supreme Court has chosen to take a case that will decide whether a California law requiring crisis pregnancy centres to provide women with abortion information violates the First Amendment.

Newsweek

Bangladeshi village burned down after 'Muhammad insulted' in resident's Facebook post

Bangladeshi village burned down after 'Muhammad insulted' in resident's Facebook post

A Hindu village in Bangladesh was burnt down after a rumour spread that a local youth had insulted the Islamic prophet in a Facebook post.

The Independent

Mon, 13 Nov 2017

Government allows faith school to split in two to avoid gender segregation law

Government allows faith school to split in two to avoid gender segregation law

The Department for Education has said religious schools that separate boys and girls into different classes can split in two to get around a new ruling on gender segregation. The head of a Jewish Orthodox school in Barnet says the DfE told the school it faced no further action if it splits in two.

The Independent

Who are CrossTeach? A look at the Christian group causing alarm among some parents

Who are CrossTeach? A look at the Christian group causing alarm among some parents

A religious charity which gives lessons on the Christian faith in a number of schools has recently come under fire for allegedly telling teenagers abortion was wrong.

Kent Live

Christian teacher suspended after calling transgender boy a girl

Christian teacher suspended after calling transgender boy a girl

Joshua Sutcliffe, a maths teacher at a state secondary school in Oxfordshire who is also a pastor at an evangelical church, faces a disciplinary hearing.

The Times (£)

Scottish Government includes non-religious element in remembrance day service

Scottish Government includes non-religious element in remembrance day service

The first non-religious element of a Scottish Government commemoration to mark remembrance weekend has taken place in Edinburgh. A humanist was invited to address the remembrance day service at St Andrews House.

The Herald

Church of England issues bullying guidance on trans issues

Church of England issues bullying guidance on trans issues

The Church of England has said primary schoolchildren should be free to dress up in a tiara or superhero cloak without comment from teachers or pupils. Its guidance said there was a "breadth of views" among Christians and people of all beliefs towards same-sex marriage, sexual orientation and gender identity.

BBC

Discord over choirgirls’ school fees

Discord over choirgirls’ school fees

Girls at cathedral schools are missing out on subsidies that are given to boy choristers.

The Sunday Times (£)

Recalling NSS founder’s clash over atheism in Derby

Recalling NSS founder’s clash over atheism in Derby

When Charles Bradlaugh lectured in Derby 142 years ago, his criticism of religion sparked a firestorm of protest.

The Derby Telegraph

Far-right marchers demand ‘Catholic’ Poland

Far-right marchers demand ‘Catholic’ Poland

Sixty thousand people gathered in Warsaw carrying antisemitic flags and banners with slogans such as "White Europe of brotherly nations" and "Clean Blood". Many speakers pledged their support for a single-faith, Catholic Poland.

The Times (£)

A toxic mix: sex, religion and hypocrisy

A toxic mix: sex, religion and hypocrisy

As more women, in France, Switzerland and Belgium, make allegations of sexual misconduct against Tariq Ramadan, a picture emerges of the domination exercised over women by a powerful Islamic theologian who had also impressed some left-wing French intellectuals and television hosts.

The New York Times

Trump gets religion, evangelicals say, and now wants to broaden his reach

Trump gets religion, evangelicals say, and now wants to broaden his reach

President Trump's alliance with evangelicals may seem unlikely, but they floated his name as a possible presidential candidate as early as 2011.

The Washington Post

Maldivians insulting Islam on social media face Government house calls

Maldivians insulting Islam on social media face Government house calls

People in the Maldives who make fun of Islam on social media will get house calls from government officials who will 'educate' them about the faith, authorities have said.

Maldives Independent

‘Why religious exemptions on same-sex marriage are a backward step’

‘Why religious exemptions on same-sex marriage are a backward step’

Mark Humphery-Jenner says Australia's anti-discrimination laws exist to prevent prejudiced and exclusionary actions. This means they balance the need for equality with the need to preserve religious freedom.

ABC News (Australia)

Fri, 10 Nov 2017

Buckfast Linked To Over 40 Percent Of Arrests In Scotland - NSS mentioned

Buckfast Linked To Over 40 Percent Of Arrests In Scotland - NSS mentioned

Since 2004, the Trust has made around £88m ($116m) in royalties from each bottle, which the National Secular Society says is an 'abuse of the charitable system'.

LADbible

Tonbridge Grammar girls were told 'abortion is wrong'

Tonbridge Grammar girls were told 'abortion is wrong'

Parents have spoken of their concern after teenage girls at Tonbridge Grammar School were told it was wrong to have an abortion.

Kent Live

School judged inadequate as inspectors say it 'does not prepare pupils fully for life in British society'

School judged inadequate as inspectors say it 'does not prepare pupils fully for life in British society'

Olive Secondary School, an Islamic faith school in Barkerend, was judged 'inadequate' in a new report by school inspection body Ofsted.

Telegraph & Argus

Victim claims abuse on Manchester United trip

Victim claims abuse on Manchester United trip

James, who wants to keep his anonymity, believes he was "trafficked" to English football clubs by the Marist Brothers, a Catholic order which ran his school.

BBC News

Secularist group calls on school district to stop religious mentorship program

Secularist group calls on school district to stop religious mentorship program

A prominent secularist organization has called on a school district in South Carolina to put an end to an evangelical group's mentorship program at an elementary school.

The Christian Times

Prevent scheme: Anti-terror referrals for 2,000 children

Prevent scheme: Anti-terror referrals for 2,000 children

Thousands of children and teenagers were referred to the government's anti-terror programme in England and Wales last year, Home Office figures show.

BBC News

‘Those who denounce Prevent as Islamophobic are themselves dangerous’

‘Those who denounce Prevent as Islamophobic are themselves dangerous’

If we fail to tackle extremism when we encounter it, then we fail our children and their communities, writes the CEO of a large multi-academy trust.

TES

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