Tue, 05 Sep 2017
The systematic persecution of minority Muslims is on the rise across Buddhist-majority Myanmar, a rights group said on Tuesday.
Mon, 04 Sep 2017
A survey by The Sunday Times found that a fifth of 800 primary schools, including Church of England schools, list the hijab as part of their uniform. In some cases children as young as three are wearing the garment. Campaigners say school authorities are causing classroom divisions and putting pressure on Muslim girls to cover up.
The Times (£)
A row has erupted after Belfast's new Lord Mayor dispensed with prayers before her installation dinner. Nuala McAllister, an atheist, didn't invite anyone to say grace at the event on Saturday night.
Murphy O’Connor’s cover-up of child abusers must be a lesson to the Catholic Church - by NSS executive director
Keith Porteous Wood seeks to set the historical record straight about Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, the former Archbishop of Westminster who died on Friday, with this alternative obituary.
Luke Coppen argues that Murphy O'Connor, the former Archbishop of Westminster who died on Friday, tussled with an "establishment" that embraced "a new belief system – secular liberalism".
Sixth formers excluded from a Church of England school because they did not get at least B grades at AS-level will be allowed to return. Pupils at St Olave's in Orpington, south-east London, were told they could not progress to take their A-levels. A lawyer for parents says the school has backed down amid the threat of legal action.
The government has signalled that it is preparing to clamp down on fixed odds betting terminals in a letter from the Chancellor to the Bishop of St Albans. Philip Hammond wrote:" I appreciate your concerns about gambling related harm, and I welcome the work that the Church of England is doing in this area."
Aubrey Perry argues that Australia's upcoming postal vote on same-sex marriage will allow voters to reject the religious right's excessive influence in the country's politics.
Sydney Morning Herald
Kevin Donnelly responds to Perry's piece. He writes: "Saying Yes will radically undermine the place of religion in Australian society and deny the individual's right to religious freedom".
Dr Albert Mohler explains his decision to sign a statement which called 'homosexual immorality' and 'transgenderism' sinful.
Waikato University lecturer Dr Raymond Richards criticised those who stop work five times a day to pray. Some have branded his comments intolerant and the university says it "will be examining this matter carefully".
Fri, 01 Sep 2017
Jonathan Romain, the chairman of the Accord coalition, argues that the government should not lift the 50% cap on faith-based entries to faith schools. He says doing so would amount to "educational apartheid".
The Times (£)
The prime minister plans to introduce a new anti-extremism commission. This has dismayed members of the Defend Free Speech coalition, including the National Secular Society.
National Catholic Register
The EU's anti-terror chief says Britain is home to more Islamist fanatics than any other country in Europe.
Channel 4 News has been criticised for giving a platform to a racist Islamist who has previously declared her hatred of "honkies" and "Israeli parasites" and her support for terrorists.
The Times (£)
In the Guardian's long read, Samira Shackle gives her take on what happened when allegations were made of a plot to Islamise schools in Birmingham.
Rabina Khan, a former cabinet member for Tower Hamlets council, says the case of a child who was placed with a Muslim family has been used "as a chance to bash immigrants".
A study from the Pew Research Centre suggests there has been reconciliation, although there are still "pockets of sectarianism".
A deputy clerk called a lesbian couple who were seeking a marriage licence in West Virginia an "abomination" and said God would "deal" with them. The clerk claimed a religious right to express his view. The relevant county will now pay the couple $10,000.
The illustrator behind the Pepe the Frog cartoon has forced the removal of a children's book from distribution that featured the frog. His legal team say the book espoused alt-right themes. As part of the legal settlement, the writer must donate his profits from the publication to the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
New York Times
Thousands of Rohingya are fleeing an aggressive military campaign in Buddhist-majority Burma.
Thu, 31 Aug 2017
The theme park has lifted its ban on Sikh visitors wearing ceremonial swords following pressure from the Sikh Council UK. In June a primary school teacher was denied entry to a children's party because bosses judged that the Kirpan posed health and safety risks.
A judge says there is evidence a youngster at the centre of a foster care row has grandparents with a Muslim background. The judge added that she might be better off with her mother's mother, who wants to move to her country of origin.
Julie Bindel reflects on Sarah Champion MP's recent resignation. She argues that many of Champion's critics fail to stand up to the abuse of girls and women among some Muslim men.
One hundred and fifty evangelical Christian leaders have signed the Nashville Statement, a letter which calls 'homosexual immorality' and 'transgenderism' sinful. The signatories include five members of President Trump's evangelical executive advisory board.
Irish health minister Simon Harris says a new national children's hospital will be "secular" and completely devoid of any religious control. His words follow a damaging and drawn-out dispute with the Sisters of Charity religious order earlier this year over its role in the new national maternity hospital.
Naomi Firsht says the French magazine once again made the case for free speech when it focused on the Barcelona attacks.
Nilufar Ahmed argues that so few women wear the burqa in Europe that banning it is pointless.
Wed, 30 Aug 2017
An Aldi branch in Northampton has exempted a Muslim employee from serving alcohol. Our executive director Keith Porteous Wood explained why he found the decision concerning. His contribution begins after 26:03.
BBC Three Counties Radio
A judge has ruled that a girl from a Christian family who was allegedly placed with a Muslim foster family should live with a family member.
An extremist Islamic preacher helped in the recruitment of foster parents in Lewisham. The revelation comes amid the row over foster care in Tower Hamlets.
A Muslim convert accused of breaking an ASBO to preach sharia law was ordered to stand up for a judge who told him: "This is not a court of religion".
More than four in 10 people in England are more suspicious of Muslims as a result of recent terrorist attacks, the campaign group Hope Not Hate says. But its study also finds that the country is becoming more tolerant and open overall.
The Jewish Leadership Council has removed a video of its chief executive slamming a survey by grassroots group Campaign Against Anti-Semitism after a backlash.
Several social media companies in the West have been criticised for a perceived lack of transparency over censoring content in Iran. In recent weeks local media has reported that Instagram, YouTube and Twitter are co-operating with the country's religious authorities to aid them in blocking or censoring "immoral" content.
The Trump administration's head of humanitarian aid urged Sudan's government to improve protections for religious minorities and human rights on Tuesday.
Religious young women are less knowledgeable about a vaccine that guards against several different types of cancer, suggests a new study from Utah.
Tue, 29 Aug 2017
A council that placed a child from a Christian family with a Muslim foster family is to be forced by the children's commissioner to explain its decision. The five-year-old girl's foster carers allegedly removed her necklace, which had a cross, and refused to allow her to eat bacon.
The Times (£)
A paedophile ex-vicar was housed in a luxury Liverpool flat paid for by the Church of England. Former reverend Paul Battersby repeatedly downloaded photographs of young children being molested.
A report from a charity in the north of England has called for the government's counter-radicalisation scheme to be closed immediately. Security minister Ben Wallace says the report "peddles falsehoods and creates myths".
More than 500 British Muslims, mainly university students and youth leaders, have taken part in an "anti-terrorism" training camp, learning to combat extremist literature and identify people in danger of becoming radicalised.
The Times (£)
Mark Koyama argues that the ideas of great philosophers were not enough on their own to make religious freedom in the West possible and appealing. He says political and institutional changes were also crucial.
Accepting the notion of 'Islamophobia' means the end of legitimate criticism of Islam, argues Benjamin David. We cannot allow de facto blasphemy to destroy our liberal values.
Peter Kearney of the Scottish Catholic Media Office calls for action on anti-Catholic bigotry. He argues that many support "a narrowing focus" on the problem, not a "wider one" which treats it in a similar way to other forms of religious intolerance.
A French court has ruled that schools should provide an alternative to pork school lunches in the interest of Muslim and Jewish children who do not eat the meat.
A group which lobbies for inclusive public education in New South Wales has passed a motion urging a change to rules on scripture and ethics classes. Currently students who opt out of the classes may not do any educational activities in the meantime. The government says it will not revisit its position.
Sydney Morning Herald
A study says religion is one factor widening the country's cultural divide as the next general election looms.
South China Morning Post
Fri, 25 Aug 2017
The number of pupils studying RS GCSE in Englannd has fallen for the first time in a decade. Some of the subject's teachers are troubled by the trend.
In the Guardian's long read, Dina Nayeri tells her story of belonging to a secret Christian church in Iran where the Rapture was welcomed as a rescue. Later, as a refugee in the US, she saw how apocalyptic prophecies masked a reactionary nihilism.
Dave Sharp was 'repeatedly raped, beaten and hung by the neck' at the Christian Brothers School in Fife. The payment is likely to allow hundreds of other Scottish victims to win compensation for historical abuse at various organisations.
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