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Wed, 15 Nov 2017

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

Scottish Episcopal Church appoints first female bishop

Scottish Episcopal Church appoints first female bishop

The Rev Canon Anne Dyer was appointed the new Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney by the Episcopal Synod.

BBC News

Petition launched to ban dangerous gay ‘cure’ therapy

Petition launched to ban dangerous gay ‘cure’ therapy

A new petition has urged the government to ban gay conversion after an undercover investigation proved it still goes on in the UK.

Metro

Tesco Christmas advert attacked for featuring Muslim family

Tesco Christmas advert attacked for featuring Muslim family

In the supermarket's one-minute long advert, families prepare Christmas dinner and cook a turkey in a variety of ways.

The Independent

'No-consent' circumcision doctor will not be prosecuted

'No-consent' circumcision doctor will not be prosecuted

A mother has been left "sickened" by a decision not to prosecute the doctor who circumcised her son without her consent.

BBC News

Little Horton candidate says remarks she made five years ago were 'unacceptable'

Little Horton candidate says remarks she made five years ago were 'unacceptable'

Bradford's Labour party has found itself embroiled in another anti-Semitism row, after shortlisting for political office a woman who faced criticism for a series of controversial posts about Jews.

Telegraph & Argus

Secular activist claims at least 30 'closeted atheists' in Congress

Secular activist claims at least 30 'closeted atheists' in Congress

A prominent advocate for the irreligious says there are at least 30 "closeted" members of Congress who don't believe in God, and that he hopes a California congressman's Thursday admission of disbelief will encourage others to come forward.

Washington Examiner

Artist Charged with Public Offense to Religion in Italy

Artist Charged with Public Offense to Religion in Italy

Anonymous artist Horge was arrested and charged with public offense to religion for putting up satirical posters at various bus stops throughout Rome, Italy during the summer.

Art Forum

Thu, 09 Nov 2017

‘Life of Brian 38 years on: de facto blasphemy is alive and well’ – by NSS communications officer

‘Life of Brian 38 years on: de facto blasphemy is alive and well’ – by NSS communications officer

Monty Python's Life of Brian celebrated its 38th birthday yesterday. Chris Sloggett argues we live under a de facto blasphemy law, but do not like admitting it to ourselves.

Conatus News

World’s first joint faith school officially opens near Glasgow

World’s first joint faith school officially opens near Glasgow

A ceremony yesterday marked the official opening of the shared £17m site of Glasgow's Calderwood Lodge Jewish Primary and St Clare's Catholic Primary. The event included a series of religious readings and prayers.

Glasgow Live

Gilbert & George return to Belfast with reflections on religion

Gilbert & George return to Belfast with reflections on religion

An artistic pairing whose work was dubbed an "abomination" by the late Ian Paisley are returning in Northern Ireland. Their new exhibition will partly focus on religion.

The Times (£)

Northern Ireland civil service nearly half and half Catholic and Protestant

Northern Ireland civil service nearly half and half Catholic and Protestant

Statistics released on Wednesday show that the workforce, excluding those whose community background was 'not determined', is 51% Protestant, 49% Catholic.

Belfast Live

Ireland ‘may have to compensate thousands of women travelling abroad for abortions’

Ireland ‘may have to compensate thousands of women travelling abroad for abortions’

A human rights expert has told a parliamentary committee the country may have to pay costly compensation to thousands of women unless the law is immediately changed to make abortion legal and easily accessible.

The Irish Examiner

Refusal of Irish anti-abortion advocates to attend committee 'very regrettable'

Refusal of Irish anti-abortion advocates to attend committee 'very regrettable'

The chair of Ireland's parliamentary committee on the eighth amendment says her committee is struggling to secure witnesses who were opposed to changing the constitutional position on terminations.

The Belfast Telegraph

Dispatches on Canadian secularism – NSS mentioned

Dispatches on Canadian secularism – NSS mentioned

Marc Schaus says secularism is hotly debated in Canada. He explains the latest developments on issues such as assisted dying, abortion and secular marriage.

Patheos

‘Militant Buddhism is on the march in South-East Asia – where did it come from?’

‘Militant Buddhism is on the march in South-East Asia – where did it come from?’

Peter Lehr says militant Buddhism is on the rise in Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand. He says militant monks are justifying violence because they are convinced that Buddhism is under siege.

The Conversation

Ad watchdog dismisses ‘blasphemy’ complaints against Sportsbet over ‘Puntmas’ slogan

Ad watchdog dismisses ‘blasphemy’ complaints against Sportsbet over ‘Puntmas’ slogan

An Australian advertising campaign which used the word "Puntmas" to describe the racing season has been cleared by the industry watchdog following complaints of 'blasphemy'.

News.com.au

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