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Tue, 06 Feb 2018

‘Secularism is under threat’

‘Secularism is under threat’

Andrew Copson examines the threats to secularism in this interview with Samira Shackle.

New Humanist

People who think about leaving religion but don’t are more likely to feel depressed and hopeless

People who think about leaving religion but don’t are more likely to feel depressed and hopeless

Newly-published research suggests that sticking with a religion you have doubts about is associated with depressive symptoms.

PsyPost

Young people in Canada abandon organised religion

Young people in Canada abandon organised religion

Led by millennials, Canada is increasingly moving towards a secular culture, with many describing themselves as "spiritual but not religious".

The Conversation

Mon, 05 Feb 2018

Justin Welby ‘blocked’ payouts to abused pupils

Justin Welby ‘blocked’ payouts to abused pupils

A victim of child sex abuse has written to Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, ahead of next weekend's General Synod accusing him of "personally" blocking extra compensation payments.

The Sunday Times (£)

Paris attacks suspect to go on trial in Belgium

Paris attacks suspect to go on trial in Belgium

The sole surviving suspect from the 2015 Paris terror attacks has arrived at a Belgian court to face trial over the shootout that led to his arrest.

BBC

‘In British schools, the wearing of the hijab by young girls is an explosive issue’ – NSS research cited

‘In British schools, the wearing of the hijab by young girls is an explosive issue’ – NSS research cited

The question whether young girls should be allowed to wear the hijab at school is emerging as one of the most bitterly divisive issues in debates over the limits of cultural freedom.

The Economist

Ofsted chief Amanda Spielman targeted by anti-semites in hijab row

Ofsted chief Amanda Spielman targeted by anti-semites in hijab row

Ofsted's chief inspector has been the subject of anti-semitic abuse after publicly supporting a primary school in a row over banning the hijab and fasting for young children.

The Sunday Times (£)

‘Don’t let the fundamentalists wreck our schools’

‘Don’t let the fundamentalists wreck our schools’

This leading article says the Department for Education's response to Islamic fundamentalists' demands in schools has been "supine in the extreme".

The Sunday Times (£)

UK rejects proposals to regulate sharia councils – NSS quoted

UK rejects proposals to regulate sharia councils – NSS quoted

The United Kingdom has rejected proposals to regulate so-called sharia councils in the UK, following the publishing of a 2 year review into the matter. NSS CEO Stephen Evans welcomed the decision.

The National

‘How Sara Khan’s critics prove she’s the right choice’

‘How Sara Khan’s critics prove she’s the right choice’

Terry Murray, Beatrice Louis and Khadija Khan Lodhi argue that the opposition to Sara Khan as the Counter-Extremism commissioner from many special interest groups shows she is the right person for the role.

Conatus News

Anti-gay marriage presidential candidate wins first-round ballot in Costa Rica

Anti-gay marriage presidential candidate wins first-round ballot in Costa Rica

A fringe evangelical candidate who vowed to stop equal marriage has topped the ballot in the first round of Costa Rica's presidential election.

Pink News

Interview with Dan Barker, co-president of Freedom From Religion Foundation

Interview with Dan Barker, co-president of Freedom From Religion Foundation

Dan Barker, former minister and co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, speaks about the organisation and its work.

Conatus News

Pakistani feminist turns tables on man after ‘blasphemy’ slur

Pakistani feminist turns tables on man after ‘blasphemy’ slur

A women's rights activist in Pakistan has filed a lawsuit against a man who accused her of blasphemy, a charge that carries the death penalty.

The Times (£)

Fri, 02 Feb 2018

Ofsted boss attacks C of E for making it harder to tackle extremism

Ofsted boss attacks C of E for making it harder to tackle extremism

The Church of England's opposition to the inspection of Sunday schools has made it harder to tackle extremism, Ofsted's chief inspector has said.

The Independent

Mosque terror attacker to be sentenced

Mosque terror attacker to be sentenced

A man who drove a van at people outside a London mosque after saying he wanted to "kill all Muslims" will be sentenced this morning. He was found guilty of murder and attempted murder yesterday.

Sky News

Web giants warned as Finsbury Park terrorist faces jail

Web giants warned as Finsbury Park terrorist faces jail

Tech giants were told last night to do more to tackle far-right propaganda after a terrorist radicalised online in weeks was convicted of driving a van into Muslims outside a mosque.

The Times (£)

Judge grants judicial review into coroner in Jewish burials dispute

Judge grants judicial review into coroner in Jewish burials dispute

A high court judge has granted a Jewish burial society the right to a judicial review of a senior coroner's policy of treating people equally, regardless of religious sensitivity.

The Jewish Chronicle

Peter Tatchell backs call for opposite-sex civil partnerships

Peter Tatchell backs call for opposite-sex civil partnerships

NSS honorary associate Peter Tatchell is backing calls for opposite-sex civil partnerships to become legal, as MPs debate a private member's bill on the matter.

talkRADIO

Review suggests registering sharia marriages under UK law

Review suggests registering sharia marriages under UK law

A review of sharia councils has said Muslims in the UK should undergo a civil marriage as well as a religious ceremony and a public body should be set up to regulate sharia councils. The Home Office immediately rejected the latter suggestion.

The Independent

Doubts over future of MAT which runs 35 faith schools

Doubts over future of MAT which runs 35 faith schools

One of the country's biggest multi-academy trusts has predicted that nearly all of its schools will be in deficit by 2018-19. The latest financial accounts for Plymouth CAST, which operates 35 faith schools in the west country, state that 22 of its academies have set a deficit budget for the current academic year.

Tes

Church waited weeks to reveal new claims of historic sex abuse

Church waited weeks to reveal new claims of historic sex abuse

The Church of England waited six weeks to release an allegation of historic sexual abuse against Bishop George Bell.

The Argus

High Court rules Home Office 'interfering' with people's right to observe Islam in detention centres

High Court rules Home Office 'interfering' with people's right to observe Islam in detention centres

The Home Office is interfering with people's right to observe Islam by subjecting immigration detainees to a "lock-in" regime which forces them to pray in dirty conditions, the High Court has ruled.

The Independent

Indonesia’s parliament may criminalise sex outside marriage

Indonesia’s parliament may criminalise sex outside marriage

Riding a tsunami of moral conservatism and anti-gay prejudice, Indonesia's Islamic political parties appear on the cusp of a major victory: outlawing all sex outside marriage.

Time

The impact of President Trump’s ‘global gag rule’ on women’s health is becoming clear

The impact of President Trump’s ‘global gag rule’ on women’s health is becoming clear

Just over a year ago President Trump reinstated a law prohibiting the allocation of US funding to foreign non-governmental organizations that offer abortion services or information about the procedure. Health care workers say the policy has had disastrous effect.

Time

Thu, 01 Feb 2018

Head teachers must stop religious extremists using schools to indoctrinate children, says Ofsted head

Head teachers must stop religious extremists using schools to indoctrinate children, says Ofsted head

In a strongly-worded speech today Amanda Spielman will call on head teachers not to be afraid of causing offence or tackling religious extremists who use schools to indoctrinate children.

International Business Times

‘Home-schooled children need better protection’ – by NSS honorary associate

‘Home-schooled children need better protection’ – by NSS honorary associate

Lord Soley says the tragic discovery in California of 13 children imprisoned and tortured in their own home is a salutary reminder of what can happen when the right to home-educate children is used as a cover for abuse. His home education bill "will not answer all the problems facing schools and parents, but it will help".

The Times (£)

Priest jailed for abusing two boys was reported before being moved

Priest jailed for abusing two boys was reported before being moved

A Church of England priest who worked at a private school in North Devon after torturing and abusing two boys in Sussex was first reported to the church 20 years ago, according to a BBC investigation.

Devon Live

Bishop George Bell: Fresh allegation made to Church of England

Bishop George Bell: Fresh allegation made to Church of England

A new allegation has been made against the late Bishop George Bell who was accused after his death of abusing a young girl, the BBC understands.

BBC

‘This war on “hate” is silencing more than football fans’

‘This war on “hate” is silencing more than football fans’

The Offensive Behaviour at Football Act looks set to be repealed in Scotland. Stuart Waiton says this is a good thing, as "the act is so broad that simply being offensive was made into a crime".

The Times (£)

Victim abused and beaten by notorious monk set to sue Catholic sect and council

Victim abused and beaten by notorious monk set to sue Catholic sect and council

An abuse survivor is suing a Catholic sect and a council after being beaten and assaulted by a notorious monk in East Lothian.

Daily Record

Anti-semitic incidents in UK at all-time high, figures suggest

Anti-semitic incidents in UK at all-time high, figures suggest

Anti-semitic hate incidents have reached a record level in the UK, figures indicate.

The Guardian

Government backs memorial to Sikh soldiers

Government backs memorial to Sikh soldiers

A new war memorial to commemorate the sacrifice of Sikh servicemen has been backed by the government.

Forces Network

Indonesia is set to ban gay sex

Indonesia is set to ban gay sex

Indonesia has proposed banning gay sex – and the law could pass in the next two weeks. The bill, which reportedly has support from all 10 of the country's main political parties, would make gay sex punishable by up to five years in prison.

Pink News

Poland's Senate passes Holocaust bill

Poland's Senate passes Holocaust bill

Poland's Senate has approved a bill that makes it illegal to accuse Poles of complicity in the Nazi Holocaust.

BBC

Prominent Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan is held in France on rape allegations

Prominent Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan is held in France on rape allegations

The high-profile Muslim academic Tariq Ramadan has been taken into custody by French police investigating allegations of rape and sexual assault.

Los Angeles Times

Indonesia's Aceh province orders headscarves for Muslim flight attendants

Indonesia's Aceh province orders headscarves for Muslim flight attendants

Authorities in the Indonesian province of Aceh have ordered Muslim flight attendants to wear headscarves when flying into the ultra-conservative Islamic region, officials confirmed on Wednesday.

Reuters

Wed, 31 Jan 2018

Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse pores over 75,000 pages about Chichester diocese

Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse pores over 75,000 pages about Chichester diocese

The culture of secrecy in the Church of England, its hierarchy and its approach to sexuality are to be among the central lines of questioning in an upcoming public hearing into the handling of child sex abuse allegations in the diocese of Chichester.

Church Times

‘We shouldn’t allow children to be labelled with the same religious identity as their parents’ – by NSS communications officer

‘We shouldn’t allow children to be labelled with the same religious identity as their parents’ – by NSS communications officer

Chris Sloggett says true religious freedom comes from having the ability to make your own decisions when you are old enough, and schools should enforce clear rules on religious clothing that are in children's best interests.

Tes

Government will push ahead with LGBT-inclusive sex education

Government will push ahead with LGBT-inclusive sex education

The new Education Secretary will push ahead with plans to require LGBT-inclusive sex and relationship education to be taught in schools, the Government has confirmed.

Pink News

Scottish Catholics demand new laws to permit workers to opt out of abortion work - NSS quoted

Scottish Catholics demand new laws to permit workers to opt out of abortion work - NSS quoted

The Catholic Church in Scotland has renewed calls for Holyrood laws to protect "conscience rights" for health workers who do not wish to do anything to support abortion services.

The Herald

Ireland’s proposed abortion law would lift threat of prison

Ireland’s proposed abortion law would lift threat of prison

A new abortion law would lift the threat of criminal sanctions for women who illegally terminate their pregnancies in Ireland.

The Times (£)

CEMB to protest mandatory hijab in Iran

CEMB to protest mandatory hijab in Iran

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) will protest against the mandatory hijab in Iran today in support of the White Wednesday campaign.

Conatus News

Religion partly why India has millions of ‘unwanted’ girls

Religion partly why India has millions of ‘unwanted’ girls

Indian families' traditional preference for sons over daughters has led to the existence of millions of "unwanted" girls in the country, a new government report estimates. The report suggests several possible reasons for India's preference for sons, including that male offspring perform important religious rituals for their parents.

The Huffington Post

‘How women’s reproductive rights stalled under Trump’

‘How women’s reproductive rights stalled under Trump’

Julia Belluz says the Trump administration has made some remarkable moves to curtail hard-fought access to reproductive health care and family planning services. Observers say this is evidence of the religious right's growing influence at the highest levels of government and Trump's desire to fulfill campaign promises to expand 'religious freedom'.

Vox

‘The White House puts the bible before the Hippocratic Oath’

‘The White House puts the bible before the Hippocratic Oath’

This editorial reflects on the creation of a "Conscience and Religious Freedom Division" in the US Government's Department of Health and Human Services. It says freedom of religion is essential, but so is access to healthcare.

The New York Times

Iran frees woman who took off headscarf – lawyer

Iran frees woman who took off headscarf – lawyer

An Iranian woman detained after defiantly taking off her headscarf and holding it on a stick in Tehran has been freed, a human rights lawyer says.

BBC

Pope to send envoy to investigate Chile sex abuse claims

Pope to send envoy to investigate Chile sex abuse claims

Pope Francis is sending a Vatican investigator to Chile to look into accusations that a bishop covered up for an abusive priest.

BBC

Secular schools in Israel integrate religious content into science and tech lessons

Secular schools in Israel integrate religious content into science and tech lessons

A web portal used by hundreds of secular state schools in Israel is integrating religious content into its science and technology lessons.

Haaretz

Tue, 30 Jan 2018

Damian Hinds is ‘carefully considering’ lifting the faith-based admissions cap

Damian Hinds is ‘carefully considering’ lifting the faith-based admissions cap

During his first appearance at education questions since he took the top job in education on January 8, Damian Hinds told MPs today that he still hasn't decided whether to get rid of the 50-per-cent cap on religious discrimination in admissions to new faith schools.

Schools Week

'The myth of Lewis’s cultural heritage'

'The myth of Lewis’s cultural heritage'

A letter writer says it is a myth to suggest the cultural heritage of Lewis and Harris is being undermined by an arts centre's decision to open as a trial on Sunday.

Hebrides News

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