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Tue, 31 Oct 2017

Hardline Hindu nationalists campaign against Taj Mahal

Hardline Hindu nationalists campaign against Taj Mahal

Religious nationalists in Hindu-majority India have stepped up a campaign to push the four-century-old Mughal monument to the margins of Indian history.

The Guardian

German university to draw up religious code of conduct

German university to draw up religious code of conduct

The University of Hamburg's new rules will allow lecturers to decide whether the full face veil disrupts their teaching. The university has drawn up the code in response to complaints about students praying loudly in the library and flooding bathrooms to ritually wash their feet.

Times Higher Education

Tunisia authorises association defending secularism

Tunisia authorises association defending secularism

Tunisia's decision to authorise an 'Association of free thinkers', a body with the mission of defending secularism, is a first in the Arab world.

Ansamed

Mon, 30 Oct 2017

Al-Hijrah Islamic school defies ruling on mixing sexes - NSS quoted

Al-Hijrah Islamic school defies ruling on mixing sexes - NSS quoted

One of Britain's first state-funded Islamic schools is to be the subject of an appeal against a court ruling that it was guilty of sex discrimination by separating girls and boys from the age of nine for lessons, breaks and clubs.

The Times (£)

Stunned halal meat move 'inhumane' claims Muslim group - NSS quoted

Stunned halal meat move 'inhumane' claims Muslim group - NSS quoted

Councillors in Lancashire voted on Thursday to end its use in council-run schools saying it was "cruel" to not stun animals before slaughter.

BBC

Pro-smacking lobbyists funded by Christian fundamentalists

Pro-smacking lobbyists funded by Christian fundamentalists

The Christian Institute has thrown their considerable financial heft behind blocking a bid to ban smacking in Scotland

Sunday Herald

Gay men to receive Scottish government apology

Gay men to receive Scottish government apology

Nicola Sturgeon will make the apology at Holyrood on 7 November to coincide with new legislation giving an automatic pardon to those affected.

BBC

Campaigners demand British Hindu group be 'stripped of charity status' for hosting 'hate preacher' in Parliament

Campaigners demand British Hindu group be 'stripped of charity status' for hosting 'hate preacher' in Parliament

A line-up of politicians, charities and advocacy groups has demanded the organisation that hosted far-right Hindu nationalist Tapan Ghosh in Parliament be stripped of its charity status.

Evening Standard

Beaten up for poppies on his car

Beaten up for poppies on his car

A Christian of Pakistani origin who was beaten and left unconscious in a car park says he was attacked by Muslims who objected to him displaying two large red poppies on the front of his car.

The Times (£)

Woman tells of harrowing life as lesbian Muslim in Pakistan

Woman tells of harrowing life as lesbian Muslim in Pakistan

Zayna, not her real name, who is 40, said she has been beaten, humiliated and threatened because of her sexuality.

The Independent

Muslim students row with Newcastle University intensifies over prayer room changes

Muslim students row with Newcastle University intensifies over prayer room changes

The Muslim prayer space in the King George VI building has been closed for most of Saturday and Sunday since it re-opened at the start of the new term, preventing students from fulfilling their five daily prayers.

Chronicle Live

Online protests as Iranian Zoroastrian councillor suspended

Online protests as Iranian Zoroastrian councillor suspended

The suspension of Sepanta Niknam, an Iranian Zoroastrian councillor suspended on religious grounds, has polarised opinion among senior officials of the Islamic Republic and led to a campaign on social media calling for him to be reinstated.

BBC

Extremists and returning jihadists 'offered council house bribes to reintegrate'

Extremists and returning jihadists 'offered council house bribes to reintegrate'

Under pilot schemes being looked at, police and local authorities would assess extremists formerly investigated as suspects by the security services to see what danger they pose and what it would take to help reintegrate them into society.

The Telegraph

Atheists Sue TX School Officials For Harassing Student Who Sat During Pledge

Atheists Sue TX School Officials For Harassing Student Who Sat During Pledge

The suit was filed on behalf of "M.O.," a teenager who complained of long-term harassment by school officials.

World Religion News

The women who put their lives on the line for peace in Central African Republic

The women who put their lives on the line for peace in Central African Republic

When sectarian conflict wrought division in Boda, women in the southern Central African town formed a united front to appeal for calm. Three years on, Muslims and Christians live in greater harmony.

The Guardian

In Praise of Blasphemy

In Praise of Blasphemy

"Often, the most powerful art comes from minds that dare to question the status quo and tear down shibboleths, often at great personal and professional cost."

Fair Observer

Fri, 27 Oct 2017

Halal meat row as Lancashire council becomes first to ban unstunned meat from all school meals - NSS quoted

Halal meat row as Lancashire council becomes first to ban unstunned meat from all school meals - NSS quoted

The campaign was fought between council leader Geoff Driver and part of the the local Muslim community.

The Telegraph

Council faces Muslim boycott of school meals after banning 'abhorrent' halal beef and lamb from unstunned animals - NSS quoted

Council faces Muslim boycott of school meals after banning 'abhorrent' halal beef and lamb from unstunned animals - NSS quoted

Some 27 schools across Lancashire serve meat from halal suppliers that do not stun animals before slaughter, including Church of England and Catholic schools.

The Daily Mail

The Birmingham couple who put IS at heart of marriage

The Birmingham couple who put IS at heart of marriage

Three members of the same family have been convicted for being part of what could have been a major terror attack on the streets of Birmingham.

BBC News

New Zealand Prime Minister Takes Non-Religious Oath of Office Without Bible

New Zealand Prime Minister Takes Non-Religious Oath of Office Without Bible

New Zealand just swore in its 40th Prime Minister, 37-year-old ex-Mormon-turned-Agnostic Jacinda Ardern.

Patheos

Isis fighter from High Wycombe wants to return to face justice in UK

Isis fighter from High Wycombe wants to return to face justice in UK

In a series of encrypted messages, a young Briton who travelled to Syria to fight for Isis describes his disillusionment with the caliphate

The Times (£)

Parents’ role in study of faith in the spotlight

Parents’ role in study of faith in the spotlight

Catholic parents may have to do more to help their children's faith formation as schools' share of the duties risks being removed, the Church's leader in Ireland said.

Irish Examiner

Vicar bans hymn Onward Christian Soldiers from Remembrance Sunday service

Vicar bans hymn Onward Christian Soldiers from Remembrance Sunday service

Members of the Royal British Legion club in Oadby are furious about a decision by their local vicar to block the singing of Onward Christian Soldiers during the Remembrance Sunday service.

Leicester Mercury

MP Bob Blackman defends controversial Hindu nationalist's appearance in Parliament

MP Bob Blackman defends controversial Hindu nationalist's appearance in Parliament

Tapan Ghosh's appearance at the events has sparked criticism, with a Labour MP attacking his "abhorrent views" about Muslims and pointing to his appearance with EDL founder Tommy Robinson.

BBC News

Islamic College aims to train leaders to counter extremism

Islamic College aims to train leaders to counter extremism

A new college has opened its doors in Manchester which will be training British Imams and Faith Leaders according to British needs, values and norms.

Pressat

Thu, 26 Oct 2017

UK calls for action to secure freedom of religion for 80% of world’s population

UK calls for action to secure freedom of religion for 80% of world’s population

A new report urges the UK and other governments to take practical measures to turn the rhetoric of 'freedom of religion or belief' into reality, to protect the millions who are vulnerable to violence, discrimination and disadvantage as a result of its abuse.

World Watch Monitor

Tory MP Bob Blackman hosts anti-Muslim nationalist Tapan Ghosh

Tory MP Bob Blackman hosts anti-Muslim nationalist Tapan Ghosh

A Tory MP hosted in parliament an anti-Muslim extremist who has called for the UN to control the birth rate of Muslims, praised the genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Burma, and said Muslims should be forced to leave their religion if they come to a western country.

The Times (£)

Women's rights threatened by fundamentalism and the far right, study finds

Women's rights threatened by fundamentalism and the far right, study finds

Based on 54 submissions from governments, academics and non-government organisations, the report asserts that religious and non-religious extremist agendas are undermining women's liberties around the world.

ABC News

Man smeared pork sausage meat on door of mosque

Man smeared pork sausage meat on door of mosque

Jamie Mullins went to the Sherwood Education and Culture Centre in Nottingham with his friend, Mathew Sarsfield on June 18 after "feeling patriotic" watching an English boxer.

Evening Standard

Most Brits think only six of the Ten Commandments are still important

Most Brits think only six of the Ten Commandments are still important

This is even true of Britain's Christians, although they are more likely than the general population as a whole to think any given Commandment remains important.

YouGov

Glasgow priest announces support for teaching of LGBT issues in schools

Glasgow priest announces support for teaching of LGBT issues in schools

Father Paul Morton, of Saint Bride's Parish Church in Cambuslang, joins representatives from other faiths across the city in giving his public backing to a new LGBT inclusive education drive.

Glasgow Live

Grassroots campaign launched to persuade Church of England to adopt gay blessings

Grassroots campaign launched to persuade Church of England to adopt gay blessings

The Church's ruling general synod will debate whether to offer official liturgy after a same-sex couple has married or formed a civil partnership in a separate ceremony.

Christian Today

Outrage after Portugal court quotes Bible on woman's assault

Outrage after Portugal court quotes Bible on woman's assault

Women's rights groups in Portugal have reacted angrily to a court decision that quoted the Bible and a 19th-century law in justifying a suspended sentence for a man convicted of assaulting his ex-wife with a bat because she allegedly committed adultery.

Business Insider

Catholic Church faces massive clerical child sex abuse scandal in Pope Francis' Argentina

Catholic Church faces massive clerical child sex abuse scandal in Pope Francis' Argentina

66 priests, nuns and brothers have been accused since 2001 of abusing dozens of people, most of them children.

IB Times

Australians support partial ban on Muslim immigration: survey

Australians support partial ban on Muslim immigration: survey

Three quarters of Australians believe the country doesn't need any more people and nearly half support a partial ban on Muslim immigrants.

SBS

Gay Catholics could be denied proper funerals, leaked email reveals

Gay Catholics could be denied proper funerals, leaked email reveals

Leaked emails have revealed a string of shocking orders from Catholic church bosses urging priests to turn down the funerals of gay people.

Pink News

Dalit Woman, Her Unborn Child Killed by Upper Caste Thakur For ‘Touching’ Bucket

Dalit Woman, Her Unborn Child Killed by Upper Caste Thakur For ‘Touching’ Bucket

An eight-month pregnant Dalit woman died after being brutally beaten up by an upper caste Thakur for allegedly touching a bucket in Bulandshahr district of Uttar Pradesh.

India.com

Public Floggings in Indonesia Top 500

Public Floggings in Indonesia Top 500

More than 530 people have been publicly flogged in Indonesia's Aceh province since a new Islamic criminal code was enacted in October 2015, new figures show.

Human Rights Watch

'They're my mum and dad, not terrorists'

'They're my mum and dad, not terrorists'

Since moving in with Pakistani Muslim foster parents, Rebecca Brown - who is white British - has had school friends ask if she lives with terrorists, because of their religion. She wants people to know they are just like any other family.

BBC

Wed, 25 Oct 2017

Most of world lacks real religious freedom, UN official says

Most of world lacks real religious freedom, UN official says

Three-quarters of the world's people live in countries that either restrict the right to religion or belief or have "a high level of social hostility involving religion or belief," the U.N. special investigator on religious rights said Tuesday.

The Washington Post

I will return Saudi Arabia to moderate Islam, says crown prince

I will return Saudi Arabia to moderate Islam, says crown prince

Mohammed bin Salman tells the Guardian that ultra-conservative state has been 'not normal' for past 30 years

The Guardian

Catholic Helen Scott wins religious discrimination case

Catholic Helen Scott wins religious discrimination case

A woman who had a phrase of "clear sectarian significance" shouted at her at work has been awarded £20,000 by an industrial tribunal.

BBC News

Pakistan blogger Aasim Saeed says he was tortured

Pakistan blogger Aasim Saeed says he was tortured

A Pakistani blogger who went missing earlier this year has applied for asylum in Britain after alleging he was tortured by a "state intelligence agency" during his disappearance.

BBC News

New terror laws 'would criminalise thought', watchdog warns

New terror laws 'would criminalise thought', watchdog warns

Ministers should not "criminalise thought" with plans to prosecute people who view extremist content online, the UK's terror watchdog has said.

BBC News

Quebec’s face veil ban may face a Supreme Court challenge

Quebec’s face veil ban may face a Supreme Court challenge

One legal expert says it's likely that the controversial Bill 62 will be challenged, and that the case will probably end up at the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Star

Storm over secondwife.com polygamy site for Muslims

Storm over secondwife.com polygamy site for Muslims

There have been calls for the website to be shut down for treating women like "ornaments" to be collected.

The Times (£)

There are 'Harvey Weinsteins' among Church of England clergy – abuse victim

There are 'Harvey Weinsteins' among Church of England clergy – abuse victim

Speaking anonymously for fear of the repercussions, one woman told Christian Today of the presence of priests who use their role as leader of a church to molest women parishioners.

Christian Today

Islam converts `often vulnerable to radical rhetoric´, says terrorism expert

Islam converts `often vulnerable to radical rhetoric´, says terrorism expert

Although the vast majority of converts to the religion are peaceful and law-abiding, they are "over-represented among foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq", experts said.

The Daily Mail

Jane Flint: ‘Having an atheist chaplain is about patient choice’

Jane Flint: ‘Having an atheist chaplain is about patient choice’

The first non-religious pastoral carer in the NHS on why patients need someone to just be there – to hear their stories or bear witness to their pain, whatever their beliefs.

The Guardian

How the UK government can do more to understand the role of religion globally

How the UK government can do more to understand the role of religion globally

Freedom of religion and belief must be made a political priority for the Foreign Secretary and a strategic priority for both the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development, according to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for International Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB).

The Tablet

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