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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Tags: Freedom of Expression

Effort to repeal New Zealand blasphemy law delayed

Effort to repeal New Zealand blasphemy law delayed

Posted: Wed, 24 May 2017 15:19

An attempt by Labour MP Chris Hipkins to remove anti-blasphemy laws from New Zealand's statute book has failed after National Party and Maori Party MPs voted it down.

Campaigns against blasphemy laws gather steam following Ahok conviction and Fry investigation

Campaigns against blasphemy laws gather steam following Ahok conviction and Fry investigation

Posted: Wed, 10 May 2017 10:24

Indonesia, Denmark and New Zealand are facing calls to repeal their blasphemy laws, following the conviction of Jakarta's former governor for blasphemy and an investigation into Stephen Fry.

Calls for abolition of Irish blasphemy law following investigation of Stephen Fry

Calls for abolition of Irish blasphemy law following investigation of Stephen Fry

Posted: Mon, 08 May 2017 09:18

The National Secular Society has called for the repeal of Ireland's blasphemy law after Irish police dropped an investigation against Stephen Fry over a complaint of 'blasphemy' related to an interview aired in 2015.

Death sentence for Saudi ‘apostate’ amid surge of violence against atheists across Islamic world

Death sentence for Saudi ‘apostate’ amid surge of violence against atheists across Islamic world

Posted: Fri, 28 Apr 2017 15:19

A Saudi trial based "heavily on Koranic law" has resulted in a death sentence for a 'mentally ill' man who denounced the Islamic 'prophet' Mohammed.

Pakistani twitter users call for hanging of ‘blasphemer’

Pakistani twitter users call for hanging of ‘blasphemer’

Posted: Tue, 28 Mar 2017 14:55

Many Pakistanis and other Muslims from around the world called for the execution of a secular writer for blasphemy over the weekend, causing #HangAyazNizami to trend on Twitter.

43% of universities restrict speech that might “offend” religious people

43% of universities restrict speech that might “offend” religious people

Posted: Mon, 13 Feb 2017 16:07

University administrations are becoming increasingly "censorious", with 43% of universities censoring speech that might "offend" religious people, according to online magazine Spiked.

Legacy of Charlie Hebdo honoured in event at Parliament

Legacy of Charlie Hebdo honoured in event at Parliament

Posted: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 16:01

Members and supporters of the National Secular Society gathered in Portcullis House on Wednesday night to discuss the future of free speech, two years after the attack on Charlie Hebdo.

MP says Government's silence over Louis Smith heralds "unwritten blasphemy law"

MP says Government's silence over Louis Smith heralds "unwritten blasphemy law"

Posted: Thu, 15 Dec 2016 14:53

Charles Walker MP has criticised the media for unleashing "a torrent of venom" against Louis Smith, and said the Government was "nowhere to be seen" when it should have been defending free expression.

Bangladeshi society being destroyed by Islamic fundamentalism, says exiled writer

Bangladeshi society being destroyed by Islamic fundamentalism, says exiled writer

Posted: Thu, 24 Nov 2016 10:38

Exiled Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen, who lives under constant protection, has told AFP that Islamic fundamentalism has destroyed Bangladeshi society.

Counter Extremism Bill alarmed me most, says Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation

Counter Extremism Bill alarmed me most, says Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation

Posted: Thu, 03 Nov 2016 16:21

The senior lawyer tasked with reviewing the Government's legislation on counter-extremism has strongly criticised draft plans for tackling "non-violent extremism".

Open letter to British Gymnastics over decision to suspend Louis Smith

Open letter to British Gymnastics over decision to suspend Louis Smith

Posted: Wed, 02 Nov 2016 14:58

The National Secular Society has written an open letter to British Gymnastics calling on the body to reverse the two month suspension given to athlete Louis Smith for mocking Islam.

Joint Committee on Human Rights challenges the Government on ‘extremism disruption orders’

Joint Committee on Human Rights challenges the Government on ‘extremism disruption orders’

Posted: Fri, 21 Oct 2016 09:49

The Government has been criticised for failing to offer more detail on proposals for 'extremism disruption orders' – measures which the NSS has criticised for the damage they could cause to freedom of speech.

Press regulator sides with free speech in ruling on The Sun’s hijab article

Press regulator sides with free speech in ruling on The Sun’s hijab article

Posted: Thu, 20 Oct 2016 11:10

The press regulator IPSO has cleared Kelvin MacKenzie over an article in The Sun which asked why Channel 4 had "a presenter in a hijab fronting coverage of Muslim terror in Nice".

NSS welcomes calls for more sophisticated approach to extremism and radicalisation

NSS welcomes calls for more sophisticated approach to extremism and radicalisation

Posted: Thu, 25 Aug 2016 15:03

The NSS has tentatively welcomed parts of a report by the Home Affairs Committee on counter extremism and radicalisation. Aspects of the report have been criticised by free speech and counter-extremism advocates.

Defend Free Speech coalition challenge government failure over extremism orders

Defend Free Speech coalition challenge government failure over extremism orders

Posted: Wed, 13 Jul 2016 13:41

Security minister Karen Bradley MP has faced strong criticism in a letter from the Defend Free Speech coalition, following her appearance before the Joint Committee on Human Rights.

European Commission announces online crackdown on “hate speech”

European Commission announces online crackdown on “hate speech”

Posted: Thu, 02 Jun 2016 15:45

Tech companies including Facebook and Twitter have signed up to a new European Commission plan designed to clampdown on online "hate speech."

UK government must ensure it protects free speech with new counter-extremism plans

UK government must ensure it protects free speech with new counter-extremism plans

Posted: Wed, 18 May 2016 16:02

A broad coalition of campaign groups including the National Secular Society has warned that proposals contained in the Queen's Speech could criminalise a "wide swathe of speech."

NSS: Efforts to better integrate religious minorities must include a reappraisal of faith schools

NSS: Efforts to better integrate religious minorities must include a reappraisal of faith schools

Posted: Tue, 10 May 2016 06:57

The National Secular Society has welcomed comments from Trevor Phillips calling for the "active integration" of religious minorities but warned that this cannot be done without tackling faith schools.

Turkey sentences opposition journalists to prison over Muhammad cartoon

Turkey sentences opposition journalists to prison over Muhammad cartoon

Posted: Fri, 29 Apr 2016 12:22

Two Turkish journalists have been sentenced to two years in prison for republishing a cover of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo with a cartoon of Muhammad.

Bangladeshi government must act over killings and defend free speech

Bangladeshi government must act over killings and defend free speech

Posted: Wed, 27 Apr 2016 14:07

The National Secular Society has written to the Bangladeshi High Commission criticising their government's inaction over a spate of Islamist killings.