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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Tags: Freedom of Expression

Georgian blasphemy law to impose fines for insulting religion

Georgian blasphemy law to impose fines for insulting religion

Posted: Mon, 08 Feb 2016 14:58

Plans in Georgia to pass an anti-blasphemy measure with punitive fines for 'offences' have drawn criticism from a non-Orthodox bishop, and from an MP of the ruling coalition.

Victory for free speech as Pastor James McConnell found not guilty over “grossly offensive” sermon

Victory for free speech as Pastor James McConnell found not guilty over “grossly offensive” sermon

Posted: Tue, 05 Jan 2016 11:23

The National Secular Society has welcomed a court's ruling that Northern Ireland Pastor James McConnell is "not guilty" for a sermon he uploaded online that was critical of Islam.

Verdict delayed in prosecution of "offensive" Northern Ireland preacher

Verdict delayed in prosecution of "offensive" Northern Ireland preacher

Posted: Wed, 16 Dec 2015 16:47

The judge presiding over the trial of Pastor James McConnell – accused of sending a grossly offensive message by uploading a sermon critical of Islam – will not give a verdict until 5 January 2016.

National Secular Society defends cinemas’ freedom not to screen religious adverts

National Secular Society defends cinemas’ freedom not to screen religious adverts

Posted: Mon, 14 Dec 2015 13:38

The NSS has defended cinema chains' freedom to refuse religious or political advertising after the Equality and Human Rights Commission accused them of "failing to uphold Britain's long tradition of freedom of expression."

Muslim Reform Movement embraces secularism and universal human rights

Muslim Reform Movement embraces secularism and universal human rights

Posted: Tue, 08 Dec 2015 11:58

A coalition of Muslim writers, activists and politicians has launched a "Muslim Reform Movement" rejecting violence and calling for a defence of secularism, democracy and liberty.

Muslim students try to disrupt ex-Muslim Maryam Namazie’s talk on blasphemy at Goldsmiths University

Muslim students try to disrupt ex-Muslim Maryam Namazie’s talk on blasphemy at Goldsmiths University

Posted: Thu, 03 Dec 2015 13:43

Protesters from the Goldsmiths University Islamic Society have heckled and aggressively disrupted a talk from ex-Muslim and feminist campaigner Maryam Namazie.

Labour MP Keith Vaz would have “no problem” with reintroduction of UK blasphemy laws

Labour MP Keith Vaz would have “no problem” with reintroduction of UK blasphemy laws

Posted: Mon, 16 Nov 2015 10:06

Labour MP Keith Vaz has expressed his support for the reintroduction of UK blasphemy laws – provided they "apply equally to everybody."

NSS urges cinema to reconsider after protests force cancellation of Mohammed biopic screening

NSS urges cinema to reconsider after protests force cancellation of Mohammed biopic screening

Posted: Mon, 09 Nov 2015 14:12

The NSS has written to a cinema urging it to reconsider its cancellation of the planned screening of a biopic about Mohammed, after a small petition of Muslims from the UK, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria said it was "unacceptable".

Defend Free Speech Campaign launched in Parliament

Defend Free Speech Campaign launched in Parliament

Posted: Fri, 30 Oct 2015 12:04

A new campaign to oppose the Government's controversial plans for Extremism Disruption Orders (EDOs) has been officially launched in Parliament.

Turkish musician Fazıl Say awarded 2015 International Secularism Prize

Turkish musician Fazıl Say awarded 2015 International Secularism Prize

Posted: Thu, 29 Oct 2015 10:44

Turkey's most famous modern pianist has been awarded the International Secularism Prize (Prix de la Laïcité) by the France Committee of Secularism, two years after being convicted of blasphemy for a series of tweets.

Freedom of expression cannot be left to the “mercy of others”, says chair of EHRC

Freedom of expression cannot be left to the “mercy of others”, says chair of EHRC

Posted: Wed, 21 Oct 2015 13:34

Baroness O'Neill, chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has warned that there is no way of securing freedom of expression and a right not to be offended.

Government unveils counter-extremism plans

Government unveils counter-extremism plans

Posted: Mon, 19 Oct 2015 13:10

The Government has released its long-awaited counter-extremism plan, and set out a host of measures aimed at tackling the spread of radical Islamist ideologies.

SNP to host Muslim group whose staff member calls for prosecution of anyone who criticises Islam

SNP to host Muslim group whose staff member calls for prosecution of anyone who criticises Islam

Posted: Thu, 15 Oct 2015 12:04

A Muslim activist has boasted of plans to ban criticism of Islam, days before his organisation is due to appear at the SNP conference.

NSS: Vague ‘Extremism Disruption Orders’ will chill free speech

NSS: Vague ‘Extremism Disruption Orders’ will chill free speech

Posted: Tue, 06 Oct 2015 13:57

The National Secular Society and the Christian Institute have joined together to launch a new campaign, Defend Free Speech, in opposition to proposed 'Extremism Disruption Orders'.

New US free expression campaign website launched for International Blasphemy Rights Day

New US free expression campaign website launched for International Blasphemy Rights Day

Posted: Wed, 30 Sep 2015 15:02

The US-based Centre for Inquiry (CFI) has launched a new website for their campaign to promote and defend free expression, in time to celebrate International Blasphemy Rights Day.

NSS welcomes Warwick Student Union’s decision to allow Maryam Namazie to speak

NSS welcomes Warwick Student Union’s decision to allow Maryam Namazie to speak

Posted: Mon, 28 Sep 2015 09:40

The National Secular Society has welcomed Warwick Student Union's decision to host secular campaigner Maryam Namazie. The Union reversed their ban on her speaking following huge public pressure.

Warwick Student Union bans ex-Muslim activist and says speakers must “avoid insulting other faiths”

Warwick Student Union bans ex-Muslim activist and says speakers must “avoid insulting other faiths”

Posted: Fri, 25 Sep 2015 12:35

Maryam Namazie has been blocked from speaking to the Warwick Atheists, Secularists and Humanists' Society after the Student Union said the ex-Muslim campaigner could 'insult' religion.

Bangladeshi secular activists remain defiant in face of death threats

Bangladeshi secular activists remain defiant in face of death threats

Posted: Wed, 23 Sep 2015 16:19

Secular writers are defiant after Bangladeshi Islamists stepped up their campaign of murders with a global death list.

Quebec ‘hate speech’ law will target “people who would write against … the Islamic religion”

Quebec ‘hate speech’ law will target “people who would write against … the Islamic religion”

Posted: Wed, 02 Sep 2015 10:38

The Quebec National Assembly is considering a bill that would be used to criminalise criticism of Islam under the aegis of banning "hate speech".

Petition calls for Bangladeshi police chief to resign after he warned secularists not to insult religion

Petition calls for Bangladeshi police chief to resign after he warned secularists not to insult religion

Posted: Tue, 18 Aug 2015 13:53

A petition has been started calling for the head of Bangladesh's police to resign after he told secularists not to 'cross the line' by insulting religious feelings, days after Niloy Neel was killed.