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Newsline 12 August 2016

The sentencing this week of Tanveer Ahmed for the murder of Ahmadiyya Muslim shopkeeper Asad Shah has shown again how our freedoms and values must be actively defended. In the aftermath of the sentencing a spokesman from the Council of Mosques in Bradford called for a UK blasphemy law. It is hard to imagine a more sinister reaction to a religiously-motivated killing. The support for the killer seen in the courtroom, and sympathy among his local community for the killer's motives, shows that debates we would wish long settled - the right to blaspheme, to cause offence, to think freely, to have or leave a religion - are being contested once again.

We will be discussing and debating these immense challenges to secularism at our conference next month, with panels covering Islam, social cohesion, human rights and equality. Buy your tickets today.

After the conference ends we'll be gathering for our gala dinner. Tickets are available separately for the dinner.

If you are not already a member, please consider showing your support for our work by joining the National Secular Society today. We rely entirely on the generous donations and support of our members and receive no public funding.

Sharia, security and the church: dangers of the British Home Office inquiry

Sharia, security and the church: dangers of the British Home Office inquiry

Opinion | Tue, 09 Aug 2016

Does the UK's Sharia Review resemble the sharia 'courts': secretive procedures and discriminatory advisors? Are the Home Office and the Church ignoring conflicts of interest and evidence of discrimination?

Baroness Thornton joins the NSS as an honorary associate

Baroness Thornton joins the NSS as an honorary associate

News | Thu, 11 Aug 2016

The National Secular Society is delighted to welcome Baroness Thornton as a new honorary associate.

The House of Lords and religion

The House of Lords and religion

Opinion | Fri, 12 Aug 2016

The Parliamentary recess provides welcome respite from the frenetic activity of the political battles being fought out in the chamber and corridors, allowing us to stand back and have a wry look at the institution itself, writes Keith Porteous Wood.

Living better together: What role do Muslims have in building a secular UK?

Living better together: What role do Muslims have in building a secular UK?

Opinion | Tue, 09 Aug 2016

When people learn I run a secularist charity, many are confused about what secularism means and its consequences for non-Christians in the UK, writes Tehmina Kazi of British Muslims for Secular Democracy.

Asad Shah murder: the disturbing support for ‘blasphemy’ killing in a British courtroom

Asad Shah murder: the disturbing support for ‘blasphemy’ killing in a British courtroom

Stephen Knight writes following the murder of Asad Shah: "Apologists for Islamic violence have long been able to convince people that a conservative, Islamist interpretation of Islam is adhered to only by a fringe minority, a minority which we are told is also loathed by the general Muslim population. That may be true of course, but it's fast becoming an unconvincing narrative given the data."

NSS Speaks Out

President Terry Sanderson spoke on Three Counties Radio about halal meat and non-stun slaughter. Executive director Keith Porteous Wood was quoted in Mediapart on the case of Philippe Barbarin and in the Morning Star on historical child abuse at a Church of England children's home.

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