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Newsline 15 May 2015

Free speech – as always these days – is under assault in different ways at home and abroad. This week yet another secularist Bangladeshi blogger has been murdered for speaking his mind, while in the UK censorship of 'blasphemy' is becoming more and more normal on campuses.

In defending freedom of expression we've this week added our voice to the groundswell of opinion against the Government's new anti-extremism plans. We face a generational conflict against Islamist ideology, one that must be met with a civil society response, not just more and more restrictive legislation. Where would such a path end?

On a brighter note, all readers of Newsline will no doubt welcome the removal of Eric Pickles from his post in the Cabinet reshuffle. The former Communities Secretary and 'Minister for Faith' never missed an opportunity to abuse his position in government to push his own religious enthusiasm into policy-making. We hope also that the 'Minister for Faith' role has gone along with him. Watch this space!

If you support our work; please consider joining the National Secular Society today and help fund our challenge to religious privilege.

You can never kill ideas: an anonymous blogger on the deaths of secularists in Bangladesh

You can never kill ideas: an anonymous blogger on the deaths of secularists in Bangladesh

Opinion | Thu, 14 May 2015

Following the recent wave of assassinations targeting atheist and secular writers in Bangladesh, we publish the thoughts of a British secularist of Bangladeshi origin – and his message to their murderers.

After initial crisis, nation struggles on without  Minister for Faith

After initial crisis, nation struggles on without Minister for Faith

Opinion | Thu, 14 May 2015

After initial panic and a constitutional and political crisis, the country is struggling on without a Minister for Faith. Benjamin Jones lambasts the Prime Minister for leaving this crucial role unfilled for so long.

5 ways to win the human rights debate: A battle is coming, and the stakes are very high

5 ways to win the human rights debate: A battle is coming, and the stakes are very high

The Conservatives' slim majority means that they can finally do what they have promised for a decade: repeal the Human Rights Act and replace it with a British Bill of Rights. We can be sure of one thing. A battle is coming, and the stakes are very high. It is important for those who care about human rights to get the strategy right.

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