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Newsline 21 July 2017

Despite the impending school summer holidays, education has again been our main area for campaigning and case work this week. We've been supporting parents left with no option but a faith school, dealing with inappropriate evangelism in schools and being denied their right to withdraw children from collective worship. Despite claiming to support integration, the Government's enthusiasm for more discriminatory faith schools continues unabated. As a humanist parent fights to be included on a local committee that decide schools' RE syllabus, the coordinator of our Secular Education Forum argues it's time to take the subject out the hands of competing belief groups.

This weekend we're excited to be attending and supporting the International Conference on Freedom of Conscience and Expression in the 21st Century. We'll be hearing from activists from around the world, including Pakistan where there's a new push to get Facebook's help in hunting down 'blasphemers'. Tickets are sold out, but if you are attending be sure to come and say hello.

Thirty years ago we were supporting activists at Pride, protesting Britain's blasphemy laws being used by Christian activists to target the LGBT community. Today we're supporting Ex-Muslims threatened with exclusion from Pride for criticising Islamic homophobia. The nature of work changes, but its importance is undiminished.

If you'd like to support our work, please consider joining or making a donation.

Never mind joining SACREs, we should be abolishing them

Never mind joining SACREs, we should be abolishing them

Opinion | Fri, 21 Jul 2017

A parent's legal challenge to the exclusion of a humanist representative from the local body responsible for overseeing religious education highlights the need for urgent reform of this contested area of the curriculum, argues Keith Sharpe.

The PM must be held to account for her faith school obsession

The PM must be held to account for her faith school obsession

Opinion | Thu, 20 Jul 2017

Theresa May's plans to expand faith schools in Britain are ill-judged. In response, Chris Sloggett argues, it is up to secularists to make a principled case: state education must be grounded in reason and free intellectual enquiry.

Ofsted head criticises segregation as Islamic school is taken over

Ofsted head criticises segregation as Islamic school is taken over

News | Tue, 18 Jul 2017

The chief inspector of the schools inspectorate Ofsted has spoken out against gender segregation in mixed-sex schools.

Pakistan puts pressure on Facebook to help punish 'blasphemers'

Pakistan puts pressure on Facebook to help punish 'blasphemers'

News | Fri, 21 Jul 2017

The Pakistani government is punishing people for social media posts which it considers blasphemous, and placing pressure on social media companies to help it do so.

Bradlaugh lecture to mark end of NSS’s anniversary celebrations

Bradlaugh lecture to mark end of NSS’s anniversary celebrations

News | Fri, 14 Jul 2017

A lecture at Manchester Art Gallery will pay tribute to the National Secular Society's founding president Charles Bradlaugh on 9 September.

If Pride means anything, LGBT+ must defend the rights of ex-Muslims

If Pride means anything, LGBT+ must defend the rights of ex-Muslims

By Emile Yusupoff and Robbie Travers, on Conatus News

The freedom to criticise religious homophobia does not end with Jesus. Criticism of Islamic homophobia must not be forced out of LGBT+ spaces. It's time for Ex-Muslims to be heard.

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