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Newsline 23 June 2017

The attack on Muslim worshippers in Finsbury Park this week shocked us all, and our hearts go out to the victims and their families. Those willing to use violence to enforce their religion, or to prevent others peacefully practicing theirs', are the sworn enemies of secularism and our pluralistic society.

Our revulsion at this latest attack only increases our determination to challenge all forms of sectarianism and hatred. But, as our campaigns director warns below, knee-jerk reactions are not a sound basis for policy-making.

Also this week we've seen the consequences when religious institutions are shielded from scrutiny and criticism. Dame Moira Gibb's report finally lays bare the role of the Church of England's senior leadership and its political clout in colluding to conceal evidence of child abuse by a former bishop.

The Church knew Bishop Ball was a prolific abuser – they deliberately withheld that information. Yet this is an institution that retains its privileged status, including its seats as of right in our legislature and its role in educating the nation's children. It's high time the Church was stripped of its privileged position.

Make a donation today and we'll put your principles into action by campaigning for a true secular democracy, with no established Church and with equal rights for all.

Anti-Muslim hate must be challenged. Silencing criticism of Islam won’t help

Anti-Muslim hate must be challenged. Silencing criticism of Islam won’t help

Opinion | Fri, 23 Jun 2017

Both the Government and civil-society have a role to play in challenging anti-Muslim hate, but efforts to silence criticisms of Islam will only be counterproductive, argues Stephen Evans.

NSS Speaks Out

Executive director Keith Porteous Wood spoke to BBC Radio Essex about Tim Farron's resignation from the leadership of the Liberal Democrats. Keith also spoke to BBC Radio Three Counties about the Government's speculated u-turn on introducing 100% religiously selective Free Schools.

Campaigns director Stephen Evans was quoted in the TES Magazine and Schools Week, about our campaign to have Ofsted inspect RE in all schools - ending special grants for religiousity inspections. The NSS was also quoted in local media regarding the Church of England gaining influence over the running of nine community schools.

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