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NSS Opinion

Egyptians are in urgent need of the protection secularism can offer

Egyptians are in urgent need of the protection secularism can offer

Posted: Wed, 14 Aug 2013 by Stephen Evans

Stephen Evans argues that secularism offers the only realistic roadmap to national unity for the people of Egypt.

Tags: Egypt, Middle East, Islam

Stoning – the true horror

Stoning – the true horror

Posted: Fri, 09 Aug 2013 by Anne Marie Waters

Anne Marie Waters argues that stoning is very much a part of Islamic sharia law, and needs to be named and shamed.

Tags: Stoning

Prayer Spaces in Schools

Prayer Spaces in Schools

Posted: Thu, 01 Aug 2013 by Alistair McBay

As church attendance continues to plummet along with the numbers of Britons professing religious belief, the Prayer Spaces in Schools initiative is turning schools into churches — and turning teaching increasingly into preaching, writes Alistair McBay.

Tags: Education, Church of England, Church of Scotland, Evangelism in schools

A right for one is a right for all

A right for one is a right for all

Posted: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 by Charles C. Haynes

Charles C. Haynes argues that the First Amendment of the United States Constitution must be vigorously defended from religious attacks.

Tags: Church & State, USA

It may be a new velvet glove, but it’s the same old iron fist at the Vatican

It may be a new velvet glove, but it’s the same old iron fist at the Vatican

Posted: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 by Terry Sanderson

Terry Sanderson argues that Pope Bergoglio won't move the Catholic Church forward and help it reform.

Tags: Catholic Church, Pope

It’s not culture, it’s a crime against humanity

It’s not culture, it’s a crime against humanity

Posted: Fri, 26 Jul 2013 by Anne Marie Waters

Women's rights are being ignored and side-stepped under the guise of 'culture', 'tradition' and religion, argues Anne Marie Waters.

Tags: Equality & Human Rights

Convictions for female genital mutilation: France - 100; Britain  0

Convictions for female genital mutilation: France - 100; Britain 0

Posted: Thu, 25 Jul 2013 by Joan Smith

This country has a very poor record on the prevention of female genital mutilation. A new approach from the police could change that. But they need help, writes Joan Smith.

Tags: Gender Equality, Reproductive Rights, FGM, Violence against Women

Muslims must be protected. Islam must not.

Muslims must be protected. Islam must not.

Posted: Wed, 24 Jul 2013 by Terry Sanderson

Terry Sanderson argues we must not allow the current attacks on the Muslim community to justify anything that looks even remotely like a blasphemy law.

Tags: Anti-Muslim Bigotry, Community Cohesion

Same Sex Marriage Act - time to separate religion from politics

Same Sex Marriage Act - time to separate religion from politics

Posted: Tue, 23 Jul 2013 by Keith Porteous Wood

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill has passed with overwhelming support. It has done little more than re-brand civil partnerships, but symbolically its passing was a breath-taking moment of the zeitgeist, writes Keith Porteous Wood.

Tags: Church & State, Marriage Equality

How do we keep religious education out of the hands of the evangelists?

How do we keep religious education out of the hands of the evangelists?

Posted: Mon, 22 Jul 2013 by Terry Sanderson

Terry Sanderson argues why we need a more balanced and secular approach to teaching religion in schools.

Tags: RE, Education

Free speech?

Free speech?

Posted: Tue, 16 Jul 2013 by Calum Grant

NSS member Calum Grant questions how narrow are the limits afforded to freedom of speech when criticising or satirising religion.

Tags: Freedom of Expression

Human rights are for humans, not for ideologies

Human rights are for humans, not for ideologies

Posted: Mon, 15 Jul 2013 by Terry Sanderson

Terry Sanderson argues that human rights are not there to fulfill religious demands; but to protect individuals.

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, Religion & Belief

Will the UN finally bring the Vatican to account for its child abuse crimes?

Will the UN finally bring the Vatican to account for its child abuse crimes?

Posted: Thu, 11 Jul 2013 by Keith Porteous Wood

As a United Nations Committee on children's rights confronts the Vatican on its abysmal record on clerical paedophilia and criminal cover-ups, Keith Porteous Wood describes his role in bringing the Holy See to account.

Tags: Child Abuse, Pope, Catholic Church

Public perceptions and reality - have we got it wrong?

Public perceptions and reality - have we got it wrong?

Posted: Thu, 11 Jul 2013 by Terry Sanderson

Poll claims British public vastly overestimate the number of Muslims and underestimate the number of Christians – Terry Sanderson questions if we have.

Tags: statistics, Islam, Christianity

Our secular society is wiser than the Church

Our secular society is wiser than the Church

Posted: Wed, 10 Jul 2013 by Oliver Kamm

Oliver Kamm reflects on how our secular society moves forward whilst the Church struggles to catch up.

Tags: Church & State Secularism

Channel 4’s call to prayer during Ramadan is more of the same old, same old

Channel 4’s call to prayer during Ramadan is more of the same old, same old

Posted: Tue, 09 Jul 2013 by Maryam Namazie

Maryam Namazie argues that if Channel 4 wants to do something really provocative; it should show Muslims as 21st century human beings and citizens with countless characteristics like everyone else.

Tags: Islam, Religious Observance

Three cheers for Channel 4 for trying to move Muslims into the mainstream

Three cheers for Channel 4 for trying to move Muslims into the mainstream

Posted: Tue, 02 Jul 2013 by Terry Sanderson

Channel 4's controversial move to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer has set the cat amongst the pigeons. Terry Sanderson argues that the media needs to do more to show a balanced reflection of the Muslim community.

Tags: Islam, Religion & Belief

The “cutting season” and FGM in the UK: A national disgrace, a national shame

The “cutting season” and FGM in the UK: A national disgrace, a national shame

Posted: Tue, 02 Jul 2013 by Elizabeth O’Casey

After teenager Soheir Mohamed died whilst undergoing female genital mutilation in Egypt last month, Elizabeth O'Casey looks at the practice within the UK context and examines how little is being done about it.

Tags: FGM, Reproductive Rights, Gender Equality, Violence against Women

New EU guidelines on religion and belief make plain that no religion is entitled to special rights

New EU guidelines on religion and belief make plain that no religion is entitled to special rights

Posted: Thu, 27 Jun 2013 by Terry Sanderson

The EU Foreign Affairs Council this week adopted a report with 71 Guidelines to promote the right to freedom of religion and belief worldwide. Terry Sanderson highlights here some notable quotes.

Tags: Europe, Religion & Belief

A secular society is the key

A secular society is the key

Posted: Mon, 24 Jun 2013 by Oliver Kamm

Oliver Kamm explains why a Charedi faith schools' refusal to teach evolution doesn't just impoverish children's minds, but also violates their rights.

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Creationism

Why the Guides’ new Promise is something to be celebrated

Why the Guides’ new Promise is something to be celebrated

Posted: Thu, 20 Jun 2013 by Stephen Evans

With the uproar over the Girlguides omitting 'God' from its new Promise; Stephen Evans blogs on why this is a step in the right direction.

Tags: Girl Guides

Multiculturalism and Cultural Relativism

Multiculturalism and Cultural Relativism

Posted: Thu, 20 Jun 2013 by Maryam Namazie

Maryam Namazie argues why we must oppose the far-tight of all varieties, but also the pro-Islamist left and side with universalism, equality for all and secularism, irrespective of beliefs.

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, Islam

Conscientious objection in Scotland: a worrying precedent

Conscientious objection in Scotland: a worrying precedent

Posted: Wed, 19 Jun 2013 by Louise Finer

With NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde seeking to appeal the ruling for the allowance of conscientious exemption from abortion procedures, Louise Finer of Reproductive Health Matters argues that judges must not forget the rights of women – to health, autonomy, dignity and respect

Tags: Scotland, Reproductive Rights, Religion & Belief

Reaction to Woking parking challenge reveals national implications

Reaction to Woking parking challenge reveals national implications

Posted: Thu, 13 Jun 2013 by Terry Sanderson

The reaction to our challenge to Woking Borough Council's policy of providing free parking for worshippers reveals the national implications of our legal action.

Tags: Parking

Secular petitions highlight the sectarian issues in Scottish education

Secular petitions highlight the sectarian issues in Scottish education

Posted: Thu, 13 Jun 2013 by Alistair McBay

With two secular petitions on Religious Observance in play in Scotland, Alistair McBay blogs about the problematic relationship between religion and Scottish schools.

Tags: Scotland, Religious Observance, Education, Collective Worship

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