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Mon, 08 Nov 2021

Scottish Government under fire after refusing to back ‘buffer zones’ to protect women from harassment

Scottish Government under fire after refusing to back ‘buffer zones’ to protect women from harassment

Campaigners and politicians have slammed the Scottish Government after it refused to back plans to create 'buffer zones' around abortion clinics to protect women from harassment.

Edinburgh Evening News*

Vatican to lose £100m of charitable funds in London property sale

Vatican to lose £100m of charitable funds in London property sale

The Vatican will incur a loss of £100m in donations intended for the needy when it completes the pending sale of a luxurious London office building now at the centre of an international criminal investigation.

Financial Times*

'I was raped and then my family forced me to 'sew up' my vagina to restore my virginity'

'I was raped and then my family forced me to 'sew up' my vagina to restore my virginity'

Hymenoplasty and virginity testing are still being carried out in some clinics across the country.

My London

‘Don't be taken in by so-called “Islamophobia Awareness Month”’

‘Don't be taken in by so-called “Islamophobia Awareness Month”’

In reality it's a campaign by MEND, which no serious organisation should associate with, says Fiyaz Mughal.

The Jewish Chronicle

‘Remove religion from remembrance’

‘Remove religion from remembrance’

The vital need for Remembrance to endure is not served by chaining its stewardship to the fading popularity of a minority religious belief, says Neil Barber in a letter.

Edinburgh Evening News

France: Knifeman 'shouting religious slogans about the Prophet' is shot after attacking police

France: Knifeman 'shouting religious slogans about the Prophet' is shot after attacking police

A terrorist inquiry was opened today after a knifeman shouting 'religious slogans' was shot and wounded after attacking three police officers in the French seaside resort of Cannes.

Mail Online

‘The Council of Europe was right to pull its hijab campaign’

‘The Council of Europe was right to pull its hijab campaign’

While the campaign would have been in poor taste at any point in time – given that the hijab continues to be enforced upon millions of Muslim women around the world – for it to have come out as the Taliban's gory gender segregation is endangering Afghan women's lives is truly repugnant, says Kunwar Khuldune Shahid.

The Spectator*

Four women slain in Afghanistan after phone call ‘to join evacuation flight’

Four women slain in Afghanistan after phone call ‘to join evacuation flight’

Four women have been killed in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, a spokesman for Afghanistan's Taliban government said on Saturday, as local sources identified at least one of the victims as a rights activist.

France24

Iran sentences gay couple to death for adultery

Iran sentences gay couple to death for adultery

Iran's supreme court has upheld death sentences for adultery against a 27-year-old and his 33-year-old lover after the man's father-in-law denied them clemency, a reformist newspaper reported Saturday.

The Times of Israel

Abu Dhabi to allow non-Muslim civil marriage under family law shakeup

Abu Dhabi to allow non-Muslim civil marriage under family law shakeup

Non-Muslims will be allowed to marry, divorce and get joint child custody under civil law in Abu Dhabi according to a new decree issued on Sunday by its ruler, state news agency WAM said.

Reuters*

Defenders of male circumcision have double standards, says bioethicist

Defenders of male circumcision have double standards, says bioethicist

Medical authorities have a double standard about circumcision, argues Yale bioethicist Brian Earp in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

Bio Edge

Fri, 05 Nov 2021

NSS president: “All pupils should be entitled to an impartial religion and belief curriculum”

NSS president: “All pupils should be entitled to an impartial religion and belief curriculum”

Religion and belief education should be a national entitlement, and no longer locally determined by special interest groups, says Keith Porteous Wood in a letter.

Church Times*

New faith school merger plan goes ahead despite opposition

New faith school merger plan goes ahead despite opposition

A judicial review hearing into the restructure of South Somerset schools took place last month, after challenges from two families. One family, whose child attend Greenfylde First School, were against its merger with Swanmead Community School to create a split-site CofE primary school.

Chard and Ilminster News

Former monk branded 'an animal' jailed for catalogue of abuse against children

Former monk branded 'an animal' jailed for catalogue of abuse against children

A former Catholic monk who was branded "an animal" was on Thursday jailed for seven years after perpetrating a catalogue of abuse and brutality on children over two decades at residential schools.

East Lothian Courier

Assisted dying campaign backed by woman whose relatives took own lives

Assisted dying campaign backed by woman whose relatives took own lives

A woman whose mother and husband both took their own lives when terminally ill said allowing assisted dying would be "better than what is going on now".

BBC

West Ham ‘appalled’ by footage of fans singing antisemitic song on flight

West Ham ‘appalled’ by footage of fans singing antisemitic song on flight

West Ham have condemned footage of their fans apparently singing an antisemitic song towards a Jewish man on a plane and vowed to issue those involved with bans from the club.

The Guardian

US: Biden's Build Back Better plan will ban religious schools from using infrastructure grants to renovate facilities

US: Biden's Build Back Better plan will ban religious schools from using infrastructure grants to renovate facilities

President Biden's $1.75 trillion Build Back Better act will specifically ban religious schools from using infrastructure grants to renovate or better their facilities.

Mail Online

US: Islamic religious leader sentenced to 35 years for sexually assaulting multiple children

US: Islamic religious leader sentenced to 35 years for sexually assaulting multiple children

A Quran teacher found guilty of sexually assaulting three of his students has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for his crimes.

Houston Chronicle

Texas voters pass a constitutional amendment banning suspension of religious services

Texas voters pass a constitutional amendment banning suspension of religious services

A state constitutional amendment that would ban governments from imposing restrictions on religious services and organisations passed Tuesday night, as part of a backlash against lockdowns earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Houston Public Media

‘No, really, the right to an abortion is supported by the text and history of the constitution’

‘No, really, the right to an abortion is supported by the text and history of the constitution’

If the Supreme Court overturns Roe, it will betray the Fourteenth Amendment's promise of bodily autonomy, sayd David H. Gans.

The Atlantic*

Australia: Women plead guilty to seeking genital mutilation of two-week-old baby girl

Australia: Women plead guilty to seeking genital mutilation of two-week-old baby girl

A Perth mother and grandmother have avoided being sent to jail for planning the genital mutilation of a newborn baby girl.

ABC News

Taliban 'have a 'kill list' of gay people in Afghanistan 'forcing many to hide'

Taliban 'have a 'kill list' of gay people in Afghanistan 'forcing many to hide'

The Islamist government say homosexuality is strictly prohibited, with gay people facing death often by brutal ways under a twisted interpretation of Sharia law.

The Mirror

‘Europe’s deepening divide on gay rights’

‘Europe’s deepening divide on gay rights’

The gay rights debate in Europe has echoes of the U.S. battle over "wokeness" — a still novel, if growing, concept for many on the other side of the Atlantic, says Anthony Faiola.

The Washington Post*

Thu, 04 Nov 2021

Guernsey: Plans to allow non-Catholics to lead faith schools dismissed

Guernsey: Plans to allow non-Catholics to lead faith schools dismissed

Plans to allow anyone of any faith to become deputy head or headteacher at religious schools have been thrown out by the States of Guernsey.

BBC

Faith groups: Religious leaders need conversion therapy ban

Faith groups: Religious leaders need conversion therapy ban

Religious leaders need a ban on conversion therapy to be able to convince their communities that the practice is not acceptable, faith groups have told MSPs.

The Scotsman

Greens call for 'buffer zones' around abortion clinics in Scotland

Greens call for 'buffer zones' around abortion clinics in Scotland

The Scottish Greens will lead a Holyrood debate on bringing in "buffer zones" outside abortion clinics.

The National*

Hijab campaign tweets pulled by Council of Europe after French backlash

Hijab campaign tweets pulled by Council of Europe after French backlash

Several prominent French politicians condemned the message and argued the hijab did not represent freedom.

BBC

EU court rules employers can ban religious clothing in workplace

EU court rules employers can ban religious clothing in workplace

The European Court of Justice has ruled that organisations may ban employees from wearing religious symbols in the workplace, including clothing. This could relate to health and safety concerns around such items.

IOSH Magazine

‘Why the sexual abuse revelations about Catholic clergy in France were grimly unsurprising’

‘Why the sexual abuse revelations about Catholic clergy in France were grimly unsurprising’

The Catholic Church's defensiveness and culture of secrecy have made it tragically reluctant to admit error and slow to put in place safeguards, says Michael Coren.

The New Statesman

Religious groups warn Australia government to retain clause allowing discrimination in proposed bill

Religious groups warn Australia government to retain clause allowing discrimination in proposed bill

Religious groups have warned the Morrison government to retain a clause allowing discrimination against staff who don't share their faith in the Coalition's religious freedom bill, as Liberal MPs reserve their right to cross the floor over the draft legislation.

The Guardian

US: Atheists, agnostics and humanists much more likely than Christians to get COVID-19 vaccine

US: Atheists, agnostics and humanists much more likely than Christians to get COVID-19 vaccine

Nine in 10 Americans identifying as an atheist report being at least been partially vaccinated against the virus, according to the survey of more than 10,000 adults conducted in late August.

USA Today

US: Scientology accusers ask court for a trial, not a religious arbitration

US: Scientology accusers ask court for a trial, not a religious arbitration

A California appeals court on Tuesday considered whether a harassment lawsuit against the Church of Scientology should be decided by a jury or an arbitration board of Scientologists.

Los Angeles Times

‘They stayed to fight the Taliban. Now the protesters are being hunted down’

‘They stayed to fight the Taliban. Now the protesters are being hunted down’

Women's rights activists fear for their lives as Afghanistan's new rulers infiltrate, detain, beat and torture groups of protesters.

The Guardian

Wed, 03 Nov 2021

Government officials held secret meeting with ‘ex-gay’ conversion therapy providers

Government officials held secret meeting with ‘ex-gay’ conversion therapy providers

The Government Equalities Office held a previously undisclosed private meeting earlier this year with Core Issues Trust, which said it was the first time the UK government had engaged with "former-LGBT people."

Vice

Councillor who raised concerns about Christian group did not break code of conduct, panel rules

Councillor who raised concerns about Christian group did not break code of conduct, panel rules

Woodley Town councillor Martin Doyle was accused of breaking the code of conduct for comments made about local Christian organisation Just Around the Corner to the Local Democracy Reporting Service in February 2020 and comments made during a town council meeting in January 2020.

The Reading Chronicle

Anti-Muslim hate crimes make almost half of religiously aggravated offences, says Home Office

Anti-Muslim hate crimes make almost half of religiously aggravated offences, says Home Office

Hate crime offences recorded against Muslims reached 45 per cent of all recorded religious hate crimes in the year ending March 2021 – a similar proportion to the previous year.

The Evening Standard

‘Why virtual abortion appointments are still vital for vulnerable women’

‘Why virtual abortion appointments are still vital for vulnerable women’

Women should be able to continue to access abortion care at home, BPAS has argued.

Huffpost

Polish abortion law protests over woman's hospital death

Polish abortion law protests over woman's hospital death

Protests have taken place in several Polish cities after a family's lawyer linked the death of a 30-year-old woman to tighter abortion laws.

BBC

Knifeman shouting 'Allahu Akbar' shot by French security officers at Paris train station

Knifeman shouting 'Allahu Akbar' shot by French security officers at Paris train station

A knifeman has been shot by Paris transport police after shouting, 'Allahu Akbar, France is ruled by Islamic State' at a train station.

Mail Online

US: Supreme Court won't take up Catholic hospital appeal over surgery for transgender man

US: Supreme Court won't take up Catholic hospital appeal over surgery for transgender man

The Supreme Court on Monday turned down an appeal from a Catholic hospital in California that was sued after refusing to perform a hysterectomy for a transgender man.

NBC News

US: ‘The ultra-conservative church on the rise in Idaho’

US: ‘The ultra-conservative church on the rise in Idaho’

Increased influence of Christ Church, whose leader wants to create US 'theocracy', comes as social conservatives aim to gain traction.

The Guardian

Taliban in Afghan provinces enforce ‘far harsher rules’ against women than advised by Kabul leaders

Taliban in Afghan provinces enforce ‘far harsher rules’ against women than advised by Kabul leaders

Members of the Taliban ruling Afghanistan's provinces are using a manual with far stricter and more abusive rules against women than the policies outlined by the Taliban leaders based in Kabul, a leading human rights organisation warned.

The Independent

Houthi missile attack on mosque, religious school kills and injures 29 civilians in Yemen

Houthi missile attack on mosque, religious school kills and injures 29 civilians in Yemen

A Houthi ballistic missile attack on a mosque and a religious school killed and injured 29 civilians in the Yemeni province of Marib, the country's information minister said in a statement on Twitter on Monday.

Reuters

Tue, 02 Nov 2021

Most MPs now support changing the law to enable assisted dying in Britain

Most MPs now support changing the law to enable assisted dying in Britain

For the first time, a majority of MPs back changing the law to enable assisted dying in Britain, according to a poll.

Mail Online

Catholic recruitment an issue as Police Service of Northern Ireland turns 20

Catholic recruitment an issue as Police Service of Northern Ireland turns 20

New figures have revealed the ongoing problems the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has in hiring more officers from a Catholic background.

BBC

Archbishop of Canterbury apologises for 'Nazi' climate comments

Archbishop of Canterbury apologises for 'Nazi' climate comments

The Archbishop of Canterbury has "unequivocally" apologised for comparing politicians who fail to act on climate change to those who "ignored what was happening in Nazi Germany".

BBC

‘The value placed on virginity and what happens to the women found to be “impure”’

‘The value placed on virginity and what happens to the women found to be “impure”’

Sahar Zand grew up in Iran, where value was placed on a woman's virginity. When she was 11 she came to the UK, but soon learnt that a similar notion of value was placed on a woman's virginity and in some cultures, girls were forced to have virginity tests, sometimes in front of family members.

ITV

‘End the unelected power of Anglican clerics in UK legislature’

‘End the unelected power of Anglican clerics in UK legislature’

Individuals of course may have religious belief inform their own views but this should not give them seats in government, says Neil Barber in a letter (scroll down).

Edinburgh Evening News

Greek court bans religious slaughter

Greek court bans religious slaughter

The Panhellenic Animal Welfare and Environmental Federation requested that the court annul an exemption in a law that allowed religious slaughtering practices to take place without anaesthetic. The courts ruled the exemption was a violation of the law's requirement to slaughter animals with anaesthesia.

Greek Reporter

US: Satanists convince Pennsylvania school district to change anti-satanic dress code

US: Satanists convince Pennsylvania school district to change anti-satanic dress code

Satanists earned a victory after convincing a Pennsylvania school district to remove a student dress code ban on clothes that are "satanic in nature."

USA Today

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