Tue, 21 Jul 2020

Mosque forced to close as Imam tests positive after 250-person funeral

Mosque forced to close as Imam tests positive after 250-person funeral

A Lancashire mosque where more than 250 mourners attended a funeral last week despite coronavirus restrictions has been forced to close.

Metro

Work going ahead on Harrow’s first Islamic free school

Work going ahead on Harrow’s first Islamic free school

The school will open with 60 children across two reception classes in autumn 2020.

London Post

Vatican indicates support to exhume babies at Irish home

Vatican indicates support to exhume babies at Irish home

The Vatican has indicated its support for a campaign to provide a 'Christian burial' for hundreds of babies and toddlers by first exhuming their bodies from the grounds of a Catholic-run Irish home for unwed mothers.

Mail Online / Associated Press

'Ban religious instruction and teach world religions in NZ schools'

'Ban religious instruction and teach world religions in NZ schools'

"Religious instruction in New Zealand means teaching the beliefs of Christianity with an endorsement – either implicitly or explicitly – to practice that faith."

Stuff

'The "perfect Uighur": outgoing and hard working – but still not safe from China's camps'

'The "perfect Uighur": outgoing and hard working – but still not safe from China's camps'

Beijing claims its re-education camps in Xinjiang are needed to combat Islamic terrorism, but Dilara's experiences tell a different story.

The Guardian

Mon, 20 Jul 2020

Government ‘shielding’ proposed faith schools from being scrutinised, says NSS

Government ‘shielding’ proposed faith schools from being scrutinised, says NSS

The National Secular Society has warned that plans to open 19 new faith schools in England aren't being properly scrutinised because of a lack of transparency. NSS head of education Alastair Lichten is quoted.

iNews

NSS chief warns new hate crime laws ‘seriously risk chilling free speech'

NSS chief warns new hate crime laws ‘seriously risk chilling free speech'

Stephen Evans, chief executive of the NSS has said the new 'stirring up hatred' offences within the Hate Crime Bill include "dangerously low thresholds for prosecution".

The Press and Journal

'It's the powerless who suffer when free speech is threatened'

'It's the powerless who suffer when free speech is threatened'

Some on the left have lost sight of the fact that censorship only ever aids the powerful, says Kenan Malik.

The Guardian

‘Therapist’ suggests people identifying as gay ‘are trapped in a cult’ - NSS quoted

‘Therapist’ suggests people identifying as gay ‘are trapped in a cult’ - NSS quoted

Core Issues Trust's Mike Davidson responds to calls for gay 'conversion therapy' to be banned. The NSS's campaign work to remove the charitable status of charities promoting 'conversion therapy' is referenced.

The Freethinker (Patheos)

Government's decision to ban parents from withdrawing children from relationships education faces judicial review

Government's decision to ban parents from withdrawing children from relationships education faces judicial review

A campaigning group wants relationships education classes to be made optional to avoid children being exposed to ideas which may not correlate with the "religious and philosophical convictions" of their family.

The Telegraph

Police may drop term ‘Islamist’ when describing terror attacks

Police may drop term ‘Islamist’ when describing terror attacks

The police are looking at dropping the terms "Islamist terrorism" and "jihadis" when describing attacks by those who claim Islam as their motive.

The Times (£)

Hundreds in line for larger Church sex abuse payouts

Hundreds in line for larger Church sex abuse payouts

Hundreds of people abused by Catholic clergy could be in line for larger compensation payouts after a landmark decision by the Archbishop of Birmingham.

The Telegraph

Presbyterian Church wants businesses in NI to be able to refuse services at gay weddings

Presbyterian Church wants businesses in NI to be able to refuse services at gay weddings

Florists, bakers and designers who disagree with same-sex marriage will not be able to refuse service to people for religious reasons in Northern Ireland under the country's new marriage laws.

Premier Christian News

DfE investigates Charedi Jewish school trip to Wales

DfE investigates Charedi Jewish school trip to Wales

Residential school trips should 'not be taking place', the Department for Education says.

The JC

Blackburn mosque 'faces police investigation' over 250 at funeral

Blackburn mosque 'faces police investigation' over 250 at funeral

Leaders at a mosque in Blackburn say they are being investigated by police and health officials after "around 250 people" attended a funeral service.

BBC

UK accuses China of 'gross' human rights abuses against Uighurs

UK accuses China of 'gross' human rights abuses against Uighurs

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has accused China of "gross and egregious" human rights abuses against its Uighur population and said sanctions against those responsible cannot be ruled out.

BBC

Vatican legal fight over luxury flats

Vatican legal fight over luxury flats

The secretive world of Vatican finances will be laid bare in a legal dispute examining the alleged use of charitable donations from churchgoers around the world to buy prime London property.

The Times (£)

Fri, 17 Jul 2020

Campaign group to fight SNP's hate crime bill over free speech concerns - NSS quoted

Campaign group to fight SNP's hate crime bill over free speech concerns - NSS quoted

A new law designed to combat hate crime in Scotland poses a significant risk to free speech and could lead to playwrights, academics and newspaper columnists being prosecuted, a new coalition set up to fight the proposals has claimed. NSS chief executive Stephen Evans is quoted.

The Telegraph

Scottish hate crime bill threatens free speech, Free to Disagree campaign group warns - NSS mentioned

Scottish hate crime bill threatens free speech, Free to Disagree campaign group warns - NSS mentioned

The new Free to Disagree campaign, supported by the former SNP deputy leader Jim Sillars, the National Secular Society and the Christian Institute pressure group, insists that expanding hate crime legislation risks criminalising speech "merely because it is deemed offensive".

The Times (£)

NI clerics can conduct same-sex marriages if supported by church leaders

NI clerics can conduct same-sex marriages if supported by church leaders

Measures allowing same-sex marriages in churches in Northern Ireland if priests and ministers enjoy support from their governing bodies have become law.

Express and Star

Salford Tory councillors accused of racism for not accepting 'Islamophobia' definition

Salford Tory councillors accused of racism for not accepting 'Islamophobia' definition

Conservative councillors in Salford have been accused of racism for voting down an anti-Islamophobia motion over concerns it would undermine efforts to stop terrorism and threaten free speech.

Manchester Evening News

Shamima Begum can return to UK to fight for citizenship, Court of Appeal rules

Shamima Begum can return to UK to fight for citizenship, Court of Appeal rules

Ms Begum, now 20, was one of three schoolgirls who left London to join the Islamic State group in Syria in 2015.

BBC

Urgent warning over possible surge in Female Genital Mutilation as lockdown eases

Urgent warning over possible surge in Female Genital Mutilation as lockdown eases

Charities are warning that there could be a spike in the number of cases of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as lockdown restrictions ease.

ITV

Sikhs drop legal threat against Scottish government after promise of ethnicity tick-box on census

Sikhs drop legal threat against Scottish government after promise of ethnicity tick-box on census

The Sikh Federation had threatened legal action unless ministers included a separate Sikh box in the ethnicity section of the next census, despite the fact Sikhism is a religion.

Scottish Legal News

Daughter campaigns to legalise assisted dying after mum put on trial for murder

Daughter campaigns to legalise assisted dying after mum put on trial for murder

Her father, Denis Eccleston, had been in agony for a long time with terminal bowel cancer and had asked his wife Mavis to help him to die.

ITV

Vatican releases guidelines for bishops on how to handle clerical child abuse claims

Vatican releases guidelines for bishops on how to handle clerical child abuse claims

The Vatican has released guidelines for bishops on how to handle clerical child abuse claims after Pope Francis called for a 'practical handbook' for cases.

Mail Online

Anger over video of Indian police attacking Dalit couple

Anger over video of Indian police attacking Dalit couple

Two officials have been removed in India after a Dalit couple attempted suicide by consuming pesticide while being evicted from government land. Opposition parties say it is typical of the treatment of Dalits, who are at the bottom of the Hindu caste system.

BBC

Campaign brewing to get Hindu god off popular beer

Campaign brewing to get Hindu god off popular beer

An interfaith coalition is pressing the world's largest brewer to remove the name of a Hindu god from a popular beer that dates to the late 1800s.

Mail Online

K-Pop music video edited to remove Hindu deity

K-Pop music video edited to remove Hindu deity

The Hindu god was onscreen for seconds, but the glimpse of Ganesha in the video was enough for many fans, especially in India, to express their discomfort.

Variety

Thu, 16 Jul 2020

Majority of public want 'gay conversion therapy' banned

Majority of public want 'gay conversion therapy' banned

62% of those surveyed by YouGov on behalf of the Ozanne Foundation, which campaigns to end conversion therapy, said that they support a ban.

ITV

Scottish places of worship reopen with 50 person limit

Scottish places of worship reopen with 50 person limit

Religious venues across Scotland can host a maximum of 50 people at any one time, regardless of venue size.

BBC

Ian Paisley praises anti-abortion Catholics

Ian Paisley praises anti-abortion Catholics

Ian Paisley has revealed that his admires the fact that 'pro-life' Catholics are not "embarrassed" to stand up for their views.

Belfast Telegraph

‘Neutral’ appearance requirement for employees gets a conditional green light in France

‘Neutral’ appearance requirement for employees gets a conditional green light in France

The French Cour de Cassation has ruled that employers can only prevent employees from wearing visible signs of their political, philosophical or religious affiliation in the workplace if they have contact with the public, or for health and safety reasons.

Lexology

Tunisia sentences woman to six months for Koranic Facebook joke

Tunisia sentences woman to six months for Koranic Facebook joke

A Tunisian court has sentenced blogger Emna Chargui to six months in prison and a $700 fine for reposting a Facebook joke about the coronavirus written as if it was a Koranic verse.

Reuters

China: US Xinjiang warning ‘bad for the whole world’

China: US Xinjiang warning ‘bad for the whole world’

China's government has warned it will protect Chinese companies after Washington said enterprises may face legal trouble if they help carry out abuses in the Muslim northwestern region of Xinjiang.

AP

Russian parliament begins formulating ban on same-sex marriage

Russian parliament begins formulating ban on same-sex marriage

Putin, who has aligned himself with the Russian Orthodox Church and sought to distance Russia from liberal Western values, has said he will not legalise gay marriage as long as he is in the Kremlin.

Reuters

'The Catholic Church siphoned away $30 million paid to Native people for stolen land'

'The Catholic Church siphoned away $30 million paid to Native people for stolen land'

Free, government-funded schools were rarely built on reservations—meaning that for many Native families, Catholic mission schools were the only option.

In These Times

'Shameful denial and defence of marital rape in Charedi communities must end'

'Shameful denial and defence of marital rape in Charedi communities must end'

"Those who can't sit with their discomfort may experience a certain cognitive dissonance, but that changes nothing for a woman who finds herself lying beneath a man she doesn't know and to whom she cannot say no."

Jewish News

Wed, 15 Jul 2020

Religious cult member admits repeatedly raping children

Religious cult member admits repeatedly raping children

A member of a religious cult known as the Children of God has admitted repeatedly raping two schoolgirls almost 30 years ago.

STV News

‘I am lucky to be alive’ says Protestant attacked by gang in Belfast on Twelfth

‘I am lucky to be alive’ says Protestant attacked by gang in Belfast on Twelfth

A Protestant man who was taking his son shopping in north Belfast on the Twelfth feels "lucky to be alive" after being attacked by a gang of youths in what he believes was an act of sectarian "hatefulness".

News Letter

Labour handed draft EHRC report into anti-semitism

Labour handed draft EHRC report into anti-semitism

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has handed over its draft report into anti-semitism within Labour to the party.

PoliticsHome

Home Secretary urged to ban Nazi Satanist group

Home Secretary urged to ban Nazi Satanist group

The Home Secretary has been urged to ban a far-right group that has advocated rape and murder as a tactic to destabilise society and overthrow alleged 'Jewish influence'.

The JC

Catholic bishop seeks government financial aid after COVID lockdown losses

Catholic bishop seeks government financial aid after COVID lockdown losses

Bishop Mark Davies of the Diocese of Shrewsbury wants the UK government to bail out the Catholic church amid losses caused by COVID-19.

The Freethinker (Patheos)

'We need to junk the idea of "Islamophobia"'

'We need to junk the idea of "Islamophobia"'

"Those who throw around this term are enforcing a new blasphemy law."

Spiked

'Ecclesiastical’s child abuse claims shame'

'Ecclesiastical’s child abuse claims shame'

Church insurer Ecclesiastical has come under fire in the recent past for its handling of child sex abuse claims.

Insurance Post

EU ministers chide Turkey over Hagia Sophia

EU ministers chide Turkey over Hagia Sophia

Ankara's decision to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque has been met with disapproval across the bloc.

DW

Judges block six-week abortion bans in Georgia and Tennessee

Judges block six-week abortion bans in Georgia and Tennessee

Federal judges blocked controversial abortion restrictions out of Georgia and Tennessee on Monday, a pair of key victories for abortion rights advocates after a flurry of so-called "heartbeat bans" swept state legislatures last year.

CNN

'Poland's Andrzej Duda rides wave of "sacred tradition"'

'Poland's Andrzej Duda rides wave of "sacred tradition"'

Polish President Andrzej Duda is a loyal ally of the ruling nationalist Law and Justice party (PiS) and his re-election means the party's socially conservative programme can continue unhindered for another three years.

BBC

Tue, 14 Jul 2020

Tim Farron accepts £75,000 from evangelical group despite director’s 'gay conversion' tweet

Tim Farron accepts £75,000 from evangelical group despite director’s 'gay conversion' tweet

Former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron has accepted donations worth nearly £75,000 from an organisation whose director tweeted an article protesting against plans to outlaw gay conversion therapy.

The Independent

Islamist extremists use BBC theme to trick Facebook into showing beheading clips

Islamist extremists use BBC theme to trick Facebook into showing beheading clips

Extremists are using a BBC theme tune to avoid security measures on social media and post clips of beheadings and suicide bombings.

The Times (£)

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