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Thu, 31 Mar 2022

Government failures to stop jihadists could be exposed as trial of Islamic State ‘Beatles’ member begins

Government failures to stop jihadists could be exposed as trial of Islamic State ‘Beatles’ member begins

El Shafee Elsheikh, a member of a four-man cell of British IS fighters, is accused of torturing and beheading hostages in Syria.

The Telegraph*

The worrying creep of faith schools in Britain - NSS mentioned

The worrying creep of faith schools in Britain - NSS mentioned

British taxpayers are funding thousands of schools – Catholic, Jewish and otherwise – with a religious "ethos". They deserve much greater scrutiny.

New Humanist

Colchester grammar teacher suspended over Prophet Muhammad mug

Colchester grammar teacher suspended over Prophet Muhammad mug

A teacher has been suspended from a top state grammar school after allegedly using a mug with a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad on it.

BBC

Navy barred from acting against religious vaccine refusers

Navy barred from acting against religious vaccine refusers

A federal judge in Texas is barring the Navy from taking action for now against sailors who have objected to being vaccinated against COVID-19 on religious grounds.

AP News

As medication abortion becomes dominant, red states restrict pills

As medication abortion becomes dominant, red states restrict pills

According to data released by Guttmacher earlier this year, abortion pills – not surgical procedures – accounted for 54 percent of abortions in 2020. That makes medication abortion the dominant choice in the United States for the first time since the Food and Drug Administration approved an abortion pill, mifepristone, more than 20 years ago.

NPR

Modi critic Rana Ayyub barred from leaving India

Modi critic Rana Ayyub barred from leaving India

A Muslim journalist and fierce critic of India's prime minister, Narendra Modi, has been barred from leaving the country over alleged money-laundering charges that her supporters claim are politically motivated.

The Times*

Atheist Indian dancer banned from Hindu temple festival

Atheist Indian dancer banned from Hindu temple festival

An acclaimed classical Indian dancer says that she was denied permission to perform at an ancient Hindu temple because she was raised as a Muslim and is now an atheist.

The Times*

With inquisition-like tactics, Libya is jailing progressive youths on charges of 'atheism'

With inquisition-like tactics, Libya is jailing progressive youths on charges of 'atheism'

Progressive activists in Libya have been detained by security forces on accusations of promoting atheism and forced to sign 'confessions', triggering fears of a return to Gaddafi's repressive era.

The New Arab

Israel is facing a new wave of terror

Israel is facing a new wave of terror

Two attacks, in a short space of time, both carried out by Arab or Bedouin Israelis with allegiances to the Islamic State. This is why Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett, announcing measures in response, spoke on Monday of 'a new situation', says Stephen Daisley.

The Spectator*

Ardal O’Hanlon recalls assault by Church of England vicar as he addresses Will Smith incident

Ardal O’Hanlon recalls assault by Church of England vicar as he addresses Will Smith incident

Actor and comedian Ardal O'Hanlon recalled his own physical encounter with someone who was displeased with him on account of his work in Father Ted.

Extra.ie

Wed, 30 Mar 2022

Teachers at John Fisher School being balloted for strike action after gay author banned

Teachers at John Fisher School being balloted for strike action after gay author banned

Teachers at a Catholic state school are being balloted for strike action after the diocese cancelled a visit by a gay author and sacked a number of governors.

iNews*

Catholic priest abused boys and bribed them with money, trial hears

Catholic priest abused boys and bribed them with money, trial hears

Patrick Smythe is accused of committing indecent assault against teenage boys in the 1970s and 1980s in Leeds.

Yorkshire Live

Vicar beat woman for nearly a decade, jury finds

Vicar beat woman for nearly a decade, jury finds

A retired vicar accused of sadism repeatedly beat a woman with a bamboo stick for nearly a decade, a crown court jury has found.

The Guardian

Manchester attack: Mosque rejects arena bomb 'smearing'

Manchester attack: Mosque rejects arena bomb 'smearing'

A mosque has denied accusations of promoting violence and radicalisation by a lawyer representing victims of the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing.

BBC

‘MPs have a final chance to save home abortion services’

‘MPs have a final chance to save home abortion services’

MPs will vote on whether people can continue to have abortions at home. The religious Right – and the government – have tried to stop it, says Nandini Archer.

openDemocracy

‘There is no reason to deny women the option of taking abortion pills at home’

‘There is no reason to deny women the option of taking abortion pills at home’

Offering telemedicine is well-established as recommended best practice in abortion care, say Caroline Nokes MP, Sir Peter Bottomley MP and Crispin Blunt MP.

PoliticsHome

Polish woman is first activist to face trial for violating strict abortion law

Polish woman is first activist to face trial for violating strict abortion law

The first pro-choice activist to be charged in Poland for breaking the country's strict abortion law by providing miscarriage-inducing tablets to a pregnant woman is due to face trial next week.

The Guardian

Disney vows to overturn Florida ‘don’t say gay’ law

Disney vows to overturn Florida ‘don’t say gay’ law

Disney has vowed to help overturn a controversial Florida law which forbids discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation in the classroom.

The Times*

Iranian town removes statue of woman for un-Islamic dress

Iranian town removes statue of woman for un-Islamic dress

The latest target of Iran's compulsory hijab law: a statue recently installed on a street in Gorgan, in the northeast of the country. On March 25, city officials removed the sculpture because of a woman whose veil and dress was deemed inappropriate.

France24

Afghanistan: World Bank freezes projects over girls' school ban

Afghanistan: World Bank freezes projects over girls' school ban

The World Bank has suspended four projects in Afghanistan worth $600m (£458m), after the Taliban banned girls from returning to secondary schools.

BBC

Tue, 29 Mar 2022

New NUS president posted Islamic chant threatening ‘Jews’ and sympathised with Hamas

New NUS president posted Islamic chant threatening ‘Jews’ and sympathised with Hamas

The National Union of Students has voted for a new president who only last week had to apologise for a historic tweet in which she posted the words of an infamous Islamic chant threatening "Jews" with an attack by "the army of Muhammed."

Jewish News

Dudley councillor suspended by Labour over anti-Semitic tweets

Dudley councillor suspended by Labour over anti-Semitic tweets

A Dudley councillor has been suspended after posting anti-Semitic tweets after claiming a 'witch-hunt' was taking place by against Labour politicians who criticised Israel.

Birmingham Live

Jewish lawyer awarded £26,000 after he was sacked for not working during Passover

Jewish lawyer awarded £26,000 after he was sacked for not working during Passover

Philip Bialick had been hired by his long-time friend Ali Nazokkar to work at his firm NNE Law, but he fired him after he did not work during the Jewish religious holiday of Passover

Mirror

'The many shapes of religious privilege in the workplace'

'The many shapes of religious privilege in the workplace'

Religious privilege in the workplace can manifest itself in various ways. It is not exclusive to believers but can occur in organisations with a majority of agnostic or atheist workers.

LSE blogs

The Netherlands is no longer a religious country, says think-tank

The Netherlands is no longer a religious country, says think-tank

The number of people in the Netherlands describing themselves as atheist or agnostic has outstripped those who are religious for the first time, the government's socio-cultural think-tank SCP said on Thursday.

Dutch News

Man and 2 teens planned ISIS-inspired killings at Chicago mosque during spring break, FBI says

Man and 2 teens planned ISIS-inspired killings at Chicago mosque during spring break, FBI says

A man from Maine and two teenagers planned an ISIS-inspired attack on a Shia Muslim mosque near Chicago, newly unsealed court documents revealed on Friday.

NBC News

Canadian Indigenous delegation heads to Rome seeking papal apology

Canadian Indigenous delegation heads to Rome seeking papal apology

More than two dozen Indigenous Canadians will meet with Pope Francis March 28-April 1 to give firsthand testimonials about the abuses perpetrated in Canada's residential schools, many of them operated by the Catholic Church.

National Catholic Reporter

Taliban bars government employees without beards from work

Taliban bars government employees without beards from work

Afghanistan's Taliban has instructed all government employees to wear a beard and adhere to a dress code or risk being fired, three sources told Reuters, the latest of several new restrictions imposed by the hardline Islamist administration.

Reuters*

With eye to China investment, Taliban now preserve Buddhas

With eye to China investment, Taliban now preserve Buddhas

The ancient Buddha statues sit in serene meditation in the caves carved into the russet cliffs of rural Afghanistan. Hundreds of meters below lies what is believed to be the world's largest deposit of copper.

AP News

'Islam, Muslims, and the secular state in Singapore'

'Islam, Muslims, and the secular state in Singapore'

The city-state offers a good example of how Islam can flourish in the context of a secular state.

The Diplomat

Mon, 28 Mar 2022

Catholic St Anne's primary school applies for integrated status

Catholic St Anne's primary school applies for integrated status

A primary in County Down has formally applied to become the second Catholic school to change to integrated status.

BBC

Presbyterian Church in Ireland says Brandon Lewis ‘power grab’ may soon overrule schools on sex education

Presbyterian Church in Ireland says Brandon Lewis ‘power grab’ may soon overrule schools on sex education

The Presbyterian Church says that a "power grab" by Secretary of State Brandon Lewis could soon take away the rights of schools to choose their own ethos on sex education.

News Letter

Barrister sanctioned for “offensive” Muslim tweet wins appeal

Barrister sanctioned for “offensive” Muslim tweet wins appeal

A Bar Standards Board panel applied too low a threshold in sanctioning a barrister for a tweet about Muslims that it said would cause offence, a tribunal has ruled.

Legal Futures

Orange Order and Catholic groups join forces to protest SNP Parades Commission

Orange Order and Catholic groups join forces to protest SNP Parades Commission

Proposals for a Northern Ireland style parades commission in Scotland have been criticised by both the Orange Order and campaigners against anti-Catholic bigotry.

The Herald*

Oligarch donor to Jewish school in Edgware added to UK sanctions list

Oligarch donor to Jewish school in Edgware added to UK sanctions list

The benefactor of a London Jewish school that bears his name is on the latest list of Russian oligarchs to be sanctioned by the UK government.

The Jewish Chronicle

"I wish I'd had the option of an at-home abortion – it would've saved me a lot of trauma"

"I wish I'd had the option of an at-home abortion – it would've saved me a lot of trauma"

MPs will soon take a vote on whether or not to scrap 'pills by post' abortions. But why is it up for debate, asks Jennifer Savin.

Cosmopolitan

Afghanistan: Taliban bars BBC TV programmes from schedules

Afghanistan: Taliban bars BBC TV programmes from schedules

BBC TV programming has been taken off air in Afghanistan, after the Taliban ordered local channels not to broadcast content from international partners.

BBC

US cancels talks with Taliban over U-turn on girls' education

US cancels talks with Taliban over U-turn on girls' education

The United States abruptly cancelled meetings with the Taliban in Doha that were set to address key economic issues, officials said on Friday, after Afghanistan's Islamist rulers reversed a decision to allow all girls to return to high school classes.

Reuters*

US: Former Catholic bishop admits covering up sexual abuse allegations

US: Former Catholic bishop admits covering up sexual abuse allegations

The former bishop of the Roman Catholic diocese of Albany, New York, has acknowledged covering up allegations of sexual abuse against children by priests in part to avoid scandal and protect the reputation of the diocese.

The Guardian

US: Jews say making daylight saving time permanent threatens morning prayer

US: Jews say making daylight saving time permanent threatens morning prayer

American Jews say they were blindsided by the U.S. Senate's lightning-fast passage of a bill to make daylight saving time year-round and intend to fight it.

Religion News Service

US: Arizona Legislature approves 15-week abortion ban

US: Arizona Legislature approves 15-week abortion ban

The Arizona Legislature on Thursday joined the growing list of Republican-led states to pass aggressive anti-abortion legislation as the conservative US Supreme Court is considering ratcheting back abortion rights that have been in place for nearly 50 years.

The Associated Press

Islamic State claims responsibility for killing of two Israeli police officers

Islamic State claims responsibility for killing of two Israeli police officers

Police say two terrorists were shot dead after they began firing at police in city of Hadera, as Israel hosts envoys from four Arab states.

The Guardian

Fri, 25 Mar 2022

Government acts to ensure availability of abortion services in Northern Ireland

Government acts to ensure availability of abortion services in Northern Ireland

The UK Government has announced its intention to prepare work on further regulations to ensure abortion services are available for women and girls in Northern Ireland.

Evening Standard

Bill to end religious discrimination in recruitment of teachers in Northern Ireland is passed

Bill to end religious discrimination in recruitment of teachers in Northern Ireland is passed

Schools will no longer be allowed to discriminate on religious grounds when appointing new teachers after MLAs unanimously passed new legislation.

Belfast Telegraph

Evangelical church school plan rejected by education minister

Evangelical church school plan rejected by education minister

A plan by an evangelical church to open a voluntary grammar school has been rejected by the education minister.

BBC

Vicar branded woman with cross, court told

Vicar branded woman with cross, court told

A vicar branded a woman with a cross-shaped mark and beat her with a cane over nearly a decade of abuse, a trial has heard.

BBC

The Church's safeguarding agency chair appeals to abuse survivors to contact him

The Church's safeguarding agency chair appeals to abuse survivors to contact him

Nazir Azfal, the chair of the Church's safeguarding agency, has asked survivors of clerical abuse to contact him directly.

The Tablet*

Clerical abuse poses ‘systemic questions’ of church, says Munich cardinal

Clerical abuse poses ‘systemic questions’ of church, says Munich cardinal

German cardinal Reinhard Marx has conceded that confronting the legacy of clerical sexual abuse and its cover-up in the Catholic Church can only happen when "systemic questions" are asked of the institution and its hierarchy.

The Irish Times*

3 US Muslims sue over religious questioning by officers

3 US Muslims sue over religious questioning by officers

Three Muslim Americans have filed a lawsuit alleging that U.S. border officers questioned them about their religious beliefs in violation of their constitutional rights when they returned from international travel

The Independent*

US: ‘At Jackson hearings, “What is your faith?” becomes a gotcha question’

US: ‘At Jackson hearings, “What is your faith?” becomes a gotcha question’

On the first day of real questioning at this week's Supreme Court confirmation hearing, Sen. Lindsey Graham asked the nominee, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, "On a scale of 1 to 10, how faithful would you say you are?"

Religion News Service

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