Tue, 28 May 2019

Jews warned against wearing kippa skullcaps as antisemitism rises in Germany

Jews warned against wearing kippa skullcaps as antisemitism rises in Germany

A German government watchdog has issued a warning to Jews not to wear skullcaps for their own safety, amid growing concern over a rise in antisemitic attacks.

The Telegraph

‘What the far-right really means when it talks of "taking back Christian Europe"’

‘What the far-right really means when it talks of "taking back Christian Europe"’

Mary Fitzgerald says American religious conservatives are fuelling Europe's far-right surge.

The Independent

Hindu doctor arrested on blasphemy charges in Pakistan

Hindu doctor arrested on blasphemy charges in Pakistan

A Hindu veterinary doctor was arrested on Monday after a local cleric filed a police complaint accusing him of committing 'blasphemy' in Pakistan's southern Sindh province.

The Week (India)

Fri, 24 May 2019

Birmingham anti-LGBT protest school to close early

Birmingham anti-LGBT protest school to close early

A school at the heart of a row about LGBT-inclusive education will close early for half-term amid escalating protests.

BBC

Minister accused of failing to back teachers over equality lessons

Minister accused of failing to back teachers over equality lessons

The education secretary has been accused of "passing the buck" by leaving head teachers to fend for themselves in dealing with protests against lessons which mention same-sex relationships.

The Times (£)

‘The Times view on teaching children about same-sex relationships: No Outsiders’

‘The Times view on teaching children about same-sex relationships: No Outsiders’

This editorial says LGBT relationships have equality in law and religious minorities must not be allowed to prevent schools from educating pupils about them.

The Times (£)

Sultan of Brunei hands back Oxford degree over anti-LGBT laws

Sultan of Brunei hands back Oxford degree over anti-LGBT laws

The sultan of Brunei has handed back an honorary degree after Oxford University raised concerns about his country's strict new anti-LGBT laws. The NSS wrote to the university last month to urge it to revoke the degree.

BBC

‘Religion has no place in the education system’

‘Religion has no place in the education system’

The editor-in-chief of gay magazine Attitude says religions' endless, contradictory interpretations should not be allowed to harm the mental health and well-being of young people.

Attitude

Bishop of Bristol says she was ‘silenced’ when trying to speak out about abuse in C of E in 1990s

Bishop of Bristol says she was ‘silenced’ when trying to speak out about abuse in C of E in 1990s

The bishop of Bristol has said she was "silenced and marginalised" while she was a deacon in the Church of England in the 1990s by the same "tribalism and clericalism" identified by the official abuse inquiry in its latest report.

Church Times

Scotland's first minister says Church of Scotland is at the “centre” of “Scottish public life”

Scotland's first minister says Church of Scotland is at the “centre” of “Scottish public life”

Nicola Sturgeon has said the Church of Scotland is "at the centre of Scottish public life" in an address to the church's general assembly.

The Scotsman

Orthodox Jewish women to ‘take action’ against plans to open north London pond to transgender swimmers

Orthodox Jewish women to ‘take action’ against plans to open north London pond to transgender swimmers

Strictly Orthodox Jewish women are reportedly preparing to "take action" against the decision to open the Hampstead Heath women's pond to transgender swimmers.

The JC

‘Modi’s election win is a victory for far right Hindu nationalism – India’s secular democracy is under threat’

‘Modi’s election win is a victory for far right Hindu nationalism – India’s secular democracy is under threat’

Dibyesh Anand says the BJP and Modi have won the Indian election not in spite of the divisive politics they espouse but precisely because of it. The result will be terrifying for religious minorities, particularly Muslims.

The Independent

‘Modi’s landslide reelection is another win for religious nationalism’

‘Modi’s landslide reelection is another win for religious nationalism’

Shashank Bengali and Ashish Malhotra say Narendra Modi has edged India closer to the BJP's long-standing vision of a Hindu nation as religious nationalism has risen across the globe.

Los Angeles Times

Churches unite in opposition to Edinburgh Sunday parking charges

Churches unite in opposition to Edinburgh Sunday parking charges

Christian churches in Edinburgh have united in opposition to Sunday parking charges being introduced in the city centre.

Scottish Catholic Observer

Number of students doing theology and RS degrees halves in six years

Number of students doing theology and RS degrees halves in six years

The number of students doing theology and religious studies courses at university has halved in six years, figures show.

The Telegraph

Thu, 23 May 2019

Anti-abortion group loses legal battle in Scottish courts

Anti-abortion group loses legal battle in Scottish courts

An anti-abortion group has lost its legal challenge against the Scottish government's decision to allow women to take abortion pills at home.

The Scotsman

Fight against terror could be undermined by new Islamophobia definition, warns police chief

Fight against terror could be undermined by new Islamophobia definition, warns police chief

Police efforts to combat terrorism and extremism would be undermined by a proposed new definition of Islamophobia, Britain's most senior counter-terrorism officer has warned.

The Telegraph (£)

Modi’s Hindu nationalists set to win Indian election

Modi’s Hindu nationalists set to win Indian election

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi's governing party has taken a decisive lead as votes are counted after the country's marathon general election.

BBC

Review to begin into alleged sexual abuse by late bishop of Chester

Review to begin into alleged sexual abuse by late bishop of Chester

An inquiry into reports of sexual abuse by a former Chester bishop will begin imminently – two years after it was first promised.

The Standard (Chester)

MP who criticised LGBT-inclusive lessons admits he hasn’t read the books

MP who criticised LGBT-inclusive lessons admits he hasn’t read the books

A Labour MP who criticised LGBT lessons in primary schools as not "age-appropriate" admitted he has not read the teaching materials.

BBC

Man leading protests against inclusive lessons claims LGBT people are intolerant of parents’ religious beliefs

Man leading protests against inclusive lessons claims LGBT people are intolerant of parents’ religious beliefs

A man who has protested against LGBTQ-inclusive lessons at primary schools in Birmingham has claimed the LGBTQ community are "intolerant" of parents' religious beliefs.

Attitude

Catholic Church opposes planned expansion of child sexual abuse reporting in Western Australia

Catholic Church opposes planned expansion of child sexual abuse reporting in Western Australia

Religious ministers in Western Australia will be compelled to reveal knowledge of child sexual abuse – even if it is gained through the confessional – but the Catholic church is resisting.

The Guardian

Family court judge will not reopen FGM case

Family court judge will not reopen FGM case

A family court judge has refused to reopen the case of a man accused of subjecting a three-year-old girl to female genital mutilation after he was cleared by a jury.

BBC

European elections: sex and religion dominate campaigning in Poland

European elections: sex and religion dominate campaigning in Poland

Campaigning in Poland for the European elections has descended into a war of words over religion, sex and morality.

The Guardian

Pakistan lawyer is named Secularist of the Year by NSS

Pakistan lawyer is named Secularist of the Year by NSS

Saif ul Malook – the lawyer who defended Asia Bibi, who spent eight years on death row for blasphemy in Pakistan – was named at the weekend as the NSS's Secularist of the Year.

The Freethinker (Patheos)

Alabama TV station refuses to show episode of cartoon featuring gay wedding

Alabama TV station refuses to show episode of cartoon featuring gay wedding

A public TV station in the conservative US state of Alabama has refused to broadcast an episode of the cartoon Arthur that depicted a marriage between two same-sex characters.

The Journal

US House recognises FGM as human rights violation

US House recognises FGM as human rights violation

The US House of Representatives has passed a bipartisan resolution denouncing the practice of female genital mutilation and recognising it as a human rights violation against women and girls.

Newsweek

Wed, 22 May 2019

Asia Bibi's lawyer named Secularist of the Year – NSS quoted

Asia Bibi's lawyer named Secularist of the Year – NSS quoted

The lawyer who defended Asia Bibi, who spent eight years on death row for blasphemy in Pakistan, has been named as the NSS's Secularist of the Year for 2019.

Premier Christian Radio

NHS nurse who proselytised to patients 'rightly sacked for showing religious fervour'

NHS nurse who proselytised to patients 'rightly sacked for showing religious fervour'

A nurse who offered a bible to a cancer patient and encouraged him to sing a hymn was fairly dismissed, a court has ruled.

The Telegraph

Police chief calls for end to Birmingham protests against LGBT-inclusive lessons

Police chief calls for end to Birmingham protests against LGBT-inclusive lessons

A police chief has said lawful or unlawful protests have no place outside primary schools after recent clashes over the teaching of LGBT-inclusive lessons.

The Guardian

Local MP says Birmingham lessons on LGBT equality are not ‘age appropriate’

Local MP says Birmingham lessons on LGBT equality are not ‘age appropriate’

The MP whose constituency includes a primary school facing demonstrations over LGBT equality teaching has said such lessons were not always age appropriate.

BBC

‘We need to be able to criticise Islam – any definition of Islamophobia must recognise that’

‘We need to be able to criticise Islam – any definition of Islamophobia must recognise that’

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown says making 'Muslimness' a protected characteristic would deter fair and proper scrutiny.

iNews

‘Instead of Islamophobia, we should focus on defining anti-Muslim hatred’

‘Instead of Islamophobia, we should focus on defining anti-Muslim hatred’

Nikita Malik says the term Islamophobia has a broad meaning that can easily be used to restrict free and fair discussion about the Islamic religion and Islamist extremism.

Forbes

NHS watchdog issues statement over GP who asked Muslim woman to remove veil

NHS watchdog issues statement over GP who asked Muslim woman to remove veil

An NHS watchdog has said a GP who asked a Muslim mum to remove her veil has no 'restrictions on his record'.

Stoke-on-Trent Live

Pupils at Catholic school 'not as tolerant as they should be' and lack knowledge of other faiths, says Ofsted

Pupils at Catholic school 'not as tolerant as they should be' and lack knowledge of other faiths, says Ofsted

Pupils at a Catholic primary school in West Yorkshire are lacking knowledge about other faiths and cultures and are "not always as tolerant as they should be".

Examiner Live

'Anti-Islamic' posters in Essex investigated by police

'Anti-Islamic' posters in Essex investigated by police

Posters put up in Essex bearing the phrase "Islamists not welcome" and showing a crusader chasing a woman in a burqa with an AK-47 are being treated as a hate crime, police have said.

The Independent

Scottish mosque targeted with 'Allah is a paedo' and swastika graffiti in sick attack

Scottish mosque targeted with 'Allah is a paedo' and swastika graffiti in sick attack

A mosque in Moray has been targeted by graffiti vandals who painted swastikas and "Allah is a paedo" on the walls.

Daily Record

Brexit Party in row over female genital mutilation remarks

Brexit Party in row over female genital mutilation remarks

A Brexit Party candidate referred to "so-called victims" of female genital mutilation and said that she might not report the crime if she was still a teacher.

The Times (£)

‘Infecting people isn’t a religious right’

‘Infecting people isn’t a religious right’

This editorial says a measles outbreak has made it vital for New York lawmakers to end religious exemptions for vaccinations.

The New York Times

Tue, 21 May 2019

Birmingham head teacher threatened over LGBT-inclusive lessons

Birmingham head teacher threatened over LGBT-inclusive lessons

A head teacher at a primary school giving lessons on LGBT equality has received threatening emails and phone calls. Meanwhile a local MP has called for an exclusion zone at the school to limit where people can demonstrate.

BBC

Protesters claim '600 pupils' taken out of primary school involved in equality row

Protesters claim '600 pupils' taken out of primary school involved in equality row

Police have been called out to anti-LGBT protests outside a Birmingham primary school amid claims that 600 children were taken out of lessons yesterday.

Tes

Lib Dem leader backs LGBT-inclusive lessons in Birmingham schools row

Lib Dem leader backs LGBT-inclusive lessons in Birmingham schools row

Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable has said school curriculums must include "recognition of gay people" and should not change "because a few religious hardliners demand it".

Birmingham Live

Justice minister expresses support for assisted dying reform as questioned widow pleads for change

Justice minister expresses support for assisted dying reform as questioned widow pleads for change

A widow questioned for accompanying her terminally ill husband to Dignitas has told MPs "compassion is not a crime" as she bids to change laws on assisted dying. In a letter to her the justice minister David Gauke has expressed his personal support for reform.

Mirror

‘“Islamophobia” definition poses a threat to free speech in the UK’ – NSS quoted

‘“Islamophobia” definition poses a threat to free speech in the UK’ – NSS quoted

There are surprising levels of agreement among many Christians and secularists that the proposed adoption by the government of a new definition of Islamophobia will do nothing to eradicate anti-Muslim prejudice.

The Freethinker (Patheos)

‘Fear and free speech: why defining Islamophobia could do more harm than good’

‘Fear and free speech: why defining Islamophobia could do more harm than good’

Irene Lancaster says Islam is not more worthy of protection than other religions.

Christian Today

Jewish burial society condemns coroner over invasive post-mortem procedure on Jewish man

Jewish burial society condemns coroner over invasive post-mortem procedure on Jewish man

A Jewish burial society has criticised the senior coroner of inner north London, Mary Hassell, for ordering the invasive post-mortem of a Jewish man last week.

The JC

Christchurch mosque attacker charged with terrorism

Christchurch mosque attacker charged with terrorism

The man accused of killing 51 people in the Christchurch mosques attack has been charged with terrorism, New Zealand police have said.

BBC

Mississippi law banning abortions as early as 6 weeks heads to federal US court

Mississippi law banning abortions as early as 6 weeks heads to federal US court

Campaigners will challenge a restrictive law in the US state of Mississippi which bans abortions from six weeks of pregnancy.

CNN

‘Make America secular again’

‘Make America secular again’

Tris Mamone says secularism is the only way the US can heal from the damage inflicted upon it by President Trump's administration.

Splice Today

Mon, 20 May 2019

Angry protests continue over Birmingham school's 'okay to be gay' lessons

Angry protests continue over Birmingham school's 'okay to be gay' lessons

Daily demonstrations have been taking place outside Anderton Park Primary School in Birmingham but Friday's was the largest - and angriest - so far.

Sky News

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