Wed, 28 Feb 2018

‘Take home schooling out of the shadows’

Alice Thomson says the state must be able to ensure home educated children are safe.

The Times (£)

Muslim radio station fined for broadcasting 'hate speech'

Ofcom has fined a radio station broadcasting to Muslims in Nottingham £2,000 after a talk it played was found to constitute 'hate speech'. The talk suggested that violent acts against non-Muslims would "bring honour to Islam".

Nottingham Post

MPs say some extremists should be spared from prison

Some extremists convicted of 'low-level terrorism crimes' should be spared jail if there are concerns about the success of deradicalisation programmes in prisons, MPs recommended yesterday.

The Times (£)

Jail term cut for father who showed beheadings to son

A Muslim convert who showed his son videos of beheadings has received a lesser jail term for spreading terrorist propaganda after a judge cited the impact of the sentence on his children.

The Times (£)

National Trust puts word ‘Easter’ back in title of its egg hunt

The National Trust has called this year's hunt for Easter eggs the 'Cadbury Easter Egg hunt'. Last year the prime minister was among those who complained that the word 'Easter' had been removed from the title – even though the word dominated the marketing for the event.

The Telegraph

Driver 'hit Somali woman in anti-Muslim attack'

A motorist deliberately drove into a Somali woman twice in an anti-Muslim attack days after a bomb blast in London, a court has heard. The driver is accused of attempted murder and the trial continues.


Far-right posts “largely” drove Finsbury Park attacker to target Muslims, says police chief

There is "no doubt" that far-right material posted online by the likes of Tommy Robinson and Britain First drove the Finsbury Park terror attacker to target Muslims, the UK's most senior counter-terror officer has said.

The Independent

Pence: legal abortion could end “in our time”

US vice-president Mike Pence has told a group of anti-abortion activists: "I know in my heart of hearts this will be the generation that restores life in America".

US News & World Report

‘What life is like for French women after removing their veils’

A feature on French women from Muslim backgrounds who have chosen to stop wearing the veil.


Tue, 27 Feb 2018

Abuse concerns over unregistered schools

Concerns have been raised about child safety in unregistered schools, after a BBC investigation filmed a teacher appearing to strike a pupil's head.


Second proposal to bypass Stormont to legalise gay marriage in Northern Ireland

A second Westminster attempt to legislate for marriage equality in Northern Ireland is under way, it has emerged. Supporters of bringing Northern Ireland into line with the rest of the UK and Ireland are putting pressure on MPs to go over Stormont's head and change the law.


Gay couple seeking recognition of their marriage in NI

A gay couple whose marriage in England is only recognised as a civil partnership in their native Northern Ireland are suffering unlawful discrimination, the Court of Appeal heard on Monday.

Belfast Telegraph

Jewish parents shun circumcision

Jews are increasingly choosing not to circumcise their sons and to hold a naming ceremony instead, a rabbi has said.

The Times (£)

‘It’s hard for circumcised men to speak up about their objections to the practice’

Richard Duncker says society should stop treating men who complain about ritual genital cutting as if there is something wrong with them, and start protecting children from what is manifestly a harmful practice.


Authorities should take children away from terrorists, top police officer suggests

Britain's leading counter-terrorism police officer, Mark Rowley, has said convicted terrorists should have their children taken away from them.

The Telegraph

White far right terror threat 'growing' in UK as four plots foiled

Mark Rowley has warned of the growing threat of terrorism from the white far right.


Three London primaries to form Jewish schools academy trust

Three Jewish primary schools teaching almost 1,000 children across north London are to link up in a new Jewish schools multi-academy trust.

Jewish News

Man abused by Sussex priests 'passed around like a toy'

A man sexually abused for five years by two Church of England priests says he was "like a toy being lent to a mate".


MSPs to vote on football act repeal

MSPs on Holyrood's Justice Committee are likely to vote in favour of scrapping the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act today. The Act has been criticised for clamping down on free speech on religious issues.

Glasgow Live

Reported anti-Muslim hate crimes in London rose by 40% in a year

The number of anti-Muslim hate crimes in London has grown by 40% in a year, according to figures from the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.

Evening Standard

The American who fled 'gay conversion' in Africa

A gay ex-Muslim who fled attempts to subject him to gay 'conversion' tells his story.


Mon, 26 Feb 2018

Complaints over faith-based admissions rise as number of selective religious schools set to increase

Complaints about faith schools' admissions policies are on the rise as the Government prepares to push ahead with proposals that could unleash a new wave of more religiously selective schools across the country.

The Independent

Calls for doctors to support ban on ritual male genital cutting – NSS mentioned

The group Men Do Complain is planning protests to put pressure on medical bodies to condemn ritual genital cutting in Britain. The Royal College of GPs currently says its members are in a "difficult situation", with little guidance on what to do.

The Times (£)

UN accuses UK of violating human rights over NI abortion laws

The United Nations has accused the UK of violating women's human rights by restricting access to abortions in Northern Ireland.

Sky News

Sturgeon praises Catholic schools

Nicola Sturgeon has praised Roman Catholic schools as being "good for Scotland" in an intervention coinciding with the centenary of Catholic education in Scotland.

The Sunday Times (£)

‘Sabbath’ restrictions on sports centre are fuelling obesity, says expert

Keeping a regional public sports hub closed on Sunday to maintain a Scottish tradition is a "ridiculous" decision that must be changed to help combat obesity, a leading UK health expert has said.

The Sunday Times (£)

Campaigners for Sunday opening on Lewis dismissed as ‘satanic’

The row over Sunday opening on Lewis is intensifying, and some church leaders have described the case for change as "satanic".

The Sunday Times (£)

Charities linked to extremism get £6m

Islamic charities vulnerable to extremists receive £6 million a year from taxpayers in gift aid, according to a think tank report.

The Times (£)

Welby says sharia ‘law’ must never become part of British legal system

Sharia 'law' should never become part of the British legal system, the archbishop of Canterbury has said. Justin Welby said the Islamic rules are incompatible with Britain's laws – which, he claimed, had developed from Christian tradition.

Daily Mail

Church of England investment arm steeled for weaker returns in 2017

The head of the Church of England's investment arm has said its £7.9 billion fund will fail to match the large returns it made in 2016.

Belfast Telegraph

Church calls on Catholics in Scotland to get involved in politics

A senior Catholic official has urged priests to encourage their parishioners to get involved in politics and to make sure politicians are aware of what's happening in their parishes.

The Herald

Children’s rights campaigners criticise Catholic church in Scotland for opposing smacking ban

The Catholic church in Scotland has been savaged by children's rights campaigners for declaring its opposition to a ban on smacking.

The Herald

Atheist group in the US to honour slain Bangladeshi activist

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has announced a new award in honour of Dr Avijit Roy.


Fri, 23 Feb 2018

Archbishop of Canterbury to be quizzed in person at inquiry into C of E’s handling of sex abuse allegations

Justin Welby is to be questioned in person over how the Anglican Church dealt with allegations of sexual assaults against children. He will give evidence as a witness at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse next month.

Mail Online

NSS head gives backing to senior coroner Mary Hassell

NSS chief executive Stephen Evans has backed a north London coroner who treats people equally, regardless of religious sensitivities. Meanwhile an office that investigates judicial complaints has rejected all complaints made against Mary Hassell.

The Ham and High

Western Isles Secular Society shortlisted for 2018 Secularist of the Year award – NSS quoted

Western Isles Secular Society (WISS) has been shortlisted for the National Secular Society's 2018 Secularist of the Year award.

We Love Stornoway

‘Iceland is right to ban circumcision. Boys need protecting from it’

Ian Dunt says any debate which touches on religion or gender quickly gets dragged into the culture war – but on the basis of the evidence, many countries should follow Iceland's lead and ban genital cutting for non-medical purposes.


‘The outpouring of grief for evangelist Billy Graham is disturbing given his homophobic views’

Douglas Robertson says the reaction to Graham's death shows that religion is often successfully leveraged as a means of making bigotry appear acceptable, or even something to aspire to.

The Independent

Christian School defends creationism teaching after damning Ofsted report

A small Christian primary school has defended its teaching methods after it was slammed by Ofsted inspectors for teaching creationism in science lessons.

News Shopper

MPs to debate legislation to bring in opt-out organ donation today

MPs are set to discuss a bill which would introduce a national opt-out system for organ donation in England. The Government says it will support the bill.

Sky News

Three-quarters of English people support opt-out organ donor system, poll finds

Almost three-quarters of English people are in favour of an opt-out organ donor system, new research shows.


‘Why MPs must back opt-out organ donation today’

Geoffrey Robinson MP explains why he is introducing the bill to bring in opt-out organ donation.

The Times (£)

Police promise to learn lessons after collapse of FGM trial in Bristol

The trial of a father accused of child cruelty over allegedly allowing his daughter to undergo FGM has collapsed for lack of evidence.

The Guardian

Another anti-hijab protester arrested in Iran

Another brave female anti-hijab protester has been arrested in Iran after waving her headscarf from a stick.

Mail Online

Venezuela evangelical candidate pushes Christian values

A Venezuelan evangelical pastor who is running for president is among a series of Protestant candidates who are on the rise in Latin America.


Thu, 22 Feb 2018

Parliamentary inquiry demanded over plans to lift faith-based admissions cap – NSS mentioned

There are calls for a parliamentary inquiry into the education secretary's plans to allow new faith schools to admit 100% of children on the basis of their parents' religion. NSS protesters campaigned on the issue outside Parliament yesterday.

The Independent

Anti-gay evangelical preacher Billy Graham dies

The anti-gay evangelical preacher Billy Graham has died, aged 99. Graham was one of the most well-known and powerful US Christian evangelists, fuelling the rise of the evangelical movement.

Pink News

Anglican leaders pay tribute to Billy Graham

Anglican leaders, led by the archbishop of Canterbury, have responded to Graham's death with gushing tributes.

Anglican Communion News Service

Billy Graham had close relationship with the Queen

The Queen, who is also supreme governor of the C of E, would invite Graham to preach whenever he came to visit the UK. She would visit him when travelling in the US. He was knighted in 2001.

The Independent

Halal and kosher slaughter threatens welfare standards, say farmers

Britain's biggest farming body has warned that the rise in religious slaughter risks jeopardising Britain's reputation for high animal welfare standards.

The Times (£)

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