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Fri, 03 Sep 2021

Afghanistan: Taliban let women go back to ‘low-level’ jobs

Afghanistan: Taliban let women go back to ‘low-level’ jobs

Afghans are still waiting to hear from their Taliban rulers what the new government will look like. The group has confirmed that no women would be included in the governing classes, but claimed that they would be able to return to low-level civil service jobs.

The Times*

‘Beaten and humiliated by Hindu mobs for being a Muslim in India’

‘Beaten and humiliated by Hindu mobs for being a Muslim in India’

Unprovoked attacks on Muslims by Hindu mobs have become routine in India, but they seem to evoke little condemnation from the government, says Geeta Pandey.

BBC

Thu, 02 Sep 2021

Over 100 children in Torbay assigned to faith schools – NSS quoted

Over 100 children in Torbay assigned to faith schools – NSS quoted

More than a hundred children in Torbay were assigned to faith schools contrary to their families' top preferences this year, according to new research by the National Secular Society.

Radio Exe

‘Start with our schools to tackle sectarianism’

‘Start with our schools to tackle sectarianism’

Ending denominational education would be a positive step for an increasingly diverse country, says Fiona Rintoul.

The Times*

Preacher convicted of hate crime over homophobic tirade at Speakers’ Corner

Preacher convicted of hate crime over homophobic tirade at Speakers’ Corner

A preacher who subjected a gay man to a barrage of homophobic abuse during a debate at Speakers' Corner has been convicted of a hate crime.

Evening Standard

Survivors criticise Jehovah's Witness elders for failing to act over child sexual abuse claims

Survivors criticise Jehovah's Witness elders for failing to act over child sexual abuse claims

Several abuse victims claim there is a culture within the Jehovah's Witnesses that fails those looking for help and puts others at risk.

Radio Exe

Religious brother ‘gave pupil painful electric shocks’ at school

Religious brother ‘gave pupil painful electric shocks’ at school

A man told a court how he was subjected to painful electric shocks as a child by a brother from a religious order at a residential school.

The Times*

Abortion chief defends Nottingham priest

Abortion chief defends Nottingham priest

The former head of the UK's largest private abortion provider has come to the defence of a Catholic university chaplain "cancelled" for expressing his anti-abortion opinions.

Catholic Herald

Online Safety Bill gives legal basis for censorship of LGBT people, Stephen Fry and campaigners warn

Online Safety Bill gives legal basis for censorship of LGBT people, Stephen Fry and campaigners warn

Stephen Fry has led warnings that a proposed law to tackle "harmful content" online could curb the free speech of LGBT people and other marginalised groups.

iNews

Texas abortion law: Supreme Court votes not to block ban

Texas abortion law: Supreme Court votes not to block ban

The so-called Heartbeat Act bans terminations after the detection of what anti-abortion campaigners call a foetal heartbeat - a point when many women do not know they are pregnant.

BBC

‘India’s closet Taliban are crawling out of woodwork after the fall of Kabul’

‘India’s closet Taliban are crawling out of woodwork after the fall of Kabul’

The Taliban have suddenly turned into freedom fighters, liberated educationists, and "legitimate stakeholders" for a section of Indian Muslims, says Abhijit Majumder.

Firstpost

‘Is Nepal’s secularism under threat?’

‘Is Nepal’s secularism under threat?’

Growing calls for a Hindu state underline popular dissatisfaction with Nepal's long stretch of political instability, says Kamal Dev Bhattarai.

The Diplomat

Wed, 01 Sep 2021

Reporting Jewish sex abuser ‘is sin’, says ultra-Orthodox leader

Reporting Jewish sex abuser ‘is sin’, says ultra-Orthodox leader

Child abusers from a British religious community should not be reported to the police, one of its leaders has argued.

The Times*

Catholic Seaview Primary School reopens with integrated status

Catholic Seaview Primary School reopens with integrated status

The first Catholic school in Northern Ireland to formally change its status to integrated is to open its doors for pupils.

BBC

Afghan refugees: Those who worked for UK can stay permanently

Afghan refugees: Those who worked for UK can stay permanently

Afghans who worked for the British military and UK government will be able to move to the UK permanently, the Home Office has announced.

BBC

Man harassed ex-wife with biblical messages after coming under influence of 'extreme Christian group'

Man harassed ex-wife with biblical messages after coming under influence of 'extreme Christian group'

A man bombarded his ex-wife with messages about marriage and adultery after falling under the influence of "extreme" American Christians, a court has heard.

Wales Online

‘Why new petition on Witchcraft Act is being presented to Scottish Parliament’

‘Why new petition on Witchcraft Act is being presented to Scottish Parliament’

A petition is being presented today at 10am to the Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee of the Scottish Parliament, seeking a pardon for all those convicted in Scotland under the infamous Witchcraft Act between 1563 and 1736.

The National*

‘Discomfort is not grounds to prosecute football fans’

‘Discomfort is not grounds to prosecute football fans’

The Famine Song is offensive — that is the point of it — but that does not make it criminal, says Alex Massie.

The Times*

‘Sacramental preparation should not be a school responsibility’

‘Sacramental preparation should not be a school responsibility’

As a result of school closures in Ireland, specific educational recovery procedures will need to be implemented, and the removal of sacramental preparation from the school timetable would be a good place to start, a teacher writes.

The Irish Times*

Finland to consider conversion therapy ban after overwhelming public demand

Finland to consider conversion therapy ban after overwhelming public demand

The parliament of Finland will consider a total ban on conversion therapy, after an overwhelming number of Finns signed a citizens' initiative.

Pink News

Saudi Arabia bans 'extremist books' and missionary activities in mosques

Saudi Arabia bans 'extremist books' and missionary activities in mosques

Saudi authorities have ordered mosques to remove "extremist" literature from libraries and end preaching to non-Muslims without permission, according to reports on Tuesday.

The New Arab

Study reveals how LGBTQ+ acceptance differs across the world in 2021

Study reveals how LGBTQ+ acceptance differs across the world in 2021

A new study has revealed how supportive Britons would be of a family member coming out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

Gay Times

Tue, 31 Aug 2021

Council safeguarding chief refers mosque boss 'Taliban' post to Charity Commission

Council safeguarding chief refers mosque boss 'Taliban' post to Charity Commission

A social media post by the manager of a city mosque which appears to praise the Taliban's leaders in prayer after taking Kabul is to be investigated by the Charity Commission.

Birmingham Live

Faith school flouted coronavirus rules with Hampstead Heath BBQ

Faith school flouted coronavirus rules with Hampstead Heath BBQ

A private Jewish school disregarded Covid-19 restrictions and took pupils for a barbecue on Hampstead Heath during the third national lockdown.

Evening Standard

Anti-abortion priest not recognised as official chaplain by university

Anti-abortion priest not recognised as official chaplain by university

A priest has been blocked from becoming a university chaplain after refusing to moderate his language around abortion and assisted dying.

The Times*

Humza Yousaf accused of fuelling anti-Hindu tensions in racism row over nursery place for daughter

Humza Yousaf accused of fuelling anti-Hindu tensions in racism row over nursery place for daughter

Scotland's Health Secretary Humza Yousaf has been accused of stoking up anti-Hindu tensions in the racism row over a nursery place for his daughter.

Daily Record

'Arrests expected' over anti-Catholic singing by group of Rangers fans

'Arrests expected' over anti-Catholic singing by group of Rangers fans

Police say they expect to make arrests after footage emerged appearing to show Rangers supporters singing a sectarian song before Sunday's Old Firm game.

BBC

‘The Jewish divorce controversy explained’

‘The Jewish divorce controversy explained’

When the government agreed to recognise get refusal as a form of domestic abuse, it was welcomed in the Jewish community as an important step that could help free 'chained wives' trapped in a dead marriage. But nothing is quite that simple, says Simon Rocker.

The Jewish Chronicle

Taliban vows to purge education system of anything ‘against Islam’ as Afghan folk singer shot dead

Taliban vows to purge education system of anything ‘against Islam’ as Afghan folk singer shot dead

The Taliban is planning to purge Afghanistan's education system of all elements that are "against Islam", according to an official, as activists and campaigners warn of a return to authoritarian rule in the country.

The Independent

Gay man in Kabul 'raped and beaten' by Taliban after being tricked into meeting

Gay man in Kabul 'raped and beaten' by Taliban after being tricked into meeting

Hanan, a gay man terrified since the Taliban took control of the country, had been promised a safe way out of the country. He was deceived - two members of the Taliban met him and carried out their brutal attack.

ITV

‘Afghanistan's Uyghurs fear the Taliban, and now China too’

‘Afghanistan's Uyghurs fear the Taliban, and now China too’

Like other Afghans, the Uyghurs fear a worse existence under the Taliban. But they also fear something else: greater influence for China.

BBC

‘This is how theocracy shrivels’

‘This is how theocracy shrivels’

If extremists thought they could mobilise Muslim opinion through acts of clarifying violence, they have failed, says David Brooks.

The New York Times*

Texas churches can’t be forced to close — ever — under new law

Texas churches can’t be forced to close — ever — under new law

House Bill 1239, also called the Freedom To Worship Act, was passed during this year's Legislative Session. The bill states that the government can't tell religious outlets to close for any reason, even during a pandemic.

Houston Public Media

‘Public spending on religious expenditure violates Constitutional principle of secularism’

‘Public spending on religious expenditure violates Constitutional principle of secularism’

As India undergoes a crisis of sort relating to its secular identity, it must seek inspiration from the French model of secularism and cease using public money for religious purposes in order to comply with Article 27 of the Indian Constitution, writes Rashmi Singh.

The Leaflet

Fri, 27 Aug 2021

More than 300 Bradford children to attend faith schools against wishes – NSS quoted

More than 300 Bradford children to attend faith schools against wishes – NSS quoted

More than 300 children in Bradford have been given places at state faith schools against their families' wishes, according to new figures.

The Telegraph & Argus

More than 200 Redbridge pupils offered faith schools against top preference – NSS quoted

More than 200 Redbridge pupils offered faith schools against top preference – NSS quoted

Research by the National Secular Society found that 235 children in the borough will go to faith schools, despite their parents having listed a non-faith option as their top preference.

Ilford Recorder

Gay man who fled Afghanistan aged 10 told by Home Office he could be sent back

Gay man who fled Afghanistan aged 10 told by Home Office he could be sent back

A gay man has been told by the Home Office he could be removed to Afghanistan.

Pink News

LGBT Afghans hide from the Taliban in Kabul: ‘I don’t want them to kill me like they killed my boyfriend’

LGBT Afghans hide from the Taliban in Kabul: ‘I don’t want them to kill me like they killed my boyfriend’

Two gay people in Afghanistan explain in depth why they fear for their lives under their new rulers and are desperately trying to flee abroad.

iNews

Same-sex couples could have marriages blessed by Church in Wales

Same-sex couples could have marriages blessed by Church in Wales

The Church in Wales is set to vote next month on whether same-sex couples should receive blessings for the first time.

Pink News

‘Britain’s problem with illegal Islamic private schools’

‘Britain’s problem with illegal Islamic private schools’

While some in Britain are understandably anxious about the Taliban's rapid takeover of Afghanistan and the prospect of the Central Asian country becoming an international jihadist training ground, long-standing domestic problems concerning religious radicalism continue to persist. The issue of unregistered private schools in British Muslim communities is one of them, says Rakib Ehsan.

The Spectator*

Taliban to ban on music and women out alone

Taliban to ban on music and women out alone

The Taliban will ban music in Afghanistan and require women to travel with a male chaperone, despite claims the group will be more liberal than the brutal regime of 20 years ago.

The Times*

Christian couple’s acquittal sparks calls for beheadings

Christian couple’s acquittal sparks calls for beheadings

After a Pakistani court overturned the blasphemy conviction of a Christian couple on June 3, Islamic extremists called for the pair, an attorney and two judges to be beheaded.

The Alabama Baptist

US: Students stage walk-out at faith school after gay coach ‘forced to quit’

US: Students stage walk-out at faith school after gay coach ‘forced to quit’

Students have staged a walk-out at a Christian school in Colorado after a gay volleyball coach accused the school of forcing him out of his job.

QNews

'Texas has cleared a path to the end of Roe v. Wade’

'Texas has cleared a path to the end of Roe v. Wade’

A major confrontation on the abortion battlefield looms this autumn, when the Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments on whether Mississippi can ban abortion after 15 weeks.

The New York Times*

Thu, 26 Aug 2021

Legal fight launched over merger of faith school and community school

Legal fight launched over merger of faith school and community school

A legal case has been launched regarding the merging of Swanmead Community School, a non-faith school, with Greenfylde Church of England First School to create a split-site Church of England primary school. The case contends the merger of Swanmead and Greenfylde discriminates against those with no religious beliefs.

Somerset Live

Church of England 'regret' over suicide of falsely accused priest

Church of England 'regret' over suicide of falsely accused priest

The Church of England has expressed "deep regret and sorrow" over a mishandled inquiry into a priest who killed himself after false child abuse allegations.

BBC

UK could criminalise entering Afghanistan amid fears of Britons joining Islamist terror networks

UK could criminalise entering Afghanistan amid fears of Britons joining Islamist terror networks

Afghanistan could be blacklisted under new proposals, which would allow UK authorities to jail people for 10 years for visiting the country.

The Telegraph*

Police warning after city mosque manager sparks fury over Taliban prayers Facebook post

Police warning after city mosque manager sparks fury over Taliban prayers Facebook post

Police have quizzed the manager of one of Birmingham's biggest mosques after he posted a Facebook message appearing to praise Taliban leaders in prayer during the capture of Kabul.

Birmingham Mail

‘My husband refused a divorce for nine years’

‘My husband refused a divorce for nine years’

Rifka Meyer was 32 when she entered into a religious marriage. Two-and-a-half years later, she became what is known among orthodox Jews as a "chained wife" - trapped in a religious marriage with a man who refused to let her have a divorce.

BBC

Afghanistan: Taliban tell working women to stay at home

Afghanistan: Taliban tell working women to stay at home

Working women in Afghanistan must stay at home until proper systems are in place to ensure their safety, a Taliban spokesman has told reporters.

BBC

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