Mon, 20 May 2019

Protestors 'pelted with eggs' as they put up 'love is the answer' signs at school affected by protests in Birmingham

Protestors 'pelted with eggs' as they put up 'love is the answer' signs at school affected by protests in Birmingham

A group of mostly female LGBT activists putting up messages and banners in support of under-fire staff at a school in Birmingham last night were confronted and some were allegedly egged.

Birmingham Live

Thousands rally in Belfast in support of same-sex marriage rights

Thousands rally in Belfast in support of same-sex marriage rights

Thousands of people marched through Belfast on Saturday to demand the recognition of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland, the only region of the UK where it does not have legal status.

Reuters

‘Islam can’t be the only faith above criticism’

‘Islam can’t be the only faith above criticism’

Matthew Parris says politicians are in danger of creating a new era of blasphemy laws while rightly trying to protect Muslims from hatred.

The Times (£)

Ofsted queries independent Jewish school that does not want to teach evolution

Ofsted queries independent Jewish school that does not want to teach evolution

Ofsted has declined to endorse the expansion of an independent Charedi Jewish girls' school in the London borough of Hackney, which is proposing to omit the study of evolution.

The JC

Midlands GP investigated after 'asking Muslim mum to remove niqab' during child’s appointment

Midlands GP investigated after 'asking Muslim mum to remove niqab' during child’s appointment

A GP in the Midlands is being investigated by the General Medical Council after asking a Muslim mum to take off her niqab during an appointment.

Birmingham Live

Parents angry after six-year-old girl wears ceremonial Sikh sword to school in South Yorkshire

Parents angry after six-year-old girl wears ceremonial Sikh sword to school in South Yorkshire

A headteacher banned a six-year-old girl found carrying a ceremonial religious sword from bringing it to school after complaints from parents.

Rotherham Advertiser

Expert calls for clarity in law on assisted dying in Scotland

Expert calls for clarity in law on assisted dying in Scotland

Courts are operating in a "vacuum" of legal guidance over assisted dying and the law needs to be clarified, a legal expert who advised the Scottish parliament on the issue has said.

The Times (£)

German inter-faith scheme criticised for using beermats to explain Islam

German inter-faith scheme criticised for using beermats to explain Islam

Muslim groups have objected to a scheme to promote better understanding of Islam in Germany by using beer mats to provide information.

The Telegraph

‘Trump is not a defender of religious liberty but a threat to it’

‘Trump is not a defender of religious liberty but a threat to it’

Ed Kilgore says President Trump represents a threat to America's great tradition of religious pluralism.

New York Magazine

Hundreds protest against Alabama abortion ban

Hundreds protest against Alabama abortion ban

Hundreds of demonstrators marched to the Alabama Capitol on Sunday to protest the US state's newly approved abortion ban, chanting "my body, my choice!" and "vote them out!"

NBC News

‘What actually happens when a country bans abortion’

‘What actually happens when a country bans abortion’

Amy Mackinnon says Romania under Ceausescu created a dystopian horror of overcrowded, filthy orphanages, and thousands died from back-alley abortions.

Foreign Policy

Fri, 17 May 2019

Protests against LGBT-inclusive lessons spread nationwide

Protests against LGBT-inclusive lessons spread nationwide

Schools across England have received letters opposing the teaching of relationships and sex education and LGBT equality.

BBC

‘Silencing criticism of Islam isn’t the way to tackle anti-Muslim hate’ – by NSS chief executive

‘Silencing criticism of Islam isn’t the way to tackle anti-Muslim hate’ – by NSS chief executive

NSS CEO Stephen Evans says the government and civil society have a role to play in challenging hatred directed at Muslims and others because of their faith. But efforts to silence criticism of Islam will only be counterproductive.

Premier Christianity

MPs criticise plans for official definition of Islamophobia

MPs criticise plans for official definition of Islamophobia

England's first Muslim MP was among those who yesterday said the government was right to refuse to enshrine a definition of Islamophobia in law.

Mail Online

Private faith school in south London slammed for illegally segregating boys and girls – NSS quoted

Private faith school in south London slammed for illegally segregating boys and girls – NSS quoted

School inspectors have heavily criticised an independent faith school in the Tooting area of south London for keeping boys and girls illegally segregated.

MyLondon

Bishop of Lincoln suspended from office over safeguarding inquiry

Bishop of Lincoln suspended from office over safeguarding inquiry

The bishop of Lincoln, Christopher Lowson, has been suspended in relation to an inquiry over safeguarding children.

BBC

Home Office asks clergy for help with asylum cases

Home Office asks clergy for help with asylum cases

Clergy have been drafted in to teach religious literacy to Home Office case workers tasked with deciding on asylum claims that involve religious conversion and persecution.

Church Times

Pupils at Jewish school still not being ‘fully prepared for life in modern Britain’ several months after issue highlighted, says Ofsted

Pupils at Jewish school still not being ‘fully prepared for life in modern Britain’ several months after issue highlighted, says Ofsted

Pupils at a Jewish school in Greater Manchester are still not being 'fully prepared for life in modern Britain', several months after it was first identified as an issue, Ofsted has said.

Manchester Evening News

Plan to boost religious lobby in Brussels revealed

Plan to boost religious lobby in Brussels revealed

A leaked report has revealed a plan to boost the religious lobby in the European Parliament.

openDemocracy

Rugby Australia sacks player for social media post warning “hell awaits” gay people, atheists and others

Rugby Australia sacks player for social media post warning “hell awaits” gay people, atheists and others

Israel Folau's contract has been terminated by Rugby Australia after he said "hell awaits" gay people, atheists and others in a social media post.

BBC

Taiwan’s parliament legalises same-sex marriage

Taiwan’s parliament legalises same-sex marriage

Taiwan's parliament has become the first in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage following a vote on Friday.

BBC

Austria votes to ban girls from wearing religious headscarves to primary school

Austria votes to ban girls from wearing religious headscarves to primary school

The Austrian parliament has approved a new law that prohibits any "ideologically or religiously influenced clothing which is associated with the covering of the head" in the nation's primary schools.

The Telegraph

‘The Tories are right to reject the flawed definition of “Islamophobia”’

‘The Tories are right to reject the flawed definition of “Islamophobia”’

Ed Husain says to surrender to the grievances and victimhood collectivism of Muslim activists is to do a disservice to Britain, liberty and ordinary Muslims.

The Spectator

Thu, 16 May 2019

Government set to reject calls to adopt official definition of Islamophobia – NSS quoted

Government set to reject calls to adopt official definition of Islamophobia – NSS quoted

The government is set to reject calls to adopt a proposed definition of 'Islamophobia'.

Mirror

Government rejects official definition of Islamophobia after experts warned it could be a 'backdoor blasphemy law'

Government rejects official definition of Islamophobia after experts warned it could be a 'backdoor blasphemy law'

Proposals for an official definition of Islamophobia were rejected by the government yesterday. More than 40 campaigners and public figures, including the NSS, wrote to the home secretary yesterday to say the definition could be a 'backdoor blasphemy law' and limit free speech.

Mail Online

Government says no to proposed new Jewish school in Hertfordshire

Government says no to proposed new Jewish school in Hertfordshire

The government has again said no to a new Modern Orthodox Jewish school in south Hertfordshire because the area already has good schooling options.

Jewish News

Abortion law harsher in Northern Ireland than in Alabama, say campaigners

Abortion law harsher in Northern Ireland than in Alabama, say campaigners

Pro-choice campaigners in Northern Ireland say anti-abortion laws are stricter than the legislation Republican senators have introduced in the southern US state of Alabama.

The Guardian

‘The parents who say their kids are being “indoctrinated” by UK schools’

‘The parents who say their kids are being “indoctrinated” by UK schools’

Parents have been demonstrating for weeks outside their children's primary schools in Birmingham because they're unhappy that children are being taught that it is okay to be gay. Becky Johnson meets people on either side of the debate.

Sky News

‘Anti-vaxxer fanatics are putting progress at risk’

‘Anti-vaxxer fanatics are putting progress at risk’

David Aaronovitch says campaigns against vaccinations and abortion are linked by a toxic blend of misplaced religious faith and rejection of modern science and medicine.

The Times (£)

‘We must have the right to mock Muslimness’

‘We must have the right to mock Muslimness’

Brendan O'Neill says a proposed new definition of 'Islamophobia' would severely curtail public debate.

Spiked Online

‘Alabama’s near-complete abortion ban is all about pushing a Christian theocracy’

‘Alabama’s near-complete abortion ban is all about pushing a Christian theocracy’

Heman Mehta says anti-choice advocates are "drunk on God".

The Friendly Atheist (Patheos)

Alabama doctors who perform abortions could face up to 99 years in prison – the same as rapists and murderers

Alabama doctors who perform abortions could face up to 99 years in prison – the same as rapists and murderers

Under an Alabama bill that was just sent to the governor's desk, doctors who perform abortions will be the same in the eyes of the law as rapists and murderers.

CNN

‘Could abortion become illegal in America? All signs point to yes’

‘Could abortion become illegal in America? All signs point to yes’

B Jessie Hill says America is facing a full-frontal attack on Roe v Wade, and there is no guarantee that the supreme court will protect the right to terminate a pregnancy.

The Guardian

Despite measles warnings, US anti-vaccine rally draws hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Jews

Despite measles warnings, US anti-vaccine rally draws hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Jews

A rally near New York City on Monday vividly illustrated how the anti-vaccine fervour is not only enduring, but may be growing.

The New York Times

'Moral panic' over gender identity film sparks backlash in Indonesia

'Moral panic' over gender identity film sparks backlash in Indonesia

The release of an award-winning Indonesian film about a male dancer exploring his sexuality has led to a backlash from religious groups in the south-east Asian country.

The Guardian

Wed, 15 May 2019

Police chief warns adopting official definition of Islamophobia 'could hit terror investigations' – NSS quoted

Police chief warns adopting official definition of Islamophobia 'could hit terror investigations' – NSS quoted

Adopting an official definition of Islamophobia could hinder British counter-terror efforts, a police chief has said.

Mail Online

‘A proposed Islamophobia definition may cause more problems than it solves’

‘A proposed Islamophobia definition may cause more problems than it solves’

This leading article says there are grave free-speech implications in allowing the scholarly or even casual critique of a religion to be defined as bigotry.

The Times (£)

Ofsted backs Charedi Jewish school's expansion despite it not teaching LGBT issues

Ofsted backs Charedi Jewish school's expansion despite it not teaching LGBT issues

The education watchdog Ofsted has recommended that a large Charedi Jewish girls' school in London be allowed to expand despite its refusal to teach about LGBT issues.

The JC

Council to consult over plans to make Flintshire primary school a faith school

Council to consult over plans to make Flintshire primary school a faith school

Local politicians in Flintshire have backed the launch of a consultation over proposals for Lixwm Community Primary School to become a voluntary aided school.

Deeside.com

Gay adoption row magistrate appeals against dismissal

Gay adoption row magistrate appeals against dismissal

A former magistrate who rejected an application from a same-sex couple to adopt a child has appealed against a decision to remove him from the bench.

BBC

Patrick Kielty calls for end to segregated education in Northern Ireland

Patrick Kielty calls for end to segregated education in Northern Ireland

TV personality Patrick Kielty has called for an end to segregation of education along religious lines in Northern Ireland.

The Irish News

Asia Bibi's lawyer to defend couple on death row over blasphemy

Asia Bibi's lawyer to defend couple on death row over blasphemy

The case of a Christian couple on death row in Pakistan after being convicted of blasphemy has reportedly been taken up by the lawyer who defended Asia Bibi.

The Guardian

Alabama passes bill banning abortion

Alabama passes bill banning abortion

Lawmakers in the US state of Alabama have passed a bill to outlaw abortion in almost all cases, the strictest such US law.

BBC

US envoy claims restrictions on ritual slaughter and genital cutting are “forced expulsion” of Jews

US envoy claims restrictions on ritual slaughter and genital cutting are “forced expulsion” of Jews

Elan Carr, the US envoy against antisemitism, has called legislation in some European countries limiting the ritual slaughter of animals and circumcision of boys a "disgraceful forced expulsion" of Jews.

The Jerusalem Post

Pakistan opponents of death row woman's blasphemy acquittal get bail

Pakistan opponents of death row woman's blasphemy acquittal get bail

A Pakistani court has granted bail to the leader of a ultra-right Islamist group arrested last year after his supporters shut down cities and threatened judges following the acquittal of a Christian woman accused of blasphemy.

Reuters

Connecticut mosque fire was intentional, say police

Connecticut mosque fire was intentional, say police

A mosque was set on fire in the US state of Connecticut in what police are investigating as an act of arson.

The Independent

Asylum at last for Humanist who did not know his Plato

Asylum at last for Humanist who did not know his Plato

A Pakistani man who renounced Islam and became a Humanist has been granted asylum in the UK more than a year after he was turned down by officials for knowing too little about ancient Greek philosophers.

The Times (£)

Tue, 14 May 2019

English cathedrals receive £8m funding boost from National Lottery

English cathedrals receive £8m funding boost from National Lottery

Four cathedrals have received cash injections from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Christian Today

‘Churches are open to all. Why aren't faith schools?’

‘Churches are open to all. Why aren't faith schools?’

Irena Barker says the proliferation of exclusive faith schools undermines parental choice.

Tes

Jewish businessman claims divorce ruling traps him in marriage because it contradicts religious law

Jewish businessman claims divorce ruling traps him in marriage because it contradicts religious law

The Family Court has ordered a man to hand over £1.6m to his wife and pay her £1,850 per month in maintenance payments until he grants her a 'get' – a document that officially ends a marriage under Jewish law.

The Telegraph

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