Tue, 01 Sep 2020

Hate crime law ‘could silence religion’

Hate crime law ‘could silence religion’

An atheist has pledged to use hate crime legislation being proposed for Scotland to close down organised religion and silence "Holy Willies".

The Times (£)

Five years on, France to try suspects in Charlie Hebdo killings

Five years on, France to try suspects in Charlie Hebdo killings

Fourteen suspected accomplices to the French Islamist militants behind the 2015 attacks on the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine and a Jewish supermarket in Paris will go on trial on Wednesday.

Reuters

'Is France turning its back on blasphemy?'

'Is France turning its back on blasphemy?'

A deep-rooted tradition of unapologetically poking fun at men and gods alike may be in peril five years after the deadly jihadist attacks on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, observers say.

France24

Violence erupts in Swedish town of Malmo after anti-Islam actions, police say

Violence erupts in Swedish town of Malmo after anti-Islam actions, police say

A riot broke out on Friday in the southern Swedish town of Malmo, where at least 300 people had gathered to protest against anti-Islam activities, police said.

Reuters

Norway: Clashes break out at anti-Islam rally

Norway: Clashes break out at anti-Islam rally

Tensions in the Norwegian capital came to a head when an anti-Islam protester ripped pages from the Quran.

Deutsche Welle

Berlin headscarf ban is illegal, court rules

Berlin headscarf ban is illegal, court rules

A German court ruled that a ban on teachers wearing headscarves in schools in Berlin is unconstitutional.

Politico

Lebanon president calls for proclamation of 'secular state'

Lebanon president calls for proclamation of 'secular state'

Lebanon's President Michel Aoun called Sunday for the proclamation of a "secular state" during a televised address to mark the upcoming centenary of the Lebanese state.

France 24

New Zealand: Bible studies case dropped, as 'opt-in clause' added to law

New Zealand: Bible studies case dropped, as 'opt-in clause' added to law

A long-running court battle over Bible studies being allowed in state schools has been dropped after a "opt-in" clause was added to the Education and Training Act 2020.

Stuff

Nigeria: Governor accepts death penalty on singer for 'blasphemy'

Nigeria: Governor accepts death penalty on singer for 'blasphemy'

The Governor of Kano State has accepted the death penalty on singer Yahaya Sharif. Sharif was convicted by a sharia court for insulting the Islamic prophet Muhammed in a song he shared on WhatsApp.

International Centre for Investigative Reporting

'Religious orthodoxy is rooted in fear of women'

'Religious orthodoxy is rooted in fear of women'

We should salute and support those brave women who refuse to accept the outdated prejudices within their own faiths, says Libby Purves.

The Times (£)

Fri, 28 Aug 2020

Commission launches inquiry into church in 'coronavirus cleansing kits' case - NSS mentioned

Commission launches inquiry into church in 'coronavirus cleansing kits' case - NSS mentioned

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into a charity that promoted fake coronavirus protection kits. In April, the regulator said it had opened a compliance case into The Kingdom Church GB, which runs a church in south London, after the National Secular Society said the charity had been advertising false coronavirus cleansing products made of oil and string.

Third Sector

Call for parliament to review assisted dying law in England and Wales

Call for parliament to review assisted dying law in England and Wales

Relatives of people who have brought legal cases on assisted dying are for the first time making a joint appeal for an inquiry into the current law in England and Wales, saying there is an overwhelming case for change.

The Guardian

Harrow East MP backs Denham Hindu temple crematorium plans

Harrow East MP backs Denham Hindu temple crematorium plans

Bob Blackman MP has lent his support to plans for a crematorium attached to a Hindu temple, despite concerns around the impact it will have on green belt land.

This Is Local London

Vatican concludes review into Ampleforth Abbey

Vatican concludes review into Ampleforth Abbey

The Vatican has concluded that Fr Cuthbert Madden, who stepped aside as Abbot in 2016 during an investigation into alleged sexual misconduct, should not return to Ampleforth Abbey.

The Tablet

Germany: Over 1,400 youths accuse Catholic religious orders of sexual abuse

Germany: Over 1,400 youths accuse Catholic religious orders of sexual abuse

Hundreds of monks, nuns, and other members of Catholic religious orders in Germany have been accused of sexually abusing children and teenagers.

Deutsche Welle

Australian Capital Territory bans ‘conversion therapy’, including by religious groups

Australian Capital Territory bans ‘conversion therapy’, including by religious groups

The law bans anyone from attempting a 'treatment' or practice to change another person's sexuality or gender identity.

Gay Star News

New Zealand: Parents circumcise own son due to unavailability of mohel

New Zealand: Parents circumcise own son due to unavailability of mohel

Jewish parents in New Zealand decided to circumcise their newborn son five months after his birth, as coronavirus regulations made finding a professional circumciser impossible.

The Jerusalem Post

'Is coronavirus a reason to skip circumcision?'

'Is coronavirus a reason to skip circumcision?'

"My husband and I are both proud Jews, but we didn't circumcise our son. We refused to subject him to what we believe is a traumatic and hurtful practice."

Forward

China secretly built hundreds of prison camps to hold minority Muslims, says report

China secretly built hundreds of prison camps to hold minority Muslims, says report

China has secretly constructed new prisons and internment camps over the past several years as the Communist Party-ruled country ramps up its mass detention campaign against Muslim minorities, according to a report on Thursday.

New York Post

'Uyghur Muslims need our help'

'Uyghur Muslims need our help'

Anyone who believes in universal human rights has a moral duty to defend the Uyghur Muslims, says Khadija Khan.

Sister-hood

Brazil: Catholic priest under investigation over accusations pilgrim donations were misused

Brazil: Catholic priest under investigation over accusations pilgrim donations were misused

A popular priest is being investigated by prosecutors over accusations he diverted donations at Brazil's third largest pilgrimage site into real estate investments, including a ranch and a luxury beach house, authorities said.

Reuters

Islamic State ramping up attacks in Iraq and Syria, says UN counter-terror chief

Islamic State ramping up attacks in Iraq and Syria, says UN counter-terror chief

The Islamic State terror group is reorganising and ramping up its guerrilla-style attacks in Syria and Iraq, the United Nations' counter-terrorism chief has warned, adding that the crisis unleashed by coronavirus could make it easier to recruit a new generation of jihadists.

The Telegraph

Thu, 27 Aug 2020

Christchurch mosque attack: Brenton Tarrant sentenced to life without parole

Christchurch mosque attack: Brenton Tarrant sentenced to life without parole

A New Zealand court has sentenced a man who killed 51 people at two mosques to life in prison without parole, the first person in the country's history to receive this sentence.

BBC

Attacks on places of worship occur 'every three days' in Northern Ireland

Attacks on places of worship occur 'every three days' in Northern Ireland

There have been more than 600 attacks on places of worship in Northern Ireland in the last five years, prompting renewed calls for action to protect churches and other religious buildings.

ITV

UK supreme court ruling clears way for 'Isis Beatles' to be tried in US

UK supreme court ruling clears way for 'Isis Beatles' to be tried in US

A US trial of two members of Islamic State accused of taking part in the beheading of hostages appears likely to go ahead, following a legal ruling that allows the UK to share evidence with US prosecutors.

The Guardian

Rishi Sunak and archbishop drawn into Yorkshire dales housing row

Rishi Sunak and archbishop drawn into Yorkshire dales housing row

A plan to convert a former church school in the Yorkshire dales into affordable housing has been scuppered by a legal requirement to accept the highest bid for the property in a row that has drawn in the chancellor of the exchequer and the archbishop of Canterbury.

The Guardian

Labour party defends use of 'Catholic data' in Scottish poll predictions

Labour party defends use of 'Catholic data' in Scottish poll predictions

The Labour party has defended its use of Catholic data in determining its likelihood of election success in Scotland.

Herald Scotland

US rejects UN rights panel upholding access to abortions during pandemic

US rejects UN rights panel upholding access to abortions during pandemic

The United States on Wednesday hit back at a UN women's rights panel that said some US states limited access to abortions during the COVID-19 pandemic, rejecting its interference and the notion of "an assumed right to abortion".

Reuters

Biden campaign calls China's treatment of Uighur Muslims 'genocide' and pressures Trump to 'take action'

Biden campaign calls China's treatment of Uighur Muslims 'genocide' and pressures Trump to 'take action'

The campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is labelling China's treatment of the Uighurs "genocide" and calling on Donald Trump to take action.

The Independent

'How China uses Muslim press trips to counter claims of Uighur abuse'

'How China uses Muslim press trips to counter claims of Uighur abuse'

Heavily supervised visits to indoctrination centres present reporters with smiling inmates and tales of cultural acceptance.

The Guardian

Kenya condemns women to 'death by unsafe abortion', campaigners warn

Kenya condemns women to 'death by unsafe abortion', campaigners warn

Evelyne Opondo of the Centre for Reproductive Rights said widespread conservative attitudes stigmatising abortion had driven women and girls to unregulated clinics run by untrained medical practitioners.

Reuters

'A case against blasphemy laws in Nigeria'

'A case against blasphemy laws in Nigeria'

'Blasphemy' laws make a mockery of the justice system in Nigeria because laws are there to protect individuals, and not to protect ideologies, beliefs or dogma, says Leo Igwe.

Sahara Reporters

Wed, 26 Aug 2020

Labour fails to explain why it used 'Catholic data' for Scottish poll predictions

Labour fails to explain why it used 'Catholic data' for Scottish poll predictions

The Labour party has refused to explain why it used data on Catholics in Scotland to predict whether they would win seats in the General Election.

Herald Scotland

Woman sues EasyJet after 'staff forced her to give up seat for ultra-religious men'

Woman sues EasyJet after 'staff forced her to give up seat for ultra-religious men'

A British-Israeli citizen claims she was asked to change seats on two separate flights because ultra-Orthodox Haredi Jewish men wouldn't sit next to her.

Daily Star

New crematorium at Hindu temple is ‘inappropriate’ near Green Belt

New crematorium at Hindu temple is ‘inappropriate’ near Green Belt

A Hindu temple with designs for a new crematorium is challenging the impact it will have on the Green Belt by addressing the lack of capacity for funerals currently available to its community.

Bucks Free Press

Ireland: Rights watchdog urges further action on women’s rights

Ireland: Rights watchdog urges further action on women’s rights

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has told the UN that Ireland has not done enough to discharge its human rights obligations in relation to the situation of women and children who were institutionalised in Magdalene laundries and those subjected to symphysiotomy.

Irish Legal News

Atheist arrested in Nigeria for blasphemy hasn’t been seen since

Atheist arrested in Nigeria for blasphemy hasn’t been seen since

Mubarak Bala, head of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, was seized by the police and has disappeared in custody. Other Nigerian nonbelievers fear more detentions are coming.

The New York Times

Bangladeshi blogger faces death threats for criticising Islamic fundamentalism

Bangladeshi blogger faces death threats for criticising Islamic fundamentalism

Rights groups are urging Bangladeshi authorities to withdraw all charges against blogger Asad Noor, restore his passport and end harassment of his family members.

Deutsche Welle

Kentucky lawmakers resume push to curb 'conversion therapy'

Kentucky lawmakers resume push to curb 'conversion therapy'

Opponents of "conversion therapy" presented their case Tuesday to shield Kentucky youngsters from a practice that attempts to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity.

MSN News

Iranian artists jailed for defying government restrictions on women singing and dancing

Iranian artists jailed for defying government restrictions on women singing and dancing

According to Iran's Islamic penal code, singing and dancing are not illegal but a person can be prosecuted if authorities deem their acts "indecent" or "immoral".

ABC News

Kuwait relaxes book censorship laws after banning thousands of titles

Kuwait relaxes book censorship laws after banning thousands of titles

All books published in the country had to receive prior approval before they could be released, with offences ranging from insulting Islam to "inciting unrest" and committing "immoral" acts.

MSN News

'Why freedom of religion will likely not trump public health interests with a future COVID-19 vaccine'

'Why freedom of religion will likely not trump public health interests with a future COVID-19 vaccine'

Freedom of religion is a fundamental human right, provided for under the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. However, this freedom is not unlimited, says Renae Barker.

The Conversation

Tue, 25 Aug 2020

Assisted dying could be legalised in the UK within four years, leading MP predicts

Assisted dying could be legalised in the UK within four years, leading MP predicts

Andrew Mitchell believes there is growing support among MPs for a change in the law that would give choice to people who are nearing the end of their lives.

Yorkshire Coast Radio

British Islamic State twin sister alive with young son in Syrian detention camp

British Islamic State twin sister alive with young son in Syrian detention camp

A woman from Manchester who joined Islamic State as a teenager alongside her twin sister is alive and being held with her young son in a controversial camp run by Syrian Kurdish forces, sources in north-east Syria have confirmed.

The Telegraph

Muslim group appeals after council refused plans to expand mosque in semi-detached house

Muslim group appeals after council refused plans to expand mosque in semi-detached house

The Boulevard Community has lodged an appeal after expansion plans were knocked back because of the impact they could have on local residents due to noise and parking issues.

Lancashire Post

'A confusing question in census'

'A confusing question in census'

The census will ask "What is your religion?" This is clearly open to misinterpretation, says Paul Kaufman.

Barking and Dagenham Post

Australia: New push to scrap scripture lessons from public schools because they 'interrupt learning'

Australia: New push to scrap scripture lessons from public schools because they 'interrupt learning'

The New South Wales Teachers Federation is leading a campaign to scrap the weekly 30 to 60 minute studies, particularly throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Mail Online

Rohingya politicians excluded from Myanmar election

Rohingya politicians excluded from Myanmar election

Rasheed is among at least a dozen Myanmar citizens from the Rohingya Muslim minority who have applied to be candidates in the Nov. 8 general election. Six of them have been rejected after officials said they failed to prove their parents were citizens at the time of their birth, a requirement under the election law.

Reuters

Kanye West slammed for 'making a mockery' of Islam for naming trainers after Islamic angels

Kanye West slammed for 'making a mockery' of Islam for naming trainers after Islamic angels

Social media users have called them 'insulting' and demanded an apology.

Mail Online

'Joe Biden’s acceptance speech caps off an unusually faith-filled Democratic National Convention'

'Joe Biden’s acceptance speech caps off an unusually faith-filled Democratic National Convention'

'While Biden's faith mentions were uncharacteristically minimal, the convention itself was unusually spiritual.'

Religion News Service

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