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Mon, 10 May 2021

Gaza reporter says she was beaten for not wearing headscarf

Gaza reporter says she was beaten for not wearing headscarf

A female Palestinian reporter said Thursday that a member of the Hamas-run border patrol in Gaza beat her with a tree branch for not wearing an Islamic headscarf last month, an incident that sparked a public outcry.

The Associated Press

Dozens of schoolgirls die in triple bombings in Afghanistan

Dozens of schoolgirls die in triple bombings in Afghanistan

The Taliban denied responsibility for Saturday's attack at Syed al-Shahda girls' school in Dasht-e-Barchi. It laid the blame with Islamic State.

The Times*

Jerusalem violence: More clashes ahead of nationalist march

Jerusalem violence: More clashes ahead of nationalist march

Fresh clashes have broken out between Israeli police and Palestinians at the Al-Aqsa mosque site in Jerusalem, ahead of a planned Jewish nationalist march.

BBC

Fri, 07 May 2021

‘Faith universities are an anachronism’

‘Faith universities are an anachronism’

Keith Sharpe, chair of the National Secular Society's Secular Education Forum, says churches' grip on former religious teacher training colleges is incompatible with their remit as publicly funded universities.

Times Higher Education*

‘Why I, a Christian, advocate for secularism’ – NSS mentioned

‘Why I, a Christian, advocate for secularism’ – NSS mentioned

Secularism ensures that the state does not interfere in religious affairs, just as religion does not interfere in affairs of the state, says Maria Aguilar.

The Threefold Advocate

Father calls for Muslim parents to withdraw children from school after teacher displayed image of Muhammad

Father calls for Muslim parents to withdraw children from school after teacher displayed image of Muhammad

A father has called for Muslim parents to pull their children out of primary school after a teacher mistakenly displayed an image of Islam's prophet Muhammad during an assembly.

Mail Online

Coroner blasts Jehovah's Witnesses for failing to stop man killing his wife

Coroner blasts Jehovah's Witnesses for failing to stop man killing his wife

A coroner has slammed the lack of action from Jehovah's Witnesses who did not stop a devout follower's frenzied attack on his wife.

Mail Online

'"Religious literacy" rules risk gagging the press'

'"Religious literacy" rules risk gagging the press'

Once religious literacy training and the recommended monitoring of religious belief in the media become compulsory, we are on the way back to the Test Acts says Charles Moore.

The Spectator*

Gay presenter confronts conversion therapy advocate on live TV: ‘Are you homophobic?’

Gay presenter confronts conversion therapy advocate on live TV: ‘Are you homophobic?’

Mike Davidson runs Core Issues Trust, a Northern Irish charity that claims to support "men and women with homosexual issues who voluntarily seek change in sexual preference".

Pink News

‘The silence from powerful British Muslim organisations on Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and others is striking’

‘The silence from powerful British Muslim organisations on Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and others is striking’

Where is their righteous rage over Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Iran's other repressive acts against political opponents and feminists, asks Yasmin Alibhai-Brown.

iNews

Germany’s Catholic churches to bless gay and lesbian couples

Germany’s Catholic churches to bless gay and lesbian couples

Two months after the Vatican declared that it had no authority to bless same-sex couples, Catholic Parishes in Germany are gearing up to bless gay and lesbian couples.

Star Observer

Texas bill that could ban abortions at six weeks nears passage in the Legislature

Texas bill that could ban abortions at six weeks nears passage in the Legislature

Texas lawmakers are poised to enact sweeping restrictions on access to abortions, prohibiting the procedure before many women know they are pregnant, and opening the door for a potential flood of lawsuits against abortion providers.

The Texas Tribune

Biden's proclamation declaring National Day of Prayer omits the word 'God'

Biden's proclamation declaring National Day of Prayer omits the word 'God'

President Joe Biden's proclamation of the annual National Day of Prayer did not include the word 'God', an omission that is drawing criticism from some religious leaders.

Mail Online

Uncertain future for LGBT+ rights in Uganda as controversial bill is passed

Uncertain future for LGBT+ rights in Uganda as controversial bill is passed

The Ugandan Parliament on Monday passed the Sexual Offenses Bill, which contains a clause to criminalise same-sex relationships.

Deutsche Welle

Thu, 06 May 2021

Teachers urged to better protect LGBT+ students

Teachers urged to better protect LGBT+ students

Nearly half of 11- to 18-year olds get little or no positive messaging at school about being LGBT+, poll shows.

TES*

Orthodox Jewish school criticised for not teaching Year 7 pupils about sexual orientation

Orthodox Jewish school criticised for not teaching Year 7 pupils about sexual orientation

One of Stamford Hill's largest Jewish faith schools is still failing to meet official requirements because it will not talk about about LGBT people with older pupils.

The Jewish Chronicle

I was abused and given no help, says man refused religious divorce

I was abused and given no help, says man refused religious divorce

A domestic abuse victim who has been seeking a religious divorce for 18 months has pleaded for the Jewish community to acknowledge and support male 'chained spouses'.

The Jewish Chronicle

Under-18 marriages 'thriving' in UK and should be banned, say charities

Under-18 marriages 'thriving' in UK and should be banned, say charities

Campaigners have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson warning of the "invisible but thriving issue" of marriage by parental consent in the UK.

BBC

Down's syndrome: Abortion case heads to High Court

Down's syndrome: Abortion case heads to High Court

Campaigners are set to have a review of abortion law relating to Down's syndrome heard at the High Court.

BBC

Worshippers ‘pelted with eggs and stones’ in ‘Islamophobic’ attack on east London mosque

Worshippers ‘pelted with eggs and stones’ in ‘Islamophobic’ attack on east London mosque

Detectives said they are investigating a hate crime after the "cowardly" attack on the Ilford Islamic Centre at 11pm on Tuesday.

Evening Standard

Germany outlaws Islamist organisation Ansaar International

Germany outlaws Islamist organisation Ansaar International

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has banned the Düsseldorf-based Islamist association on suspicion of financing terrorist groups abroad such as the Palestinian Hamas and al-Shabab in Somalia.

Deutsche Welle

US: Local lawsuit tests sex discrimination rules for religious institutions

US: Local lawsuit tests sex discrimination rules for religious institutions

Christie Leonard says a Bradenton church fired her because of suspicions that she was a lesbian. Was that against the law?

Sarasota

US: Officials grapple with coronavirus vaccine hesitancy among Latino evangelicals

US: Officials grapple with coronavirus vaccine hesitancy among Latino evangelicals

Long-standing distrust of government among many Latinos is combined with widespread misinformation online and religious worries that the vaccine represents loyalty to God's enemies.

The Washington Post*

Taliban would roll back Afghan women's rights - US intelligence report

Taliban would roll back Afghan women's rights - US intelligence report

The Taliban "would roll back much" of the progress made in Afghan women's rights if the Islamist extremists regain national power, according to an assessment released on Tuesday by top U.S. intelligence analysts.

Reuters

Wed, 05 May 2021

Faith school where pupils confuse English and Yiddish still ‘failing’

Faith school where pupils confuse English and Yiddish still ‘failing’

A Stamford Hill Jewish faith school where pupils could not distinguish between Yiddish and English is still failing key school standards, according to a new report.

Jewish News

Government 'not interested enough' in Batley Grammar School Muhammad row, claims NSS

Government 'not interested enough' in Batley Grammar School Muhammad row, claims NSS

Stephen Evans, chief executive of the NSS, said: "This is a bit of a test case for how these things are handled, that's why it is important."

Yorkshire Live

NI's first integrated Irish language pre-school to open in east Belfast

NI's first integrated Irish language pre-school to open in east Belfast

Northern Ireland's first integrated Irish language pre-school is on its way to opening its doors in September.

ITV News

Andy Burnham co-hosts event with controversial Ramadan Tent despite Starmer pullout

Andy Burnham co-hosts event with controversial Ramadan Tent despite Starmer pullout

The organisation's CEO has backed Cage, whose research director in 2015 hailed a notorious Isis terrorist as a "beautiful young man".

The Jewish Chronicle

‘If mosques don’t give women equal space to pray they should face consequences’

‘If mosques don’t give women equal space to pray they should face consequences’

As religious spaces have reopened with limited capacity this year, many Muslim women who have attempted to pray in mosques have been told there isn't space for women but there is for men, says Mariam Khan.

iNews

Ireland: More couples say 'I do' in civil ceremonies than Catholic Church weddings for first time

Ireland: More couples say 'I do' in civil ceremonies than Catholic Church weddings for first time

Just 35.8% of opposite-sex couples in Ireland opted for a Catholic ceremony last year, compared to 41% who chose a civil ceremony.

Irish Examiner

Judge asked to toss South Carolina religious school money ban

Judge asked to toss South Carolina religious school money ban

Private schools and colleges asked a federal judge Monday to strike down the provision in South Carolina's constitution that bars public money for private and religious schools, saying the 1895 measure is discriminatory.

The Associated Press

Iranian authorities break up mixed-gender party, arrest 16

Iranian authorities break up mixed-gender party, arrest 16

Iranian police arrested 16 men and women at a mixed-gender party in the northeastern province of Khorasan Razavi, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported on Tuesday.

The Associated Press

Dozens killed in suspected jihadist attack in eastern Burkina Faso

Dozens killed in suspected jihadist attack in eastern Burkina Faso

At least 30 people were killed by gunmen in eastern Burkina Faso Monday, according to the government.

France24

‘Why do some Muslim-majority countries support China’s crackdown on Muslims?’

‘Why do some Muslim-majority countries support China’s crackdown on Muslims?’

Western countries have condemned the repression in Xinjiang, but Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt praised China's efforts to restore 'safety and security'.

The Washington Post*

Tue, 04 May 2021

Government has ‘washed its hands’ of teacher who showed Mohammed pictures – NSS quoted

Government has ‘washed its hands’ of teacher who showed Mohammed pictures – NSS quoted

The NSS has raised concerns that the government is leaving those handling an investigation into the Batley Grammar school affair vulnerable to pressure from assertive religious voices.

The Telegraph*

Jewish primary school ‘breached equalities law’ with admissions policy

Jewish primary school ‘breached equalities law’ with admissions policy

A state-funded Orthodox Jewish school breached equalities law by prioritising students whose rabbi could confirm they were "halachically Jewish", a ruling has found.

Jewish News

Boris Johnson seeks tougher treason laws to punish returning Islamic State jihadists

Boris Johnson seeks tougher treason laws to punish returning Islamic State jihadists

Boris Johnson is planning to overhaul Britain's 650-year-old treason laws to make it easier to prosecute jihadists returning from Syria and Iraq.

The Times*

‘Coronavirus: Why some mosques are closed to women during Ramadan’

‘Coronavirus: Why some mosques are closed to women during Ramadan’

Millions of Muslims around the world are currently observing Ramadan. But some mosques in the UK are not allowing women inside to pray. Some say it is time for change.

BBC

‘Section 28 still stops me from coming out at school’

‘Section 28 still stops me from coming out at school’

Although progress has certainly been made since Section 28 was repealed, a more concerted, proactive approach to teaching equality needs to be taken, says Charlie Davies.

TES*

Polish town revokes ‘LGBT-free’ status so it can keep lucrative EU grants

Polish town revokes ‘LGBT-free’ status so it can keep lucrative EU grants

An 'LGBT-free' town in Poland dubbed "Europe's laughing-stock" has withdrawn its official homophobic status after Norway threatened to revoke a multi-million Euro grant.

Pink News

US: More abortion restrictions passed last week compared to any week in last decade

US: More abortion restrictions passed last week compared to any week in last decade

Between Monday and Thursday 28 restrictions were enacted in 7 states, which accounts for 46 percent of all restrictions passed in 2021 so far, according to a new analysis.

The Hill

Momentum grows for closing gaps in US vaccine requirements

Momentum grows for closing gaps in US vaccine requirements

Religious exemptions like the one eliminated by Connecticut's new law are facing particular scrutiny amid fears of new measles outbreaks and concerns the growing number of families claiming religious exemptions for their children are opposed because of scientifically discredited claims about the dangers of vaccines.

The Associated Press

‘Religion both helped and hurt during the pandemic’

‘Religion both helped and hurt during the pandemic’

The entanglement of religion and politics in the United States can help explain why religion was helpful for mental health but arguably harmful for physical health, says Landon Schnabel.

Scientific American

Pakistan decries EU parliament’s move on blasphemy laws

Pakistan decries EU parliament’s move on blasphemy laws

Pakistan on Friday decried a move by the European Parliament, which a day earlier adopted a resolution demanding Islamabad allow freedom for religious minorities and asked the EU to reconsider the South Asian country's preferential trade status.

The Associated Press

Israel asks whether autonomy of the ultra-Orthodox contributed to the deadly stampede

Israel asks whether autonomy of the ultra-Orthodox contributed to the deadly stampede

Israel's ultra-Orthodox Jews exist in a world within the world, citizens of Israel but pledging their allegiance, attention and obedience instead to their rabbis and God.

The Washington Post*

‘Covid must force India to face up to its secret shame’

‘Covid must force India to face up to its secret shame’

Narendra Modi's lack of concern about the spread of Covid-19 is linked to the perceived racial superiority of high-caste Indians who will survive the crisis relatively unscathed, while the poor and low caste are left to fend for themselves with little or no help or medical assistance, says Anish Kapoor.

The Times*

Fri, 30 Apr 2021

Church of England to create Further Education colleges group

Church of England to create Further Education colleges group

In a new report, the Church of England says FE should be "integral" to the church's strategic planning to build a younger and more diverse church at a national and a diocesan level.

TES

Ireland deputy PM: Publicly-funded schools ‘should include LGBTI+ relationships in sex education’

Ireland deputy PM: Publicly-funded schools ‘should include LGBTI+ relationships in sex education’

All publicly funded schools should adhere to government policy by including LGBTI+ relationships in all sex education programmes, Leo Varadkar has said.

Belfast Telegraph

‘Did homophobia lead to Arlene Foster’s downfall?’

‘Did homophobia lead to Arlene Foster’s downfall?’

The DUP is wrong if it thinks an anti-gay leader will win votes, says Stephen Donnan-Dalzell.

The Guardian

Catholic priest charged with sexual offence against teenage boy

Catholic priest charged with sexual offence against teenage boy

A Roman Catholic priest has been charged with sexual offences against a teenage boy that happened more than 30 years ago.

The Argus

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