Tue, 06 Nov 2018

Mosque relocation plan sparks noise concerns in Bradford

Mosque relocation plan sparks noise concerns in Bradford

Concerns have been raised over an application to convert nine apartments in the Manningham area of Bradford into a mosque.

Telegraph & Argus

Facebook shuts down major resource for atheists

Facebook shuts down major resource for atheists

A huge Facebook page for atheists has been shut down and it is unclear why.

Patheos

Argentinian football clubs ask to reschedule cup final away from Jewish sabbath

Argentinian football clubs ask to reschedule cup final away from Jewish sabbath

Presidents of two football clubs in Argentina have asked that a cup final be rescheduled "to respect our Jewish fans".

Jewish News

‘How the Catholic schools sector outplayed Australia’s coalition’

‘How the Catholic schools sector outplayed Australia’s coalition’

Samantha Maiden says Australia's Turnbull government was unprepared for the war that ensued when it announced its new school funding system earlier this year.

The Guardian

Mon, 05 Nov 2018

‘Blasphemer’ pleads for asylum after Imran Khan bars her exit

‘Blasphemer’ pleads for asylum after Imran Khan bars her exit

The husband of Asia Bibi who was acquitted of blasphemy after eight years on death row in Pakistan has begged Britain to give the family asylum after Imran Khan's government moved to stop her leaving.

The Times (£)

'We can’t celebrate Asia Bibi’s acquittal until we know she’s safe' - NSS mentioned

'We can’t celebrate Asia Bibi’s acquittal until we know she’s safe' - NSS mentioned

Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith praises those who have advocated for Asia Bibi, including the National Secular Society.

Catholic Herald

Anglican bishops' 'fury' after BBC axes series on religion

Anglican bishops' 'fury' after BBC axes series on religion

BBC Radio 4 Sunday morning show Something Understood, covering religious and ethical topics, is being dropped.

Mail Online

Pittsburgh synagogue gunman Robert Bower’s links to British far right

Pittsburgh synagogue gunman Robert Bower’s links to British far right

The suspect in the Pittsburgh synagogue killings was in touch with right-wing extremists in Britain.

The Times (£)

Government launches new bid to tackle homophobia in NHS and schools

Government launches new bid to tackle homophobia in NHS and schools

Thousands more teachers will be trained in tackling anti-gay bullying as part of a government bid to eradicate homophobia in schools.

The Independent

'The government’s sex ed overhaul must include LGBT relationships—we’ve been excluded for too long'

'The government’s sex ed overhaul must include LGBT relationships—we’ve been excluded for too long'

'Although it was many years ago—and long before I came out—I can still clearly recall being sat in a classroom for a sex education lesson and thinking something was wrong with me.'

Pink News

'When freedom of expression and religious views clash'

'When freedom of expression and religious views clash'

"One stated rationale for blasphemy offences in the past, and for hate speech laws now, is to limit incitement and to keep the peace. A seminar with 30 self-selecting attendees does not seem a potential mob."

The Guardian

Gandhi scholar quits Indian university after nationalist pressure

Gandhi scholar quits Indian university after nationalist pressure

New institute faced pressure from Hindu nationalists after appointing Ramachandra Guha

The Guardian

Criminal investigation launched into 'antisemitic hate crimes' within Labour Party

Criminal investigation launched into 'antisemitic hate crimes' within Labour Party

Scotland Yard has launched a criminal investigation into allegations of antisemitic hate crimes within the Labour Party.

The Independent

Israeli advert featuring supermodel removing niqab sparks controversy

Israeli advert featuring supermodel removing niqab sparks controversy

Bar Refaeli has come under fire for an advert in which she removes a niqab before a voiceover says: "Freedom is basic".

The Independent

Mother claims doctor botched newborn son’s circumcision

Mother claims doctor botched newborn son’s circumcision

A mother claims that her newborn son's penis was partially amputated and then thrown away during a circumcision gone terribly wrong. It is the doctor's second time to allegedly botch the procedure.

New York Post

Fri, 02 Nov 2018

Ofsted uncovers ‘extremely worrying’ material in unregistered schools

Ofsted uncovers ‘extremely worrying’ material in unregistered schools

Ofsted's inspections of unregistered schools have uncovered material that says women must not refuse sex to their husbands and literature calling for the death of gay people.

Express & Star

Catholic Church must explain its safeguarding structures, inquiry hears

Catholic Church must explain its safeguarding structures, inquiry hears

The Catholic Church must provide a statement to the national inquiry into child sexual abuse as to whether it is sufficiently organised to provide safeguarding for children, abuse lawyers have told a hearing.

The Tablet

Huddersfield grooming gang: four more jailed for abusing girls

Huddersfield grooming gang: four more jailed for abusing girls

Four members of a Huddersfield grooming gang have been jailed for a harrowing campaign of violence and sexual abuse against three vulnerable girls.

The Guardian

Hibs football manager is targeted because he’s a Catholic, says agent

Hibs football manager is targeted because he’s a Catholic, says agent

Neil Lennon, the manager of Hibernian FC who was hit by a coin during a match in Edinburgh on Wednesday, is targeted for abuse and violence partly because he is a Catholic, his agent has said.

The Scottish Sun

‘The last gasp of Northern Ireland’

‘The last gasp of Northern Ireland’

Richard Seymour examines the DUP's motivation for taking a hardline stance on issues including abortion and same-sex marriage.

The New York Times

Pakistan Islamists continue to block roads in protest against acquittal of Christian

Pakistan Islamists continue to block roads in protest against acquittal of Christian

Pakistan's ultra-Islamist party blocked roads in major cities for a third day on Friday in protest against the acquittal of Asia Bibi, who was on death row on a blasphemy charge.

Reuters

‘Asia Bibi’s blasphemy ordeal highlights plight of minorities in Pakistan’

‘Asia Bibi’s blasphemy ordeal highlights plight of minorities in Pakistan’

Asif Shahzad and Kay Johnson say the Asia Bibi case highlights the frequent discrimination and violence suffered by religious minorities in Pakistan.

Reuters

South Korean men can refuse military service on religious grounds, court rules

South Korean men can refuse military service on religious grounds, court rules

South Korea's top court has ruled that South Korean men can legally reject their mandatory military service on conscientious or religious grounds without punishment.

Stars and Stripes

Trump says “nobody has done more for religion than I have”

Trump says “nobody has done more for religion than I have”

US president Donald Trump is supremely confident that evangelical Christians will continue to show up for him during the upcoming midterm elections.

HuffPost

Irish MPs want women to have aborted foetuses buried

Irish MPs want women to have aborted foetuses buried

Women would face prosecution for not having a "burial" after terminating a pregnancy under a proposal backed by nine anti-abortion TDs.

The Times (£)

Aussie politicians hit back at Christian groups wanting to 'legalise bullying'

Aussie politicians hit back at Christian groups wanting to 'legalise bullying'

Pro-LGBT+ rights lawmakers in Australia this week have criticised Christian groups for lobbying to "legalise bullying against LGBTIQ students".

Gay Star News

Netflix shows documentary on marriage equality campaign in Ireland

Netflix shows documentary on marriage equality campaign in Ireland

A documentary on Ireland's marriage equality referendum is being shown on Netflix.

Today FM

Thu, 01 Nov 2018

Hundreds of FGM cases referred to the Met without a single successful prosecution

Hundreds of FGM cases referred to the Met without a single successful prosecution

Just under 750 cases of female genital mutilation were referred to the Met Police over the last five years, though prosecutors are still yet to make a conviction.

ITV

‘Europe has no business upholding blasphemy laws’

‘Europe has no business upholding blasphemy laws’

Matthew Scott says the ECHR has given respectability and encouragement to Islamist bigots, and blasphemy laws should have no place in the 21st century.

The Times (£)

Protestant group banned from marching past one Glasgow Catholic church can parade past another

Protestant group banned from marching past one Glasgow Catholic church can parade past another

A Protestant group is contesting moves to re-route a Remembrance Day parade away from a Glasgow Catholic church amid fears of public disorder.

The Herald

Foreign secretary confirms reports of Chinese mass internment camps for Uighur Muslims

Foreign secretary confirms reports of Chinese mass internment camps for Uighur Muslims

British diplomats who visited Xinjiang have confirmed that reports of mass internment camps for Uighur Muslims were "broadly true", Jeremy Hunt has told parliament.

The Guardian

‘Quashing of Asia Bibi’s blasphemy charge will not end her suffering’

‘Quashing of Asia Bibi’s blasphemy charge will not end her suffering’

Harriet Sherwood says the Pakistani woman who spent eight years in solitary confinement on blasphemy charges faces death threats from fundamentalists upon her release. Those who have helped or defended her are also under threat.

The Guardian

Pakistan’s PM calls for calm after protests over Asia Bibi blasphemy acquittal

Pakistan’s PM calls for calm after protests over Asia Bibi blasphemy acquittal

Pakistan's prime minister Imran Khan has called for calm after club-wielding mobs blocked roads in Pakistan's major cities demanding the public execution of Asia Bibi.

Sky News

Student ban on anti-choice groups at Strathclyde University is dropped

Student ban on anti-choice groups at Strathclyde University is dropped

A ban on anti-abortion groups at a Scottish university has been lifted after a long-running row over freedom of speech on campus.

The Herald

Educate Together to open four new schools in Ireland

Educate Together to open four new schools in Ireland

More than 3,000 secondary school places will be available next year at four new Educate Together schools in Ireland. Educate Together, which promotes schools where children from different backgrounds are taught together regardless of religion, won the NSS's Secularist of the Year prize in 2016.

The Times (£)

‘A climate of hate leads only one way’

‘A climate of hate leads only one way’

This editorial responds to the Pittsburgh synagogue shootings. It says President Trump has fed the hatred that is now the undercurrent of US politics and Jew hatred feeds a climate in which violent anti-semites act.

The JC

‘White Evangelicals are the sleeping giant of the 2018 US midterms’

‘White Evangelicals are the sleeping giant of the 2018 US midterms’

Dylan Scott says Evangelicals view the Trump presidency as a fundamental realignment of US politics, with the Christian right reasserting itself, and they will turn out heavily for Republican candidates in next week's midterms.

Vox

Trump administration to revise birth control exemptions, hoping to save them

Trump administration to revise birth control exemptions, hoping to save them

After setbacks in court, the Trump administration is revising rules that allow employers to deny women insurance coverage for contraceptives based on religious or moral objections. Administration officials hope the changes will overcome judges' objections without fundamentally altering the purpose or the effects of the rules.

The New York Times

Wed, 31 Oct 2018

Asia Bibi: Pakistan court overturns blasphemy death sentence

Asia Bibi: Pakistan court overturns blasphemy death sentence

Pakistan's Supreme Court has struck down the death sentence for blasphemy handed down to Christian woman Asia Bibi. The decision has seen the judiciary praised for its bravery in the face of threats of violence and protest from the country's Islamist groups.

The Guardian

Britain rejects more religious public holidays – NSS mentioned

Britain rejects more religious public holidays – NSS mentioned

The British government has again rejected the idea of creating public holidays for Hindu and Muslim festivals on the grounds of cost, despite calls from MPs for change. The NSS had warned against the idea.

The Hindu

Peers divided over bid to extend human rights protections to Northern Ireland

Peers divided over bid to extend human rights protections to Northern Ireland

Peers have been left divided over moves by MPs to extend abortion rights and same-sex marriage equality to Northern Ireland in the absence of a devolved administration.

Belfast Telegraph

‘Attempting to appease Islamists by enforcing blasphemy laws will make Europe more dangerous’

‘Attempting to appease Islamists by enforcing blasphemy laws will make Europe more dangerous’

Helen Raleigh says if Europe believes enforcing blasphemy laws in order to suppress offensive speech is necessary to maintain 'religious peace,' it's wrong.

The Federalist

‘In Europe, speech is an alienable right’

‘In Europe, speech is an alienable right’

Graeme Wood says Europe could learn from the US's constitutional commitment to free speech in light of the ECHR's ruling on a woman who criticised the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

The Atlantic

Dozens of victims of clerical abuse to sue Catholic Church in Australia

Dozens of victims of clerical abuse to sue Catholic Church in Australia

The Catholic Church is about to be inundated with Supreme Court writs from Victorian survivors of clerical abuse who previously received modest ex gratia payments and will now attempt to sue the church for further compensation.

Canberra Times

Australia’s education minister promises “balance” on excluding gay teachers

Australia’s education minister promises “balance” on excluding gay teachers

Australia's government has responded to demands from principals of dozens of Anglican schools not to change anti-discrimination laws to protect LGBT teachers from being excluded by religious schools. The education minister has said his government will "get the balance right" on the issue.

The Guardian

Play about transgender Jesus returns to Scotland after criticism from Brazil’s new president

Play about transgender Jesus returns to Scotland after criticism from Brazil’s new president

A play that portrays Jesus as a transgender woman is to be performed in Edinburgh next month after facing criticism from Jair Bolsonaro, the new president of Brazil.

The Herald

Seventeen women arrested for taking part in a Halloween party in Saudi Arabia

Seventeen women arrested for taking part in a Halloween party in Saudi Arabia

Seventeen Filipina expats were arrested after they took part in a Halloween party in Saudi Arabia, the Philippines foreign ministry said.

Mail Online

Criticism of Pence for appearing with 'Christian rabbi' to pray for Jewish victims in Pittsburgh

Criticism of Pence for appearing with 'Christian rabbi' to pray for Jewish victims in Pittsburgh

US vice-president Mike Pence faces a backlash after appearing on stage with a "rabbi" who called Jesus the "messiah" as he prayed for the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre.

Washington Examiner

‘Asma Jahangir honoured’

‘Asma Jahangir honoured’

Asma Jahangir, who was an NSS honorary associate until her death earlier this year, has been named as one of the winners of the 2018 UN human rights prize. This editorial says she will always be a role model for human rights defenders and democrats.

Daily Times

Tue, 30 Oct 2018

Abortion and same-sex marriage amendments added to Northern Ireland bill

Abortion and same-sex marriage amendments added to Northern Ireland bill

Amendments which would legalise abortion and same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland have been added to a bill currently making its way through parliament.

Belfast Telegraph

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