Mon, 29 Jan 2018
Ireland's cabinet will hold a special meeting this evening to pave the way for a historic referendum on the country's abortion laws. The prime minister has said he will campaign for the country's near-total ban on abortion to be liberalised.
A survey has cast light on the religious identities of Israelis living in Europe. Nearly half said they do not participate to any degree in Jewish community life or events; 73% described themselves as secular.
The Times of Israel
US Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell is set to hold a procedural vote this week on a bill that would ban abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy. This editorial says the fate of the ban and other anti-abortion measures will ultimately be in the hands of voters.
The New York Times
Fri, 26 Jan 2018
A petition to the Home Office signed by 100 Muslim organisations and scholars has called for Sara Khan to be removed from her new role as head of the Commission for Countering Extremism. Counter-terrorism and integration experts have defended Khan and praised her appointment.
The Times (£)
Efforts to repeal the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act have been backed in Holyrood after opposition parties lined up to defeat the Scottish Government.
A report from Max Hill, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, has said terrorists' methods of attack are diversifying. He said policing the internet and controlling social media "comes at a very high price" if it interferes with fundamental freedoms enshrined in law. The home secretary has said she will consider his proposals.
A new campaign is calling on the UK Government to give special protection to doctors and nurses who feel pressured to perform medical procedures which contradict their religious views, such as abortions and gender-change surgery.
Premier Christian Radio
Labour MPs have been advised not to push for Hezbollah to be banned in Britain because party leaders want to "encourage" the terrorist group "down an effective democratic path".
The Jewish Chronicle
A student's complaints that a 'Solstice' festival at Trinity College, Cambridge is "offensive" and "gross" are being widely reported.
People will be able to drink legally in pubs on Good Friday after the Irish Parliament voted to lift a long-standing ban on alcohol sales on the day.
As Ireland prepares for an expected summer referendum on its abortion laws, those campaigning for repeal have a strong lead in the polls.
The Irish Times
The Republican-led Senate has narrowly approved Sam Brownback's bid to be US ambassador for international religious freedom. President Trump's selection of Brownback has come under fire from Senate Democrats and LGBT+ rights groups.
The Washington Post
A new survey from US News & World Report says 30% of people believe "religious beliefs" are the primary source of global conflict, more than any other option. The survey included responses from 21,000 people around the world.
Russia's president has told Muslim clergy he supports a "revival of Islamic education in Russia" as a way to tackle radicalisation and "destructive" ideas.
Thu, 25 Jan 2018
Sara Khan will lead the new Commission for Countering Extremism, the Home Office has announced. She is a prominent human rights activist and the current CEO of Inspire, which works to counter extremism and gender inequality.
Lancashire County Council's plans to stop its schools from serving unstunned halal meat are to be reconsidered.
Senior MPs have backed Jewish groups who are calling for the lord chancellor to replace a London coroner who refuses to prioritise religious burials.
The mayor of Tower Hamlets has written to a coroner in north London to criticise her for withdrawing special burial arrangements for Jewish and Muslim people.
Docklands & East London Advertiser
Ipso is facing the first legal challenges to its rulings, including one over a column in the Sun that referred to "the Muslim problem". Ipso ruled in October that the column did not breach accuracy or discrimination clauses in the editors' code of practice.
A nun in charge of a Catholic order has offered its "deepest and most sincere apologies" to anyone who may have been abused in its care at a controversial care home. She and another witness admitted a variety of historical failures had taken place at the home, including "weak" governance and record-keeping.
Nesrine Malik reflects on a L'Oreal advert which featured a woman in a hijab. She says a "hijab fetish" is "beginning to dominate popular marketing as a kind of default Muslim emoji".
Violent mobs have rampaged through several Indian cities this week in a last-ditch effort to stop the Bollywood epic Padmaavat from opening. Hindu fundamentalists have rioted amid rumours that the film features a love scene between a queen and her Muslim conqueror.
New Zealand Christians are planning a rally to call for Jesus's name to be reinstated in the parliamentary opening prayer, after it was omitted last month.
Premier Christian Radio
A man has been charged after posting anti-Muslim statements on the Facebook page of an Islamic centre in California. This editorial says that if the US's first amendment means anything, Mark Feigin was not committing a crime.
Los Angeles Times
Wed, 24 Jan 2018
An abattoir boss and three workers have pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to animals after a campaign group recorded horrific abuse taking place at a north Yorkshire slaughterhouse. Secret footage captured the workers repeatedly punching, kicking and throwing the animals, as well as hacking them to death before they were stunned.
International Business Times
Nimco Ali says it is not bigoted to ban the headscarf in schools, and the Department for Education should issue guidance for headteachers on the subject.
Strictly Orthodox Jewish leaders have told an education minister that there will be "no compromise" with requirements to teach children about gender and sexuality.
A protest is planned over an exhibition launching this week at The MAC in Belfast. Christian fundamentalists have called the exhibition "provocative" and "unacceptable".
Ephraim Mirvis has written to the lord chancellor asking him to review the case of a coroner who refuses to prioritise requests for swift Jewish and Muslim burials.
The Times (£)
An equality charity has criticised a proposed clause within Jersey's draft same-sex marriage legislation that would give wedding business owners the right to refuse services to same-sex couples on the basis of religious conviction.
Jersey Evening Post
The vice-president of the US, Mike Pence, visited the western wall in Jerusalem yesterday. Female journalists covering the event were given an inferior position to their male colleagues, behind a fence. Ultra-Orthodox custom encourages gender segregation at the wall.
The Washington Post
Haidar Khezri says that to understand Iranian voters' frustration, it is key to understand just how powerful the Ayatollah Khamenei is.
A Pakistani cleric has been arrested for allegedly beating to death an eight-year-old student who tried to run away from a religious seminary in Karachi, police said.
Tue, 23 Jan 2018
The Mayor of London has backed the Board of Deputies in a row with a coroner who treats the dead equally regardless of religion. Sadiq Khan has urged Mary Hassell to show "respect for families and faith communities".
The Jewish Chronicle
Nick Cohen says events at St Stephen's primary school in Newham reveal mainstream society's willingness to "leave behind an impoverished Muslim working class confined in its ghettos".
The Spectator (£)
Church-goers in Woking will continue to enjoy free parking on Sundays after the council executive voted to extend the policy. NSS president Keith Porteous Wood has called on the council to charge people for parking equally.
A leading academic has said Blackburn is becoming more segregated after a BBC Panorama documentary looked at the divide between Muslim Asians and the white population in the town.
A man accused of carrying out the Finsbury Park attack had repeatedly expressed anti-Muslim sentiments and blamed Muslims for the rise in terrorism and the Rotherham child sex scandal, a court has been told.
A Muslim convert from Salford has pleaded guilty to 16 terrorism charges.
The pope's remarks on sexual abuse on Sunday, when he apologised but expressed doubts about the veracity of victims' claims, have prompted criticism.
The New York Times
Rev Giles Fraser, a Church of England priest and broadcaster, has blasted John Humphrys for calling the religious slot on the Today programme "deeply boring".
A blogger in the Western Isles writes about the difficult task of taking on Sabbatarians on Lewis.
A lawsuit filed by a member of the Satanic Temple challenging Missouri's restrictive abortion law on religious grounds is going to the state Supreme Court today. Plaintiff Mary Doe says the law violated her rights to religious liberty.
Algerian authorities have stepped up trials of members of the Ahmadiyya religious minority on charges related to the exercise of their religion, Human Rights Watch has said.
Mon, 22 Jan 2018
MPs and education experts rallied behind the best primary school in England yesterday after it came under such criticism that it reversed its ban on children under eight wearing hijabs.
St Stephen's primary school in Newham, east London, hit the headlines at the weekend after it banned Muslim girls under the age of eight from wearing headscarves, to the delight of campaigners who argued it enforces religious conformity on children.
A new report by the council's Children and Young People's Scrutiny Commission (CYPSC) identifies up to 29 "yeshiva" schools in the borough which operate outside the authority of the Department for Education (DfE).
Leading creationist Dr Nagy Iskander reappointed to sit on South Lanarkshire council education committee as unelected religious representative
A medical doctor described as one of Europe's most active creationists has been reappointed to sit on the education committee of South Lanarkshire council.
The Herald Scotland
Governors at an Islamic school have lodged a complaint over a highly critical report. Ofsted found pupils at the independent Olive Tree Primary School in Luton had to ask for toilet paper and wash their cutlery in toilet sinks, and raised concerns over extremist materials.
Ministers are changing planning guidance in England for new houses after parishes whose bells have chimed for centuries were forced to comply with noise abatement orders by disgruntled neighbours who had recently moved to the area. The updated guidance shows the government is 'standing up for churches', ministers said.
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