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Tue, 29 Mar 2022

New NUS president posted Islamic chant threatening ‘Jews’ and sympathised with Hamas

New NUS president posted Islamic chant threatening ‘Jews’ and sympathised with Hamas

The National Union of Students has voted for a new president who only last week had to apologise for a historic tweet in which she posted the words of an infamous Islamic chant threatening "Jews" with an attack by "the army of Muhammed."

Jewish News

Dudley councillor suspended by Labour over anti-Semitic tweets

Dudley councillor suspended by Labour over anti-Semitic tweets

A Dudley councillor has been suspended after posting anti-Semitic tweets after claiming a 'witch-hunt' was taking place by against Labour politicians who criticised Israel.

Birmingham Live

Jewish lawyer awarded £26,000 after he was sacked for not working during Passover

Jewish lawyer awarded £26,000 after he was sacked for not working during Passover

Philip Bialick had been hired by his long-time friend Ali Nazokkar to work at his firm NNE Law, but he fired him after he did not work during the Jewish religious holiday of Passover

Mirror

'The many shapes of religious privilege in the workplace'

'The many shapes of religious privilege in the workplace'

Religious privilege in the workplace can manifest itself in various ways. It is not exclusive to believers but can occur in organisations with a majority of agnostic or atheist workers.

LSE blogs

The Netherlands is no longer a religious country, says think-tank

The Netherlands is no longer a religious country, says think-tank

The number of people in the Netherlands describing themselves as atheist or agnostic has outstripped those who are religious for the first time, the government's socio-cultural think-tank SCP said on Thursday.

Dutch News

Man and 2 teens planned ISIS-inspired killings at Chicago mosque during spring break, FBI says

Man and 2 teens planned ISIS-inspired killings at Chicago mosque during spring break, FBI says

A man from Maine and two teenagers planned an ISIS-inspired attack on a Shia Muslim mosque near Chicago, newly unsealed court documents revealed on Friday.

NBC News

Canadian Indigenous delegation heads to Rome seeking papal apology

Canadian Indigenous delegation heads to Rome seeking papal apology

More than two dozen Indigenous Canadians will meet with Pope Francis March 28-April 1 to give firsthand testimonials about the abuses perpetrated in Canada's residential schools, many of them operated by the Catholic Church.

National Catholic Reporter

Taliban bars government employees without beards from work

Taliban bars government employees without beards from work

Afghanistan's Taliban has instructed all government employees to wear a beard and adhere to a dress code or risk being fired, three sources told Reuters, the latest of several new restrictions imposed by the hardline Islamist administration.

Reuters*

With eye to China investment, Taliban now preserve Buddhas

With eye to China investment, Taliban now preserve Buddhas

The ancient Buddha statues sit in serene meditation in the caves carved into the russet cliffs of rural Afghanistan. Hundreds of meters below lies what is believed to be the world's largest deposit of copper.

AP News

'Islam, Muslims, and the secular state in Singapore'

'Islam, Muslims, and the secular state in Singapore'

The city-state offers a good example of how Islam can flourish in the context of a secular state.

The Diplomat

Mon, 28 Mar 2022

Catholic St Anne's primary school applies for integrated status

Catholic St Anne's primary school applies for integrated status

A primary in County Down has formally applied to become the second Catholic school to change to integrated status.

BBC

Presbyterian Church in Ireland says Brandon Lewis ‘power grab’ may soon overrule schools on sex education

Presbyterian Church in Ireland says Brandon Lewis ‘power grab’ may soon overrule schools on sex education

The Presbyterian Church says that a "power grab" by Secretary of State Brandon Lewis could soon take away the rights of schools to choose their own ethos on sex education.

News Letter

Barrister sanctioned for “offensive” Muslim tweet wins appeal

Barrister sanctioned for “offensive” Muslim tweet wins appeal

A Bar Standards Board panel applied too low a threshold in sanctioning a barrister for a tweet about Muslims that it said would cause offence, a tribunal has ruled.

Legal Futures

Orange Order and Catholic groups join forces to protest SNP Parades Commission

Orange Order and Catholic groups join forces to protest SNP Parades Commission

Proposals for a Northern Ireland style parades commission in Scotland have been criticised by both the Orange Order and campaigners against anti-Catholic bigotry.

The Herald*

Oligarch donor to Jewish school in Edgware added to UK sanctions list

Oligarch donor to Jewish school in Edgware added to UK sanctions list

The benefactor of a London Jewish school that bears his name is on the latest list of Russian oligarchs to be sanctioned by the UK government.

The Jewish Chronicle

"I wish I'd had the option of an at-home abortion – it would've saved me a lot of trauma"

"I wish I'd had the option of an at-home abortion – it would've saved me a lot of trauma"

MPs will soon take a vote on whether or not to scrap 'pills by post' abortions. But why is it up for debate, asks Jennifer Savin.

Cosmopolitan

Afghanistan: Taliban bars BBC TV programmes from schedules

Afghanistan: Taliban bars BBC TV programmes from schedules

BBC TV programming has been taken off air in Afghanistan, after the Taliban ordered local channels not to broadcast content from international partners.

BBC

US cancels talks with Taliban over U-turn on girls' education

US cancels talks with Taliban over U-turn on girls' education

The United States abruptly cancelled meetings with the Taliban in Doha that were set to address key economic issues, officials said on Friday, after Afghanistan's Islamist rulers reversed a decision to allow all girls to return to high school classes.

Reuters*

US: Former Catholic bishop admits covering up sexual abuse allegations

US: Former Catholic bishop admits covering up sexual abuse allegations

The former bishop of the Roman Catholic diocese of Albany, New York, has acknowledged covering up allegations of sexual abuse against children by priests in part to avoid scandal and protect the reputation of the diocese.

The Guardian

US: Jews say making daylight saving time permanent threatens morning prayer

US: Jews say making daylight saving time permanent threatens morning prayer

American Jews say they were blindsided by the U.S. Senate's lightning-fast passage of a bill to make daylight saving time year-round and intend to fight it.

Religion News Service

US: Arizona Legislature approves 15-week abortion ban

US: Arizona Legislature approves 15-week abortion ban

The Arizona Legislature on Thursday joined the growing list of Republican-led states to pass aggressive anti-abortion legislation as the conservative US Supreme Court is considering ratcheting back abortion rights that have been in place for nearly 50 years.

The Associated Press

Islamic State claims responsibility for killing of two Israeli police officers

Islamic State claims responsibility for killing of two Israeli police officers

Police say two terrorists were shot dead after they began firing at police in city of Hadera, as Israel hosts envoys from four Arab states.

The Guardian

Fri, 25 Mar 2022

Government acts to ensure availability of abortion services in Northern Ireland

Government acts to ensure availability of abortion services in Northern Ireland

The UK Government has announced its intention to prepare work on further regulations to ensure abortion services are available for women and girls in Northern Ireland.

Evening Standard

Bill to end religious discrimination in recruitment of teachers in Northern Ireland is passed

Bill to end religious discrimination in recruitment of teachers in Northern Ireland is passed

Schools will no longer be allowed to discriminate on religious grounds when appointing new teachers after MLAs unanimously passed new legislation.

Belfast Telegraph

Evangelical church school plan rejected by education minister

Evangelical church school plan rejected by education minister

A plan by an evangelical church to open a voluntary grammar school has been rejected by the education minister.

BBC

Vicar branded woman with cross, court told

Vicar branded woman with cross, court told

A vicar branded a woman with a cross-shaped mark and beat her with a cane over nearly a decade of abuse, a trial has heard.

BBC

The Church's safeguarding agency chair appeals to abuse survivors to contact him

The Church's safeguarding agency chair appeals to abuse survivors to contact him

Nazir Azfal, the chair of the Church's safeguarding agency, has asked survivors of clerical abuse to contact him directly.

The Tablet*

Clerical abuse poses ‘systemic questions’ of church, says Munich cardinal

Clerical abuse poses ‘systemic questions’ of church, says Munich cardinal

German cardinal Reinhard Marx has conceded that confronting the legacy of clerical sexual abuse and its cover-up in the Catholic Church can only happen when "systemic questions" are asked of the institution and its hierarchy.

The Irish Times*

3 US Muslims sue over religious questioning by officers

3 US Muslims sue over religious questioning by officers

Three Muslim Americans have filed a lawsuit alleging that U.S. border officers questioned them about their religious beliefs in violation of their constitutional rights when they returned from international travel

The Independent*

US: ‘At Jackson hearings, “What is your faith?” becomes a gotcha question’

US: ‘At Jackson hearings, “What is your faith?” becomes a gotcha question’

On the first day of real questioning at this week's Supreme Court confirmation hearing, Sen. Lindsey Graham asked the nominee, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, "On a scale of 1 to 10, how faithful would you say you are?"

Religion News Service

Florida's controversial 'Don't Say Gay' bill: What's inside the proposed law

Florida's controversial 'Don't Say Gay' bill: What's inside the proposed law

Florida's Parental Rights in Education bill, dubbed the "Don't Say Gay" bill by LGBTQ activists, is on Gov. Ron DeSantis' desk awaiting his signature.

ABC News

Pastors’ role in education funding creates uproar in Brazil

Pastors’ role in education funding creates uproar in Brazil

Allegations that two evangelical pastors have used their influence with Brazil's Education Ministry to steer federal funding to friends — and in at least one case seek a bribe — are causing a new election-year controversy for the government of President Jair Bolsonaro.

The Associated Press

Thu, 24 Mar 2022

Bring in mandatory reporting of child abuse for church leaders, survivor urges MSPs

Bring in mandatory reporting of child abuse for church leaders, survivor urges MSPs

A woman who says her abuse as a child was covered up by her church is calling on the Scottish Government to introduce mandatory reporting for all religious leaders.

Holyrood

Boris Johnson says British universities have 'tolerated casual and systematic antisemitism' for too long

Boris Johnson says British universities have 'tolerated casual and systematic antisemitism' for too long

Prime minister Boris Johnson has criticised UK universities, saying that they have for "far too long been tolerant of casual or indeed systematic antisemitism."

The Jewish Chronicle

Church court refuses bid by Jesus College Cambridge to remove memorial to benefactor over slave trade links

Church court refuses bid by Jesus College Cambridge to remove memorial to benefactor over slave trade links

Jesus College wanted to remove the stone memorial honouring Tobias Rustat. An ecclesiastical court has ruled against the College.

Mail Online

Russian talking point: Blaming US for Ukraine church split

Russian talking point: Blaming US for Ukraine church split

While Russia has sought to justify its assault on Ukraine with complaints about NATO's eastward expansion, it has also claimed that foreign actors have encroached on its religious turf in Ukraine — even alleging the United States helped instigate an Eastern Orthodox schism there.

The Associated Press

Oklahoma Republicans advance anti-abortion bill that's more restrictive than Texas law

Oklahoma Republicans advance anti-abortion bill that's more restrictive than Texas law

Republican House legislators passed House Bill 4327 that would effectively ban most abortions by allowing private citizens to sue anyone who performs an abortion or "aids or abets" someone who pursues the procedure.

The Oklahoman

‘Why a war on abortion is doomed to fail’

‘Why a war on abortion is doomed to fail’

Across the political spectrum, Americans acknowledge that the war on drugs was a failure, and yet its logic has been transported into the realm of abortion, say Mary Ziegler and Aziza Ahmed.

CNN

“Saudi Arabia must lift Raif Badawi’s travel ban,” Humanists International says at UN

“Saudi Arabia must lift Raif Badawi’s travel ban,” Humanists International says at UN

At the United Nations, Humanists International has called on Saudi Arabia to lift the travel ban to which it is subjecting human rights defender, Raif Badawi. Badawi was released from prison earlier this month following the expiry of his 10-year prison sentence for "insulting Islam through electronic channels."

Humanists International

‘Afghanistan girls' tears over chaotic Taliban schools U-turn’

‘Afghanistan girls' tears over chaotic Taliban schools U-turn’

Aziz-ur-Rahman Rayan, spokesman for the Ministry of Education, said all preparations had been made for the re-opening of schools, but that the group's central leadership had ordered them to stay closed until, "a comprehensive plan has been prepared according to Sharia and Afghan culture".

BBC

Hillsong Church founder Brian Houston resigns after internal misconduct investigation

Hillsong Church founder Brian Houston resigns after internal misconduct investigation

The founder of global megachurch Hillsong, Brian Houston, has resigned after an internal investigation found he behaved inappropriately towards two women.

ABC News

Wed, 23 Mar 2022

NSS chief executive interviewed by Freedom Declared Foundation

NSS chief executive interviewed by Freedom Declared Foundation

Stephen Evans talks about the importance of secularism in upholding freedom of religion or belief in the UK and balancing this right with other rights.

Freedom Declared Foundation

LGBT+ strategy covering sex work, IVF, trans healthcare and homelessness to be unveiled by Government

LGBT+ strategy covering sex work, IVF, trans healthcare and homelessness to be unveiled by Government

Ministers are working on a comprehensive new strategy to "advance" the rights of LGBT+ people in the country. The cross-government plan will cover issues like sex work, IVF, veterans and homelessness – as well as specific healthcare for LGBT+ communities – largely across England and Wales.

iNews*

LGBT Scots more likely to have alcohol issues but face barriers for help, says Glasgow study

LGBT Scots more likely to have alcohol issues but face barriers for help, says Glasgow study

People from the LGBTQ+ community are more likely to have problems with alcohol than others, but experience major barriers in accessing alcohol services, according to new research. The Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) study on LGBTQ+ people's experiences of alcohol services investigated the views of both service users and providers.

The National

‘We were human beings’: UK families seek apology over historic forced adoptions

‘We were human beings’: UK families seek apology over historic forced adoptions

In the 1950s, 60s and 70s, up to a 250,000 new mothers were coerced into giving up their babies in arrangements facilitated by the church, charities and the government. The young unmarried women were not considered "suitable" parents by society or their families, and their babies were given to married couples who were.

The Guardian

Deadly violence against LGBT people in Iraq

Deadly violence against LGBT people in Iraq

Armed groups in Iraq abduct, rape, torture, and kill lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, with impunity, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today with IraQueer. The police arrest and also carry out violence against them.

Human Rights Watch

Israel:  Freed Isis sympathiser kills four in knife rampage

Israel: Freed Isis sympathiser kills four in knife rampage

Four Israelis were killed and at least two others seriously injured yesterday when a former prisoner with Isis sympathies went on a stabbing rampage before being shot dead by a passer-by.

The Times*

US sanctions officials in China over persecution of Uyghurs and other minorities

US sanctions officials in China over persecution of Uyghurs and other minorities

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced new visa restrictions on Chinese officials Monday for their actions to repress ethnic and religious minorities both inside and outside the country.

CBS News

Girls' schools in Afghanistan ordered shut just hours after reopening

Girls' schools in Afghanistan ordered shut just hours after reopening

The Taliban ordered secondary girls schools in Afghanistan to shut Wednesday just hours after they reopened, an official confirmed, sparking confusion over the policy reversal by the hardline Islamist group.

France24

‘The hijab case has allowed some to subvert the meaning of secularism’

‘The hijab case has allowed some to subvert the meaning of secularism’

"At its core, secularism means this: Favour none, empower everyone. This is the classical definition of liberal secularism where caste, religion, language, gender and region are irrelevant to the state. It treats everyone fairly and equally."

Firstpost

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