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Newsline 25 September 2015

This Saturday marks the 182nd birthday of NSS founder Charles Bradlaugh. Though a lot has changed since he founded the Society in 1866, secularism is as vital as ever for a fair and equal country. Next year the NSS will mark its 150th anniversary, and to celebrate its work over the years – and to consider all the challenges that lie ahead – we will be hosting a one-day conference in London focusing on how secularism can help us live better together. Keep an eye on Newsline for more details in the coming months.

In the meantime, to help us continue Bradlaugh's vital work campaigning for a secular state, join the National Secular Society today.

Help turn Thought for the Day into a “philosophy slot”

Help turn Thought for the Day into a “philosophy slot”

News | Thu, 24 Sep 2015

The National Secular Society has backed calls for BBC Radio 4's Thought for the Day slot to be converted into a "philosophy slot", open to non-believers and believers alike.

The proposal has been put forward on Open Democracy's Our Beeb website – an online platform for debating the nature and future of public service broadcasting.

As part of its "100 ideas for the BBC" series, Philosopher Nigel Warburton writes: "My idea for the BBC going forward is that it should transform the rather tired 'Thought for the Day' into a philosophy slot reflecting on wider issues raised by recent news. That would wake a lot of people up."

According to Warburton: "The BBC, and particularly BBC radio, does an excellent job presenting philosophy in interesting ways to a large audience."

However he says that it "doesn't mean it's doing everything that it could".

NSS campaigns manager Stephen Evans welcomed the suggestion and strongly encouraged NSS supporters to vote for the idea, which will be submitted to the Government's consultation on the future of the BBC if it attracts enough support.

He said, "We have long called for the BBC to open up Thought for the Day to non-religious voices or to scrap the slot, this is an exciting way of refreshing it and removing the bias against the non-religious that currently exists.

"The hopelessly outdated Thought for the Day segment offers an exclusive religious perspective during primetime, which deliberately excludes non-religious voices. This is a very welcome suggestion and we hope the BBC will give it the consideration is deserves."

Vote here to turn Thought for the Day into a philosophy slot.

Westminster university Islamic students' society dominated by ultra-conservative Muslims

Westminster university Islamic students' society dominated by ultra-conservative Muslims

The Islamic students' society at the London university attended by the militant known as Jihadi John is dominated by hardline, ultra-conservative believers who refuse to speak with female Muslim staff members, according to an independent report into inclusion among students at the institution.

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