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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege


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Newsline Special: Blogs of 2017


As 2017 comes to an end, we bring you 10 of our favourite blogs of the year, presented in chronological order.

Thank you for your support throughout this year. We wish everyone a happy and healthy 2018.


News & Opinion


President Trump: American theocrat

As President Trump took office in January, Alastair Lichten said his presidency had put Christian nationalism at the heart of its agenda.


Murdered for the 'crime' of blasphemy

Amid an onslaught against secularists, atheists, ex-Muslims and countless religious minorities, this anonymous blog honours the lives and heroism of those killed for the non-crime of 'blasphemy'.


We need to defend both our lives and our way of life

Amid a spate of terrorist atrocities in the middle of the year, Stephen Evans said secularism could act as the glue which united the British people.


Intolerant religion mustn’t dictate England’s education policy

The debate over the Government's proposal to raise a cap on faith-based admissions in faith schools was one of the most divisive of the year. Stephen Evans said the plans should be abandoned - and religious groups' role in education rolled back.


Beware the drip drip of religious exemptions

When a theme park lifted its ban on Sikh ceremonial swords, Stephen Evans questioned the wisdom behind religious exemptions from generally applicable rules.


UNESCO: Putting religious privilege above gender equality

UNESCO says gender equality is one of its top priorities. But in October Megan Manson said it was protecting misogynistic attitudes by awarding World Heritage Status to religious sites that practise sexual discrimination.


The folly of the civil service’s ‘faith and belief champion’

In November a new civil service appointment was announced. Chris Sloggett said insistently bringing religion into the workplace would only serve to promote it and encourage an assertive form of selfishness at public expense.


Who controls religious education?

As the Commission on Religious Education consulted on the way religion and belief are taught in schools, Stephen Evans took a detailed look at the vested interests blocking necessary reforms.


A lesson in silencing dissent: the controversy of hijab in schools

As the year drew towards an end we gave our backing to feminist campaigners from Muslim backgrounds who were concerned about veiling in schools. In this sobering read, Yasmin Rehman explained how religious fanatics were making sinister efforts to silence her.


Only secularism can defeat the emboldened Hindu right

In December violent threats from Hindu fundamentalists indefinitely delayed the release of a film in the UK. Chris Sloggett said the response should be to insist consistently that religion is a private affair.


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