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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege


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Newsline 20 April 2018


This week we've launched our new No More Faith Schools campaign dedicated to bringing about an end to state-funded faith schools. There are some simple ways you can lend your support, which you can find out about by visiting the dedicated campaign website.

Faith and denominational schools build division into our society. They enable religious groups to use public money to evangelise children. They foster the segregation of children on social, ethnic and religious lines. They undermine freedom and equality.

Organised religion should play no part in the future of state education. Seventy per cent of 16- to 29-year-olds in the UK say they have no religion and 59% say they never attend a religious service. Meanwhile, the share of the population which is religious is also increasingly fractured into growing minority faiths.

The implications of change will need to be considered – and nowhere more so than in our state education systems. It's clear that our schools have a vital role to play in building social cohesion. It is therefore short-sighted and reckless to continue to organise children and young people's education around religious identities.

If you agree that children from all faith and belief backgrounds should be educated together and allowed to develop their own beliefs independently, please join us in saying No More Faith Schools.


News & Opinion


NSS urges ‘no more faith schools’ as it launches national campaign

The NSS has launched a national campaign dedicated to ending state-funded faith schools, with backers including the historian Dan Snow.


Broad consensus for reforming RE at NSS event

Experts have called for reform of the way religion and belief issues are taught at an event hosted by the NSS.


Lords committee: respect the law before “the values of others”

Public policy must put "respect for the law" before "respect for the values of others" and defend "the shared values of British... Read More »


Global rights group: forced genital cutting violates medical ethics

The NSS has reiterated its call for an end to forced genital cutting after a global children's rights group strongly criticised it.


NSS criticises admissions policies that push parents into church

The NSS has responded to a poll which showed public disapproval of parents who 'cheat' the school admissions system.


NSS scholarship deadline

Applications for the current round of the NSS scholarship close on 1 May. The scholarship exists to support students who conduct research relevant to secularism and the promotion of human rights. Click here to learn more.


Quotes of the week

"In the India where I grew up, memories of Gandhi, Tagore and Nehru were strong; the necessity of secularism was drummed into us. We knew that our politicians were largely venal, but it was still a country in which morality and humanity mattered. Now, journalists and writers who speak up against the undeclared war on Dalits, Muslims, poor people and women are trolled by cyber-mobs – if they're lucky."
Anuradha Roy, an award-winning writer, reflects on the shocking response to the rape and murder of a girl from a Muslim tribe in India this week

"If you criticise ideas, you challenge ideas, that's when you move a society forward. When you demonise people that's how you rip societies apart."
Ali Rizvi, ex-Muslim author, on negotiating the space between left and right on Islam

"I am all too aware that these laws were often put in place by my own country. They were wrong then, and they are wrong now. As the UK's prime minister, I deeply regret both the fact that such laws were introduced and the legacy of discrimination, violence and even death that persists today."
Theresa May on anti-gay laws in the Commonwealth

See our quotes of the week archive...


Essays of the week

Bangladesh blogger: the wrath of a father demanding justice for his son's murder
By Sandra Petersmann, for DW

For three years Ajoy Roy, the father of the murdered blogger Avijit, has been waiting for answers on his son's murder.

'I raised my voice because secularism was under threat'
By Latha Srinivasan, for Sunday Guardian Live

Acclaimed writer Taslima Nasrin speaks to Latha Srinivasan about her views on feminism, secularism, free speech and democracy.


NSS speaks out

Our education and schools officer Alastair Lichten appeared on the Julia Hartley-Brewer show on talkRADIO, where he discussed our No More Faith Schools campaign.

Our response to a bishop who appeared to defend the imprisonment of gay people in the Commonwealth was quoted in Pink News.


Support our work

Please support our work so we can make the case for a fairer secular democracy for all.


Get your daily media briefing

Keep on top of secularist issues with our daily collection of news and commentary from across the media, now available in your inbox. Click here to subscribe.


Upcoming events


Scottish Secular Society: The Major Minor Cinema: the Highlands and Islands Film Guild (1946-71)

Date: Thursday 3 May 2018

Time: 19:30–22:00
Venue: 17 Queens Crescent, St Georges Cross, G4 9BL Glasgow, United Kingdom

Dr Ian Good and Dr Ealasaid Munro present some of the key findings of their AHRC... Read More »


One Law For All: Conference on Sharia, Segregation and Secularism

Date: Sunday 25 November 2018, 09:30 – 20:30
Location: Central London
Tickets: From £65.27
Details: Join notable secularists and veteran women's rights campaigners for a conference on Sharia,... Read More »


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