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NSS Opinion

We can’t allow faith groups to hamper efforts to regulate supplementary schools

We can’t allow faith groups to hamper efforts to regulate supplementary schools

Posted: Mon, 12 Feb 2018 by Stephen Evans

As a trial reveals the brainwashing of boys during evening classes at a mosque in Barking, Stephen Evans says the Government should defy faith groups which resist the regulation of out-of-school educational settings.

Tags: Education, unregistered schools

The Government should be wary of its review on sharia ‘law’

The Government should be wary of its review on sharia ‘law’

Posted: Wed, 07 Feb 2018 by Sadikur Rahman

Sadikur Rahman says implementing official recommendations on sharia 'courts' would entangle civil and religious law and undermine vulnerable women's rights. The Government should instead secularise the marriage laws.

Tags: One law for all, Marriage, Sharia, Islam

Schools and segregation: a lesson from France

Schools and segregation: a lesson from France

Posted: Tue, 30 Jan 2018 by Keith Sharpe

The Government is preparing to extend religious selection in faith schools. Keith Sharpe contrasts its willingness to cause greater segregation with French efforts to encourage integration in the wake of terror attacks.

Tags: Fifty percent cap, Admissions, Faith schools, Unregistered schools, France

Why are journalists dancing to the Islamists’ tune over Sara Khan?

Why are journalists dancing to the Islamists’ tune over Sara Khan?

Posted: Thu, 25 Jan 2018 by Chris Sloggett

Islamists and their apologists have dominated coverage of the Government's appointment of Sara Khan, says Chris Sloggett. Journalists should stop indulging them just because they shout loudly.

Tags: Islamism, Extremism

Religious bullies are on a roll. It’s time we all stood up to them

Religious bullies are on a roll. It’s time we all stood up to them

Posted: Thu, 25 Jan 2018 by Stephen Evans

Amid a series of concessions to religious hardliners, Stephen Evans says those brave enough to resist their demands need much more support.

Tags: Islamism, Orthodox Judaism, Religious privilege

Faith School Admissions: Four Myths Busted

Faith School Admissions: Four Myths Busted

Posted: Mon, 22 Jan 2018 by Megan Manson

Megan Manson takes on common myths about the 50% cap on children admitted on religious grounds to faith schools.

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, admissions, Fifty percent cap

Book review: 'Persepolis'

Book review: 'Persepolis'

Posted: Tue, 16 Jan 2018 by Megan Manson

In light of the recent protests in Iran, and the rise of Islamist extremism throughout the world, Megan Manson looks back at the graphic novel Persepolis, published nearly 20 years ago.

Tags: Iran, Reviews, Islamism

Will Anglicanism reign supreme at the next coronation?

Will Anglicanism reign supreme at the next coronation?

Posted: Fri, 12 Jan 2018 by Stephen Evans

As the BBC focuses on the Queen's coronation, Stephen Evans says the next initiation of the UK's head of state will be a major test of the monarchy's ability to evolve and reflect the nation it serves.

Tags: Monarchy, Church & State, Church of England

The David and Goliath battle in our schools: parents versus religion

The David and Goliath battle in our schools: parents versus religion

Posted: Thu, 11 Jan 2018 by Megan Manson

As NSS research highlights a systemic bias against secular schooling, Megan Manson explores the tactics used by religion to infiltrate education – and how parents are fighting back.

Tags: Education, Casework focus, Faith Schools, Evangelism in schools, Academisation

How to win (cathedral) friends and influence people

How to win (cathedral) friends and influence people

Posted: Wed, 10 Jan 2018 by Ed Moore

The Government is hailing the work done under a fund for the restoration of cathedrals. But NSS treasurer Ed Moore asks if it is really a taxpayer-funded opportunity for Church of England archbishops to grab power.

Tags: Church repairs, Church of England

Fundamentalists feel the Force of Star Wars

Fundamentalists feel the Force of Star Wars

Posted: Tue, 09 Jan 2018 by Megan Manson

Sabbatarians on Lewis claim a right to impose their beliefs on others, including by banning screenings of Star Wars on Sundays. Megan Manson asks if they would make these demands if Jediism was a recognised religion.

Tags: Scotland, Sabbatarianism

Let’s point out that the ‘Je ne suis pas Charlie’ brigade are helping the terrorists win

Let’s point out that the ‘Je ne suis pas Charlie’ brigade are helping the terrorists win

Posted: Sun, 07 Jan 2018 by Chris Sloggett

Three years after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, Chris Sloggett says it is a moral duty to push back against those who invent outrages to impugn the magazine's reputation.

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Blasphemy

The Minister for Faith went on a tour of Anglican cathedrals and all we got was a lousy report

The Minister for Faith went on a tour of Anglican cathedrals and all we got was a lousy report

Posted: Thu, 04 Jan 2018 by Stephen Evans

Stephen Evans questions the point of a Minister for Faith and says his recent tour of all of England's Anglican cathedrals was a waste of ministerial time and taxpayers' money.

Tags: Religious privilege, Church repairs

Case study: Difficulty exercising the right to withdraw from collective worship

Case study: Difficulty exercising the right to withdraw from collective worship

Posted: Wed, 03 Jan 2018 by A Pupil

Thanks to campaigning by the NSS, sixth formers have the right to withdraw themselves from collective worship. But faith schools often make this nigh-on-impossible, as this pupil's story from one academy shows.

Tags: Collective worship, Casework focus, Sixth form, Education

Yes, secularism is good for gender equality

Yes, secularism is good for gender equality

Posted: Wed, 03 Jan 2018 by Megan Manson

Western academics who claim that secularism undermines women's rights are not merely wrong; their assertions are a slap in the face of women fighting for their rights under religious tyranny, says Megan Manson.

Tags: Gender Equality

It's time to disestablish the Church of England

It's time to disestablish the Church of England

Posted: Tue, 02 Jan 2018 by Prof. Steven Kettell

As the NSS prepares to send a major report on the subject to MPs, Prof. Steven Kettell says the establishment of the Church of England is incongruous with the beliefs and attitudes of the people it affects.

Tags: Church & State, Secularism, Disestablishment

Secularism is a challenge to religion’s political power and privilege, not people of faith

Secularism is a challenge to religion’s political power and privilege, not people of faith

Posted: Fri, 22 Dec 2017 by Stephen Evans

Some Christians use the Christmas period to attack secularism for its challenge to their sense of entitlement. But Stephen Evans says the faithful have far more to fear from religious fanatics than secularists.

Tags: Christmas, Christianity, Secularism

Only reform of the law can tackle the Church's temptation to cover up abuse

Only reform of the law can tackle the Church's temptation to cover up abuse

Posted: Fri, 15 Dec 2017 by Richard Scorer

After three weeks of damning evidence at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, Richard Scorer says mandatory reporting of institutional abuse is necessary to prevent churches from covering it up.

Tags: Child Abuse, Catholic Church

The Christian ‘legal army’ in hundreds of court battles worldwide

The Christian ‘legal army’ in hundreds of court battles worldwide

Posted: Thu, 14 Dec 2017 by Claire Provost & Ella Milburn

Women's rights advocates say the US legal advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom is "exporting extreme ideologies worldwide" against sexual and reproductive rights. Claire Provost and Ella Milburn investigate.

Tags: Gender Equality, Equality & Human Rights, Christianity

Pakistan’s capitulation to extremists sets a dangerous precedent

Pakistan’s capitulation to extremists sets a dangerous precedent

Posted: Thu, 07 Dec 2017 by Basit Mahmood

Pakistan's government, military and opposition parties have given in to the demands of a fundamentalist mob. Basit Mahmood says this is a blow to those who wish to remain true to the secular vision of Pakistan's founder.

Tags: Pakistan, Islamism, Theocracy

Only secularism can defeat the emboldened Hindu right

Only secularism can defeat the emboldened Hindu right

Posted: Fri, 01 Dec 2017 by Chris Sloggett

Violent threats look set to censor a film which was due for UK release today. It's the latest sign of rising Hindu fundamentalism. In response, Chris Sloggett says, we must make sure no religion gets special treatment.

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Secularism, Hindu Nationalism, Caste

Home schooling debate must prompt wider discussion of children’s rights

Home schooling debate must prompt wider discussion of children’s rights

Posted: Thu, 30 Nov 2017 by Alastair Lichten

As supporters of a new Bill aim to see home schooling in England registered for the first time, education and schools campaigner Alastair Lichten says children's independent rights must receive greater focus.

Tags: Education, Home schooling, Unregistered schools

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

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

Posted: Tue, 28 Nov 2017 by Yasmin Rehman

Yasmin Rehman was among campaigners who recently met Ofsted's chief inspector to discuss veiling in schools. Now, she writes, some powerful Muslims are making sinister efforts to silence her and her fellow activists.

Tags: Education, Islam, Gender Equality

Big ideas for religious education?

Big ideas for religious education?

Posted: Thu, 23 Nov 2017 by Alastair Lichten

The latest report into the problems with religious education reiterates the need to start with a fundamental examination of the subject's purpose. But, Alastair Lichten wonders, do the proposals go far enough?

Tags: Education, Religious education

Our business was harassed by Christian fundamentalists – now it’s the best known in Lewis

Our business was harassed by Christian fundamentalists – now it’s the best known in Lewis

Posted: Wed, 22 Nov 2017 by Martin Flett

The NSS recently reported on a shop owner in Stornoway who was harassed over her decision to open her shop on Sundays. Now Martin Flett, Leona Rawlinson's partner, says the business has been flooded with support.

Tags: Scotland, Sabbatarianism

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