NSS Opinion

No such thing as a ‘faith child’

Posted: Tue, 19 Aug 2014 by John Sargeant

The state and society undermine children's rights, when they treat them as an extension of their parents' religious identity, argues John Sargeant. Read More »

Tags: Childrens rights & welfare

Don’t merge human rights with religion, even in Africa

Posted: Fri, 15 Aug 2014 by Achieng Maureen Akena

Political religion, particularly that exported from the US, is impeding the struggle for universal human rights in Africa and the two must be kept separate, argues Achieng Maureen Akena. Read More »

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, Africa

What chance do Yazidis have against group too brutal for al Qaeda?

Posted: Thu, 07 Aug 2014 by Maajid Nawaz

Quilliam Co-Founder and Chairman and NSS honorary associate Maajid Nawaz gives his thoughts on the crisis in North-West Iraq. Read More »

Tags: Islamism

Ministerial role that promotes religion should have gone, not just the Minister

Posted: Wed, 06 Aug 2014 by Stephen Evans

As Eric Pickles takes over Baroness Warsi's ministerial responsibilities for promoting faith, Stephen Evans argues that the job should have gone, not just the minister.

In one of the more popular moves of her political career to date, Baroness Warsi this week... Read More »

Tags: secularism

Talking to God: the corporate religious challenge to a pluralist, progressive Europe

Posted: Fri, 01 Aug 2014 by Kenneth Houston

EU and UN 'dialogue' with civil society gives disproportionate weight to conservative religious voices at the expense of moderate and secular opinion, argues Kenneth Houston. Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Europe, Gender Equality

Kerry County Council crucifix a challenge to religious diversity

Posted: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 by Dr Ronan McCrea

Following the erection of a crucifix in the newly renovated Kerry County Council chambers, Dr Ronan McCrea argues that the values of a particular faith should not be given predominance in State institutions. Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Equality & Human Rights, Council Prayers

A parent’s perspective: a review of the ‘collective worship’ requirement is long overdue

Posted: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 by Alison Fenwick

As a parent of a 6 year old daughter, Alison Fenwick argues that the obligation on schools to 'worship' impinges on her parental right to raise her child in accordance with her own beliefs. Read More »

Tags: Collective Worship, Education, Parents Perspective

The world must respond to the cry of Iraq’s Christians

Posted: Thu, 24 Jul 2014 by Lord Alton

Religious cleansing in Iraq is making a "hateful mockery" of international law which should protect people and uphold their freedom to follow our own beliefs, argues Lord Alton.

Read More »

Tags: Iraq, Christianity, Islamism, Religious Freedom

Why is the Law Society promoting Islamic rules and legal services?

Posted: Fri, 18 Jul 2014 by Sadikur Rahman

After attending a seminar held by the Law Society on Islamic rules and legal services, Sadikur Rahman reflects upon the Society's desire to develop its members' knowledge of sharia law in the UK and questions how this contributes to Muslim people's freedoms. Read More »

Tags: Law, Sharia, Religiousity policing

Why the time has come to end compulsory worship in schools

Posted: Fri, 11 Jul 2014 by Stephen Evans

With the launch of a new petition calling on political parties to make the removal of the collective worship requirement part of their education policy, NSS campaigns manager Stephen Evans explains why the time has come to relieve schools of the obligation to provide worship. Read More »

Tags: Collective Worship, Education, Religious Freedom

Commission to investigate religion’s role in society

Posted: Thu, 03 Jul 2014 by Terry Sanderson

A commission has set itself up to "take the temperature of Britain's relationship with religion". But with so many vested interests on board, Terry Sanderson questions how objective its findings will be. Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Christianity

Will the Equality Act be battered into submitting to religious exemptions?

Posted: Mon, 30 Jun 2014 by Terry Sanderson

Misleading reporting of individual cases and calls for "conscience clauses" feed into a false narrative of Christian persecution aimed at undermining the Equality Act, argues Terry Sanderson.

Recently the vice president of the UK Supreme Court, Baroness Hale,... Read More »

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, Discrimination

It’s not only Islamists who have Trojan Horses

Posted: Fri, 27 Jun 2014 by Terry Sanderson

Those with a vested interest in the continuation of 'faith schools' have started their fight back against the growing number of critics, says Terry Sanderson.

After the furore of the Birmingham Trojan Horse affair, a lot of commentators reached the conclusion... Read More »

Tags: Education, Islam, Church of England, Faith Schools

Terry Sanderson’s speech to the Religious Freedom Conference, Chatham

Posted: Tue, 24 Jun 2014 by Terry Sanderson

On 21 June 2014, NSS President Terry Sanderson spoke at the Chatham Unitarian Church, about the importance of equalities protections and secularism to religious freedom. This is a transcript of his speech.

The first problem I have is with a definition of "religious... Read More »

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, Freedom of Expression, Discrimination

Pope’s zero tolerance pledge on child abuse is not enough

Posted: Mon, 23 Jun 2014 by David McClenaghan

Words are not enough: David McClenaghan argues that if the Church wants to deal with its record on child abuse it must root out both offenders and enablers. Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse

A “religious ethos” is not why faith schools succeed – it’s selection that does it

Posted: Tue, 17 Jun 2014 by Terry Sanderson

Rather than a faith-based ethos, Terry Sanderson argues that it's selection that allows faith schools to outperform other schools – and calls for fairer admissions policies to ensure a level playing field for all.

The headline in the Coventry Telegraph... Read More »

Tags: Education, Discrimination, Faith Schools

Schools and the failure of multiculturalism and multifaithism

Posted: Tue, 17 Jun 2014 by Rumy Hasan

Rumy Hasan argues that faith based identity politics have contributed to an increasingly divisive school system, which undermines children's right to a broad, critical and tolerant secular education. Read More »

Tags: Education, Multiculturalism, Community Cohesion

Yes, “faith schools” really are the problem

Posted: Wed, 11 Jun 2014 by Terry Sanderson

Politicians are in denial over the problems caused by "faith schools" and religious influence in education, argues Terry Sanderson.

The National Secular Society has been saying it for years – "faith schools" are a bad idea. And despite the events of the... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Community Cohesion

BBC poll shows that religious people give more to charity than non-religious. Maybe...

Posted: Sun, 08 Jun 2014 by Terry Sanderson

Here we go again – the BBC has commissioned a survey that apparently shows that religious people are more likely to give to charity than non-religious people.

If you look at the results, you see that the difference in charitable giving between believers... Read More »

Tags: Charity, Statistics

The choice of when to die should be that of the individual – not religious leaders

Posted: Thu, 05 Jun 2014 by Terry Sanderson

Speaking from personal experience, Terry Sanderson argues that religious opposition to a new law on assisted dying causes needless suffering to the terminally ill and their families.

The campaigning group Dignity in Dying has launched a campaign aimed at the... Read More »

Tags: Assisted Dying

School chaplains: the Church of England's latest plan to evangelise in schools

Posted: Tue, 03 Jun 2014 by Stephen Evans

With the majority church schools now employing Christian chaplains, Stephen Evans questions whether public money intended for education should be used to fund the Church of England's missionary work. Read More »

Tags: Education, Church of England

A woman is stoned. We politely look away

Posted: Fri, 30 May 2014 by Matthew Syed

Our reluctance to fight 'small' battles – over forced marriage and the burka – merely emboldens the fundamentalists, argues Matthew Syed Read More »

Tags: Gender Equality, Burka/veil

The Law Society should stay out of the theology business

Posted: Tue, 13 May 2014 by Sadikur Rahman

Sadikur Rahman, of the Lawyers' Secular Society, argues that the Law Society's response to criticism of its sharia guidance misses the point that the society has gone beyond its mandate and given credibility to discriminatory practices. Read More »

Tags: Sharia, Lawyers Secular Society

Embedded religious privilege triumphs on Scottish education issues

Posted: Mon, 12 May 2014 by Alistair McBay

National Secular Society's spokesperson for Scotland, Alistair McBay, argues that the Scottish Parliament has helped entrench religious privilege in the country's education system.

Tuesday 6 May was a busy day in the Scottish Parliament which saw a triumph... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Education, Scotland

‘Halal hysteria’: Religious exemption from animal welfare law is the real issue

Posted: Thu, 08 May 2014 by Stephen Evans

Food retailers should be upfront about what they're serving up, but the main issue is one of animal welfare, and the religious exemption that allows animals to be slaughtered without being stunned, argues Stephen Evans.

Halal again hit the headlines this week,... Read More »

Tags: Religious Slaughter