NSS Opinion

BBC Panorama, “the battle for British Islam” and the nonsense of “peaceful” or “violent” Muslims

BBC Panorama, “the battle for British Islam” and the nonsense of “peaceful” or “violent” Muslims

Posted: Thu, 22 Jan 2015 by Benjamin Jones

NSS communications officer Benjamin Jones argues that the problem of Islamism is obscured by politicians and others simplistically categorising Muslims as either 'peaceful' or 'violent'.

On 12 January, BBC Panorama featured British Muslims campaigning for a... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam, Secularism

Rendering unto Caesar

Rendering unto Caesar

Posted: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 by Alistair McBay

The established Church throws stones from inside its Government-subsidised glass cathedral, argues Alistair McBay.

The Church of England was in the news again last week as it tried to prove its relevance to 21st century Britain.

After the embarrassing PR fiasco... Read More »

Tags: Church of England, Disestablishment

Charlie Hebdo Editorial: Je Suis Charlie Means Je Suis Secularism

Charlie Hebdo Editorial: Je Suis Charlie Means Je Suis Secularism

Posted: Thu, 15 Jan 2015 by Admin

This is a translation of the editorial from the first Charlie Hebdo published since the Paris attacks. It is reproduced here in solidarity with Charlie Hebdo.

For a week now, Charlie, an atheist magazine, has accomplished more miracles than all the saints and... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam, Secularism

MPs want God at centre of local democracy

MPs want God at centre of local democracy

Posted: Thu, 15 Jan 2015 by Imran Khan

When Conservative councillor Imran Khan opted out of Christian prayers at council meetings he was subject to ostracization, abuse and deselection. He's urging MPs to keep sectarianism out of local politics by voting against the Local Government (Religious... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Council Prayers

British media fails the free speech test

British media fails the free speech test

Posted: Fri, 09 Jan 2015 by Sadikur Rahman

The British print and media press's response to the Charlie Hebdo attack has involved victim blaming, obfuscation and self-censorship, argues Sadikur Rahman.

If there was ever a time when the British print and media press should have shown courage and strength... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam

GP Taylor: Why faith has no place in our schools

GP Taylor: Why faith has no place in our schools

Posted: Thu, 08 Jan 2015 by GP Taylor

Many principled people of faith oppose religious privilege in state schools. Former Anglican priest GP Taylor makes an impassioned case for secularism as a basis for equally inclusive education.

As a priest, I was always suspicious of the new parent lurking... Read More »

Tags: Community Cohesion, Education, Faith Schools, Secularism

NSS statement following Charlie Hebdo attack

NSS statement following Charlie Hebdo attack

Posted: Wed, 07 Jan 2015 by Terry Sanderson

Restrictions on criticising or satirising religion, especially Islam, have hugely increased since Salman Rushdie was burned in effigy and driven into hiding over The Satanic Verses in 1988. That he was reviled and those attempting his murder not even charged... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression

Churches, charity and the conferring of privilege

Churches, charity and the conferring of privilege

Posted: Tue, 06 Jan 2015 by Alistair McBay

There are many ways to do good, including campaigning for human rights and equality over discrimination and prejudice, but charitable work is not a bargaining chip for special privileges, argues Alistair McBay.

Recently some Christian leaders in Scotland angered... Read More »

Tags: Big Society, Charity, Scotland

If we exempt ritual slaughter from animal welfare laws we open the door to far worse crimes

If we exempt ritual slaughter from animal welfare laws we open the door to far worse crimes

Posted: Mon, 05 Jan 2015 by Matthew Syed

Jewish and Muslim sensibilities about ritual slaughter are given protected status, despite these practices being inhumane. Matthew Syed argues that religious exemptions in this area are a slippery slope into far worse crimes.

I'll be honest: I love meat. I... Read More »

Tags: Religious Freedom, Religious Slaughter

Law Society, religion and the law: reasons to be cheerful

Law Society, religion and the law: reasons to be cheerful

Posted: Tue, 23 Dec 2014 by Sadikur Rahman

The last year has seen a number of successful campaigns against attempts to impose religion in our secular legal system. Council member Sadikur Rahman looks at hopes for optimism in 2015.

When in March this year I wrote a humble blog piece criticising the Law... Read More »

Tags: Law, Lawyers Secular Society, Religious Law, Sharia

Government’s GCSE subject content review is another missed opportunity

Government’s GCSE subject content review is another missed opportunity

Posted: Tue, 23 Dec 2014 by Stephen Evans

The Government's proposal to reform the religious studies GCSE subject content falls far short of what's really needed, argues Stephen Evans.

The Department for Education is currently consulting on its proposed subject content for religious studies GCSE and... Read More »

Tags: Education, Religious education

A strange case of blasphemy

A strange case of blasphemy

Posted: Fri, 19 Dec 2014 by Benjamin Jones

The Sony crisis is almost identical to the Satanic Verses controversy, or the Mohammed cartoon riots. Benjamin Jones argues that Sony's capitulation to North Korea has all the hallmarks of religious blasphemy cases, and that the state religion of North Korea... Read More »

Tags: Blasphemy

Britain First – foot soldiers of a ‘Christian Nation’?

Britain First – foot soldiers of a ‘Christian Nation’?

Posted: Mon, 08 Dec 2014 by Alastair Lichten

When mainstream politicians endorse the 'Christian Nation' narrative they feed both Muslim and Christian persecution complexes and pander to the far-right, argues Alastair Lichten.

Elements in the current government like to promote the dog whistle message that... Read More »

Tags: Christianity, Community Cohesion, Discrimination, Islam, Multiculturalism

The Christmas nativity: Let it go! Let it go!

The Christmas nativity: Let it go! Let it go!

Posted: Tue, 02 Dec 2014 by Stephen Evans

After it this week emerged that some school nativity plays are losing their religion, Stephen Evans argues that schools should be free to innovate and have a bit of fun with their festive plays without po-faced nativity police telling them they can't.

Predictable... Read More »

Tags: Christmas, Education

Tower Hamlets and the Dangers of Communal Politics

Tower Hamlets and the Dangers of Communal Politics

Posted: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 by Rumy Hasan

Last week, the accountancy firm PwC, in its audit of Tower Hamlets Council and its Mayor, Lutfur Rahman, catalogued very serious failings. The case sheds light on a troubling phenomenon: communal politics. We are well aware of the divisive, sectarian politics... Read More »

Tags: Community Cohesion, Multiculturalism, Politics

Mission creep in the anti-war left

Mission creep in the anti-war left

Posted: Wed, 19 Nov 2014 by Benjamin Jones

Video has emerged of the Left Unity political party voting on whether to endorse the Islamic State. Although the amendment was easily defeated, Benjamin Jones argues that this is just the latest flirtation in a long courtship between elements of the British... Read More »

Tags: ISIS, Iraq, Islamism, Middle East

Parent's perspective: The Collective Worship dilemma

Parent's perspective: The Collective Worship dilemma

Posted: Tue, 18 Nov 2014 by A Parent

One parent speaks out about the damaging impact of excluding her young child from mandatory collective worship in school, and how withdrawal isn't really an option at all.

My four year old son has just started primary school. Starting school was a very exciting... Read More »

Tags: Childrens rights & welfare, Christianity, Collective Worship, Education, Parents Perspective

Who are the true Muslims – all or none?

Who are the true Muslims – all or none?

Posted: Thu, 13 Nov 2014 by Matthew Syed

Moderate believers argue that Isis has misinterpreted the Koran. But no one can determine who is right or wrong, argues Matthew Syed.

Who are the real Muslims? Who are the bona fide, authentic, true-to-the-core followers of the Islamic faith? Now, that might... Read More »

Tags: ISIS, Islam, Islamism, Tony Blair

Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child

Posted: Thu, 13 Nov 2014 by Alastair Lichten

Every year the National Secular Society is contacted by parents upset to discover that a festive charitable project in their children's school is unwittingly making them tools for evangelisation. Alastair Lichten looks at some of their concerns.

It seems to... Read More »

Tags: Charity, Christianity, Christmas, Faith Schools, Samaritans Purse

Assisted Dying: It is now a case of ‘when’, rather than ‘if’

Assisted Dying: It is now a case of ‘when’, rather than ‘if’

Posted: Tue, 11 Nov 2014 by Keith Porteous Wood

On Friday 7 November the Assisted Dying Bill was debated in the House of Lords. The executive director of the National Secular Society, Keith Porteous Wood, who attended last Friday's debate, reports back about the debate and the Bill's progress.

Although the... Read More »

Tags: Assisted Dying

Remembrance Sunday should not be dominated by religion

Remembrance Sunday should not be dominated by religion

Posted: Thu, 06 Nov 2014 by Dan Snow

Historian, broadcaster and NSS honorary associate Dan Snow on the need for an inclusive and secular remembrance ceremony that better reflects the society it serves.

It is one of the most important events of the year. I remember my dad taking me when I was a... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Church of England, History, Remembrance

Transport to faith schools: Local authorities shouldn't be subsidising religious segregation

Transport to faith schools: Local authorities shouldn't be subsidising religious segregation

Posted: Thu, 06 Nov 2014 by Stephen Evans

A "hideous form of discrimination" or the justifiable removal of a religious privilege? NSS campaigns manager Stephen Evans takes on Conservative MP Nigel Evans over the removal of transport subsidies to faith schools.

Last week, during Education Questions... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Transport

The rise of political Islam in Turkey: how the West got it wrong

The rise of political Islam in Turkey: how the West got it wrong

Posted: Tue, 04 Nov 2014 by Safak Pavey

Political Islamism has undermined the Turkish Republic's secular social order, education and legal systems and Western pundits manifestly failed to see this coming, argues Turkish opposition MP, Safak Pavey.

The end of the Cold War did not free the world of... Read More »

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, Events, Islam, Sharia, Turkey

New data revealed on 2015 voting intentions of non-believers

New data revealed on 2015 voting intentions of non-believers

Posted: Tue, 28 Oct 2014 by Benjamin Jones

The British Election Study has shed new light on the voting intentions of non-believers, and highlighted the power of religious minorities to shape elections in the future. Benjamin Jones explores how atheists, agnostics and the irreligious plan to vote in... Read More »

Tags: Conservative Party, GE2015, Labour Party, Politics, Statistics, UKIP, atheism

Free Church of Scotland attacks secularism and “sexual equality”; calls for Biblical principles in Scottish Government

Free Church of Scotland attacks secularism and “sexual equality”; calls for Biblical principles in Scottish Government

Posted: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 by Benjamin Jones

The Free Church of Scotland has labelled secularism "harmful to society" and called for the new Scottish constitutional settlement to reflect Biblical principles. Benjamin Jones argues that secularism is in fact entirely impartial, and defends the rights of... Read More »

Tags: Christianity, Church & State, Religious Freedom

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