NSS Opinion

Section 28 was a shameful piece of legislation prompted by fake news

Section 28 was a shameful piece of legislation prompted by fake news

Posted: Wed, 23 May 2018 by Terry Sanderson

Thirty years after the government banned local authorities from 'promoting' homosexuality, Terry Sanderson reflects on the hysteria that prompted Section 28, the fear it caused and the backing religious fanatics gave it.

The struggle for gay rights in this... Read More »

Tags: LGBTQ rights, Equality & Human Rights

The government's U-turn shows the tide is turning against faith schools

The government's U-turn shows the tide is turning against faith schools

Posted: Fri, 18 May 2018 by Stephen Evans

The decision not to allow more faith-based admissions to new free schools in England is a big win, says Stephen Evans. But the expansion of faith schools is the wrong response to Britain's growing religious diversity.

The government's U-turn on its manifesto... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Fifty percent cap

How secularism cuts the Gordian knot in education

How secularism cuts the Gordian knot in education

Posted: Fri, 18 May 2018 by Megan Manson

Faith schools' approach to admissions and sex education reminds us that religious groups' interests often conflict with those of society. Megan Manson says the only answer to this is to separate education from religion.

When we tie religion and state together,... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, RSE

We’ll all suffer if we let religion dictate how public servants do their jobs

We’ll all suffer if we let religion dictate how public servants do their jobs

Posted: Tue, 01 May 2018 by Chris Sloggett

Politicians have hung a coroner who stood up to religious groups out to dry, says Chris Sloggett. And they've revealed how foolish we are to indulge individualistic demands for state services to accommodate religion.

When Mary Hassell isn't appearing in court,... Read More »

Tags: Public services

Faith schools: why reducing the harm isn’t enough

Faith schools: why reducing the harm isn’t enough

Posted: Mon, 23 Apr 2018 by Alastair Lichten

We can mitigate the harm caused by faith schools in plenty of ways. But after the launch of the No More Faith Schools campaign, Alastair Lichten says the long-term battle is over the fact faith groups run schools at all.

I spent a lot of Friday reading though... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Admissions

The row over right of withdrawal highlights the need to reform RE

The row over right of withdrawal highlights the need to reform RE

Posted: Fri, 13 Apr 2018 by Stephen Evans

Teachers from the ATL union have voted to demand a clampdown on parents selectively withdrawing their children from RE. But Stephen Evans says the right to withdraw should only be scrapped once the subject is reformed.

A teaching union warned recently that... Read More »

Tags: Education, Religious education

Bishops must be accountable – and not just to themselves

Bishops must be accountable – and not just to themselves

Posted: Fri, 23 Mar 2018 by Richard Scorer

Abridged version of the winding-up speech by lawyer Richard Scorer of Slater and Gordon, also an NSS vice president, at the IICSA inquiry's hearings into the handling of child sexual abuse in the diocese of Chichester.

This has been the first opportunity for... Read More »

Tags: Child Abuse, Church of England

What comes after The Silence of the Liberals?

What comes after The Silence of the Liberals?

Posted: Fri, 16 Mar 2018 by Chris Sloggett

Nick Cohen has skewered the hypocrisy of leftists who apologise for Islamic intolerance, says Chris Sloggett. To defeat it we must assert the value of free speech as the most precious right which citizens share.

"I'm as interested in what isn't said as what... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam, Reviews

We can’t build a shared society around segregated schools

We can’t build a shared society around segregated schools

Posted: Thu, 15 Mar 2018 by Alastair Lichten

Our education and schools officer examines the education proposals in the Government's new integration strategy, arguing they should lead to a wider discussion of children's rights and facing up to the religious segregation rife in education.

When we talk about... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Community Cohesion, unregistered schools, Home schooling

Church dysfunctionality laid bare by child sexual abuse inquiry

Church dysfunctionality laid bare by child sexual abuse inquiry

Posted: Sun, 11 Mar 2018 by Keith Porteous Wood

As the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse turns its attention to the Church of England, Keith Porteous Wood says it must act on evidence which has highlighted the desperate need to hold the C of E to account.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual... Read More »

Tags: Church of England, Child Abuse

What secularism means for African women’s rights and citizenship

What secularism means for African women’s rights and citizenship

Posted: Thu, 08 Mar 2018 by Dr Fatou Sow

In a long read for International Women's Day, Dr Fatou Sow says secularism is a feminist issue and reflects on its particular importance to women in Africa.

I join this conversation as an academic researcher in sociology and an activist, as the Director of... Read More »

Tags: Gender Equality, Africa

Seven women who refused to be silenced by religious bullies

Seven women who refused to be silenced by religious bullies

Posted: Thu, 08 Mar 2018 by Megan Manson

On International Women's Day, Megan Manson celebrates the stories of seven brave and determined women in the UK who religious hardliners have tried – and failed miserably – to bully over the past year.

Religion is one of the key obstructions to... Read More »

Tags: Education, Extremism, LGBTQ rights, Sabbatarianism, Gender Equality

Male circumcision is an issue of religious freedom  - and should be prohibited as such

Male circumcision is an issue of religious freedom - and should be prohibited as such

Posted: Tue, 06 Mar 2018 by Dr Marika McAdam

Proponents of ritual genital cutting often claim a 'right' to religious freedom justifies their position. But individuals have rights, says Dr Marika McAdam – and for boys, they include the right to autonomy over their own foreskins.

In amending laws... Read More »

Tags: Circumcision, Religious freedom

The C of E cannot be trusted to deal with safeguarding complaints in house

The C of E cannot be trusted to deal with safeguarding complaints in house

Posted: Mon, 05 Mar 2018 by Richard Scorer

On the first day of hearings into child sexual abuse in the Church of England, NSS vice-president Richard Scorer told an inquiry that protecting children requires independent oversight and mandatory reporting.

Earlier today I addressed the Independent Inquiry... Read More »

Tags: Church of England, Child Abuse

Religious freedom isn't a licence to violate others’ rights

Religious freedom isn't a licence to violate others’ rights

Posted: Thu, 01 Mar 2018 by Stephen Evans

Increasing clashes between religious orthodoxy and secular liberalism highlight one of the most pressing challenges facing contemporary societies; how to manage the incredible religious and cultural diversity that exist within them. This throws up important... Read More »

Tags: Circumcision, Healthcare

Sturgeon’s praise for Catholic schools will exacerbate Scotland’s tribal divisions

Sturgeon’s praise for Catholic schools will exacerbate Scotland’s tribal divisions

Posted: Wed, 28 Feb 2018 by Neil Barber

Catholic schools are no remedy for a society facing ingrained sectarian division, writes Neil Barber. In praising them Scotland's first minister has shown a willingness to sacrifice social cohesion to reach a block vote.

Often referred to as "Scotland's shame",... Read More »

Tags: Scotland, Education, Faith Schools, Catholic Church

How cutting cultures deny dissenters their voice and identity

How cutting cultures deny dissenters their voice and identity

Posted: Fri, 23 Feb 2018 by Dr Antony Lempert

As Icelandic lawmakers consider whether to ban cutting infants' genitals for non-medical reasons, Dr Antony Lempert reflects on the ferocious backlash to the proposal in the UK.

This week non-therapeutic childhood male circumcision has hit the UK headlines... Read More »

Tags: Circumcision, Healthcare

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.

Schools rightly have safeguarding responsibilities... Read More »

Tags: Education, unregistered schools, supplementary 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.

Ten years ago today Rowan Williams suggested... Read More »

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.

For secularists interested in education... Read More »

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.

'Controversial' is a word that means almost nothing while revealing... Read More »

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.

No sooner had Sara Khan been appointed the new Commissioner for Countering Extremism than the reactionaries were howling... Read More »

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.

It's unpleasant enough that any institution would turn away a child on the basis of their parents' beliefs. When it's a state-funded school, it's... Read More »

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.

If there were ever a perfect time to read Persepolis, it would be now.... Read More »

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.

On Sunday the BBC will broadcast an hour-long film on the... Read More »

Tags: Monarchy, Church & State, Church of England

Subscribe to RSS Feed Help for RSS Feeds