Author: Chris Sloggett

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Humza Yousaf

Does Scotland’s justice minister realise the reach of his own hate crime bill?

Posted: Tue, 16 Jun 2020 by Chris Sloggett

Humza Yousaf has claimed a bill he's proposing isn't a threat to free speech because it sets a high threshold for criminality. But his careless words suggest he isn't taking concerns seriously, says Chris Sloggett. Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Scotland

Scottish parliament

Scotland’s new hate speech law will be too censorious

Posted: Thu, 07 May 2020 by Chris Sloggett

A new offence of 'stirring up hatred' on religious grounds is too restrictive of free speech, says Chris Sloggett. Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Scotland

Church closed during coronavirus outbreak

Secular attitudes and laws are assets against coronavirus

Posted: Fri, 03 Apr 2020 by Chris Sloggett

Religious fanaticism is hindering the fight against coronavirus across much of the world. But in Britain, claims to religious exceptionalism are thankfully relatively isolated, says Chris Sloggett. Read More »

Tags: Religious freedom

Trevor Phillips

Trevor Phillips’s suspension is another blow to robust public debate

Posted: Wed, 11 Mar 2020 by Chris Sloggett

You don't need to agree with everything Trevor Phillips has said about Muslims or Islam to be concerned at the attempt to render his ideas beyond the pale, says Chris Sloggett. Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam

Divorce

Don’t let religious interests make divorce any harder than it needs to be

Posted: Thu, 05 Mar 2020 by Chris Sloggett

The Church of England and its supporters are opposing plans to make it easier for couples to divorce without assigning blame. Chris Sloggett says parliamentarians should resist their lobbying. Read More »

Tags: Marriage

BBC Big Questions debate on Islamophobia

Don’t let religious advocates define the boundaries of acceptable thought

Posted: Thu, 20 Feb 2020 by Chris Sloggett

A BBC debate on defining 'Islamophobia' was a reminder of the risks of giving too much ground to religious identity politics and empowering 'community groups' to police public discussion, says Chris Sloggett. Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam

Charlie Hebdo cover

Five years after the Charlie Hebdo murders, free expression on religion still needs promoting

Posted: Tue, 07 Jan 2020 by Chris Sloggett

Half a decade after the Islamist attack on cartoonists in France, Chris Sloggett says we owe it to the victims and those left behind to reject blasphemy taboos. Read More »

Tags: Blasphemy, Freedom of Expression

Parliament

Don’t let religious sectarianism tear our democracy apart

Posted: Thu, 14 Nov 2019 by Chris Sloggett

Chris Sloggett says the major parties in the current election campaign are indulging Britain's division into religious tribes – and we should urgently ask how we can move past this. Read More »

Tags: Democracy, Election, Freedom of Expression

People

We should expect the religious to follow the same laws as everyone else

Posted: Thu, 07 Nov 2019 by Chris Sloggett

In response to a targeted criticism of the NSS for campaigning to end non-stun slaughter, Chris Sloggett says the principle of one law for all is worth upholding. Read More »

Tags: One law for all, Religious Slaughter

Sarah Mullally

Don’t take lessons on democracy from Church of England bishops

Posted: Fri, 04 Oct 2019 by Chris Sloggett

The bishop of London has lamented the state of British democracy while delivering a sermon at the annual judges' service. Perhaps someone should point out the undemocratic nature of her own position, says Chris Sloggett. Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Church of England, Democracy, Law

Ephraim Mirvis

The chief rabbi has made an anti-democratic attempt to shut down criticism

Posted: Wed, 18 Sep 2019 by Chris Sloggett

The chief rabbi has asked secularists to stop campaigning against practices such as faith schools and infant circumcision. His apparently polite request should be firmly rejected, says Chris Sloggett. Read More »

Tags: Circumcision, Faith Schools, Freedom of Expression

Ballot box

Beware moving election dates for religious reasons

Posted: Wed, 04 Sep 2019 by Chris Sloggett

The proposed date for a general election has moved to accommodate a Jewish festival. Chris Sloggett asks whether the government has weighed up all competing considerations before reaching this decision. Read More »

Tags: Politics

Justin Welby

Don't expect the Church of England to unify the country

Posted: Thu, 29 Aug 2019 by Chris Sloggett

The archbishop of Canterbury has been asked to help unify the country during Brexit. Chris Sloggett warns left-leaning MPs against buttressing the power of the Church of England to further their agenda. Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Church of England

Islamophobia defined

The gatekeepers of public debate can’t patronise away anti-Muslim bigotry

Posted: Thu, 22 Aug 2019 by Chris Sloggett

Adopting a proposed definition of 'Islamophobia' would restrict legitimate speech on Islam and embed a failing approach to anti-Muslim hate. This is the NSS's submission to a series of essays criticising the definition. Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam

Repeal blasphemy laws

Why won’t the government condemn the existence of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws?

Posted: Thu, 18 Jul 2019 by Chris Sloggett

Ministers keep condemning the "misuse" of Pakistan's blasphemy laws in response to parliamentary questions. But the 'misuse' of indefensible laws isn't the issue – the existence of them is, says Chris Sloggett. Read More »

Tags: Blasphemy, Freedom of Expression

Newspapers

Blasphemy culture mustn’t undermine freedom of the press

Posted: Thu, 11 Jul 2019 by Chris Sloggett

The press regulator is consulting on guidelines which will inform the way stories about Islam and Muslims are reported. It must not endorse taboos which shut down debate and harm social cohesion, says Chris Sloggett. Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Media

Prince William

Equality for LGBT people requires a secular head of state

Posted: Thu, 27 Jun 2019 by Chris Sloggett

Prince William's comments on supporting his children if they are gay should be treated with much less significance than the fact he is due to lead an established church which obstructs LGBT equality, says Chris Sloggett. Read More »

Tags: Church & State, LGBT rights, Monarchy

Child

Protecting children means challenging religious privilege

Posted: Fri, 07 Jun 2019 by Chris Sloggett

A report on child abuse in religious settings should prompt us to reconsider our relationship with religious institutions and their constitutional privileges and our wider attitude towards religion, says Chris Sloggett. Read More »

Tags: Child Abuse

Advertising Standards Authority logo

The advertising regulator is pandering to religious offence-taking

Posted: Thu, 04 Apr 2019 by Chris Sloggett

As a regulator issues patronising advice to advertisers in the run-up to Easter, Chris Sloggett takes a look at its guidance on religious offence – and finds a deep and damaging aversion to freedom of expression. Read More »

Tags: Easter, Freedom of Expression

Classroom

The government should stand up to parents who want religious opt-outs

Posted: Wed, 27 Feb 2019 by Chris Sloggett

Giving ground to religious groups' individualistic demands for opt-outs from relationships & sex education undermines children's rights and teachers' ability to do their job, says Chris Sloggett. Read More »

Tags: Children's rights & welfare, Education, RSE

Sheep

Defending one law for all is the only sustainable way to beat reactionaries of all stripes

Posted: Thu, 10 Jan 2019 by Chris Sloggett

As a ban on non-stun slaughter comes into force in northern Belgium, Chris Sloggett says there should be no religious exemptions to the law. Read More »

Tags: Animal Welfare, Halal, Kosher, One law for all, Religious Slaughter

The gatekeepers of public debate can’t patronise away anti-Muslim bigotry

The gatekeepers of public debate can’t patronise away anti-Muslim bigotry

Posted: Wed, 28 Nov 2018 by Chris Sloggett

A parliamentary group's proposal that the government define 'Islamophobia' is a misguided power grab, says Chris Sloggett. If we want to end anti-Muslim bigotry, we should stop telling people what to think about Islam. Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam

Don’t let mixed-sex civil partnerships distract from the need for marriage reform

Don’t let mixed-sex civil partnerships distract from the need for marriage reform

Posted: Wed, 03 Oct 2018 by Chris Sloggett

Campaigners' elation at the arrival of opposite-sex civil partnerships is understandable, says Chris Sloggett. But beware politicians using it to excuse their failure to loosen the Church of England's grip on marriage.

It's hard to begrudge Rebecca Steinfeld... Read More »

Tags: Marriage, Marriage Equality

Stop reflexively saying yes to religious groups

Stop reflexively saying yes to religious groups

Posted: Fri, 21 Sep 2018 by Chris Sloggett

As councils in north London, police in West Yorkshire and politicians in Westminster pander to religious groups' demands, Chris Sloggett says public bodies should stop taking the line of least resistance.

When you're up against someone who wants something,... Read More »

Tags: Community Cohesion, Public Services

Universities must commit to free expression – and they should stop hiring religious chaplains

Universities must commit to free expression – and they should stop hiring religious chaplains

Posted: Thu, 02 Aug 2018 by Chris Sloggett

A chaplain should not have been sacked for criticising Pride off campus, says Chris Sloggett. But universities can strike a blow for free speech and critical enquiry if they stop appointing religious representatives.

It is both impossible and undesirable to... Read More »

Tags: Chaplaincy, Freedom of Expression, Universities

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