Tags: Freedom of Expression

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

How secularism protects people who have religious faith

How secularism protects people who have religious faith

Posted: Wed, 14 Nov 2018 by Megan Manson

For Interfaith Week 2018, campaigns officer Megan Manson explains how the National Secular Society's work protects those who are religious as well as those who are not.

One of the most common misconceptions about the National Secular Society is that we are... Read More »

Tags: Secularism, Conversion therapy, Caste, One law for all, Freedom of Expression, Child Abuse, Circumcision, FGM

European ruling that ‘religious feelings’ trump free speech is a dangerous development

European ruling that ‘religious feelings’ trump free speech is a dangerous development

Posted: Fri, 26 Oct 2018 by Stephen Evans

Just as Irish citizens strike a blow for the right to freedom of expression, the European Court has fundamentally undermined it, argues Stephen Evans.

Irish voters decided this week to remove the 'crime' of blasphemy from its constitution. The majority of citizens,... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Blasphemy, Islam

We must resist both religious hatred and its weaponisation

We must resist both religious hatred and its weaponisation

Posted: Thu, 18 Oct 2018 by Alastair Lichten

After a sharp rise in reported crimes in which religious hatred was a factor, Alastair Lichten says liberal democracies should challenge hatred and bigotry while resisting attempts to silence ideas.

According to new figures from the Home Office there were 94,098... Read More »

Tags: Hate crime, Anti-Muslim bigotry, Anti-Semitism, Ex-Muslim, Freedom of Expression

Why we must reclaim religious freedom

Why we must reclaim religious freedom

Posted: Wed, 12 Sep 2018 by National Secular Society

There is an urgent case for resisting those who claim the mantle of 'religious freedom' without regard for others' rights and freedoms. Here's why our Secularism 2019 conference will be held under the tagline 'reclaiming religious freedom'.

"Everyone has the... Read More »

Tags: Secularism 2019, Religious freedom, Freedom from Religion, Freedom of Expression, Healthcare, LGBTQ rights

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: Universities, Chaplaincy, Freedom of Expression

Ten years on from the abolition of blasphemy, free speech still needs defending

Ten years on from the abolition of blasphemy, free speech still needs defending

Posted: Wed, 11 Jul 2018 by Stephen Evans

Marking ten years since the criminal offence of blasphemy was abolished in England and Wales, Stephen Evans argues that the freedom to speak critically about beliefs others hold sacred is far from assured.

This week marks the 10-year anniversary of the abolition... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam

Seven secularist steps that would strengthen democracy in the UK

Seven secularist steps that would strengthen democracy in the UK

Posted: Wed, 04 Jul 2018 by Megan Manson

In recognition of National Democracy Week 2018, Megan Manson reflects on what still needs to be changed to make the UK a truly democratic, secular state.

This year's National Democracy Week is special because it also commemorates the 90th anniversary of the... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Secularism, Church of England, Faith Schools, Council prayers, Head of state, One law for all, Freedom of Expression

It shouldn’t be normal for pubs to conform to blasphemy codes

It shouldn’t be normal for pubs to conform to blasphemy codes

Posted: Wed, 06 Jun 2018 by Chris Sloggett

The brewer Greene King has taken the Saudi Arabian flag down from its World Cup displays after complaints from some Muslims that an Islamic symbol shouldn't be in a place which serves alcohol. Chris Sloggett responds.

Do you find the Saudi Arabian flag offensive?... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Blasphemy, Islam

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

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.

Terrorism will never prevail. Terrorists will never change who we are. Terrorists will never... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Blasphemy

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.

The makers of the Bollywood historical... Read More »

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

De facto blasphemy laws are alive and well

De facto blasphemy laws are alive and well

Posted: Thu, 16 Nov 2017 by Chris Sloggett

It is now 38 years since Monty Python's Life of Brian was released in November 1979, despite protests. But Chris Sloggett says we aren't truly free to engage in blasphemy today.

It is now 38 years since Monty Python's Life of Brian was released in November... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Blasphemy

Murdered for the ‘crime’ of blasphemy

Murdered for the ‘crime’ of blasphemy

Posted: Fri, 12 May 2017 by Anonymous

There has been an onslaught against secularists, atheists, ex-Muslims and countless religious minorities for 'blasphemy'. It's important to remember the individuals, and honour their lives and heroism.

In light of the recent press coverage around the trial... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islamism, Hindu Nationalism

The demonisation of Louis Smith: This is how a de facto blasphemy law works

The demonisation of Louis Smith: This is how a de facto blasphemy law works

Posted: Tue, 11 Oct 2016 by Stephen Evans

The castigation of a British gymnast for 'mocking Islam' is illustrative of a troubling return of blasphemy, argues Stephen Evans.

If you've been following the hounding of British Olympic gymnast Louis Smith this week, you'd be forgiven for forgetting that... Read More »

Tags: Stephen Evans, Freedom of Expression

Conflating abuse with criticism of Islam risks a return to a UK blasphemy law

Conflating abuse with criticism of Islam risks a return to a UK blasphemy law

Posted: Thu, 18 Aug 2016 by Benjamin Jones

The BBC and Demos have published an accidental case-study in why we should all stop using the meaningless and sinister word 'Islamophobia'.

The BBC has made much of a report from Demos warning that thousands of 'Islamophobic' tweets are sent in English every... Read More »

Tags: Islam, Anti-Muslim Bigotry, Freedom of Expression

Furore over Islamic bus adverts is nothing but disingenuous propaganda

Furore over Islamic bus adverts is nothing but disingenuous propaganda

Posted: Mon, 09 May 2016 by Stephen Evans

Christian groups are being disingenuous and divisive in claiming unfavourable treatment over the decision to allow Allah adverts on buses, argues Stephen Evans.

Christian groups have reacted with faux dismay to news that buses around England will soon be displaying... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression

Muddled-thinking on counter-extremism threatens free speech

Muddled-thinking on counter-extremism threatens free speech

Posted: Wed, 04 May 2016 by Benjamin Jones

Leaks ahead of the Government's latest counter-extremism drive show that they have failed to balance freedom of speech with the impossible objective set out to legally challenge Islamist ideas in the "pre-criminal space."

The latest offensive against 'extremism'... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Extremism, EDOs

2015: A year of terror for Bangladesh’s secularist writers

2015: A year of terror for Bangladesh’s secularist writers

Posted: Tue, 05 Jan 2016 by Arif Rahman

Arif Rahman, a Bangladeshi blogger, reflects on the targeted attacks on secularist bloggers that took place in Bangladesh throughout 2015, claiming many lives, and considers the road ahead for secularism in the face of terror and state-sanctioned persecution.... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islamism

A timid defence of free speech is no match for Islamism. We must do better.

A timid defence of free speech is no match for Islamism. We must do better.

Posted: Wed, 18 Nov 2015 by Benjamin Jones

Society needs a much more vigorous defence of free speech than the one we are getting, with the 'elite' of society in academia, religion and politics offering a feeble and timorous defence, writes Benjamin Jones.

Speaking at a debate on "freedom of speech... Read More »

Tags: Islamism, Freedom of Expression

Some good news for free speech on campuses

Some good news for free speech on campuses

Posted: Wed, 21 Oct 2015 by Benjamin Jones

With too many instances of campus censorship to list, it's easy to be pessimistic about freedom of expression on campus, but there are a few promising signs of progress, led by students, writes Benjamin Jones.

I've spoken on two university campuses in the past... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Universities

Warwick Student Union have now done the right thing – but universities themselves must step up to defend free speech

Warwick Student Union have now done the right thing – but universities themselves must step up to defend free speech

Posted: Mon, 28 Sep 2015 by Benjamin Jones

After taking relentless criticism on Twitter and Facebook, Warwick Student Union has reversed its decision to block Maryam Namazie from speaking on campus. Though the right decision has been made in the end, universities themselves must step up to defend free... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Universities

Academics call for greater sensitivity about religion in universities, but students suggest it’s not an issue

Academics call for greater sensitivity about religion in universities, but students suggest it’s not an issue

Posted: Fri, 19 Jun 2015 by National Secular Society

Some academics are giving undue prominence to religion and religious students- when the evidence shows they are exaggerating the scale of the 'problem' they describe.

Tariq Modood, professor of sociology at the University of Bristol, and Professor Craig Calhoun,... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Education, Religion & Belief, Community Cohesion, Universities, Statistics

Preacher James McConnell faces prosecution for calling Islam “Satanic"- the state again tramples over free expression

Preacher James McConnell faces prosecution for calling Islam “Satanic"- the state again tramples over free expression

Posted: Thu, 18 Jun 2015 by Benjamin Jones

Free speech for all is threatened once more by the senseless prosecution of another Christian preacher. His religious freedom is the same liberty that defends secularists, atheists, people of all religions and none.

"Islam is heathen, Islam is satanic, Islam... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam, Christianity, Religion & Belief

Academic claims university atheists are “militant”

Academic claims university atheists are “militant”

Posted: Thu, 18 Jun 2015 by Benjamin Jones

A paper published by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education has claimed that atheists can be "militant" on university campuses, while describing religion as a "public good" and the exclusion of religion from the public sphere as "repressive."

Professor... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Education