Tags: Freedom of Expression

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. Read More »

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

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: Blasphemy, Freedom of Expression, 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: Blasphemy, Freedom of Expression

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: Caste, Freedom of Expression, Hindu Nationalism, Secularism

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: Blasphemy, Freedom of Expression

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, Hindu Nationalism, Islamism

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: Freedom of Expression, Stephen Evans

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: Anti-Muslim Bigotry, Freedom of Expression, Islam

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: EDOs, Extremism, Freedom of Expression

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: Freedom of Expression, Islamism

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

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: Christianity, Freedom of Expression, Islam, 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: Education, Freedom of Expression

Anti-Muslim bigotry and the problem, with ‘Islamophobia’

Anti-Muslim bigotry and the problem, with ‘Islamophobia’

Posted: Thu, 11 Jun 2015 by Benjamin Jones

Islamists are again using the victims of anti-Muslim bigotry to advance their agenda. Once again, a British university has aided this project in a conference on 'Islamophobia' which undermined and demonised ex-Muslims as "McCarthyites".

Many, many Muslims are... Read More »

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

‘Spiritual influence’, democracy and free expression

‘Spiritual influence’, democracy and free expression

Posted: Tue, 19 May 2015 by Alastair Lichten

Religious voting blocs and sectarian and divisive politics harm society and can undermine democracy. But are laws that potentially restrict free expression the answer? Alastair Lichten considers the charge of 'undue spiritual influence'.

Many student unions... Read More »

Tags: Community Cohesion, Freedom of Expression, Politics

You can never kill ideas: an anonymous blogger on the deaths of secularists in Bangladesh

You can never kill ideas: an anonymous blogger on the deaths of secularists in Bangladesh

Posted: Thu, 14 May 2015 by Anonymous

Following the recent wave of assassinations targeting atheist and secular writers in Bangladesh, we publish the thoughts of a British secularist of Bangladeshi origin – and his message to their murderers.

Ananda Bijoy Das was killed just two days ago... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam

It should be politically impossible for universities to enforce blasphemy laws

It should be politically impossible for universities to enforce blasphemy laws

Posted: Thu, 30 Apr 2015 by Benjamin Jones

It should be politically toxic, publicly excruciating, there should be protests, and mass disruption to campuses when universities censor blasphemy. Where is the outrage?

The censors and reactionaries are at it again. The most recent case came from Bath. A... Read More »

Tags: Blasphemy, Education, Freedom of Expression

Why we should stop saying ‘Islamophobia’

Why we should stop saying ‘Islamophobia’

Posted: Thu, 02 Apr 2015 by Benjamin Jones

The bigoted views of Islamists and anti-Muslim demagogues must be challenged, but the term 'Islamophobia' only serves to confuse the issues and shut down debate, argues Benjamin Jones.

The NUS Women's Conference made headlines recently after the organisers... Read More »

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

Je suis Michael Overd: this obnoxious street preacher is a canary in the coal mine for free speech

Je suis Michael Overd: this obnoxious street preacher is a canary in the coal mine for free speech

Posted: Fri, 20 Mar 2015 by Benjamin Jones

An offensive street preacher has been charged for giving a "religiously aggravated" sermon, and was told by a police officer that he is not allowed to offend anyone. Benjamin Jones warns of the danger posed to our civil liberties if the state continues to... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Religious Freedom

Charlie Hebdo: a perspective one month on

Charlie Hebdo: a perspective one month on

Posted: Wed, 18 Feb 2015 by Sadikur Rahman

25 years after the Rushdie Affair, one month after the atrocities in Paris and days after the attack on a free speech seminar in Copenhagen, Sadikur Rahman looks at what lessons free expression activists and opponents have taken.

Another European city, this... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam