Tags: Islam

Defend free speech

Islam, like any other religion, must be fair game for criticism

Posted: Thu, 22 Aug 2019 by Stephen Evans

The disqualification of a GCSE student who criticised halal meat is a reminder of the need to resist censorious offence-taking on Islam and the normalisation of the idea of 'Islamophobia', says Stephen Evans. Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam

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

Birmingham protests

The anti-RSE campaign has echoes of the Rushdie affair

Posted: Thu, 23 May 2019 by Yasmin Rehman

As the campaign against relationships and sex education spreads and grows increasingly aggressive, Yasmin Rehman says politicians' pandering to intolerance will be a disaster for LGBT people, Muslims and wider society. Read More »

Tags: Islam, LGBT rights, RSE

Relativism is undermining liberalism from within

Relativism is undermining liberalism from within

Posted: Mon, 17 Dec 2018 by Terri Murray

In her book Identity, Islam and the Twilight of Liberal Values, Terri Murray explores attacks on liberalism from the left and right – and the failure to defend it. Here she explains what motivated her to write the book. Read More »

Tags: Cultural relativism, Islam

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

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: Blasphemy, Freedom of Expression, Islam

Do burka bans do more harm than good?

Do burka bans do more harm than good?

Posted: Thu, 02 Aug 2018 by Stephen Evans

As Denmark's ban on face coverings in public comes into force, Stephen Evans says standing up for fundamental rights and freedoms is the best way to push back against the oppression the burka represents.

Denmark became the latest country to "ban the burka"... Read More »

Tags: Burka/veil, Islam

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

It’s worth knowing why more Muslims are leaving faith behind

It’s worth knowing why more Muslims are leaving faith behind

Posted: Tue, 19 Jun 2018 by Fiyaz Mughal

A new book reveals a substantive movement of people choosing to leave Islam. Fiyaz Mughal, its co-editor, reflects on the stories it tells and the importance of mutual respect and empathy between Muslims and ex-Muslims.

I have worked with communities for over... Read More »

Tags: Ex-Muslim, Islam

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

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: Islam, Marriage, One law for all, Sharia

A lesson in silencing dissent: the controversy of hijab in schools

A lesson in silencing dissent: the controversy of hijab in schools

Posted: Tue, 28 Nov 2017 by Yasmin Rehman

Yasmin Rehman was among campaigners who recently met Ofsted's chief inspector to discuss veiling in schools. Now, she writes, some powerful Muslims are making sinister efforts to silence her and her fellow activists.

As I prepared to mark the International... Read More »

Tags: Education, Gender Equality, Islam

State recognition of Islamic nikah marriages is no way to empower Muslim women

State recognition of Islamic nikah marriages is no way to empower Muslim women

Posted: Wed, 22 Nov 2017 by Sadikur Rahman

Most women in the UK who have Islamic weddings are missing out on their legal rights. The solution to this problem must not lie in the automatic registration of Islamic marriages, argues Sadikur Rahman.

Channel 4's documentary The Truth about Muslim Marriage... Read More »

Tags: Islam, Marriage

Religious Right supports state backed prayers, until they’re Islamic

Religious Right supports state backed prayers, until they’re Islamic

Posted: Thu, 12 Oct 2017 by Paul Lusk

Claims of ecumenicalism and pluralism are often used to smuggle exclusively Christian privilege into public institutions. Christian secularist Paul Lusk asks what we should do about that.

Christian Concern has criticised Oldham council for holding Islamic prayers... Read More »

Tags: Christianity, Council Prayers, Islam, Religious Right

Lessons from the frontline of Islamic fundamentalism

Lessons from the frontline of Islamic fundamentalism

Posted: Thu, 21 Sep 2017 by Megan Manson

Megan Manson explores autobiographies by two Muslim secularists whose lives have been directly intertwined with Islamist extremism, and asks if the secular pluralism extremists most fear could be our best hope.

"Extremists have shown what frightens them the... Read More »

Tags: Education, Islam, Reviews, Secularism, Terrorism

Newcastle: what's faith got to do with it?

Newcastle: what's faith got to do with it?

Posted: Thu, 10 Aug 2017 by Yasmin Rehman

A group of mainly Muslim men has been convicted for sexual abuse in another British city. Amid a predictable response, Yasmin Rehman says child protection does not require the involvement of faith groups or 'community leaders'.

Rotherham, Rochdale, Oxford,... Read More »

Tags: Child Abuse, Faith groups, Islam, Multiculturalism, Secularism

We need to defend both our lives and our way of life

We need to defend both our lives and our way of life

Posted: Thu, 08 Jun 2017 by Stephen Evans

Terrorist atrocities have a way of bringing the nation together, albeit temporarily. We need a glue to keep us together, to protect our lives and our way of life, writes Stephen Evans.

There's a lot to be said for Britain's calm, defiant response to the threat... Read More »

Tags: Community Cohesion, Islam, Terrorism

The Casey Review lays bare the failure to integrate Muslim minorities

The Casey Review lays bare the failure to integrate Muslim minorities

Posted: Mon, 05 Dec 2016 by Benjamin Jones

Dame Louise Casey offers a damning critique of mass immigration undertaken without serious efforts to integrate new arrivals, but she shies away from properly tackling faith schools, and the problems she identifies may be intractable.

The Casey Review is a... Read More »

Tags: Islam, Multiculturalism

Review: The Battle for British Islam, by Sara Khan with Tony McMahon

Review: The Battle for British Islam, by Sara Khan with Tony McMahon

Posted: Thu, 27 Oct 2016 by Benjamin Jones

There are three million Muslims in the UK. The evidence shows they are becoming more religiously conservative, thousands are thought to have joined Islamic State; vast majorities would criminalise blasphemy and homosexuality. What hope is there?

'The Battle... Read More »

Tags: Islam, Reviews

Living better together: French secularism risks being destroyed by political ambition

Living better together: French secularism risks being destroyed by political ambition

Posted: Thu, 25 Aug 2016 by Terry Sanderson

Despite occasional conflicts, France's tradition of secularism has served both social cohesion and religious freedom well. Terry Sanderson argues that misusing secularism for political aims risks undermining both.

The French ban on so-called burkinis –... Read More »

Tags: Community Cohesion, Events, France, Islam

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

Living better together: What role do Muslims have in building a secular UK?

Living better together: What role do Muslims have in building a secular UK?

Posted: Tue, 09 Aug 2016 by Tehmina Kazi

When people learn I run a secularist charity, many are confused about what secularism means and its consequences for non-Christians in the UK, writes Tehmina Kazi of British Muslims for Secular Democracy.

For the last seven years, I have been the director of... Read More »

Tags: Community Cohesion, Events, Islam

Press regulator rules ‘honour’ killings are not Islamic

Press regulator rules ‘honour’ killings are not Islamic

Posted: Thu, 21 Jul 2016 by Benjamin Jones

The press regulator has issued a troubling ruling that the Mail Online must state that Islam "does not support" 'honour killings'. Why is IPSO giving religious rulings to protect the reputation of Islam?

What business is it of the press regulator what interpretation... Read More »

Tags: Islam, Violence against Women

62% say there is “no place in UK politics for religious influence of any kind”

62% say there is “no place in UK politics for religious influence of any kind”

Posted: Mon, 23 May 2016 by Benjamin Jones

The overwhelming majority of Britons believe religion should not "influence" politics in the UK, and majorities of all religious believers except Muslims agree.

A ComRes poll commissioned by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association has found broad support for... Read More »

Tags: Islam, statistics