Every week in Newsline we have a couple of quotes of the week on topics related to secularism. Please feel free to share these images.

Fri, 30 Mar 2018

Those fighting injustice should be the last to demand censorship, the first to oppose it.

Kenan Malik, calling for a greater commitment to free speech

Fri, 23 Mar 2018

A terrible week with evidence of religious exceptionalism, stupidity, incompetence, lying, dumping responsibility at every level including the highest, and folie de grandeur. Bishops must be accountable. This means not just to themselves.

Alan Wilson, the bishop of Buckingham, on the revelations from the IICSA inquiry

From the start of his career to his dying breath, he was cocooned, chastised and cared for by the institution in which he had flourished. Ultimately he was shamed, but he was not cast out.

Rosemary Goring, reflecting on the death of Keith O’Brien, the Catholic cardinal who faced a string of allegations of sexual abuse

A man has been convicted in a UK court of making a joke that was deemed 'grossly offensive'. If you don't believe in a person's right to say things that you might find 'grossly offensive', then you don't believe in freedom of speech.

Ricky Gervais, responding to the conviction of a man who filmed a pet dog giving Nazi salutes

Fri, 16 Mar 2018

All of us have a responsibility to challenge extremist rhetoric. People should be free to scrutinise Islam. But they must not aid the hatred of Muslims.

Maajid Nawaz, responds to the circulation of a letter calling for a 'Punish a Muslim day'

For us it's clear that no student should be subjected to religious influence in school. To have faith or not should be every child's own choice.

Anna Ekström, Swedish school minister on plans to stop state funding of religious schools

Schools are at the heart of our communities, bringing families from all walks of life together. Through education, we can ensure the next generation learns the values that underpin our society – fairness, tolerance and respect.

Lord Agnew, the schools minister on government plans to tackle illegal schools

Fri, 09 Mar 2018

If a sweet thing is left uncovered, swarms of dirty creatures are liable to prey upon it and corrupt it. Similar is the case of a woman. The current wave of rape incidents in regions where public exposure of women prevails strengthens this argument beyond doubt.

Women who deserve to go to hell, a text book found in an illegal school

Fri, 02 Mar 2018

It is more important than ever for our children to interact with people their age of different backgrounds and faiths. Enforcing division, which the children themselves have had no say in, is only damaging to society.

Layla Moran, education spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats, speaks out against scrapping the 50% religion-based admissions cap in faith schools

Like most secularists, I also believe in equality. We also believe in freedom of religion. All we object to is that beliefs that we and other people do not share are simply imposed on us whether we like them or not.

Baroness Muriel Turner of Camden, NSS Honorary Associate who passed away on February 26th 2018

Fri, 23 Feb 2018

I saw the Vatican up close, and its resistance, the lack of priority [on clerical child sex abuse], lack of transparency, and the absolutely misleading statements issued. I saw, close up, how things work in the [Catholic] Church.

Marie Collins, who resigned from the pope's commission on child abuse in disgust last year

Fri, 16 Feb 2018

No one can replace Asma. She was unmatched and unparalleled. We suffered a great loss today.

Zohra Yousuf, former chair of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan

Fri, 09 Feb 2018

While it is certainly the right of parents to give their children guidance when it comes to religion, such a right can never exceed the rights of the child.

MPs in Iceland, explain why they've introduced a bill to ban forced cutting of infant boys' genitals for non-medical reasons

It is not right that head teachers trying to do the right thing are left to fend for themselves against a fundamentalist backlash. We all have an interest in providing young people with an education that opens minds. Those who seek to close minds and narrow opportunities do the opposite.

The Sunday Times, calls for the Government to stand up against Islamist influence in schools

Fri, 02 Feb 2018

What is certain now is that a 15-year-old girl who is raped, and who is in pain, cannot end her pregnancy in Ireland. And anyone that helps her could be sent to prison for 14 years. So is the certainty and uncertainty we have now something that we want to keep?

Leo Varadkar, Ireland's prime minister, calls for liberalisation of the country's abortion laws

Rather than adopting a passive liberalism that says 'anything goes' for fear of causing offence, school leaders should be promoting a muscular liberalism. That sort of liberalism holds no truck for ideologies that want to close minds or narrow opportunity. Occasionally, that will mean taking uncomfortable decisions or having tough conversations. It means not assuming that the most conservative voices in a particular faith speak for everyone.

Amanda Spielman, Ofsted's chief inspector of schools, calls on school leaders to lead in the face of religious extremism

Fri, 26 Jan 2018

Sara is a great person and this will upset some truly awful people.

James Bloodworth, an instant and prophetic reaction to the appointment of Sara Khan

Damian Hinds attended a grammar school in Cheshire, a religious one to boot. He has advocated more Catholic schools, and with power at his fingertips he can lift the admissions cap tomorrow - no new laws needed. Why anyone would think it good value to build faith-only places in an increasingly secular world is beyond me, but he has the power.

Laura McInerney, former editor of Schools Week, writes about the new education secretary in the Guardian

Mary Doe must make decisions regarding her health based on the best scientific understanding of the world, even if the science does not comport with the religious or political beliefs of others.

The Satanic Temple, lawsuit challenging a restrictive abortion law in Missouri lists the "religious beliefs" of the plaintiff

Suppose you were a white supremacist who wanted to keep Muslim children down. Or suppose you were a Machiavellian middle-class parent, who wanted to handicap the competition your child would face when the race for university places began. In either case, you would be delighted by what is happening at St Stephen's primary school in Newham.

Nick Cohen, says "two Muslim cultures are emerging in Britain"

Fri, 19 Jan 2018

Religious freedom is not a lovely antique, a family heirloom or a relic of a bygone era. It is a dynamic, progressive value that underlies every other constitutional freedom we have – and it is under siege.

Paul Rosenberg, says the Christian right's claim that it should get special privileges is the true threat to religious freedom in the US