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Archive for 'Secularism'

Boycotting the chess world championship

Women keen to compete in next year’s world chess championship will be forced to don a hijab.  This announcement immediately prompted calls to boycott the event.  I can understand the misgivings of some Iranian women who welcome the chance to compete in an international event on their home turf. For example Ghoncheh Ghavami, a British-Iranian [...]

An Atheist and a Muslim in Conversation

This excellent event brought together Boyd Sleator, Chair of Atheist Northern Ireland, and Tehmina Kazi, the Director of British Muslims for Secular Democracy.
Tehmina began by speaking of her liberal Muslim upbringing, her strong rejection of conservative and intolerant views within Muslim communities, and her pleasure in discovering like-minded progressive Muslims with whom she has found [...]

Nicky Morgan on atheism in schools

Although the UK is hardly some kind of repressive theocracy, I found Nicky Morgan’s recent comments on the teaching of religion in schools a little annoying.
Pupils in Britain’s schools should be taught that the country is mainly Christian and are free to prioritise the teaching of organised religion over atheism, the Education Secretary has said.
Clearly this [...]

A Polite Conversation with Maryam Namazie

Eiynah, who blogs at Nice Mangoes, has now recorded a very interesting interview with Maryam Namazie, the first in a projected series of ‘Polite Conversations with Eiynah and Paul’.  Polite it certainly was – but apparently unsuitable for YouTube:
This is the first episode of our podcast that was removed from YouTube almost as quickly as [...]

Knowing the dancer from the dance – and a Maryam Namazie/Goldsmiths update

I can’t remember ever seeing anyone explain that they hate fascism but have nothing against individual fascists.  However it’s a fairly common distinction made by people talking about Islam – they are keen to distinguish the ideology from the followers.   How far is this truly possible or logical?
To me the answer depends on what one [...]

Cinemas decide not to screen Lord’s Prayer film

Today the Mail on Sunday is reporting that cinemas have ‘banned’ a one minute film in which the Lord’s Prayer is recited. The film, featuring the Archbishop of Canterbury, was due to be shown before screenings of the new Star Wars film. As the National Secular Society pointed out, they didn’t so much ban it [...]

Is Tim Farron A Secularist or a Fundamentalist Christian?

This is a cross-post by John Sargeant at Homo Economicus
The new Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron refused to say whether homosexual sex was a sin according to his theological views, in an interview. Whilst his statements regarding secularism were welcome, it felt more like a smokescreen to obfuscate his own views on homosexuality. There are [...]

Hindu charity investigated for backing Tories

I first noticed this issue being flagged when Sunny Hundal drew attention to a Tory MP urging support from Hindu voters because the Conservatives would be most likely to repeal the 2013 Caste amendment.  You can read some background on the amendment here.  Now apparently a Hindu charity is being investigated for an open letter [...]

Hereditary Monarchy – a Royal (Busted) Flush

This is a cross-post by Sci-Lo Green

Do you know how government in the UK is constituted and where it gets its powers from? If you don’t and you are not one of the estimated 20% of Anglicans (2009 British Social Attitudes study) in the UK, you may want to prepare yourself for a shock…..
We live [...]

The nature of religious privilege

This is a cross-post from Futile Democracy
On BBC local radio here in the UK after the Sydney cafe siege, the presenter had a conversation with a local Imam on the subject of religious extremism. The Imam reiterated that the attacker was a lone nut, who didn’t represent Muslims. The conversation was one of damage limitation [...]