January 29, 2010

No hijab for female basketball player

by Benjamin Graham

A female basketball player in Switzerland has had her appeal to wear an Islamic headscarf during matches denied. The case of nineteen-year-old Sura al-Shawk, a Swiss citizen, went to court after the basketball association (ProBasket) told her she could not wear a headscarf while she was playing. A local court in Lucerne upheld ProBasket’s decision […]

January 28, 2010

Scottish clergy oppose nuclear weapons

by Sara Levy

Church leaders in Scotland have ramped up pressure on the government to abandon plans to renew Trident. Rt Rev Bill Hewitt, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, joined Scottish Clergy Against Nuclear Armaments (SCANA) this week in launching a new campaign to make Trident and nuclear weapons a key issue for […]

January 27, 2010

Face veil ban proposed in France

by Benjamin Graham

Women in France will be banned from wearing Islamic face veils in hospitals, schools, government offices, and on public transport, if the proposals of a French parliamentary committee are upheld. The committee’s report, the summary of six months of hearings running to almost 200 pages, also recommends that anyone showing signs of “radical religious practice” […]

British Humanist Association announces new leader

by David Masters

The British Humanist Association (BHA) this week announced the appointment of Andrew Copson as its new chief executive. Copson, 29, previously co-ordinated the BHA’s education work and public affairs activities. The BHA works to promote a Humanist worldview and represents the interests of ethically concerned non-religious people in the UK. “I am thrilled to be […]

January 25, 2010

Bible references to be removed from guns

by David Masters

An American weapons manufacturer has said it will no longer engrave gunsights with biblical references. Michigan-based Trijicon, which supplies gunsights to the British and American armed forces, said it will remove the coded references after concerns were raised by the US military and Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD). US military chief General David Petraeus said […]

Will France ban the burqa?

by Sara Levy

France will move one step closer to banning Muslim women from wearing the full Islamic veil this week with the release of a parliamentary report on the issue. The report, due to be released on Tuesday, will reveal the findings of a parliamentary commission on whether the burqa should be outlawed. If France outlaws the […]

January 21, 2010

“Jesus Guns” issued to British troops

by David Masters

British soldiers on the front line in Afghanistan will be issued with rifle sights inscribed with Biblical references, it has emerged. The rifle sights, manufactured by US-based Trijicon, are marked with shorthand for Bible verses, including “JN8:12” and “2COR4:6”, referring to verses in the books of John and 2 Corinthians. US and British troops serving […]

Grand Mufti: Koranic ringtones “inappropriate”

by Benjamin Graham

Mobile phone ringtones of Koranic verses and the Muslim call to prayer are inappropriate, Egypt’s Grand Mufti has claimed. Mufti Ali Gomaa, the highest religious legal authority in Egypt, said the ringtones violate the sanctity of God’s word. Verses from the Koran are a popular ringtone choice in Egypt, and are advertised on TV and […]

January 20, 2010

Christian employee contests BA’s necklace ban

by Sara Levy

A Christian airport check-in clerk has accused British Airways of religious discrimination in London’s Court of Appeal. Nadia Eweida, 58, claims she was a victim of religious discrimination when British Airways told her she was not allowed to display her crucifix necklace at work. In 2006, she was sent home from work after she refused […]

January 18, 2010

Pope seeks to “heal wounds” between Catholics and Jews

by Benjamin Graham

Pope Benedict XVI sought to improve relations between Catholics and Jews with a visit to Rome’s main synagogue on Sunday. “It is our duty, in response to God’s call, to strive to keep open the space for dialogue, for reciprocal respect, for growth in friendship, for a common witness in the face of challenges of […]

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