This is a long form article assessing the European Court of Human Rights' approach to blasphemy laws
In August 2017 I was interviewed by the Polish Rationalist Association's Kaja Rryx on the subject of 'Challenges for secularism in Scotland'. https://youtu.be/xYIRvM1Cnes
Thank you. Good afternoon everyone. Can I start by thanking Mairead and Jan Figel, first of all for having us here today. I think you should know that it's very important to us, and that we value the chance to come here and speak to you about these important issues. And as Jan Figel said … Continue reading Time to repeal European Blasphemy Laws, Now! My speech to European Parliament
I meet a lot of people in my daily business who aren’t really that worried about the role that religion and religious groups play in education. I’ve taken the following video from CARE Scotland’s website. I’ve made two changes, 1) put the name of my blog on there (shameless), and 2) I’ve added a note … Continue reading Not worried about the role of religion in education? You should be!
At a Scottish Referendum meeting on 9th June 2014, Mike Russell, Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Education was answering questions about the Scottish Governments independence proposals. I asked Mike Russell: In light of the 'Trojan Horse' incidents down-south today - whilst I understand Scotland has a different system, which you are in charge of, although … Continue reading Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Education Comments on ‘Trojan Horse’ scandal
I’d like to start by saying thank you to Ramin for inviting me to speak at this first public seminar of Ex Muslims Scotland. Having been involved with secular and humanist campaigning for a good few years now, I notice that we can sometimes become accustomed to certain aspects of public discourse. Most noticeably of … Continue reading My speech to the first public seminar of ExMuslims Scotland
It’s always important when discussing ideological issues, such as Islam, to distinguish between the idea and the person. As a humanist I value the intrinsic worth of every person, regardless of their beliefs. However I also believe strongly that all ideas are open to criticism, and that in a liberal democracy, no ideology is beyond … Continue reading Islamic radicalisation in Birmingham–A Scottish perspective
The video footage of me leading the fourth humanist Time for Reflection in the Scottish Parliament; Full text is: "Members of the Scottish Parliament, I would like to tell you a story about a wee boy from a land far, far away. It was a wonderful land, made rich by the many different cultures and … Continue reading Video of Time for Reflection address
N.B. This article focuses on religious observance/time for reflection in non-denominational Scottish schools, and does not take into consideration the different circumstances in denominational schools. The history of education in Scotland has its roots firmly embedded in the development of the churches. The first recognisable school in Scotland was the High School of Glasgow, which … Continue reading Time for Reflection: What is all the fuss about?
This is a 15 minute discussion which I participated in, following the news that an interfaith group had called for special protection for 'religious freedom' in any possible written Scottish constitution. Participating were; Right Rev Lorna Hood, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland; Richard Holloway, former Episcopal Bishop of Edinburgh; Ronnie … Continue reading BBC Radio Scotland Discussion: Should there be a religious clause in a Scottish constitution