I was asked to contribute to this Holyrood Magazine article on behalf of the Humanist Society Scotland. http://www.holyrood.com/2014/07/leap-of-faith-2/ The article was prompted by the news that one of the people identified in an ISIS recruitment video was educated in Aberdeen, and also the issues raised in relation to religion in education in Birmingham. I would … Continue reading Leap of faith [Holyrood Magazine article]
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!
This was my speech to the first public seminar of ExMuslims Scotland. You can read the full speech here.
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
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
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 was a debate that I took place in on Friday 6th December 2013. Firstly, apologies for the poor sound quality, there were one or two technical issue, but we managed to get there anyway. I’ve written a short reflection on the debate afterwards. Debate review… I was delighted that John Mason, Patrick Harvie and … Continue reading HSS Education Debate: “What role should religious faith play in Scottish education”
The full statement released on Friday 25th January was: The Church of Scotland and Humanist Society Scotland have called for legislation to be brought forward to change Religious Observance in schools to “Time for Reflection” as a way of making these events more inclusive and clearly not gatherings where one faith or belief system is … Continue reading STV News on joint statement from Humanist Society Scotland and the Kirk
Its time to make your voice heard in one of the most important debates in Scottish Politics at the moment. John Finnie MSP (pictured right) has launched a consultation on a Bill to remove religious privilege. The Bill will do four things: to remove the obligation on local authorities to appoint religious representatives to Education … Continue reading Endorse John Finnie’s Bill to end anti-democratic religious privilege
What role should religious belief play in Scottish education? I am very excited to be joining a panel to discuss this very topic on Friday 6th December 2013 at Glasgow Caledonian University. The panel will consist of Patrick Harvie MSP, John Mason MSP, Richard Lucas and myself. The debate will be filmed, and a copy … Continue reading Education Debate: 6th Dec, 7.30pm at Glasgow Caledonian University (Free)