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
On Tuesday 6th May 2014, I became the fourth humanist to lead a ‘Time for Reflection’ in The Scottish Parliament. This article was originally written for Humanist Society Scotland. I’m very proud of this, and it was a great honour to be invited. The reason I came to be invited was a result of a … Continue reading My experiences with the Scottish Parliament
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
Today (Tuesday 6 May 2014) is an important day in the 15-year life of The Scottish Parliament. I am humbled to become, today, the fourth person to lead a humanistic reflection in the chamber. It is both a great honour, and a sad realisation that despite the earlier commitments by our First Minister, and others, I … Continue reading Fourth humanist Time for Reflection in 15 years of The Scottish Parliament
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
I was invited to take part in ‘Sunday Morning with Richard Holloway’ on BBC Radio Scotland this Sunday, discussing the statement from a range of religious faith groups that there should be a specific religious clause in any possible future constitution. (Can be heard here). I was very happy to be asked to take part … Continue reading Religion in a Scottish constitution–How the Kirk failed the people of Scotland
This article examines the history and development of ‘Time for Reflection’ (TfR) since the re-establishment of the Scottish Parliament from 1999 until the present. By comparing and contrasting an analysis of the make-up of the contributions with the demographics of the Scottish population this study will conclude that current practices of ‘Time for Reflection’ over-represent … Continue reading My reflections on the Scottish Parliaments ‘Time for Reflection’
On Friday 24th January 2014, the Church of Scotland and Humanist Society Scotland issued a joint statement and press release in response to the Scottish Secular Society’s petition on religious observance. Without delay an immediate tirade of abuse began to radiate from Dundee – in the guise of Facebook’s very own David Robertson (pictured right). … Continue reading Time for reflection on David Robertson’s blog posts!