MN OSCEAtheist Ireland today told the annual OSCE human rights meeting that Ireland and other OSCE States must tackle prejudice-motivated crimes and religious discrimination. We will be speaking again tomorrow on freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief.

Here is our contribution to today’s session:

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imageAtheist Ireland today told the UN Human Rights Council that Ireland needs to remove the ban on blasphemy, religious discrimination in schools, and the ban on abortion. In doing so we became the first atheist advocacy group to address the full UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The Council was reviewing Ireland’s human rights record under the Universal Periodic Review process. We spoke as members of Atheist Alliance International, which has accredited observer status at the United Nations which enabled us to speak.

We will next be going to Warsaw, where we will address the annual OSCE human rights meeting on Monday and Tuesday.

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RichardBrutonThe Government today launched its Action Plan for Education, which it says is aimed at becoming the best education service in Europe. It is already the best education service in Europe for breaching the human rights of atheists, secularists, and members of minority faiths who want inclusive schools that treat all children equally regardless of religious belief.

Atheist Ireland will immediately highlight this in three ways:

We will raise it next week when we address the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva and the OSCE in Warsaw about Ireland’s human rights record. We regularly brief the UN, Council of Europe, OSCE and other human rights regulatory bodies about religious discrimination in Ireland.

We will be seeking a meeting with the Oireachtas Education Committee which will be reviewing the Action Plan before it is adopted as a Statement of Strategy. When Atheist Ireland addressed the Oireachtas Education Committee two years ago, they agreed with us that our system of multiple patronage and multiple ethos in schools can lead to segregation and inequality. We now ask them to build on this conclusion.

We have already sought a joint meeting between the Minister for Education and Atheist Ireland, the Evangelical Alliance of Ireland and the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Ireland. We are three groups with very different world views, but we are united in our support for freedom of religion or belief, freedom from discrimination and equality before the law.

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Back to the Leeds United Glory Years?

by Michael Nugent on September 9, 2016

Leeds MidfieldUpdate 1: I’m baffled at the 0-1 performance against Huddersfield. These players are better than that. Update 2: Better result, 2-1 against Blackburn. Now only five points off the play-off spots. Update 3: 2-0 win away at Cardiff. Looking good!

Original article: Despite the paucity of points to date, I remain stubbornly optimistic that this will be a good year for my childhood favourite club Leeds United. My latest reason: new manager Garry Monk has signed a midfield duo that brings back subliminal memories of the Leeds glory years, with Irishman Eunan O’Kane partnering Scottish club captain Liam Bridcutt.

The pair should give cover to the often shaky Leeds defence, which looks somewhat safer with the transfer deadline gone. Former England and QPR goalkeeper Rob Green faces competition from Marco Silvestri, Ross Turnbull and young Bailey Peacock-Farrell. They will have to command the penalty area more effectively than in recent years.

Charlie Taylor remains at left back, despite several top clubs wanting to buy him, and youngster Tylor Denton scored a goal when he replaced Taylor against Luton two weeks ago. Luke Ayling, signed from Bristol City, has taken over the right-back slot vacated by the injured Gaetano Berardi, with youngster Lewie Coyle as back-up.

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Atheist Ireland to address UN Human Rights Council on religious discrimination in Ireland

September 7, 2016

In two weeks time, Atheist Ireland will become the first atheist advocacy group to address the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva as members of Atheist Alliance International. The Council will be concluding its second Universal Periodic Review of Ireland’s human rights record on 23 September. Atheist Ireland will highlight the ongoing problems in […]

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What does the word ‘Islamophobia’ mean? Whatever you are having yourself

August 30, 2016

I wrote an article last week about about the harm caused by the propaganda word ‘Islamophobia’. Here I will examine further the confusion surrounding the word, even among people of goodwill, and the lack of any agreed coherent definition. I will refer to three recent books about ‘Islamophobia’ by Todd Green, Chris Allen and Deepa […]

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New report shows why we must reject the silencing propaganda term ‘Islamophobia’

August 24, 2016

The Demos UK Think Tank has produced a well-intentioned report about tweets that express prejudicial dislike of Muslims because of their faith. This could have been a more useful project, if the report had highlighted its findings in a more balanced way, and had not unwittingly used the Islamist propaganda word ‘Islamophobia’ to misdescribe the anti-Muslim prejudice […]

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Guest post – Women Beyond Belief: new book by Karen Garst

August 15, 2016

Women Beyond Belief is a new anthology by American author Dr. Karen Garst, inspired by the Hobby Lobby court case of 2014. Karen is the former executive director of the Oregon State Bar. She also blogs at faithlessfeminist.com.

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Will State schools teach less religion? My debate on Newstalk with David Quinn

July 27, 2016

Yesterday I debated the possibility of State schools spending less time teaching religion, on Newstalk Radio with David Quinn and host Jonathan Healy.

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Irish Times and RTE report on Atheist Ireland review of State Religious Education course

July 20, 2016

The Irish Times and RTE have reported on yesterday’s launch of Atheist Ireland’s review of the State Religious Education curriculum in second level schools.

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