Religion & politics

Against the school hijab ban demand

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 16:58
Author

Ben Tausz

In his most recent letter defending his demand for a hijab ban in schools, David Pendletone says “I … do not think that you need to have a solution [of how a ban might be enforced] to support a ban of the hijab for children in primary schools”.

This is absurd and deeply irresponsible, given the counter-productive and dangerous consequences of many (I would argue all) possible scenarios of enforcement. What it reflects is that this demand seems founded more on an insistence that ‘something must be done’, more than on serious consideration of what would genuinely be likely to improve freedom and

The hijab: “preventing common impositions”

Published on: Wed, 27/11/2019 - 18:29
Author

Maryam Namazie

Maryam Namazie is an activist with the Council of Ex-Muslims and other secularist groups. See here for wider debate in Solidarity on the ban of the hijab in schools.

On the issue of child veiling, a state ban on conspicuous religious symbols for children is an important defence of children’s rights.

Children are not parental property

Children are not the property of their parents.

They are individuals with rights and bodily integrity. And just because their parents believe in child veiling or FGM and male circumcision doesn’t mean they should be automatically entitled to impose their views

2019 debate on hijabs in schools

Published on: Mon, 21/10/2019 - 18:04

Photo: CC BY 2.0 DFID

In the AWL in the run up to our 2019 conference, we are having a debate on the hijab in schools, after one member brought a motion on it. Please see the editorial note below, and below that, the articles that have been written in Solidarity to date on this. We have internal discussion documents on it, but most of the debate we have had publicly. Third on this page is the policy we passed in 2004, and fourth is some articles from the debate at the time.

Editorial note

Our existing policy decided in relation to the French ban on the hijab/veil in schools is printed at the

The break-up of Yugoslavia

Published on: Wed, 05/06/2019 - 09:25
Author

Sarah Correia

Sarah Correia is a researcher at the London School of Economics. She will speak at Ideas for Freedom, 22-23 June, on the case in Eastern Europe where the collapse of the old bureaucratic “one-party” regime around 1989 led to outright regression — the breakdown of the federal state of Yugoslavia into war.

The understandings of how things worked between nationalities in the old Yugoslavia varies. But a lot of the time there were no big apparent issues. The idea of being “Yugoslav”, and that being compatible with diverse national sub-identities was popular. A significant minority saw themselves

Defining "Islamophobia"

Published on: Mon, 20/05/2019 - 12:52
Author

various

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims has proposed a definition of "Islamophobia", and the Government has rejected it.

The definition is here

Against the definition

Chris Sloggett, a spokesperson for the National Secular Society, told us:

"Anti-Muslim hatred is a growing problem which must be taken seriously. But we also need a robust discussion on the influence which religion, including Islam, has on British society.

"Those who raise concerns about religious privileges which undermine women's rights, animal welfare, LGBT rights and the principle of one law for all are routinely

Edith Lanchester and "free love"

Published on: Tue, 12/03/2019 - 12:36

Edith Lanchester (1871-1966) was a British socialist and feminist, who came to prominence in the late nineteenth century for making a challenge to the institution of marriage.

Lanchester came from a prosperous family in Battersea, in south London, but committed herself to the socialist movement. She joined the SDF in 1892, rising to a position on its executive in 1895.

Her socialist feminist convictions had led Lanchester to conclude that the wife's vow to obey her husband was oppressive and that she was politically opposed to the institution of marriage. Acting on her convictions, Lanchester

The Satanic Verses thirty years on

Published on: Sat, 02/03/2019 - 08:56
Author

Matthew Thompson

It is thirty years since the publication of Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses, partly based on the life of the founder of Islam, Muhammad, sparked protests across the Muslim world, with riots in India and Pakistan in which dozens of Rushdie's fellow Muslims were shot dead, book burnings on the streets of Britain, and ultimately an Iranian death sentence which sent its author into hiding under armed police guard.

In BBC Two's The Satanic Verses: 30 Years On, radio presenter and journalist Mobeen Azhar travels around the country, speaking to protagonists in what became known as the

Bolsonaro's threat to Brazil

Published on: Fri, 23/11/2018 - 10:55
Author

Alessa Alegre

Shortly before he was elected president of Brazil on the second round (28 October), Jair Bolsonaro made clear the extent of his intolerance to political opposition, saying of his political opponents “either they go overseas, or they go to jail”.

He plans vastly to increase the powers of the militarised police, which will have a significant impact on working-class, predominantly black, communities.

A few days after his election, one of his political allies in the chamber of deputies proposed amendments to anti-terrorism, and stated openly they want to criminalise social and political movements

Rayner Lysaght and Sean Matgamna debate "Socialism, Ireland, and permanent revolution"

Published on: Mon, 22/10/2018 - 16:36

On 9 November 2018, 7:30 at the London Welsh Centre, 157-163 Grays Inn Rd WC1X 8UE, Rayner Lysaght, author of "The Republic of Ireland" and many other books, debated Sean Matgamna of Workers' Liberty on the perspectives of Irish politics.


Solidarity 485 carries interviews with Lysaght and Matgamna outlining the ideas they will debate.

Interviews by Martin Thomas: click here for Lysaght, and click here for Matgamna

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Rayner Lysaght: Threading together struggles

T: How would you sum up the idea of permanent revolution in a few words?
L: The development of the proletarian revolution out of what

Women rise up against Bolsonaro

Published on: Wed, 17/10/2018 - 08:20
Author

Olivier Delbeke

Jair Bolsonaro [the leader in the race to be president of Brazil] is known as the man of three Bs. B for Bala, the army bullets. Jair Bolsonaro was trained in a Brazilian military school during the dictatorship. He came into politics through campaigning to increase officers’ salaries.

In 2016, he dedicated the vote he cast in parliament in favour of impeaching Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s elected president standing in for Lula (Workers’ Party, PT), to the recently deceased colonel Ustra, who had tortured Dilma Roussef as a young guerrilla. According to Jair Bolsonaro this is ethical, the way the

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