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Circumcision – child abuse in the name of religion

Suffolk Inter-Faith Resource forums are usually very polite affairs, without any confrontation, but there was one occasion a couple of years ago when a couple of people, including me, got rather angry. A Muslim man raised the subject of male circumcision. The question was out of order, since we were there to discuss Hazel Blears’ document Face to Face and Side by Side with representatives of local government. The man wanted to know why Muslims can’t have circumcisions on the NHS. Doctors won’t do the operation on the NHS unless it’s for medical reasons, rather than religious ones. The man argued that Muslims who can’t afford private surgery sometimes have the procedure done by unqualified individuals who botch it, leaving the NHS to clean up the mess. He didn’t get any support. You could argue that they should be prosecuted for harming a child. The Qur’an doesn’t mention circumcision

Many people don’t realise that Muslims circumcise; the procedure is usually associated with Judaism, which is the subject of a post on P Z Myers’ blog – Ritualised child abuse: circumcision. I can’t bring myself to watch the video – I think you’ll need a strong stomach for that. Why would anyone subject their child to this?

GALHA’s annual fund-raising lunch, London

GALHA’s annual lunch. This year’s guest speaker is award-winning journalist Patrick Strudwick. Patrick writes for newspapers and magazines that include The Observer, The Times, The Guardian, The Independent and Gay Times. See the link for ticket details.

IHEU News

IHEU

This is an update of news from International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU). You can find the full versions of these news stories on their web site. They’re also on twitter, Facebook and YouTube.Visit www.iheu.org/newsletter to subscribe.

IHEU condemns Holy See for undermining democracy and human rights
Speaking at the 18th session of the UN Human Rights Council on 23 September, IHEU representative Cathy Buchs condemned the Vatican for attempting to undermine democracy and human rights by insisting that child abuse cases be judged under the churches’ own rules of canon law rather than the laws of the state…. Read more

National Secular Society intervention aims to protect UK equality laws from religious onslaught
The National Secular Society (NSS), an IHEU member organization, has submitted an intervention with the European Court of Human Rights to argue that Britain’s equality laws should be upheld and not compromised by religious exemptions. Read more

Research debunks the myth that Christians contribute more to society
Secular people are just as likely to participate in society as religious people, suggests new research by the British government. The British Humanist Association (BHA) has welcomed the findings as further evidence against the idea – increasingly advanced by religious and government leaders – that religion increases people’s contribution to society. The survey also revealed that Christians were much less likely than any other belief group to mix with people of different beliefs or ethnicities. Read more

Otley Green

Otley Green

Suffolk Humanists & Secularists member Tony Barrett is chairman of Otley Green, and has sent the following urgent message (Otley Green has until 5pm today, Friday 30th September, to find more Energyshare supporters):

OtleyGreen’s Community Turbine project has successfully reached Energyshare’s second round. We need yet more supporters to get into the third round. If you haven’t yet become a supporter we would be very grateful if you would sign up. If you are already one of our supporters, please pass this message on.

Becoming an Energyshare Supporter is an easy 5 step process:

  1. Go to www.energyshare.com/otleygreen;
  2. Press the SUPPORT THIS GROUP button on the right hand side of the screen;
  3. Press the SIGN UP button in the new window;
  4. Complete the form. You can ignore the profile information. You will not get emails unless you want them;
  5. You will receive a confirmation email. Just click on the confirmation link. You are now a supporter.

Thank you very, very much for your support Tony Barrett, Chairman OtleyGreen.

Otley, Suffolk

Village a few miles north of Ipswich.

Science in the Pub

The Pub people are doing experiments at their next meeting. This is what they wrote on Facebook:

Our next meeting will be at the new venue of the Brewery Tap. It has the advantage that we can use a side room so any bubbling experiments can be more easily contained 😉 We’ll either be in the room immediately on the right as you go in, or upstairs.

Then, as an afterthought:

If you bring something that starts bubbling that isn’t beer, the garden area outside would be more appropriate.