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In the Press

  • A Labour activist has said UKIP are "enemies of Islam", warning Muslim voters they will go to hell if they fail to vote Labour at the upcoming Stoke by-election.
    Navid Hussain said that voting for any party other than Labour would result in the electing of "an anti-Muslim and anti-Islam MP", in a text message sent to Muslims in Stoke-on-Trent Central.

    "Will you be able to answer for this in the Grave and on the Final Day??? ‘I helped the Enemies of Islam because…", he wrote in the message, which was circulated via SMS and WhatsApp among the constituency’s Muslim community.

    Read more.

  • A few years ago at a conference, I held a large banner that read: "Azerbaijanis: God’s gateway people to the Muslim world." One quizzical individual pondered a few minutes before asking me whether this was a real place.

    Azerbaijanis get that a lot.

    They are one of the few peoples that span numerous countries with different linguistic and cultural contexts. The Republic of Azerbaijan is home to 9 million Azerbaijanis, but its low profile on the world stage leads many to underestimate its significance. While the exact number of Azerbaijanis worldwide is unknown, it ranges from 30 million to 50 million. Their largest concentration is found in Iran, where estimates range from 18 million to 30 million.

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  • Tough new laws that make it a criminal offence for an adult to send sexually explicit messages to a child under 16 are still not being enforced almost two years after they were passed by parliament, child protection campaigners have said.

    The offence, which updated existing laws to include sexting and other online communications, was made a criminal act under section 67 of the Serious Crime Act in March 2015.

    However, the NSPCC, which campaigned for the law, said no start date has been set to bring the new law into force, meaning police cannot charge anyone with the offence.

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  • Church of England clergy have appeared to signal support for gay marriage after they rejected a bishops' report which said that only a man and woman could marry in church.

    The report recommended that the bar on same-sex church marriages continue but that a more welcoming attitude towards homosexuals should be shown by congregations.

    However, the motion was rejected by clergy at the General Synod who voted 100 to 93 against. Sources said they believed the recommendation had been rejected by the more liberal members of the clergy who thought the Church should ultimately drop its opposition to gay marriage.

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  • If Jenny ever gets married, there will be no dad walking her down the aisle and, if she gets her way, no mention of him on her marriage certificate either.

    This is because, according to the twenty-something professional, the man who sexually abused her for 18 months from the age of seven "lost any right to be called my father".

    Despite his horrific betrayal of the relationship between father and daughter, under current law it is only his name and occupation that can be recorded on her future marriage certificate - not that of her mother "who has been mum and dad all wrapped up in one".

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  • Gay rights campaigners have welcomed the rejection by the Church of England's Synod of a call for continued opposition to same-sex marriage.

    The House of Bishops's report maintained church marriages should be between men and women, and same-sex relationships cannot be blessed - but the House of Clergy dismissed it.

    Campaigner Peter Tatchell said it was a "victory for love and equality".

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  • Ann Furedi, CEO of BPAS claimed on BBC television this morning that women should be able to buy abortion pills online, because the drugs are safer than over the counter medication.

    She made the comments on the Victoria Derbyshire show, which has obtained statistics showing that the number of abortion pills being bought online is increasing. The figures, from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) – which regulates medicines in the UK – show there were 375 pills seized last year, up from 270 in 2015 and 180 in 2014.

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  • The new editor of the Today programme has been rebuked by the BBC before taking up her post over a pledge to open up Thought for the Day to humanists.

    Sarah Sands, who will join the show later this year, said that the religious slot, which airs at around 7.45am, should surely "also include humanists", because religion was "robust enough to have challengers".

    But a BBC spokesman said that Ms Sands, the current editor of the Evening Standard, would not have any say over the daily broadcast, which is overseen by the corporation’s religion department, and that there were "no plans" to change its format.

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  • The General Synod of the Church of England has voted "not to take note" of a Report by the House of Bishops following a debate on the report earlier today on Marriage and Same Sex Relationships.

    A take note debate is a neutral motion which allows Synod to discuss the content and recommendations contained in a report without committing the Synod to the formal acceptance of any matter.

    The vote required simple majorities in each of the three Synodical Houses. A total of 242 people voted in favour of the report 184 against and 6 abstentions - with a majority of Synod members voting to "take note" of the report. However the report failed to obtain a simple majority in the House of Clergy.

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  • DOUGLAS Murray, scourge of politically correct liberals, and president baiter who launched 'the President Erdogan Offensive Poetry Competition', has turned his guns on the Church of England for its stance on Northern Nigeria.

    The influential Spectator columnist and Associate Director of the Henry Jackson Society has accused the church of 'wilful self-deception' in its analysis of the trials of Christians still being slaughtered by militarised Fulani Muslims as the world looks away.

    Murray spent four days visiting massacre sites and interviewing victims in and around Jos, capital of Plateau State, in the contested Muslim north of the country.

    Read more.

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