The National Secular Society kicked off its 150th anniversary celebrations with a conference on Saturday 3 September covering everything from collective worship in schools to community cohesion in a secular democracy. The conference was an opportunity to reflect on everything the NSS has achieved in 150 years of campaigning, and consider the significant challenges ahead.
Our final guest speaker was Douglas Murray, who thanked those who spoke out against Islamism, despite the risks to their safety, including Richard Dawkins, Peter Tatchell and Raheel Raza. He said that the West was “stumbling” through a struggle with Islamism that nobody had predicted, but that now, decades after the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, European publics had drawn totally different conclusions about Islam than European elites.
Returning to the topic of sharia, he said it was “certainly unhelpful” for the Government to appoint imams to the inquiry into sharia law – a concern the NSS and many other organisations have raised directly with the Government.
Douglas concluded by saying that the National Secular Society was on the frontline of the most important issue of our time.
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