The full face veil in court: Lord Neuberger and the confusion between equality and exceptionalism

By LSS member Daniel Anderson

Lord Neuberger, President of the Supreme Court, recently made a speech to the Criminal Justice Alliance on the topic of “Fairness in the courts”. Putting it mildly, this speech attracted widespread media attention: see herehere and here. And such attention resulted in the Supreme Court’s Press Office going into overdrive.

What caused the widespread media attention was that Lord Neuberger appeared to suggest that Muslim women should, in the interests of ‘fairness’, be allowed to wear a full face veil when giving evidence in court.

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Is there really any difference between Islam and “Islamism”?

Islam and IslamismBy LSS Secretary Charlie Klendjian

I recently spoke to the London Atheist Activist Group and the Central London Humanists, and I devoted large chunks of both talks to questioning the term “Islamism”. My points were in the main well-received.

I’m finding this term Islamism increasingly problematic. I’m setting out here some of the points I made in my talks, plus a few more.

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The insurmountable problems of parallel legal systems

By LSS member Daniel Anderson

The attempts to establish parallel legal systems can in fact be seen as a project to transfer legal rights away from people and to groups instead.

Certain groups, usually based on a culture or religion, are deemed by proponents of parallel legal systems as worthy of having their own separate legal rights, and so parallel legal systems are consequently proposed to make this a reality.

But this attempt to transfer legal rights to groups causes problems that the advocates of parallel legal systems can only fail to address. Below are some of these problems.

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“Islamophobia”: an absurd term

PhobiasBy LSS member Jay Marshall

Islam: A monotheistic and Abrahamic religion articulated by the Qur’an and considered by many of its adherents to be the verbatim word of Allah; it is also comprised of prophetic traditions (or Hadith) of Muhammad (c. 570–8 June 632 CE), considered by most Muslims to be the last prophet of God.

Phobia: An extremely irrational fear or dislike of something.

I lay out these definitions for my reader so that they may understand the surrounding context of what I will now attempt to articulate.

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