click above to read all about this dangerous legislation
Manifesto for Secularism - Against the Religious Right
Secularism is vital for the defence of democracy, equality & human rights
London, UK - 14 October 2014
“The launch of the Manifesto for Secularism is a challenge to the global rise of the Religious Right and its menacing values, which threaten women, LGBTs, atheists, minority faiths, apostates and many others,” said human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation.
“Secularism - the separation of religion and the state - is a vital precondition for democracy, equality and human rights. It protects people of all faiths and none; creating a level playing field where no religion has legal privilege and no faith can abuse its influence to victimise people of different beliefs.
“Wherever religion has political power, human rights are attacked and restricted - as in Saudi Arabia and Iran. Even when religion has little or no formal political power, such as in the UK and US, the Religious Right has often sabotaged women’s reproductive rights and equality for LGBT people.
“Last weekend, 250 delegates gathered in London for the international secularism conference. Many of them were from developing countries and some of them were Muslims or ex-Muslims. Most delegates and speakers were women. Some had suffered state persecution or violent abuse in the name of religion. Examples of people murdered by theocratic states and religious fanatics were read out; followed by a minute’s silence.
“The conference went ahead despite threats made to the organisers and the conference hotel; as well as despite sustained cyber attacks which took down the conference website
“Delegates expressed strong support for the Kurdish people’s democratic, secular struggle against the clerical fascism of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, with many urging international aid to help the Kurds defend Kobane,” said Mr Tatchell, who attended and spoke at the conference and conveyed a message of support to the Kurdish solidarity rally in London on 11 October.
The Manifesto and signatories can be accessed online: http://goo.gl/TkdFSY .The full text follows below.
The Manifesto for Secularism:
Our era is marked by the rise of the religious-Right – not because of a “religious revival” but rather due to the rise of far-Right political movements and states using religion for political supremacy. This rise is a direct consequence of neo-conservatism and neo-liberalism and the social policies of communalism and cultural relativism. Universalism, secularism and citizenship rights have been abandoned and segregation of societies and “communities” based on ethnicity, religion and culture have become the norm.
The Islamic State (formerly ISIS), the Saudi regime, Hindutva (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) in India, the Christian-Right in the US and Europe, Bodu Bala Sena in Sri Lanka, Haredim in Israel, AQMI and MUJAO in Mali, Boko Haram in Nigeria, the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic Salvation Front in Algeria are examples of this.
For many decades now, people in the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and the Diaspora have been the first victims but also on the frontlines of resistance against the religious-Right (whether religious states, organisations and movements) and in defence of secularism and universal rights, often at great risk to their lives.
We call on people everywhere to stand with us to establish an international front against the religious-Right and for secularism. We demand:
Complete separation of religion from the state. Secularism is a fundamental right.
Separation of religion from public policy, including the educational system, health care and scientific research.
Abolition of religious laws in the family, civil and criminal codes. An end to discrimination against and persecution of LGBT, religious minorities, women, freethinkers, ex-Muslims and others.
Freedom of religion and atheism and freedom to criticise religions. Belief as a private affair.
Equality between women and men and citizenship rights for all.
1. Aliyah Saleem, Secular education campaigner
2. Amel Grami, Professor, Tunisian University of Manouba
3. Bahram Soroush, Social and political analyst
4. Ben Baz Aziz, Presenter at Arab Atheist broadcasting
5. A. C. Grayling, Philosopher
6. Caroline Fourest, French writer and editor
7. Chris Moos, LSESU Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society
8. Chulani Kodikara, International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Sri Lanka
9. Elham Manea, Yemeni writer and human rights activist
10. Faizun Zackariya, Citizens for Justice, Sri Lanka
11. Fariborz Pooya, Host of Bread and Roses TV
12. Fatou Sow, International Director of Women Living Under Muslim Laws
13. Gita Sahgal, Director of Centre for Secular Space
14. Hamid Taqvaee, Secretary, Central Committee of the Worker-Communist Party of Iran
15. Horia Mosadiq, Human rights and women’s rights activist from Afghanistan
16. Imad Iddine Habib, Founder of Council of Ex-Muslims of Morocco
17. Inna Shevchenko, Leader of FEMEN
18. Julie Bindel, Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize and Justice for Women
19. Kate Smurthwaite, Comedian and activist
20. Kiran Opal, Writer, LGBTQ & human rights campaigner, Co-founder Ex-Muslims of
21. Lila Ghobady, Iranian writer-journalist and documentary filmmaker
22. Magdulien Abaida, Libyan activist and President of Hakki (My Right) Organisation for
23. Marieme Helie Lucas, Algerian activist, founder of Secularism is a Woman’s Issue
24. Maryam Namazie, Iranian spokesperson for One Law for All, Council of Ex-Muslims of
Britain and Fitnah
25. Nadia El Fani, Tunisian filmmaker
26. Nahla Mahmoud, Spokesperson of Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
27. Nina Sankari, Vice-President of the Atheist Coalition, Poland
28. Nira Yuval-Davis, a founder member of Women Against Fundamentalism and the
International Research Network on Women in Militarized Conflict Zones
29. Pervez Hoodbhoy, Pakistani Nuclear Physicist and Social Activist
30. Peter Tatchell, Director of Peter Tatchell Foundation
31. Pragna Patel, Director of Southall Black Sisters
32. Ramin Forghani, Founder of Ex-Muslims of Scotland
33. Rumy Hassan, Senior Lecturer at University of Sussex and author
34. Sameena Zehra, comedian and blues singer
35. Sanal Edamaruku, President of Rationalist International
36. Soad Baba Aissa, Founder of the Association for Mixing, Equality and Secularism
37. Sue Cox, Founder of Survivors Voice Europe
38. Sultana Kamal, Lawyer, human rights activist and Executive Director of Ain o Salish
Kendra in Bangladesh
39. Taslima Nasrin, Bangladeshi writer and activist
40. Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society
Nothing to do with Eurovision - but this song HAPPY is well worth watching
and tapping your feet to. You will recognise it. Click on the picture of Pharrell Williams below
If you put HAPPY into youtube it will come up with scores of people from all over the world with their own videos of this song and their own dancing to it, and there are tons to choose from and many really well done. It seems millions have accepted and love this song and it seems to be the song of 2014 already.
Eighty-eight thousand deaths a year?
One in 10 people in America die from alcohol abuse each year.
AN EXCELLENT WEB SITE - CLICK THE SYMBOL ABOVE
US Secretary of State, John Kerry representing a country which makes Genghis Khan look like a wimp when it comes to illegal invasions, still retains the prize for jaw dropper of the decade:
"You just don't, in the 21st century, behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pretext", he pontificated on CBS' "Face the Nation."
It really is enough to take your breath away,- the gall of this idiot. Does he assume we are all idiots ?
DOES OBAMA THINK WE ARE ALL NUTS ?
President Obama spoke in Brussels on Wednesday on the Russia-Ukraine situation. At one point, in seeking to shame Russia for its actions, Mr. Obama actually went so far as to try and legitimize America's catastrophic actions in Iraq, so as not to appear hypocritical in his comments. His words:
"Moreover, Russia has pointed to America's decision to go into Iraq as an example of Western hypocrisy… But even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system. We did not claim or annex Iraq's territory. We did not grab its resources for our own gain. Instead, we ended our war and left Iraq to its people and a fully sovereign Iraqi state that could make decisions about its own future."
Facts: America ran roughshod over the international community to get that war going. If an invasion and ten-year occupation isn't annexation, then nothing is. Companies like Halliburton/KBR absolutely grabbed Iraq's resources, because their oil was supposed to "pay for the war," and there were gas lines in Iraq for years after the invasion, because those companies sat on that oil like it was their own private piggy bank… which it was, as it turns out. And as for the state we left Iraq in, thousands upon thousands of people have been killed in the sectarian strife left in our wake. They aren't making decisions about their future. They're running for their lives.
That this president dared to attempt to paper over the horrific smash-and-grab war crime that was America's invasion of Iraq is not merely disgusting; it is dangerous in the extreme, because we are doomed to repeat what we allow ourselves to forget.
How to Live with No Regrets
Living a life free of regrets involves letting go. It involves letting go of the would-have, should-have, could-have mentality. Dwelling on how you could have lived differently is detrimental to your spirit. Sometimes we do the best we can with the knowledge we have at the time. Frequently the wrong choices bring us to the right places. Make the choice now to forgive yourself, as the world needs the best of you. You cannot give your best when you dwell on past hurts or perceived mistakes…
The following BOURNEBATERS poll is now closed. Here are the
HAS AGE CHANGED YOUR SEXUAL REQUIREMENTS
CHOICES AND RESULTS
- YES, 19 votes, 41.30%
- NO, 14 votes, 30.43%
- DRAMATICALLY SO FOR THE BETTER, 11 votes, 23.91%
- DRAMATICALLY SO FOR THE WORSE, 1 votes, 2.17%
- INDIFFERENCE TO SEX, 1 votes, 2.17%
You have heard me talk here about my next door neighbour - the straight man who is 6'7" - handsome and bearded and hung like a horse ( don't ask how I know - I just do... ha ha ) and yes, he is straight and while we have a joke and a laugh together and we have seen each other naked on a few occasions back in the summer, I do not - ever - cross those boundaries and never would. We are friends and while tongues waggle and gossip spreads, we are friends and nothing more.
Anyway, he was a really useful friend to have right next door as he is an electrician and brilliant handy man to have around - and as Hammy hall is always in need of some minor something being done - and he was clever on computers as well... it was a deliught :- and he has moved to Spain to see what opportunities open up for him over there, and I send my very best wishes and hope everything goes well for him.
England can be such a hard country to live in and although we have had a very mild winter, it has been very grey and wet - as you all know - and business is down and everyone seems to be saving their money and even his electrical work seemed to dry up over here whereas in Spain it seems there is a ton of work for him within the Ex Pat community ( an English speaking electrician ... worth his weight in gold ) and I wish him well.
Some people locally have found fault and said he won't last 3 months and my answer is to stop being so negative - stop being so half empty - and offer some support. Good luck to him - I hope and pray he makes a huge sucess in Spain and finds himself.
I always state that if it does go belly up and he needs to return here, he is always welcome to stay here as my friend for free until he gets the tennants out of his flat and if that takes 6 months, it's not a problem. Having that lifeline is always a good thing to have available, as if things do go wrong abroad, so many people stick with it and then drown in unhappiness and debt - being afraid to go home with their tail between their legs - rather than head held high for trying.
I wish him well and when he has that massive villa with sun terrace and huge pool, I shall go out and take a free holiday and some R&R.
Good luck Chris, my prayers are with you.
So - remind me once again, what is it that these guys above are guilty of - oh I remember -
sharing the truth of what our governments are up to that they want kept hidden for fear
the people will rise up in absolute horror at what they have been up to and kick them
out of power and make a lot of changes - perhaps.
So, it seems the government has more to hide from the people than they care to let on.
I wonder why ?
TWO GEOLOGISTS WITH BP SAY FRACKING IS NOT GOOD
Had a couple of guests stay recently who worked as geologist with a ' BIG PETROLEUM' company ( hint ) and when I asked them about Fracking they both said much the same thing, that it was not environmentally a good idea as the concept of high pressure water and chemicals being pumped underground was unknown and the damage these chemicals were / would / could do to the water table, the environment was dangerous and unknown and could cause earth quakes and it could be very dangerous to human and animal health. There simply was no evidence to claim it is safe whereas the common sense about the dangers is clear.
This coming from professionals who work in the field , travelling the world working in the oil and gas industry for over 50 years between them.
Interesting that two very seperate geologists both said much the same thing.
Our new advert in Gay Times. Have you seen it yet ?