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Turkey rolls out new school curriculum – without Darwin

ANKARA: Turkey announced a new school curriculum on Tuesday that excluded Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, feeding opposition fears President Tayyip Erdogan is subverting the republic’s secular foundations. The chairman of a teachers’ union described the changes as a huge step in the wrong direction for Turkey’s schools and an attempt to avoid raising “generations…

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July 18, 2017


At least 20 mosques shut down in France since December

PARIS: French authorities have shut down around 20 mosques and prayer halls considered to be preaching radical Islam since December, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Monday. “There is no place … in France for those who call for and incite hatred in prayer halls or in mosques, and who don’t respect certain republican principles,…

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August 2, 2016


Fourth secular blogger hacked to death in Bangladesh

DHAKA: A gang armed with machetes hacked a secular blogger to death at his home in Dhaka Friday, sparking protests in the capital over the fourth such murder in Bangladesh this year. Niloy Chakrabarti, who used the pen-name Niloy Neel, was killed after the gang forced their way into his apartment, according to the Bangladesh…

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August 7, 2015


Egypt sentences 230 secular activists to life

CAIRO: An Egyptian court Wednesday sentenced to life 230 secular activists from the 2011 revolt against long-time strongman Hosni Mubarak, including leading campaigner Ahmed Douma, an official said. Thirty-nine others, all minors, were jailed for 10 years. The verdict, which can be appealed, is the harshest delivered so far against non-Islamist activists amid a government…

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February 5, 2015


Rise of Islamic schools causes alarm in secular Turkey

ISTANBUL: When Turkish pupils received their school entry exam results after the end of last term, textile worker and father Halil Ibrahim Beyhan received an unpleasant surprise. His daughter had been assigned to a religious high school, like thousands of other students under a new system that caught many parents off guard. Parents, educators and…

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September 21, 2014


Liberal, secular forces want bloodshed in KP, FATA: Maulana Fazl

Staff ReportISLAMABAD: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) head Maulana Fazlur Rehman has said that so-called pro-peace secular and liberal people believe in politics of bloodshed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and federally-administered tribal areas (FATA). In a press statement today, Rehman said all religious parties and seminaries have isolated militant groups. “Despite openly opposing the terrorism, liberal forces are…

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September 28, 2013


Secular Turks see red over airline's lipstick ban

ISTANBUL: Turkey's national airline has barred female flight attendants from wearing red lipstick and nail polish, striking a nerve among secular Turks worried the country is becoming more Islamic.Turkish Airlines, Europe's fourth-biggest carrier, said the ban was aimed at keeping crews “artless and well-groomed with makeup in pastel tones”, as a natural look improved communication…

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May 3, 2013


Analysts did not read my article, I am proud of secular India: Shah Rukh Khan

Staff ReportMUMBAI: Indian super star Shah Rukh Khan has said in his latest statement that he is proud of secular India and the analysts did not read his article and started discussion over that, SAMAA reports.Shah Rukh Khan addressed a news conference to clear his position over his article, published in the US newspaper, being…

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January 29, 2013


Paul Kurtz, secular humanist, dies at 86

GENEVA: Paul Kurtz, a leading U.S. philosopher who devoted his life to fighting prejudice against people who reject belief in a god and promoting a non-religious stance in life, has died at the age of 86, websites reported on Monday.The secular humanist Centre for Inquiry (CFI), which he founded in 1991, said the one-time Buffalo…

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October 22, 2012


MQM to turn Pakistan into a secular, progressive state: Altaf

Staff ReportLONDON: MQM chief Altaf Hussain has said that his party wants to turn Pakistan into a democratic, secular and progressive state in line with the vision of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. In a telephonic address to the residents of Defence at Khushbakht Shujaat’s residence here on Wednesday, Hussain said he wants to see a…

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October 3, 2012


Turkey passes a school reform law that secular critics view as Islamist

ANKARA: Turkey’s ruling party pushed through a school reform act that provoked brawls among parliamentarians and mass protests by secular Turks and teachers, who said the law was pushing an Islamic agenda and would lower education standards. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan sent shudders through the secular opposition earlier this year when he said his goal…

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April 1, 2012