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A Manifesto for Secularism was recently launched at a conference in London. While the aim, to counter the religious right, is positive, I have reservations about some aspects.
The UK government is seeking parliament’s approval to join the USA in carrying out air strikes on Iraq. The aim is to weaken Isis forces, responsible for various atrocities. But the attack may strengthen them instead.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson has called for an end to the presumption of innocence for those visiting war zones and powers to remove UK citizenship for those supporting a “terrorist state”.
UK home secretary Theresa May has promised to get tough on “non-violent extremism” as well as terrorism. Unless this is narrowly defined, such measures may undermine civil liberties and do more to promote than to counter violence.