This external event is run by our friends the East London Humanist Group, and we think you will enjoy the evening.
SECULARISM. WHAT IS IT AND WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT?
Talk and discussion led by Charlie Klendjian, Chair Lawyers Secular Society. (Details of venue below).
Hot from his recent appearance on ‘The Big Questions,’ broadcast from Queen Mary College in January, Charlie will lead a discussion on this much misunderstood issue.
Secularism, or separation of religion from the state, is frequently confused with atheism, which simply means lack of religion. Secularism is the best guarantee of freedom of religion and belief that we have, and many religious as well as non-religious people recognise its value.
In a truly secular society no religion or belief will enjoy any special privileges. By the same token everyone will have the same legal rights and obligations. No one will be able to pick and choose which laws they comply with, say on discrimination, because of their belief.
The issue touches on many topical debates. These include Sharia Law, the segregation of audiences, the right to manifest religious belief through wearing the veil, the Cross, etc., and the right to cause offence.
The issues are brought into sharp focus by the death threats made to another participant in the programme, Maajid Nawaz, executive director of the anti-extremism group Quilliam, and the Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn, after he tweeted a cartoon image of the prophet Muhammad and Jesus.
The room is open from 7.00. Light refreshments are available and there is an opportunity to mingle, chat and browse through our bookstall (courtesy of Newham Books). Everyone is free to join us after the meeting at the George pub (just round the corner, opposite Wanstead station). The meeting is free but there will be a collection at the end to meet expenses.
Wanstead Library is a 2 minute walk from Wanstead Tube (central line). 1 minute from bus stops 66,101,308,W13,W14. Free adjacent car park. Disabled access.