So when is it acceptable to drop a mate? All men like to think that they're unfailingly loyal, understanding and loathe to engage in petty vendettas with friends. But two encounters this weekend made me consider the dilemma of standing by a friend no matter what they do.
Within any context, FGM is a vile and inhumane practice. For God-fearing Muslims, however, it strikes a particularly painful cord given that a small minority of the Muslim religious elite and their ill-guided flocks manipulate the peaceful teachings of Islam to socially, morally and even physically force women to undergo this harmful procedure.
Honest to God (ahem) the two most inspirational feminists I have met to date have both been nuns. And their opinions on sex gave me a lot to think about as well.
For the past couple of months, many of us will have been reading, watching and listening to an array of allegations and stories that appear to show Br...
People in the British Isles are embracing their pagan heritage more openly than ever before. Those whose religion is Paganism (the seventh largest religion in the UK) mark the fire festivals as holy days. I am pagan, and marked the day with a public ceremony for fellow pagans in a London hall, with my friends in a mummers play both comical and spiritual.
The recent anti-halal hysteria has nothing to do with the welfare of animals. It's just good old-fashioned Islamophobia. This is not to say that some people don't have sincere concerns about the way in which animals are slaughtered: they do. But these are not the people now jumping on the anti-halal bandwagon.
EU and UK law requires that all animals must be stunned before slaughter. However there is an exemption for religious communities. A loophole that must be closed.
This halal meat fiasco has two separate elements to it: (i) the halal meat creeping into restaurant menus; and (ii) the incorrect presumption that slaughtering an animal is more cruel than "stunning" by electrocution, drowning, bashing it over the head or whatever else is in vogue.
Around 18 months ago my best friend died of cancer. He was early 40s, and left a wife and twins. Like me 'the son of a preacher man,' we'd collaborated together on projects exploring the outer edges of what our faith was becoming.
We pray that God will help our security forces bring Boko Haram's campaign of hate to a swift end before the whole country is sucked into a religious war.... Nigerians are proud people. We are able to take care of our own problems and often are the first to offer assistance to other African neighbours. But we are desperate and we are fighting for our lives. We cannot let evil triumph.
When Rowan Williams uses the word "special" you take note. But when he mentions it three times in one sentence and prefaces it each time with the word "very" we're clearly being called to attention.
The differences between Sunni and Shia Islam are political in origin, and remain so to this day. The way that Muslims are positioned throughout the world (70% Sunni, and 20% Shia) has heavily informed the politics of various countries and created much geopolitical tension and associated extremism between the two sects.
If the media is engaging in sins, peddling disinformation, slander and defamation - as well as unnecessarily invading privacy and engaging in harassment - then they deserve a stern word from the Pope.
Underneath the big headlines, who is going to appreciate the difference between an "Islamist" organisation and an "Islamic" one? Yet for over a century legitimate Islamic charities have been the backbone of the Muslim community in the UK.
As a Christian I am always pleased when someone comes out of the closet and admits that they are a Christian, but it was with very mixed feelings that I read David Cameron's admission of faith. He seems rather muddled about what Christianity means and there are reasons to think that his declaration has a rather different motive.
Google should be questioned just as religion should be questioned. Remember that you are the one with the power. You control your life -- both in the real world and online. Look for alternatives.