Minority faith groups are now starting to see the appeal. We've recently seen a flurry of new free schools with a Sikh ethos being proposed. This is unfortunate, because in many ways, Sikhs have been the most successful at fully integrating themselves into British society. The fear is that with a proliferation of single faith schools, this could now be put at risk.
We are social beings and interacting with others is crucial to our functioning and mental health. The loss of active family connections and any sense of community, inevitably lead to depression so the question is how do we bring socialisng back into these people's lives and can a sense of community actually be established?
The terrorists in Algeria are Islamists - as they are in Mali, as they were on 9/11 and on 7/ 7 and on date after notorious date. Terrorists from all over the world are fighting a jihad for the return of the caliphate and the installation of sharia on a global scale. This is extremism; Islamist extremism.
Andrew Brown, in a Guardian blog last week, criticised the British Humanist Association (BHA) for promoting humanism as an essentially negative approach to life defined by what it isn't and for being on an incoherent and self-defeating mission to eliminate all social bonds, based on an outmoded view of religion.
The Church of England has thrown down the gauntlet to the government over the issue of same-sex marriage. The message is clear: "Do as we say or there will be dire consequences." Their response to the government consultation on its intention to legalise civil marriages between same-sex couples is overwrought to the point of hysteria. It is manipulative to the point of blackmail.
Last week, the Home Office closed their three-month consultation on the criminalisation of forced marriage. When I initially posted the consultation document in the Facebook group for my organisation, British Muslims for Secular Democracy, there were cries of shock that forced marriage was not already a criminal offence. The right to choose who you will live with, sleep with, eat with and possibly raise children with, for the rest of your life, is as basic a right as they come. Violations of this right are not only disastrous for the individuals involved, but they undermine values that are fundamental to British society and Islam itself.