Nottingham Secular Society

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Future Meetings

Tuesday 25th September 2018

        Prof. Tom Lewis is the first speaker in our 2018/2019 season of talks/debates/lectures/etc.

        The lecture starts at 19:30 prompt,  and will be followed by a Q and A session. £2 entrance.

        Human Rights and Human Wrongs. Empathatic Justice?.

        Tom studied Jurisprudence and History at Jesus College, University of Oxford, before going on to qualify and practice as a solicitor in a major law firm,

        where he specialised in civil litigation. He has taught at Nottingham Law School since 1996, first as Lecturer and then as Reader and Professor. He is

        Director of Nottingham Law School’s Centre for Rights and Justice. He teaches Public Law and Human Rights at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

        His presentation will explore the role that empathy; essentially, putting one’s self in the shoes of others, might play in the resolution of human rights claims.

        Particular attention will be paid to the approach of the European Court of Human Rights in its case law concerning bans on forms of religious dress, in particular

        the Islamic veil. The protection provided by the European Court to those people subject to such bans (in states such as France, Belgium and Turkey) has been weak.

        The talk examines the reasons for this approach, some of the problems with it, and suggests that empathic reasoning might have much to offer in reaching a more

        equitable outcomes in such cases.

        Tom's research interests lie in the field of human rights and constitutional law with a particular focus on freedom of expression and freedom of religion or belief,

        and he welcomes queries from potential research students interested in pursuing projects in these fields.

Tuesday 23rd October 2018

        Yasmin Rehman

        The lecture starts at 19:30 prompt,  and will be followed by a Q and A session. £2 entrance.

        Walking the tightrope: a guide to the pitfalls of being a secularist and a woman of faith.

        How do we challenge fundamentalist and extremist narratives but without feeding a racist, anti-Muslim agenda? How can Muslims themselves challenge Islamic

        extremist doctrine, when they too face accusations of Islamophobia and racism? How can we navigate a discourse that's dominated by faith-based identity politics?

        That's the tightrope walked by Yasmin Rehman, a Muslim who campaigns for women's rights. In 2017, she received the prestigious 'Secularist of the Year' award for

        her work, including highlighting the dangers posed by Islamic extremists to ex-Muslims and Ahmadi Muslims, and those helping to protect women from violence and


        at the Canal House, 48-52 Canal Street, Nottingham.

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Campaigning locally for a Secular Britain.

Who we are and what we believe:

We are a group of people based in and around the Nottingham area who support the idea of a secular society, in which people of all religions, and none, should be treated equally.

We support the Charter of the National Secular Society and meet regularly to discuss secular issues; listen to guest speakers; organise campaigns, have debates and the occasional social evening.

Secularism Protects:

We are not anti-religion. We oppose discrimination against religions and discrimination by religions equally but we believe that religion is a private matter for individuals and that the privileged position of religious organisations and the self-interest of religious leaders is one that should be challenged.


Please have a look at the website and, if you like what you see, why not come along and join us at one of our meetings? For more information or any general inquiries please contact

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