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In the Press

  • Douglas Murray hopes his new book, The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam, won't be seen as incendiary.

    Given that it opens with the line "Europe is committing suicide", it's hard to see how it won't. Murray is a gay, English Right-wing journalist who has written books about Lord Alfred Douglas, Neo-conservatism and Lord Saville's Bloody Sunday Enquiry. More controversially, he is an overt critic of Islam and of mass migration into Europe who does not mince his words. "You only have two options: to say what you think or be quiet. The second has never come naturally and what people don't want to say is often the most interesting thing to write about," says Murray, taking a sip of his cappuccino.

    Broadly speaking, his thesis is that the unprecedented levels of migration into Europe coming at the same time as the continent has lost faith in its beliefs and identity will result in its downfall. The combination of guilt about our past, declining birth rates and the demise of traditional Christian values, together with the abject failure of multiculturalism, means Europe as we know it will cease to exist within the lifespans of most people alive today.

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  • Lecturers and teachers have been criticised by a terrorism expert for their reluctance to sound the alarm about students at risk of radicalisation.

    Lord Carlile of Berriew, QC, said that shop assistants and cleaners at airports were happy to report suspicions to the authorities and questioned why educationalists were reluctant to do the same.

    The University and College Union, which represents lecturers, and the National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers opposed a law requiring universities and schools to refer students to the Prevent programme, which helps vulnerable people to escape radicalisation.

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  • The capital's LGBT and Muslim communities will meet to mark Ramadan as part of this year's Pride in London festival.

    The Big Gay Iftar, at St Andrew's Church in Southwark, will see participants join in the traditional Islamic sunset evening meal.

    Pride in London said the event on June 24, open to anyone, will allow people "to talk to one another, learn about each others' faiths, cultures and sexualities and spread some love."

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  • An MPs' report calling for a crackdown on fixed-odds betting terminals, published in the midst of a government review into the controversial machines, has been found to breach parliamentary standards. A cross-party group of politicians, backed by casinos, amusement arcades and pubs, was deemed to have broken the rules four times in a report calling for the maximum stake on FOBTs to be reduced from £100 to £2.

    Breaches cited by the parliamentary commissioner for standards include a lack of transparency about free advice the group received from a public affairs firm employed by gambling companies that do not offer FOBTs.

    The verdict has been hailed as a victory by bookmakers, who derive more than half of their revenue from the machines and say cutting the maximum stake would cost jobs in the industry.

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  • Death is a certainty (1) for all of us and yet in recent times there is an obsession with living longer, and discussing death and dying has become increasingly off-limits. Most patients wish to die at home with their families, but now more die in hospital under the care of their doctors. Death is becoming increasingly over-medicalised, with an ever greater reliance on modern medical technologies, particularly in Intensive Care Units (ICUs). This creates the illusion that death can somehow be evaded. Patients seldom consider what kinds of treatment they are prepared to undergo prior to becoming ill and fewer still communicate their wishes to their family or their doctor in the event of their loss of capacity to make decisions.

    End of life decision-making, particularly around the withholding and withdrawal of medical treatments, is by no means easy; many clinicians find it the most difficult part of their job. However, the provision of quality end of life care to patients and their families, helping them negotiate the dilemmas faced as death approaches, can be extremely rewarding.

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  • The UK's most popular baby names have been revealed in a new survey, with Muhammed and Amelia topping the charts for the capital.

    Research carried out in every city in the country has shown how long-time favourites such as Emily, Sophie, Jack and Oliver are still going strong in 2017.

    At the same time, the Arabic name Muhammed came out as the most popular given to boys in culturally-diverse London, and was second most popular nationwide.

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  • Ethiopia's northern Tigray State is considering adopting a new law that would restrict Christian activities to within official church compounds. This would effectively render illegal the activities of smaller churches that do not own their own buildings and gather in houses.

    The law would also ban Christians from evangelising outside of church compounds. Local church leaders have raised their concerns about the law with the state government but have yet to receive a reply.

    A similar law was recently ratified in neighbouring Amhara State which, together with Tigray, is home to most members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and local church leaders fear other states will copy the move.

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  • Donald Trump has invited conservative and faith leaders to the White House tomorrow, the National Day of Prayer, and is expected to sign the long-awaited executive order on religious liberty.

    According to Politico, lawyers are still fine tuning the order's wording, but multiple sources confirmed the plan.

    If enacted, the religious freedom executive order is a major piece of payback to evangelical Christians and other religious conservatives from Trump, alongside the appointment of the conservative judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

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  • The Dáil (Irish Parliament) is to vote on new rules that would mean members would stand for the house's opening prayer.

    The prayer is said at the start of proceedings in both houses of the parliament, the Dáil and Seanad Éireann (Irish senate).

    The amendment was debated on Tuesday.

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  • One of the jewels in the Church of England's educational crown is the Sir John Cass Foundation and Red Coat School in East London. Its Ofsted status as "outstanding", however, was downgraded to "inadequate" in November 2014. The school was placed in "special measures" for failing in its duty to safeguard the children in its care. During a snap inspection visit, the church secondary school was discovered to be failing in its duty to protect pupils from Islamic extremism.

    The school had, previously, been warned by the police about the online activities of its in-house sixth form Islamic society. To no avail, it seems! In effect, the school was found to be party to the promotion of radical Islam. It has since remedied this particular failing and recovered its "outstanding" status.

    It is far from clear, though, that the Church of England has learnt much from the debacle. Its commitment to Islam has now grown so strong that it has announced its desire to end the right of parents to withdraw their child from religious education lessons. It is the belief of the Church that the importance of this fundamental human right is outweighed by the need for all pupils to be taught about the Koran and the Prophet. This is giving to Islam a status that has never been enjoyed by other religions, including Christianity. Other religious beliefs do not merit enforcement.

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