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Each sitting day in federal parliament begins with the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate leading prayers.

But sectarian official prayers are inconsistent with the religious diversity of the Australian community MPs are elected to represent. They are also open to challenge in the High Court for breaching the Constitution’s separation of religion and state provision.

Read the rest by clicking the link below.
http://theconversation.com/official-prayers-in-federal-parliament-are-divisive-and-unconstitutional-and-should-be-scrapped-81673

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A 39-year-old resident of central Israel was arrested on suspicion of involvement in threats and intentions to harm key atheist officials and activists, as well as members of the Reform Movement.

The police raided the suspect's house after obtaining a search warrant and arrested him outside the home. The home of the suspect's mother was also searched.

The suspect has been detained for questioning.

The investigation followed a number of incidents in Jerusalem and central Israel dating back to 2014. The investigation determined that the incidents were related and religiously motivated.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/234347

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Earlier this month the Kuala Lumpur chapter of the non-profit Atheist Republic, an organization which “provides opportunities for non-believers around the world to gather with like-minded people,” posted a photo of a rare meetup of members.

The photo shows more than 20 men and women, mostly young, casually dressed, smiling, hands, cups or peace signs raised – all presumably non-believers.

The caption reads: “Atheists from all walks of life came to meet one another, some for the very first time… each sharing their stories and forming new friendships that hopefully last a lifetime! We rock!”

Shortly after, Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, a minister from a department in charge of Islamic affairs, asked for an investigation to determine if any Muslims were involved in the meeting.

A day later, Shahidan Kassim, another minister, this time part of the cabinet of Prime Minister Najib Razak, suggested a forced education for the atheists.

“I suggest that we hunt them down vehemently and we ask for help to identify these groups,” he said in a press conference.

Whether because of a populist ploy for use in the upcoming elections or an indication of Malaysia’s drift toward more radical political Islam, atheists in the country have been singled out by Muslim conservatives in the government. Now the ex-Muslim groups fear an assault by possibly emboldened fundamentalist Muslim communities.

Read the rest by clicking the link below.
http://thediplomat.com/2017/08/intolerance-rising-atheists-at-risk-in-malaysia/

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That sign says, in English, “I do not believe in God, but in love, solidarity, and respect. I love my family and they love me. If you accept me as I am, give me a hug.”

Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2017/08/21/peruvian-atheists-are-fighting-stereotypes-by-asking-for-hugs/#rxop9Lr8zofmXmdG.99

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More than two years after it was filed, a federal lawsuit that alleges the County of Lackawanna Transit System violated an atheist group’s right to free speech is set to go to trial in November.

The Northeastern Pennsylvania Freethought Society alleges COLTS officials discriminated against the group when they refused to run several ads on buses that contained the word “atheist.”

Read the rest by clicking the link below.
http://citizensvoice.com/news/atheist-suit-against-lackawanna-transit-system-set-for-trial-1.2232761

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The Freedom From Religion Foundation has sent cautionary letters to nine Wisconsin public school districts in the greater Milwaukee area being targeted by a Christian evangelical club this coming school year.

The Good News Club — sponsored by Child Evangelism Fellowship, whose aim is to indoctrinate 5-12 year old children — annually chooses one major city to invade. FFRF warned the school districts that the club has chosen to descend on Milwaukee to convert students.

Read the rest by clicking the link below.
https://ffrf.org/news/news-releases/item/30127-ffrf-to-milwaukee-beware-good-news-club

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Malaysia - the land of religious freedom, except for ex-muslims. As has been pointed again and again, Muslims have a cult/mafia behaviour. This is what happens when Islam becomes the dominant religion.

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Visakhapatnam: Demanding the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana state governments make an anti-superstition law, Atheist Society of Indian (ASI) members urged the Maharashtra government to punish the culprits of rationalist Dr Narendra Dabholkar's murder as four years have been passed by since his death.

Speaking at an event organised by Atheist Society of India in the city on Sunday, Andhra University retired Prof KP Subba Rao recalled the efforts and sacrifices made by social reformer Dabholkar to make the Anti-Superstition Law a reality in Maharashtra and to create awareness about irrational beliefs among public through Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samithi.

“The state governments should wake up from slumber and take steps to avoid repetition of such brutal attacks by fundamentalist groups on the rationalists, public intellectuals and science popularisers, who are working for the progress of the society,” said Andhra University Prof C Manju Latha.

Read the rest by clicking the link below.
http://www.thehansindia.com/posts/index/Andhra-Pradesh/2017-08-21/Atheist-Society-demands-anti-superstition-law-/320442

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Charlottesville, VA—In response to the demonstrations of white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, American Atheists president David Silverman and International Humanist and Ethical Union president Andrew Copson released the following joint statement:

Click the link below to read the statement.
https://www.atheists.org/2017/08/charlottesville/

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For the sixth consecutive year, the Minnesota Atheists and Freedom From Religion Foundation joined forces with a local minor league baseball team to have some fun and do some charity work.

Normally, the St. Paul Saints become the “Mr. Paul Aints” for a day. Things were a little simpler this year. The name stayed the same but the “A” in sAints got an atheist flourish:

Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2017/08/16/atheists-sponsor-charity-food-drive-during-st-paul-saints-baseball-game/#V3FGfZU3HYGoPy4T.99
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