Turkish Military Sheds (Some) Secular Principles: Game of Thrones Is Out, Studying the Qur’an Is In

Remember how proudly secular Turkey was since the days of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk? Unusually for a country where 98 out of a 100 citizens still self-identify as Muslims, Turkey became a secular, democratic republic close to a century ago. In the last two decades, driven in part by its remarkably thin-skinned, immoderate Islamic leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who rarely misses a chance to push his religious agenda, that ideal has been hollowed out.

And so we get this:

The Turkish Armed Forces has updated its set of regulations for the high school academies that it administers, inserting an article in the chapter for “protection of students.” It advises a ban on screening films or shows that depict “sexual exploitation, pornography, exhibitionism, abuse, harassment and all negative behaviors.” [The national newspaper] Hurriyet cites Game of Thrones as one of the main culprits.



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A Group of Private Schools in Pakistan Observed “I Am Not Malala” Day Yesterday

Yesterday, in a slap in the face to common decency, leaders of a large group of Islamic private schools in Pakistan celebrated “I am not Malala” day, because they see Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai as a black mark on their faith:



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Australian Public School Officials Under Fire After Removing Prayer and Hymns from Remembrance Day Service

A school in Australia is getting a taste of what it’s like in the U.S. when leaders do the right thing instead of following Christian tradition. At the Carrington Public School, in New South Wales, students will no longer recite the Lord’s Prayer and religious hymns on Remembrance Day (today). They’ll instead take part in a more secular service:



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There’s Nothing Wrong with Teaching About Islam in Public Schools

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, discusses why there’s nothing wrong with teaching about Islam in public schools.



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Apply for the 2015 American Atheists Scholarship!

If you’re a college student (or a high school senior about to enter college), American Atheists has some money for you!

If you’ve done any activism this past year individually or with a group, if you’ve written letters-to-the-editor which were published, if you were an outspoken atheist in some way or another, you should think about applying.



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