National Secular Society
With a stated aim to “provoke,” Britain’s best-known TV company, Channel 4, is justifying its live daily broadcast of the “adhan” — the early hour Muslim call to prayer — and sparking applause as well as anger.
The broadcasts, airing each morning at 3 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time, will continue throughout the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
“We are focusing on the positive aspects of Islam and hoping to explain to a broader public what Ramadan is, and what it means for the 2.8 million Muslims who take part in the UK and provide a platform for different views and different voices,” said Ralph Lee, the network’s head of programming.
Leading secularists are calling on nonreligious parents to fight a government effort that would allow the Church of England to run thousands of state schools.
The schools, or academies, would be privately funded, quasi-independent and accountable to the church for their curricula, organization, admission policies, and teachers’ pay and conditions.
As of July, there were 3,049 such academies operating in England, many financed by businessmen, finance companies, supermarkets, football clubs, and a growing number of faith-based organizations including the Roman Catholic Church, the Methodist Church and the largest of all — the Church of England.