Hold-inquiry-into-Sharia-courts2On December 10,┬á┬áUK women’s rights groups supported by┬áSPI Advocate Maryam Namazie┬áhand delivered a letter signed by nearly 400 individuals and organisations to urge┬áBritish Prime Minister David Cameron to formally look into the discriminatory nature of Sharia ÔÇÿcourtsÔÇÖ and other religious arbitration forums. They want to stop Sharia, the Jewish Beth Din, and other kinds of religious ‘courts’ from having sway over family matters including divorce.

Manea_460SPI Fellow Elham Manea has been active as the spokesperson for jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi. And she’s written on behalf of gay men killed in Yemen on the Huffington Post, saying it shows alarmingly how powerful Al Qaeda and Islamic State in that country. She is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Political Science, University of Zurich, Switzerland and a dual-citizen of Yemen and Switzerland. She recently contributed recommendations for how Western governments should handle proponents of Sharia Law in the legal systems for the SPI World Future Guide 2016, the Secular Policy Institute’s original policy recommendations for decision-makers around the globe.

Another contributor to the SPI World Future Guide was SPI Fellow Greg Neimeyer. He directs the Office of Continuing Education in Psychology at the American Psychological Association, meaning that he teaches the therapists. Now his popular classroom lectures are available online at dsm5-training.net for psychologists looking to keep up with their certifications and at psychgradprep.net for undergraduates wishing to maximize their chances of getting into a psychology graduate school.

marty-klein-santa2Congratulations to SPI Fellow Marty Klein for being the keynote speaker at the National Sex Education Conference this month in New Jersey. He has many speeches coming up in 2016, including in California, Texas, and Illinois. He’ll talk about pornography, cybersex, and how therapists can talk sex to their patients. He encourages you to give sex for the holidays by purchasing one of his books, CDs, or downloads on modern sexuality from a secular perspective. Through December 31 you can use code V20 for a 20% discount on his website store.

SPI Fellow Christopher DiCarlo is a past Visiting Research Scholar at Harvard University in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences: Department of Anthropology and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. He runs the Onion Skin Theory of Knowledge (OSTOK) Project, which analyzes the interplay between nature and human culture. Recently he debated the meaning of life in Ontario, Canada and you can find an older video debate from 2008, Atheism vs. Christianity.

He is a fellow of the Society of Ontario Freethinkers, a board advisor to Freethought TV, and an advisory fellow for Center for Inquiry Canada. He is currently working on his latest book tentatively entitled Flying Without a Pilot: A Determined Look at the Future of Ethics, Law, and the Value of Human Behavior.