You may download and read the Spring Newsletter from the Humanist Association of London and Area (HALA) Here: Enlightenment 41
We appreciate the time that HALA has taken to respond to the OHS survey, and the interesting history of the HALA presented in this newsletter. OHS SURVEY 2012
Here are some excepts from the Newsletter:
“The Ontario Humanist Society has asked all Ontario Humanist organizations to participate in a survey inquiring as to how each group functions and also asking for details of their activities. We thought HALA members and friends would be interested in reading this account of where we have been and what we are now doing. You can read a history of HALA in the newsletter.
The newsletter also include a discussion of the recent presentation of Tarek Fatah, a liberal Muslim, a champion for a secular society. His topic was “Blending Values in A Multicultural Society?”
Tarek was a dynamic presenter, speaking without notes on a variety of subjects that interest him. The main thrusts of his talk were Sharia law and separation of church and state. He was adamant that Sharia law must never be allowed in Canada, and he was thankful that the Ontario government turned down former Attorney Tarek Fatah General Marion Boyd’s recommendation that Sharia law be allowed. He noted that Muslim countries where Islam is the national religion are often backward and need to progress into the twenty-first century.
Tarek Fatah has published two books. His first is Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State. This book was short listed for the $35,000 Donner Prize for 2008-09. His second book is The Jew is not My Enemy: Unveiling the Myths that Fuel Anti-Semitism. This book won the 2010 Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Book Award in Politics and History. In May 2009, he joined radio station CFRB 1010. Later that fall, he joined John Moore’s morning show as a contributor. Currently he hosts “The Tarek Fatah Show” on CFRB on Sundays..
The HALA newsletter also refers to a current discussion topic of many humanist groups:
“..While we all shun supernatural beliefs, and realize religions have caused much harm in the past, we feel that if you engage in bashing religions, you need tosuggest a better alternative to take its place. We know that religions are good at providing a strong sense of community for their members, and we know that recently many humanists are increasingly aware that this sense of community is lacking in many humanist organizations. We feel that determining how to provide a strong satisfying sense of community is one of the biggest challenges we face.
We often like to emphasize that the twelve principles of Humanist Canada deal with a wide range of subjects that are prerequisites for living a satisfying and meaningful secular life, and only one principle (No. 10) deals with supernatural belief. We feel that there is so much more to humanism than atheistic beliefs and regret that many in the general public believe that humanists are little more than a bunch of atheists. We wish to allay that conception. It is our
contention that if we work toward establishing a prosperous secular society, supernatural beliefs will gradually fade away…”