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Should politicians vote according to their religious beliefs?

Politicians are free to hold any religious beliefs they wish but should set their religion to one side when considering policy issues and proposed legislation.


Posted 24 March 2023

On Wednesday 22 March 2023, I took part in a recording for the Turkish channel TRT World. It was their Nexus programme, and it was released the following day with the title "Scotland’s Choice? The SNP leadership race."

The presenter was Matthew Moore, and the panellists were:

Much of the programme focused on the religious views of one of the candidates, Kate Forbes, as indicated by the programme's YouTube description below:

The contest to replace Nicola Sturgeon as Scotland’s first minister has been a pretty nasty affair - especially for Kate Forbes. The committed Christian was well-ahead of her rivals until she revealed her rather traditional views on same sex marriage and other social affairs. Many of her own Scottish Nationalist Party colleagues turned on her as did a good chunk of the press. With just three candidates left in the race, we asked our panel if any of them can unite the party and resurrect the case for independence.

The programme also touched on candidate Hamza Yousaf's religious views.

You can watch the programme below.

Video of programme

At 10:40 I make the point that Kate Forbes should not set out to impose her religious views on the Scottish people. For example, I believe sex outside marriage is a sin, but I do not support making it a crime. My views are set out in detail in my piece "The proper boundary of “Political Islam”"

At 13:53 the programme shows an extract from a statement by the Scottish Association of Mosques. I respond to it. Read the full text of their statement here.

At 17:53 I give my views on Hamza Yousaf's handling of the religion issue.


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