NSS welcomes Network Rail decision to remove religious messaging

The National Secular Society has welcomed Network Rail’s decision to remove religious messaging from the departure board at King’s Cross station.

The decision follows widespread criticism, including from the NSS, after the departure board displayed an Islamic “Hadith of the day” calling for ‘sinners to repent’.

In a recent photograph widely circulated on social media, the departure board displays Islamic prayer times and the hadith: “The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: All the sons of Adam are sinners but the best of the sinners are those who repent often”.

Another photograph shared on Instagram last week shows a different hadith saying: “The gates of Hellfire are closed, and the devils are chained”.

The hadith is a collection of the sayings and actions of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

Network Rail, which is a publicly owned company, said the hadith had been displayed to mark the Islamic month of Ramadan, which runs from March 10 to April 9 this year.

A spokesperson for the organisation said: “We value the feedback of our passengers and while these messages were intended to celebrate the beliefs and backgrounds of some of our colleagues and passengers, we have removed them.”

Network Rail is now “looking into” why hadiths were displayed, instead of “general Ramadan celebratory messages”. They “will now review how occasions can be marked in the future”.

The NSS has written to Network Rail to share its concerns about the display and offer its assistance in the upcoming review.

NSS: ‘Religious neutrality in public spaces best way to nurture inclusive society’

NSS chief executive Stephan Evans said: “We welcome Network Rail’s decision to remove hadiths from the departure board at King’s Cross.

“At best this was a well-meaning yet misguided and counterproductive attempt at inclusivity.

“British people tend to be comfortable with diversity and people being free to practise their religion. What they’re not so keen on is other people’s religion being imposed on them. I don’t think they want to be told they’re sinners when they’re catching a train.

“Such gestures also risk accusations of favouritism, generating resentment and the inevitable demands from other religious or identity groups for equal recognition.

“Maintaining religious neutrality in public spaces and services is the best way of nurturing a harmonious, even-handed and inclusive society that respects all individuals, regardless of their beliefs or backgrounds.”

UPDATE 22/03: Network Rail has replied to us to tell us the hadiths “had not been signed off” and that the use of the departure boards “wasn’t right as these should be reserved only for passenger information”.

They are now “reviewing how and where at King’s Cross we mark significant occasions in the future”.

Press coverage:

The Standard – Network Rail defends Islamic display board message for Ramadan at King’s Cross

Daily Telegraph – Network Rail warned over Ramadan message on King’s Cross board

Daily Mail – King’s Cross station faces backlash after ‘Islamic’ message appears on its board

GB News – Network Rail removes Islamic message on King’s Cross display board after fierce criticism

Source link

Add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Keep Up to Date with the Most Important News

By pressing the Subscribe button, you confirm that you have read and are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use