Blunkett sets hopes on new hatred ban
Posted: 02 Nov 2006 @ 00:00
xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
xml:namespace prefix = o />
EXTREMISTS — “from far-right Evangelical Christians to extremists in the
Islamic faith” — are a scourge of modern society, the Home Secretary, David
Blunkett, said this week.
hopes to revive his plans to introduce a law banning incitement to religious
“We have to
face down extremism and racism in all its forms if we are to produce a
positive, inclusive sense of British identity,” he told a conference on racial
equality and community cohesion in
unsuccessfully to introduce an offence of incitement to religious hatred in the
aftermath of the 11 September attacks, but I hope we will now have the
parliamentary backing to put this in law,” he said.
“I am very
clear that some of the noisiest and most high-profile political and religious
extremists in this country have no mandate to speak for the communities they
claim to represent, and evoke a reaction which plays into the hands of
racists,” he said.
Government was consulting “on whether we need to extend the protection against
Blunkett’s last attempt to introduce a law against incitement to religious
hatred was twice voted down by the House of Lords.
Chancellor, Gordon Brown, told a meeting of the British Council on Wednesday
that British identity was rooted in a passion for liberty, anchored in a sense
of duty and an intrinsic commitment to tolerance and fair play.
proposed. The time is right for a national forum where Christians and Muslims
can meet to share views, the Archbishop of Canterbury has been told.
of Aston, the Rt Revd John Austin, who chaired a group that reported the
results of a listening exercise, said that the new forum was “necessary, timely
and increasingly urgent”.
of Bolton, the Rt Revd David Gillett, is now to chair a group from both faiths
which will work to implement the proposals.