Archbishop’s Call For Tolerance Lauded By British Muslims

25 Dec 2003

The Muslim Council of Britain welcomes Dr Rowan Williams’ Christmas sermon today in which he criticised the growing intolerance displayed towards members of minority faith communities.

“While millions are rejoicing and celebrating this Christmas day, the Archbishop of Canterbury has rightly drawn attention to the spiralling number of religiously aggravated hate crimes that are now being perpetrated here. Just yesterday, in Hull, two British Muslims were loading a van with furniture when molotov cocktails were thrown at them in what police confirm was a hate crime. One of the petrol bombs exploded showering one of the British Muslims with burning fuel. In a supposed war on terror, the reality is that in this country it is mainly ordinary British Muslims who are being unfairly victimised and terrorised,” said Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain.

The Archbishop’s criticism of those who are ‘intolerant of difference’ and who insist on an ‘aggressive form of unity’ was also timely in view of last week’s announcement by the French President Jacques Chirac of his intention to ban Muslim schoolgirls from wearing the headscarf (hijab).

“Our government should work with its partners in Europe to ensure that France revokes this ignominious ban which has already proven to be counterproductive and likely to lead to the further marginalisation of Muslims in France,” added Iqbal Sacranie.

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