MCB Calls for an End to Misrepresentation of Proposed Incitement Law

13 Jan 2005

The Muslim Council of Britain will today be joining the Commission for Racial Equality, the British Humanist Association and Justice to explain the need for legislation to protect faith communities from Incitement to Religious Hatred.

`It is our view that the public debate on this issue to date has caused more confusion about what the purpose of the legislation is, than shed light on what it is trying to achieve. Primary among the fears and concerns expressed is the belief that our right to freedom of speech is threatened by the proposal being put forward by the Government.

Further to this there are people who have been ringing alarms bells about alleged curtailment of the right to criticise religious beliefs. This is emphatically not the case. The proposed legislation is meant to protect believers from incitement and not protect their faiths from criticism,’ said Iqbal Sacranie, the Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain.

A presentation has been organised by the above named organisations in the House of Commons, for parliamentarians and journalists. The organisers will seek to clarify the purpose behind the proposed legislation. At this event the Secretary-General of the MCB will explain the need for the proposed amendment and clarify that `we are under no illusions that the proposed Bill offers protection to religious beliefs.’

The details of the event are:

Title: The Need to Protect Faith Communities from Incitement to Hatred
Date: 13th January 2005
Time: 3.30-5.00pm
Venue: Atlee Room, Portcullis House
Organisers: CRE, BHA, Justice & the MCB
Speakers: Trevor Phillips, Chair, CRE
Hanne Stinson, Director, BHA
Iqbal AKM Sacranie, Secretary-General, the MCB
Robert Beckley, Asst. Chief Constable, ACPO
Gay Moon, Head of Equality Project, Justice
member, Discrimination Law Association
Representatives from Faith Communities

[Ends]

Note for Editors:
1. The Muslim Council of Britain (www.mcb.org.uk) is the UK’s representative Muslim umbrella body with over 400 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools.
For further information please contact: The Muslim Council of Britain, Boardman House, 64 Broadway, Stratford, London E15 1NT,
Tel: 07708 065 150 or 0208 432 0585/6, Fax: 0208 432 0587, Email: media@mcb.org.uk, Website: http://www.mcb.org.uk