Submission from representatives of various
We are making this submission to the Committee
as leaders of various faith communities in the United Kingdom
desiring to urge the Committee to favourably consider the present
Bill against the incitement of Religious Hatred.
The United Kingdom is a multi-faith country
which should and does in the main rejoice in the diversity of
its populations and religions. Much inter-religious ecumenical
work has been done between our faiths, we have learnt a lot from
each other whilst maintaining our own religious convictions. The
key to co-existence has been a recognition that we all live in
the same society and a desire to understand each other's view
of God and the world, and of our respective fears and hopes. Even
in an essentially secular society such as ours, religion remains
a foundation of our identities and our aspirations. Indeed, amongst
many of us religious belief is a core element of personal and
Therefore, if we are to support the creation
of a modern multi-cultural/ethnic and religious society, it is
of paramount importance that religions are protected in so far
as their adherents should not be subject to attacks either physical
or through incitement on account of their religious affiliation.
There exists already some protection for Anglicans, Jews and Sikhs,
and we wholeheartedly support this, but there is now a need to
extend legal protection for members of other religious faith who
have an equal right to respect as citizens of this country.
Therefore, we urge the Committee to recommend
the enactment of the Bill against Religious Hatred into law.
Dr Jagdev Singh Rai (Sikh)
Dr Natubhai Shah (Jain)
Ven Dr M Vajiragnana (Buddhist)
Mr O P Sharma (Hindu)
Dr M A Zaki Badawi (Muslim)
19 September 2002