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July 13, 2005

British House of Commons passes controversial Religious Hatred Bill

From the Christian Post:

The House of Commons in the UK has approved the proposed controversial Religious Hatred Bill through the third reading on Monday. Some 1,000 churches in Britain across denominational lines, who have handed in a petition to Downing Street to urge the Prime Minister Tony Blair to halt the proposal, have been greatly disappointed by the latest developments.

The proposed Religious Hatred Bill seeks to ban incitement of religious hatred to protect people from being victimized for their "beliefs", in light of a growing multi-faith community in the UK. The law applies to comments made in public or in the media, as well as through written material.

Opponents of the Bill, who are mostly evangelical Christians, are concerned that it may hamper freedom of speech with its vague definition of "inciting religious hatred". It could be even misused by extreme religious groups to ban opinions that they find offensive....

...a petition statement signed by representatives of more than 1,000 individual churches across the country - including Anglican, Roman Catholic and Presbyterian faiths - handed to Downing Street yesterday.

It warns that "The mere quoting of texts from both the Koran and the Bible could be captured and criminalised by this law." It adds, "Extremists have shown themselves willing to use malicious prosecution to further their purposes and this law would present such prosecution opportunities against all religious communities."

A similar law in Australia has already resulted in two pastors being found guilty of the law for speaking out against Islam as well as a practicing witch filing charges against the Salvation Army for offering a course on Christianity in Australian prisons.

Coverage: Dhimmi Watch

Posted by Danny Carlton at July 13, 2005 09:31 AM

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