Government appeases Muslims scandal

The National Secular Society has condemned the government’s declared intention to press ahead with its plan to extend race relations legislation to cover Muslims by outlawing incitement to religious hatred.

NSS new release, 16 May 2005

“The principal problem which the legislation seeks to address is white separatist groups inciting hatred on racial grounds, but using religion as a proxy,” Keith Porteous Wood of the NSS reports. “The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats tabled a joint amendment to clarify that the race hatred legislation could be used in such instances, but the government opposed the sensible solution, which carried minimal freedom of expression dangers.”

Yeah, well perhaps that was because the proposed amendment was full of loopholes and marked only a marginal advance on the present legal position.

“There have been widespread serious allegations”, Wood writes, “that the Government has been motivated in pushing through this legislation simply to appease minority religious interests.”

Why not just write “appease Muslims”, Keith?