Incitement to religious hatred legislation to be reintroduced

In the Labour Manifesto document to be launched this morning, it will say that the Labour government would reintroduce legislation to outlaw incitement to religious hatred, which was dropped last week from the Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill, after opposition from the Conservative and Liberal Democrats, The Muslim News has learnt exclusively.

“This inclusion by the Labour Party is to placate the bitter disappointment of the Muslim community by the Government’s second failure to enact the legislation in the last Parliament, ” said Editor of The Muslim New, Ahmed J Versi.

The Prime Minister had assured the Muslim community in an exclusive interview with Editor of The Muslim New, Ahmed J Versi, last month, that he would not drop the incitement to religious part of the Bill as the Government had done in December 2001, when they dropped incitement section (which was part of the anti-terror legislation) after opposition from the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.

However, the Government has put the blame squarely on the Conservatives and Lib Dems. In a letter to mosques yesterday, Home Secretary, Charle Clarke, said, “The reason we cannot pass this legislation is because both the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives have blocked the legislation in Parliament. The Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives made it clear that they were not willing to see this measure become law. They bear full responsibility for blocking this part of the Bill.

Muslim News, 13 April 2005