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Race and History Forum

Toughening up Incitement Laws

Home Secretary David Blunkett announced Wednesday that the UK government was widening the law on incitement to tackle religious as well as racial hatred following the backlash against the Muslim community from last month's attacks in the US.

"I am determined to protect our country and its democratic values. I am equally determined to ensure that religion is not used to divide and fragment communities in our country in these difficult times, " Blunkett told the Labour conference in Brighton, southern England.

"That is why, at the request of the Muslim community, I will toughen up our incitement laws to ensure that attention-seekers and extremists cannot abuse our right to free speech to stir up tensions in our cities and towns," he said.

But quite clearly the US and its allies are trying to get world support to denounce a type of religious fanaticism so clearly some of what passes for religion should be hated and or condemned.

Are the US and its allies to define what constitutes acceptable religion for the rest of the World? If the leaders are of a particular 'religious' upbringing then the laws they may seek to pass may reflect their poor/myopic perception of world cultures. People may fear condemning aspects of Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism etc that should be condemned.

From listening to both Bush and Blair, they are the least informed about diverse religious concepts and as such are the most unfit to determine what is appropriate.

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