Melanie Phillips, an oppponent of plans to outlaw incitement to religious hatred, attends a meeting of the measure's supporters:
"Robert Beckley, the ACPO [Association of Chief Police Officers] faith officer, related how he had once wanted to launch a prosecution against people who had argued that Hindus and Muslims in Britain would enact a re-run of the violent Ayodhya dispute in northern India, but had been told he could not do so because the issue was religious rather than race hatred (which is covered by the present law). So now we know what kind of remark the police think they will now be able to prosecute on the grounds that it incites religious hatred.

"Then I asked Iqbal Sacranie, general secretary of the MCB,whether he thought that any public statements about Islamic terrorism, or any speculation about the number of Muslims in Britain who might support Islamic terrorism, would constitute incitement to religious hatred. He said: 'There is no such thing as an Islamic terrorist. This is deeply offensive. Saying Muslims are terrorists would be covered by this provision'."

|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2005/01/among-believers-melanie-phillips.html|||1/14/2005 09:51:00 am|||||||||