The Muslim Council of Britain is greatly heartened by the Prime Minister's announcement today at the Labour Party Conference that the Government proposes to outlaw religious discrimination saying "let us ...change the law to make religious discrimination unlawful as we do with race, gender and disability. "
The Secretary-General of the MCB, Iqbal Sacranie, welcoming the announcement, said:
"For far too long one of the biggest injustices has been the hierarchy of rights in our legal system, which has caused many groups, including Muslims, to be treated as second class citizens. The consequence of the absence of a level playing field has led to the alienation, deprivation and marginalisation of the Muslim community."
"The Government's proposal to outlaw discrimination on the grounds of religion and belief in the same way as on the grounds of race, gender and disability will make a huge and positive contribution to the lives and perceptions of many disadvantaged communities. We do applaud the Government's commitment to the equality agenda. The proposed law will enable and further encourage Muslims to play a full and active part towards the creation of a just, fair and cohesive society in the United Kingdom."
The MCB and many other organisations, faith based as well as others, have campaigned for this change for nearly two decades. The proposed changes in the law, the details of which we eagerly await to hear, will be warmly welcomed by all.
Muslims and people of other faiths will feel that their aspirations to be treated equally and fairly in the country of their choice or birth is beginning to be met.
The MCB's Fringe Meeting is due to take place at the Labour Party Conference on Wednesday 29th September 2004, in the Osborne Room at the Hilton Brighton Metropole from 7.30pm to 9pm.
The guest speakers will include The Rt Hon Prime Minister Tony Blair; The Rt Hon Jack Straw; The Rt Hon David Blunkett; The Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt and three of the Muslim Prospective Parliamentary Candidates.
Note for Editors:
The Muslim Council of Britain (www.mcb.org.uk) is the UK's representative Muslim umbrella body with over 400 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools.
For further information please contact the MCB:
The Muslim Council of Britain,
PO Box 57330,
Tel: 0845 26 26 786
Fax: 0207 247 7079