UK Jews welcome new legislation aimed at combating religious hatred

The legislation creates a new offense of intentionally stirring up hatred against people on religious grounds, closing a gap in the current legislation.

By JONNY PAUL
October 7, 2007 02:09
1 minute read.
UK Jews welcome new legislation aimed at combating religious hatred

anti semitism UK 248.88 ap. (photo credit: AP [file])

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

The UK Jewish community reacted warmly to the British Home Office's announcement that incitement to religious hatred will now be considered a criminal offense in England and Wales under the Racial and Religious Hatred Act, which became effective October 1. The Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Community Security Trust issued a a joint statement October 2 that noted that "the Jewish community has long been covered by the existing incitement to racial hatred provisions, but we welcome the additional protection afforded to others by the addition to the legislation." "We also acknowledge the warning that the prosecution threshold will be high in order to deter attempts by religious extremists and sectarian interests to silence others with whom they disagree, as we had argued in our submissions over the years," the statement continued. The legislation creates a new offense of intentionally stirring up hatred against people on religious grounds, closing a gap in the current legislation. The incitement of racial hatred is prohibited under the Public Order Act of 1986. Jews and Sikhs have been deemed by the courts to be racial groups and are protected under this legislation. Other groups, such as Muslims and Christians, are considered to be religious rather than racial groups and have, therefore, not previously received any protection under the law. The new law will give protection to these groups by outlawing the use of threatening words or behavior intended to incite hatred against groups of people defined by their religious beliefs or lack of belief. "This act closes this small, but important gap in the law against extremists who stir up hatred in our communities," said Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker. "To be attacked or targeted because of your race or religion is wholly unacceptable," he added. "We are committed to protecting everyone in our society and legislating against this abhorrent behavior. Our overarching goal is to build a civilized society where we can all achieve our potential free from prejudice," Coaker said.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Joan Rivers
August 28, 2014
Joan Rivers rushed to hospital following throat surgery

By JPOST.COM STAFF