Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:53 pm on 5th April 2005.

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Photo of Julian Lewis Julian Lewis Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office) 12:53 pm, 5th April 2005

The Leader of the House has been kind enough in the past to acknowledge the work that I have tried to do to reach out to the Muslim community. Will he therefore, on reflection, withdraw the remarks that he made earlier? Plenty of Conservative Members, and possibly even Labour Members, believe that there are many good reasons not to support the incitement to religious hatred provisions. Those reasons have nothing to do with hostility to the Muslim community, but rather with the concern that under the terms of that ill-considered, although well-intentioned legislation, any charlatan or exploiter who chose to define his activities as a religion would be able to prevent anyone from criticising him.