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Faith Communities — Question for Short Debate

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 12:09 pm on 29th May 2012.

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Photo of Lord Glasman Lord Glasman Labour 12:09 pm, 29th May 2012

My Lords, I would also like to show my appreciation to the noble Lord, Lord Sacks, not only for initiating this debate but for the leadership that he has shown in my community, the Jewish community. I also appreciate being able to participate in the debate with the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury and to reflect for a moment that those two figures have combined an absolute commitment to tradition with citizenship and modernity. That can be done only through tradition, and it is only in our country, with a monarchy that has reference to tradition, that we can have this sort of participation in the public sphere. More than anything, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Sacks, for allowing me to pay tribute to Her Majesty and the graciousness with which she has fulfilled her duty. It is also hugely important that we did not have a revolution like the French Revolution and we allowed a means by which people of faith can participate and speak in a public role.

I pay tribute to the Muslim community in east London, with whom I have worked, and to the East London Mosque for its work on the living wage with the Catholic Church, the nonconformist churches and the Church of England. The tradition of a person is not just as a commodity or unit of administration but is a genuinely moral conception. It is the great paradox of our time that it is only with faith that we can fulfil the dream of citizenship.