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Faith Communities — Question for Short Debate

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 12:15 pm on 29th May 2012.

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Photo of Lord Bilimoria Lord Bilimoria Crossbench 12:15 pm, 29th May 2012

Does the Minister agree that the biggest change in the past six decades has been the transformation of the global community, including the Commonwealth, from a world full of glass ceilings and barriers to a world where there is increasingly opportunity for all, regardless of race, religion or background, and where the glass ceiling has been well and truly shattered? Do the Government agree that, although discrimination unfortunately still lingers and we have a lot more work to do, overall the picture has changed dramatically for the better since Her Majesty was crowned 60 years ago, to one where faith communities have opened people's eyes, where tolerance has progressed to a celebration of the enormous success of minority faith communities in countries such as Britain, where even tiny communities such as mine, the Zoroastrian Parsees, have achieved so much against all odds, and where the noble Lord, Lord Sacks, and his community are an exemplar? Today, thanks to the achievement of these individuals reaching the very top, the minority faith communities have been an inspiration to the wider communities and countries into which they have integrated.

Do the Government also agree that enormous credit for this transformation is, as the noble Lord, Lord Sacks, said, due for the way in which Her Majesty has fostered an environment of secularism, multiculturalism, pluralism and meritocracy, creating opportunity for all, and that this is truly the crowning jewel of the Diamond Jubilee of her 60 years on the throne?