Select Committee on Religious Offences in England and Wales Written Evidence

Submission from The Seventh-day Adventist Church

  1.  I believe in the very minimum of legislation with regard to religious affairs that is commensurate with public order and public decency. God's good name does not depend on the blasphemy legislation!

  2.  The threat from Islamic fundamentalism and the issues raised in Ulster make legislation against incitement to religious hatred tempting. However, I believe that this is a temptation that should be resisted. Freedom of religion and freedom of religious expression are basic. Incitement would be hard to define and any definition imprecise enough to be open to abuse. Passages in both the Koran and the Old Testament could be said to amount to incitement. The situation in our pluralistic society would be hindered not helped by the policing of what we write and what we say for evidence of incitement.

8 July 2002

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