07/04/2005

Liberal Democrats pledge to outlaw racism disguised as religious hatred

Mark Oaten, Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary, today pledged to outlaw racism disguised as religious hatred, adding that he was disappointed that Labour had rejected Liberal Democrat plans to tighten up the law whilst preserving free speech.

Mr Oaten said: "There is a real problem with far-right groups using attacks on religion to stir up trouble in our communities. This is racism by any other name, and the law needs to be tightened up.

"Labour's proposal would create more problems than it solves. We have discussed this with Muslim and other communities and have put forward an alternative in the form of an extension of the law to outlaw racism disguised as religious hatred.

"This is a serious solution to a serious problem. Labour is wrong to reject it out of hand."

(GB)

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