Humanist quarrel on the Hatred Bill

Francois Le Goff

The Home Office has removed all references to the British Humanist Association from its website after the charity complained that a press release falsely claimed that it supported the Incitement to Religious Hatred Bill.

In a letter to the Home Secretary, the association's executive director Hanne Stinson said the claim had confused members about the charity's position on the Bill, and could affect its membership and income.

"The BHA does not support the Bill and never has supported it," she said.

"We have proposed amendments, but the Government has consistently rejected every proposal we have made."

But the Home Office said that at a House of Lords event organised by the Muslim Council of Britain in March, Stinson welcomed the change in title from "racial or religious hatred" to "hatred of persons on racial or religious grounds".

The association retorted that the wording should also be changed in the body of the Bill.

- See Policy and Politics, page 12.

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