The Commission for Racial Equality has called for the Race
Relations Act 1976 to be extended to include Muslims as a
recognised group with the same protection as ethnic
Its call came as home secretary David Blunkett said he intended to
introduce an offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of
religion. The announcement was welcomed by the CRE, but it warned
such a law would be hard to implement.
However, CRE chair Trevor Phillips called on the government to make
amendments to the 1976 act to put minority religions on the same
footing as ethnic minorities.
Phillips said: “It used to be the case that anti-Muslim attacks or
prejudice could have been remedied using race law, on the grounds
that most Muslims were Asians. We believe that is no longer