This is a letter received from the Office of the Prime Minister in response to our briefing on anti-Muslim hate which we sent through. The letter is a timely reminder of what binds us all in the United Kingdom.
“I am writing on behalf of the Prime Minister to thank you for your recent letter, regarding Islamophobia.
Freedom of speech and freedom of worship are important and hard-fought British liberties. People are free to practise any religion or non, wear whatever clothes they choose, set up and send their children to faith schools, build churches, temples and mosques and worship freely.
What makes this possible is the inclusive idea that everybody living in our country is equal and free to lead their lives as they see fit. But we have to respect other people’s right to do so too. That’s why we are confronting and challenging extremism in all its forms, tacking the violence and hatred that seeks to create divisions.
This, of course, must include tackling anti-Muslim hatred. As such, Government Ministers meet police chiefs to ensure they are supporting Imams and mosques. We also supported the establishment of MAMA – supporting your work to measure anti-Muslim attacks.
Conservatives will require the police to record anti-Muslim crimes as well as anti-Semitic crimes. We also exclude people from Britain whose presence would not be conducive to the common good. For example, in June 2013, the Home Secretary prevented Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer – the founders of an anti-Muslim hate campaign – from coming to speak at an EDL rally in Woolwich.
So thank you for your continued work in this issue. In Britain we have a free society, diverse communities and pluralistic values. Conservatives will always champion what unites our country across class, colour, creed, and will stand up and support British values. I do hope you find that reassuring – thank you, once again, for taking the trouble to write.”