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New book calls for Northern Ireland's religious discrimination laws to be extended to all of UK

Professor Muhammad Anwar
Originally Published 3 November 1999

New research in a book entitled "From Legislation to Integration: Race Relations in Britain", calls on the government to apply Northern Ireland's anti religious discrimination laws to the whole of United Kingdom.

The book by Professor Muhammad Anwar (from the Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations at Uniondhi of Westhill College), will be launched in the Moses Room of the House of Lords on 9th November at 3pm. In his chapter Professor Anwar of the University of Warwick argues that:-

"It appears quite clearly that the Government is following double standards within the same country. In one part, that is, Northern Ireland, religious groups are covered by the Fair Employment Act, but religious groups are excluded in the rest UK. It is well known that the legislation in Northern Ireland was passed by pressures from the Irish lobby in the US. Ethnic minorities in Britain do not have similar political support. But as citizens of this country they are entitled to equal treatment."

The book also suggests that ethnic record-keeping and monitoring should be mandatory, as in Northern Ireland under the Fair Employment Act, where public and private sector employers are required to monitor their work force. Professor Anwar feels that:-

"The Race Relations Act 1976 is continually losing its credibility, particularly among ethnic minority groups. If it is not reformed urgently to extend it to cover important areas of government activity such as immigration controls and policing as well to include religious discrimination it would be difficult to eliminate racial and religious discrimination and promote equality of opportunity as Britain enters the 21st Century."

For further information please contact:

Professor Muhammad Anwar
Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations
University of Warwick, Tel: 024 76 524870