Hate Laws threaten Christian Evangelism
Problems in Reaching out to Muslims

One of our contributors, Nomad, recently posted an essay about hate crimes and the risks associated with them. His post can be found here. Now the same issue is coming up in Britain where Parliment is considering putting in place legislation which makes it a crime to "ban incitement to religious hatred." Personally, I don't know anyone who wouldn't agree that we shouldn't incite religious hatred, but the problem with these laws is the vagueness as to exactly what "inciting religious hatred" consists of.

Barnabas Fund, a UK-based charity working with Christians in Islamic societies, has now launched a campaign to raise concern about the measure.

It noted that Iqbal Sacranie, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain - a mainstream umbrella body - said during a BBC radio program that defaming the character of the prophet Mohammed should be illegal under the proposed new law because it was an insult to Muslims.

"But the religion Mohammed taught is based on specific rejection of Christianity," Barnabas Fund said in a document. "It is impossible to protect both these belief systems from 'insult' simultaneously."

Christian Group Troubled by UK Religious Hate Law Proposal

When a law makes it impossible to reasonably discuss something because it may be considered an "incitement to hate" we have a problem. And before any skeptics say "well, that doesn't concern me", you had better consider the problem of what happens if it is considered "incitement of religious hatred" to say that Christians are "extremists" or "fundamentalists" or "hateful." This is a dangerous law.

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