London's Green MEP urged the UK Government to take cohesive and immediate action to tackle the increasingly common problem of religious discrimination, when she joined with Liberty and the British Muslim Initiative at a Rally to Defend Religious Minorities to address the issue.
Recent reports have shown that mounting levels of Islamophobic prejudice and discrimination have been present in the UK since September 11th 2001, yet little has been done to address the suspicion and stigmatisation threatening community relations and social exclusion.
Jean, who is the Vice President of the European Parliament's Intergroup on Anti-racism and Diversity today supported the rally's calls for a rational debate about the issues concerning religious communities without creating an atmosphere of hysteria and victimisation, to unite and promote civil and religious liberties on a national level. In her speech to the rally Jean said: "In light of Government action on the so called 'war on terror' we are now faced with restricted speech, not freedom of speech and relationships between those of different religions and beliefs are being distorted and destroyed.
"If we are looking at an overhaul of the anti-terrorism legislation in the UK the Government would do well to repeal such measures as the glorification of terrorism and the media should stop fanning the flames of racism."
The Rally, highlighting the growing threat posed by poltical and media attacks
on religious communities, has been supported by the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone,
the Muslim Council of Britain, National Assembly Against Racism and Stop the
War Coalition among others.
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Notes to editors:
Jean Lambert: In October 2005 Jean was named MEP 2005 for Justice and Human Rights. Jean was first elected Green Party Member of the European Parliament for London in the 1999 European elections. She was re-elected in 2004. She is one of nine MEPs representing London and one of two UK Green representatives in the European Parliament.