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Political parties - modelling respectful engagement - Statement

Statement from the Inter Faith Network for the UK Co-Chairs and Faith Communities Forum Moderators

As the party conference season approaches, we call on all political parties to model and encourage through their words and actions an open, fair and respectful engagement with people of different faiths and beliefs.

The last few months have seen concerns expressed in relation to the processes of political parties about Antisemitism and Islamophobia and perceived slow or limited response to handling allegations about this.

This comes in the context of concerns within wider society about extremism and hate incidents which have affected, among others, a number of faith communities.

Freedom of speech and the parameters of UK law permit a wide spectrum of views to be voiced. At the same time, principles of respect and tolerance are vital, as is finding ways to deal well with disagreement.

We commend the principles in the Inter Faith Network’s guidelines Building Good Relations with People of Different Faiths and Beliefs.

Religious literacy is also vital, in relation to all faiths.  We hope that it will be the case that the coming months will see informed and helpful engagement reflecting the best of all the parties’ visions of an integrated and harmonious society.

From 11-18 November, national Inter Faith Week will be marked. We hope that all parties will find ways to mark Inter Faith Week, highlighting their commitment to engaging well with those of all faiths and beliefs and to serving well the needs of all faiths and none at national, regional and local levels.

The Inter Faith Network Co-Chairs and Faith Communities Forum Moderators

7 September 2018

 

Notes for editors

  1. Press queries to Inter Faith Network: tel 020 7730 0410; email ifnet@interfaith.org.uk.
  2. The Inter Faith Network for the UK www.interfaith.org.uk was founded in 1987 to advance public knowledge and mutual understanding of the teachings, traditions and practices of the different faith communities in Britain and to promote good relations between people of different faiths in this country. It works with its member bodies and others to carry out these aims.
  3. Member bodies of the Inter Faith Network include: national faith community representative bodies; national, regional and local inter faith bodies; and academic institutions and educational bodies concerned with inter faith issues. A list of member bodies can be found at http://www.interfaith.org.uk/members.
  4. A copy of this statement can be found at http://interfaith.org.uk/resources/statements-and-messages and a copy of IFN’s statement making policy at https://www.interfaith.org.uk/uploads/Policy_on_making_of_statements.pdf.
  5. In 1993, IFN developed, in consultation with its member bodies, guidance on Building Good Relations with People of Different Faiths and Beliefs. All member bodies subscribe to this guidance, and it has been used widely.  IFN’s https://www.interfaith.org.uk/resources/building-good-relations-with-people-of-different-faiths-and-beliefs.
  6. Inter Faith Week takes place in November each year.  This year it takes place from 11 to 18 November.  More information is at https://www.interfaithweek.org/.  Scottish Interfaith Week takes place on the same dates www.scottishinterfaithweek.org.