Letter: Reason, ridicule and religion (2)

October 26, 2001

There are things that are truly hateful and that are carried out in the name of religion. We have to speak about these things and criticise them as we would criticise anything that harms society or our fellow beings. If we do not, we will be guilty of more heinous crimes than "religious hatred". We will be guilty of crimes against humanity.

The Middle Eastern Centre for Women's Studies recently highlighted the case of Iraqi prostitutes being beheaded by black-uniformed militia with "God, the Leader, Homeland" written on their sleeves.

Had this issue arisen under David Blunkett's dictum and someone felt it to be inciting religious hatred, would those defending women have to shut up? We can't be quiet on such issues. You may as well slam the handcuffs on me now.

Shirley Dent

London WC1

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