10 / 12 / 19
As we enter the final days of the general election campaign, our country feels more divided than in a long time. The last few years have revealed tensions between communities and groups in society, many along lines of identity. We are wary of how these divisions can be harnessed for political gain.
In the run-up to and aftermath of this election, we need to debate issues without resorting to language that dehumanises others or turns people from different backgrounds against each other. This is especially true in a climate where hate crimes against minority groups have increased and many communities fear for their safety.
Political exchanges that exacerbate divisions between people of different faiths, beliefs, ethnicities and identities do not benefit anyone in the long term. Aggressive behaviour towards our politicians because of who they are has no place in our democracy. We need robust and constructive exchanges that focus on the issues and not on individuals.
As signatories of the Charter for Faith & Belief Inclusion, we ask our politicians to carefully consider how their tone, words and actions can help heal societal divides. We ask them to put social cohesion at the heart of their policies. Challenging the growing polarisation in society is now an urgent imperative. Together, we need to build a Britain that belongs to people of all backgrounds and beliefs.
Phil Champain, Director, The Faith & Belief Forum
Andrew Copson, Chief Executive, Humanists UK
Elizabeth Harris-Sawczenko, Director, Council of Christians and Jews
Harun Rashid Khan FRSA, Secretary General, The Muslim Council of Britain
Jasvir Singh OBE, City Sikhs
Dilwar Hussain, New Horizons in British Islam
Paul Roberts OBE, Chief Executive, LGBT Consortium
Michael Sternberg QC KCFO, The Sternberg Charitable Foundation
David Dangoor DL, The Exilarch’s Foundation
Paul Parker, Quakers in Britain
Malcolm M Deboo, President, Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe
Mike Stygal, The Pagan Federation
Abdul Rahim, Centre for Good Relations
Benjamin Wood, Chair, National Association of Teachers of Religious Education (NATRE)
Justine Huxley, St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace
Andrea Dumbrell, Crawley Museums
Elizabeth Arif-Fear, Voice of Salam
Esmond Rosen, Barnet Multi Faith Forum
Hafiz Abdullah Muhammad, Quran Study Group
John Farrar, YMCA North Staffordshire
Jon Dal Din, Westminster Interfaith
Lama Zangmo, Kagyu Samye Dzong London
Marion Waruguru, Women’s Interfaith Network
Matthew Dell, Chair, Association of Teachers of Catholic Religious Education
Mehmed Gokcel, Mentor Wise
Propa Rezwana Anwar, Keep Our Hearts Beating
Ravi Arora, Director, Multicultural Richmond
Revd. Trevor Wyatt, Bexley Interfaith Forum
Rohit Sagoo, British Sikh Nurses
Join us by signing the Charter for Faith & Belief Inclusion to show support for a more united society.