We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Tory attack on Evan Harris's secularism

October 13, 2009 9:32 PM

Evan Harris MP on conference podiumBaroness Warsi, Shadow Social Action Minister, announced at the Conservative Party conference that there has been "a growing intolerance and illiberal attitude towards those who believe in God," blaming BHA Vice President and Lib Dem MP Dr Evan Harris MP for "driving this secular agenda" into the public sector.

Thank goodness someone is driving the secular agenda in the public sector.

The British Humanist Association has commented:

'Similarly, Tony Blair took it upon himself to declare that "we face an aggressive secular attack from without" when speaking to an American Muslim 'interfaith' organisation. He went on to describe how, "those who scorn God and those who do violence in God's name, both represent views of religion. But both offer no hope for faith in the twenty first century."

These attacks, despite coming from people heavily involved in the 'interfaith' debate both seem to misunderstanding the meaning of secularism. Secularism, means that the state is neutral concerning religious and non-religious beliefs and is not, therefore, an attack on faith. Instead, it creates a safe and equal space for individuals to practice their religion or belief within the democratically decided law without the state privileging or disadvantaging one set of beliefs over another.

'Most people would agree that this is a fair and legitimate system of government, yet there are still those who equate the levelling of the playing field by removing religious privileges as an attack on the faithful. The BHA will be contacting both individuals above to complain about their remarks.'