Bishop of Peterborough highlights importance of social cohesion in countering terrorism

14.02 PeterboroughOn 21st December 2015 Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty’s Government “whether, as part of their antiterrorism strategy, they will encourage leaders of the United Kingdom’s Muslim communities to identify, confront and expose their violent co-religionists.” The Bishop of Peterborough, Rt Revd Donald Allister, asked a follow up question:


The Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, does the Minister agree that there is a danger that asking questions in this way and hearing questions in the way that some might could demonise the Muslim community, the vast majority of whom are peace-loving and are as appalled by terrorist acts as the rest of us? Will the Minister agree that it would be far better to ask faith communities and others of good will to work together for social cohesion?


Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: The right reverend Prelate is of course correct. It is the Government’s view and, indeed, the view of our country, that no one should be demonised. We celebrate the diversity of our country and the fact that we are a multifaith society, with everyone contributing. I acknowledge the fact that, yes, the Government are committed—as I believe all in this House are committed—to ensuring the strengthening of partnerships.