On 13th March 2018, Lord Young of Cookham repeated an answer given to an urgent question about inflammatory letters inciting a ‘Punish a Muslim’ day. The Bishop of Newcastle, Rt Revd Christine Hardman, denounced these letters, expressed her solidarity with the Muslim community, and asked the Government what action it is taking to support grass-roots relationships.
The Lord Bishop of Newcastle: My Lords, on behalf of these Benches and, I am sure, on behalf of the Church, I want to say that any attack on a person or community on the basis of their faith or their race is abhorrent and has no place in a decent, civilised society.
As a Christian leader I stand in solidarity with my Muslim friends and with all those in and outside this building who have been directly affected or are fearful and anxious.
In the light of the Government’s forthcoming integration strategy, will the Minister please comment on what practical action the Government intend to take to strengthen the relationships at grass-roots level, where it matters so much, between Muslim and other religious communities and to reassure us that the necessary resources will be committed to make that meaningful?
Lord Young of Cookham: The Muslim community will be reassured by the words of solidarity that the right reverend Prelate has just outlined. On the question of the integration strategy, if there were to be a Statement on the strategy in the very near future, it would be made by my noble friend sitting next to me—and he will have taken on board the requests as to what should be in its contents.