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No compulsion, but it's involuntary
While it often seems that Britain bends over backwards to accommodate Islam, in order not to provoke - what was the term again? - "anti-Islamic" activity, this is not enough. And it never will be. From The Press Association, with thanks, once again, to Islamophobia Watch:
Anti-Muslim prejudice is dealt with less seriously than other forms of discrimination, a university study found.
The research conducted at Bristol University examined 30 years of Government legislation and legal rulings to distinguish the difference between prejudice towards race, ethnicity and religion.
In the study, Dr Nasar Meer, research associate in the Department of Sociology at Bristol, found that Muslims are let down by race legislation because being a Muslim is recognised as a lifestyle choice or a "voluntary identity".
Dr Meer says other religious identities - such as Sikh and Jew - have had race law applied in their favour in a way not extended to Muslim communities.
He said many Muslims view their faith as an "involuntary identity" as they are born into the religion.
He said: "We explored what legislation exists to help protect people with what we call an involuntary identity. People with an involuntary identity shouldn't be disadvantaged by others' views."
Involuntary? Like gagging or sneezing? No, but it's involuntary in the sense that you don't sign up for it, and in the sense that the punishment for apostasy is death. Being born into a religion doesn't make it "involuntary" unless you can't leave it. What Dr Meer is saying - and I can't help thinking of Daisy Ashford's "rather mere man" in The Young Visiters - is that the UK should acknowledge and support Islamic apostasy law.
In any case, I thought there was no compulsion in religion. Ooops, that's what they say to fool infidels and I've given the game away.