An Asian Christian woman living in London blogging about the everyday issues of religion

Thursday, 20 January 2011

If we really are going to combat bigotry against religion, faith leaders have to show greater leadership.

That was part of the speech made by Baroness Warsi, co-chairman of the Conservative Party, today. She said much else but I have chosen to concentrate on this line because I do think that cohesive leadership is radically and urgently needed between religious leaders globally. It is the worst and extreme traits of religion that seem to be making the headlines e.g anti-women Bishops, Gay issues, Blasphemy law in Pakistan and the stoning of women in the Middle East. Multi-faith leadership which extols the virtues of tolerance, patience and respect will go a long way towards bridging the divide between the bigots of religion and the followers of religion. However, the danger is that quite often criticism of (any) religion is perceived as being 'racist'. The use of this term immediately distorts the debate with race and skin colour and turns into a racial arrow slinging fight. If we are to get anywhere in restoring religion as a mainstay of society we need to stop labelling those as 'racist' who genuinely challenge the role of any particular religion.

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