Is SACRE prejudiced?

It’s an obvious question, but it hadn’t really occurred to me until after last night’s vote on which “fringe” religions** would be co-opted onto Birmingham SACRE. The candidates were: Baha’i, Jains, Rastafarians, Progressive Judaism, Mormons, Ahmadi Muslims, and Humanists. The first four were co-opted, the other three weren’t. It’s fair to say that the chair, Barry Henley, wasn’t pleased with this outcome. As far as he’s concerned, although SACRE has the right to choose who to co-opt, it cannot claim to be inclusive if it turns certain groups down.

Looking at the three of us who were shunned, perhaps the decision wasn’t based on prejudice, but I’d need to be convinced. The decision doesn’t appear to be based on numbers. According to the census, there are 2,200 Jews in Birmingham but there are 2 Jewish representatives.

There is certainly Muslim prejudice against Ahmadis and Christian prejudice against Mormons, since they are both considered heresies, making it difficult for them to gain membership of any club where Muslims and Christians have the whip hand. The schools minister, John Nash, will be looking into this outcome and may well intervene.

Adrian

BHA briefing on previous SACRE discrimination against Humanists in Birmingham (pdf)

**Yes, I know we’re not a religion, but the Human Rights Act states that whenever Law mentions religions, it should be taken to mean religions and beliefs.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s