Home > Discrimination Issues > Discrimination and Your Religious Views

Discrimination and Your Religious Views

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 14 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Religious Views Discrimination

Persecution and discrimination has long occurred through history due to different religious views. In today’s more equal and tolerant society there are laws set out that guarantee protection against this type of discrimination.

Britain and Religion

Religion plays a big part in the lives of many people in Britain. Now that Britain is a multi-cultural society there is an even wider diversity of people who hold different religious views and beliefs. There are also a huge number of people who have no religious beliefs whatsoever; this figure is now thought to be around 44% of the British population. Religious discrimination can occur due to ignorance towards religions that have recently been introduced into British society. Of course it can also occur due to the conflicting beliefs of non-tolerant people.

Religious Discrimination and the Law

The Human Rights Act 1998 sets out the fundamental rights with regards to religion and beliefs. However, the right to freedom of thought including religion and beliefs that are covered in the act only pertains to public bodies. In Britain the Race Relations Act 1976 was amended in 2000 to include the clause that discrimination in employment due to religious beliefs is unlawful. The Racial and Religious Act 2006 provided extra protection to those with or without religions beliefs in everyday life.

Religious Hate Crimes

Religious hate crimes are taken very seriously in the UK. People who incite religious hatred or who attack another because of their religious views can face very severe legal consequences. In fact, in the UK, the legal consequences can be more severe for those who attack a person because of their religious views than an attack made without this motivation. Any religious hate crimes should be reported to the police who will have trained officers to pursue the matter.

Employment and Religious Discrimination

As with other types of discrimination in the workplace it is against the law for employers to practice discrimination on the grounds of religion. This applies to all the major and less practiced religions and to philosophical beliefs. However, the law has still not defined what actually counts as a religious belief; this will be left to employment tribunals to judge. It is however against the law to treat a person less favourably than another in the workplace on grounds of religious beliefs or non beliefs.

Religious Harassment at Work

If you are being harassed at work due to your religious beliefs then this would also be against the law. Harassment can include verbal and non verbal abuse and physical attacks. An employer has a legal duty to investigate any claims of harassment due to discrimination in the workplace. It does not matter if the harassment occurred in or out of office hours and the matter can be taken as far as an employment tribunal.

Other Religious Discrimination

There is a wide range of areas where religious discrimination is unlawful. As with any other type of discrimination this will include issues on housing, education and the provision of goods and services. For instance a housing association cannot refuse to rent a house on the grounds of religious beliefs. A person also cannot be refused service in a restaurant because they are wearing religious related clothing. A person also cannot be discriminated at work simply because they wear an item of clothing that is related to their faith.

Enforcing Your Rights

The rights to protection against religious discrimination should always be enforced if discrimination does occur. In the workplace these matters should be reported to an immediate superior or a member of the Human Resources department. Any religious harassment or religious hate crimes that occur outside of the workplace should be reported to the police. Other information and advice can be found at the Citizens Advice Bureau or the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

A multi-cultural society such as Britain does need strict laws set in place to ensure equality and freedom with regards to religious beliefs. There has been much bloodshed in the past and the present over conflicting religious beliefs. Freedom and equality will only be achieved through understanding the rights that pertain to all individuals and respecting each others beliefs.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • VictimBLB
    Re: The Rights of a Victim of Crime
    I had my car stolen from the front of my house last week, I’ve been left without a car, massive stress due to impact on…
    23 April 2019
  • simon
    Re: Protecting Your Privacy
    Hi, moved into a new home recently and with the weather this weekend being great, two of the neighbours have erected a trampoline…
    22 April 2019
  • bella
    Re: Rights If Your Child is Arrested
    hi i have a 10 year old grandson who has been charged with attempted murder and has more charges to go up for hes been…
    18 April 2019
  • Elaine
    Re: Rights If Your Child is Arrested
    My nearly 14 year old son has been Brough t home by police in handcuffs and chargef having a stanly knife its the first time…
    10 April 2019
  • Evi Dence
    Re: Challenging the Police
    My son and I have had problems with a new neighbour (a senior banker) for nearly 3 years, he has verbally abused us, assaulted us, watched…
    9 April 2019
  • Der fuhrer
    Re: FAQ: What is Classed as Hate Speech
    Ich hasse meinung mutter, sie ist schlecht aber sie wollen schlagen mir
    8 April 2019
  • Clare28
    Re: Anti Social Behaviour Orders, ASBOs: Your Rights
    I have bipolar and borderline personality disorder and have been issued an acceptable agreement order.I…
    4 April 2019
  • Rich77
    Re: The Police and Your Civil Rights
    This is more of a hopeful quiery than anything else. Recently I arrived home to be told by my neighbour that a plain clother…
    3 April 2019
  • Pat
    Re: Rights If Your Child is Arrested
    My 14 year old daughter bought a 3 inch knife off another student at school and got caught with it police were called, what…
    27 March 2019
  • Terry
    Re: Challenging the Police
    Once a police PSD record a complaint under the provisions of the Police Reform Act 2002 are they legally required to investigate, or can…
    26 March 2019