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
  • Donna
    Re: Acting Against Discrimination
    I would like to seek advice on a racial hate crimes from the police. The police assault me since the assault they have lied on…
    23 November 2020
  • MarkyTM
    Re: Rights If Your Child is Arrested
    My son is 17, 18 in early December Last year I had the police call a round a total of 10 times (assault, criminal damage,…
    20 November 2020
  • Johnny
    Re: The Police and Your Civil Rights
    Under English common law rights. I have been told that I'm should give my details to the police. Just looking at the moment…
    17 November 2020
  • Non
    Re: Challenging the Police
    I witnessed and reported the murder of my English friend. The GMP have concluded a murder case without interviewing the complainant or the…
    3 November 2020
  • Irina
    Re: Staging a Legal Peaceful Protest
    Can I close the M1 with group of people to protest against genocide that is happening right now ?
    16 October 2020
  • Tinah
    Re: Rights If Your Child is Arrested
    Hi my 16 year old son was stopped by one police officer on his motorbike for looking suspicious! He smelt cannabis and…
    5 October 2020
  • Liz
    Re: The Police and Your Civil Rights
    Call 999 due to an altercation with ex husband and in-law , they came out starting commenting on the house my son and…
    3 October 2020
  • JohnDoe
    Re: Civil Rights in the Uk
    We are all being being watched by the government and big companies especially over the internet. Those who don't believe in the big…
    28 September 2020
  • Al68
    Re: Protecting Your Privacy
    We moved into our house during 2011, for the first few years life was idealic. We had a semi private patio & a relatively private place…
    31 August 2020
  • Traditionalist
    Re: Staging a Legal Peaceful Protest
    Sod this legal right to protest disrupting the normal life and will of the majority.
    28 August 2020