Religious Freedom Spring 2016

Hounslow Friends of Faith are very pained by the recent incidents of deaths as a result of religious intolerance.  In addition to the outrage in nearby Brussels, there have been other attacks – in Turkey aimed at Muslims, on families and children in Lahore in Pakistan directed at Christians, but also affecting Muslims, and now the murder of Asad Shah in Glasgow, apparently because he was a member of the Ahmadiyya Community.  Religious freedom is an increasingly significant issue for the UK, as for other countries around the world.

This last attack in Glasgow has been condemned by the Muslim Council of Great Britain, and many others.  As the Interfaith Network for the UK has said, ‘attacks on, or intimidation of, groups and individuals of other beliefs is an extreme form of restriction of the religious freedom of others. We deplore these in the strongest terms.’

Hounslow Friends of Faith is a group which exists for the promotion of religious harmony for the benefit of the public in the Borough of Hounslow and surrounding areas.  We have as members, or are in touch with, individuals of all faiths and beliefs represented in the borough and of many of the different denominations within these faiths.  In all faiths there are different perspectives and beliefs.  We must respect other people’s freedom within the law to express these beliefs and convictions. Where we disagree, we must not allow these beliefs or disagreements to lead to hostility or even violence in our relationships.

Let us all encourage more inclusive education, dialogue and engagement, and work together on the basis of our common values for increased understanding, cooperation and harmonious coexistence.

The Interfaith Network for the UK, of which HFOF is a member, have issued two statements on these issues which can be found on