Public Spirit’s Themes

The implications of the counter-extremism agenda

What are the implications of the government’s evolving counter-extremism agenda for the role of Muslims and Islam in British public life? This special Public Spirit series of articles reflects on the various implications of the government’s evolving counter-extremism agenda.

Religious discrimination and hatred

Religious discrimination and hatred have relatively recently received legislative recognition in the UK (for an overview of the legislative context, see the Public Spirit theme on Equalities and Religious Difference). But, as Chara Bakalis discusses in her post Legislating Against Religious Hatred, the Racial and Religious Hatred Act that came into force in 2006 is not only narrowly focused, and little implemented, it is not particularly well designed to address … Continued

Faith and personal wellbeing

With wellbeing attracting greater policy interest, this series will examine the myriad ways in which religion and wellbeing intersect.

The legacy and the future of Prevent

Since the launch of the ‘pathfinder’ fund in 2006, Prevent has been a source of controversy. In 2010 it was re-launched by the coalition, but can this new version be defended?

Muslim civil society: embattled or thriving?

Muslim civil society organisations have proliferated over the last two decades, and there are now a vast range of groups involved in everything from charitable work, environmental campaigning and social support to campaigning and lobbying. Yet the intense focus on Muslim organisations in the media – especially in relation to questions about extremism, segregation and women’s rights – means they do not always operate in a hospitable environment. In this … Continued

Equalities and religious difference

Legal protection against discrimination on grounds of religion or belief has a much shorter history in the UK than comparable laws relating to race, disability and gender. Up until the turn of the millennium religious groups – notably Sikhs and Jews – had to seek protections under race relations legislation. Since then, acts in 2003, 2006 and 2001 have increased the level of protection but, as Linda Woodhead has observed, … Continued

Faith and social action

On 27th November 2012 the Department for Communities and Local Government held a day to celebrate faith-based social action. Speaking at the occasion, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Minister for Faith and Communities, said, ‘[W]e know that people who “do God” do good things up and down the country every single day. Surveys show people of religious observance are more likely to become volunteers, and we see that fact in the 30,000 … Continued