‘Islam and Religious Hate Crime: Exploring the Role of Religion and Crime’.

Mcguire, Kim orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-2713-8846 and Salter, Michael (2022) ‘Islam and Religious Hate Crime: Exploring the Role of Religion and Crime’. In: Crime, Criminal Justice and Religion. Routledge Studies in Crime and Society, Routledge London and new York, . Routledge, Oxon, pp. 179-192. ISBN ISBN 978-1-032-23288-1 (hbk)

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Our previous work considered the ability to ‘abuse, ridicule, threaten, defame, mock and insult the religious beliefs, icons, prophets, practices and esteemed figures of believers’. This chapter will revisit such issues, but the foci are the legal definitions of ‘religious hate crime,’ and arguments concerning the potential dangers of effectively reinstating ‘blasphemy’ for one specific religion. Currently, as with all ‘hate crimes offences,’ a base offence must be committed, motivated by, or demonstrate hostility towards, a protected religion, or indeed, atheism. Equally, intention to incite religious hatred is criminalised. This chapter analyses ‘privileging’ one religious belief over others, for example, Islam. Analysis considers support for, but also the implications for the operation of ‘hate crime,’ prosecution, and practices deemed ‘religious’ in nature, by some, but potentially criminal by others. The methodology utilises literary and legal analysis. The foci are England and Wales, as illustrative of the concerns raised by religion, crime, and control, but these are relevant to democracies worldwide.

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