10 April 2000

The Muslim Council of Britain has urged the Muslim peers to vote against the lowering of the age of consent for homosexual relations to 16 years. The measure is contained in the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill to be discussed by the Lords on Tuesday 11 April 2000. On two previous occasions this measure has been defeated in the House of Lords.

In its letters to the Muslim peers the MCB calls their attention to the unanimous opposition of the British Muslim community to the lowering of the age of consent and to the repeal of Section 28 of the Local Government Act that would allow the promotion of homosexuality in schools. “This opposition is based on a clear injunction given in the Holy Qu’ran and in the Hadith of the Holy Prophet (SAW) and thus is a matter of faith and conscience.” The MCB letter adds that these are “important moral issues which have a long term bearing on the upbringing of our future generations.”

The MCB is leading a national campaign, along with its affiliates and other organisations, urging members of the Muslim community to write to and lobby their MPs on these issues. MCB has been working closely with other faith communities and receiving good support from many non-Muslim members of the House of Lords and other family welfare organisations.

The MCB has also requested the Muslim peers to take part in the debate “and convey to the House the strong and unanimous concerns of the Muslim community.” The Muslim community expects that, unlike the two previous occasions, the Muslim peers will play a positive and active role in defeating these two measures. “On such clear matters of conscience and faith the Muslim community wants to be heard and seeks to do its duty to care for the well being of all members of British society. We look forward to your support”, the MCB said in its letter to the Muslim peers.

For More Information Contact: Merryl Wyn Davies, Media Officer, Tel: 0208 903 9024 Fax 020 8903-9026