Opposition to Islam apparently now is being considered a legitimate religious belief.
A report from Christian Concern notes that an employment tribunal in the United Kingdom has refused to strike a claim from a Christian electrician.
Brian Walker, 66, charges he was forced out of his job at the North Bristol NHS Trust for his “conservative Christian beliefs” and included his opposition to Islam, multi-culturalism and same-sex marriage.
According to Christian Concern, Walker said he was discriminated again based on his opposition to “the growing influence of Islam in Britain and other countries…”
When asked, the tribunal refused to strike the case.
According to Christian Concern, “At a hearing on 30 November, the trust’s lawyers asked the tribunal to strike out his case on the grounds that his beliefs are ‘not worthy of respect in a democratic society’ and should not be protected by the Equality Act. Barrister Christopher Milsom argued that Mr. Walker’s statement ‘I believe Christianity to be the only true way to God, and I do not want people to harm their souls by believing Islam instead’ proved the extreme intolerance of his beliefs.”
But employment Judge Reed, citing a recent case involving Maya Forstater, whose gender-critical beliefs were found to be protected by the Equality Act, said, “Only beliefs akin to Nazism or espousing totalitarianism would fail to qualify for protection.”
He continued, “It was suggested… that the beliefs were not worthy of respect in a democratic society and were incompatible with human dignity and conflicted with the fundamental rights of others… All that really need be said at this stage is that, in the light of the case of Forstater v CDG Europe, it does not appear that that is a submission that is likely to meet with much success.”
Walker is suing over discrimination, harassment and constructive dismissal after resigning from his job as an electrician following what he described as a “totalitarian” investigation against him. Following many months of investigations, reports and hearings within the trust about allegations that Walker made “offensive” comments to colleagues, he was given a final written warning and was required to attend equality training, the report explained.
He said he was treated like a “terrorist” by his bosses.
The full hearing on the fight is scheduled later this year.
Walker explained, “The whole experience has aged me and nearly destroyed my family, but we have carried on and are determined to seek for justice.”
He said, “Christian beliefs, and especially any expressing of them, are being suppressed in the NHS. The argument that my beliefs, which I believe are shared by many, are not worthy of protection under the law must end.”
Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, added, “Brian’s story shows the dangers people face when daring to question or even joke about inclusion and multiculturalism. The fact that NHS lawyers argued that his beliefs are not worthy of respect in a democratic society or protection under the equality act was disturbing. Such a claim equated Brian’s Christian conservative beliefs with neo-Nazism.”
He explained, “In a truly free society we must be able to question and critique each other’s beliefs. In this respect, Brian has been vindicated and the judge has ruled that he was free to question another faith and belief.”
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