Quote from David Davies, MP

Hansard 21st June 2005 (transcript of Parliamentary debate on incitement of Religious Hatred)

"I want to turn briefly to some of the specific drafting issues that concern us. As we have heard, there is no definition of the word "religion" in the Bill; instead, it will be for the courts to decide what is or is not a religion. In short, we are being asked to pass a contentious and illiberal piece of legislation without really knowing what we are voting for.

Equally, by failing to define clearly what is meant by the word "religion", we are leaving the way clear for anybody—be they racists, far-right groups or whatever—to set themselves up as a religion and thereby give themselves protection, which is the very opposite of what we are trying to do. Would that stop mainstream politicians or anyone else from attacking their views, which most right-thinking people would find distasteful at least? Are we not also in danger of causing harm while seeking to do good?

Members will be familiar, I am sure, with organisations such as Catalyst, a group that exists to help people escape from cults that have entrapped or enslaved them. If cults are to be accepted as religions, the good work that groups such as Catalyst do may become impossible."