Skip to main content


Volume 403: debated on Tuesday 8 April 2003

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) groups and (b) individuals he has met from the Asian community concerning the Iraq war. [105636]

Home Office Ministers have continued to meet representatives of various minority communities as part of the Government's continuing commitment to listen to, protect and reassure all parts of our diverse multi-cultural society on a range of issues of concern to them.My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary, attended two events in March where he spoke on Race and Diversity and Community Cohesion issues, attended by members of the Asian community. My noble Friend (Lord Filkin), who holds lead responsibility for community relations, has met two Sikh individuals and six Muslim, Hindu and Arab groups over the same time period.It is important however to recognise that it is the nurturing of a variety of open communication channels between Government and a range of different representatives which is key to preserving good community relations in this country. The level and nature of this dialogue has significantly changed for the better since the previous Gulf conflict in 1991.Lord Filkin has recently written to leading representatives of the Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh communities reassuring them of the Government"s commitment to providing protection to all its citizens and communities, and encouraging them to report any incident that makes them feel frightened or insecure to the police.We will of course continue both during and in the aftermath of the current conflict in Iraq, to give sympathetic consideration to any specific requests for meetings that we receive from individuals or groups representing particular communities.