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Britain must respect Christianity as much as Islam, says MP

by Antony Bushfield

Charles Walker was responding to the suspension of gymnast Louis Smith after he appeared to mock Islam in a video which was leaked online.

Smith has since apologised for the footage, which shows him pretending to pray to Allah while laughing.

Speaking in parliament during PMQs the member for Broxbourne decried the different treatment of poking fun at Islam compared to Christianity.

John Walton/PA Wire.

"When people make fun of Christianity in this country, it rightly turns the other cheek," he said.

"When a young gymnast, Louis Smith, makes fun of another religion widely practised in this country, he is hounded on Twitter by the media and suspended by his association.

"For goodness sake, this man received death threats and we have all looked the other way.

"My question to the Prime Minister is this: What is going on in this country because I no longer understand the rules?"

The Prime Minister replied that she "understood the level of concern".

Theresa May said: "We value freedom of expression and freedom of speech in this country - that is absolutely essential in underpinning our democracy.

"But we also value tolerance to others. We also value tolerance in relation to religions.

"I think we need to ensure that yes it is right that people can have that freedom of expression, but in doing so that right has a responsibility too - and that is a responsibility to recognise the importance of tolerance to others."

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