Source: Boston Herald
Wire Service: AP
LONDON - Prime Minister Tony Blair stoked a simmering debate over religious tolerance and cultural assimilation on Friday, saying it was the duty of all immigrants to integrate into British society.
Blair announced plans to more carefully allocate funding to faith groups, saying grants would no longer be awarded to organizations that fail to promote understanding between different sectors of society.
“When it comes to our essential values - belief in democracy, the rule of law, tolerance, equal treatment for all, respect for this country and its shared heritage - then that is where we come together, it is what we hold in common,” Blair told an invited audience at his Downing Street office.
He said he believed that it was the duty of all immigrants to embrace those values.
“Our tolerance is part of what makes Britain, Britain. So conform to it - or don’t come here. We don’t want the hate-mongers, whatever their race, religion or creed,” Blair said.