Muslims and the British caste law

We have posted on several previous occasions about the inclusion of caste in the Equality Act 2010 as a protected characteristic. In this guest post, Prakash Shah looks at the issue as it might affect British Muslims.


British Muslims have remained a silent party in the debates around the provision on caste discrimination in the UK’s Equality Act. In both 2010 (when the clause was introduced) and in 2013 (when its implementation was made obligatory), Muslim parliamentarians tended to vote along party lines. This means that Muslim Labour and Liberal parliamentarians voted in favour of including caste in the Equality Act and Muslim Tory parliamentarians voted against it. Importantly, none appears to have raised concerns about how the law would impact on the Muslim community. Muslim organisations, too, have remained reticent about the relevance or impact of the caste law on them. The forthcoming consultation on how to implement the caste law, announced by the Equalities Minister in September 2016, may provide an opportunity to reconsider. Continue reading