Page last updated at 18:53 GMT, Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Debate on terrorism and Islamist militancy

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George Howarth MP said disestablishing the Church of England could help to build stronger links between different faiths and prevent radicalisation.

In a debate in Westminster Hall on 10 February 2010, Mr Howarth highlighted the importance of encouraging better understanding and unity between different faiths as a means of tackling extremism.

The Knowsley North and Sefton East MP argued that having an established church gave primacy to the Church of England, and did a disservice to other denominations and faiths in Britain's multicultural society.

Mr Howarth also emphasised the similarities between the Abrahamic religions - Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

Foreign Office Minister Ivan Lewis said the debate about the disestablishment of the Church of England was likely to rage for some time.

He said he agreed with Mr Howarth about the common ground between the Abrahamic faiths.

Mr Lewis said the scale and impact of the government's work to counter violent extremism had grown over the past two years, and that work was ongoing to strengthen links between communities.

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