We do not underestimate the importance of a relationship with China - economically and strategically, especially in the context of Brexit. Our argument is not that we should not engage with China. It is that in our engagement, we should not sacrifice our values, but put them centre-stage. I hope, a year after its publication, the current government will study our report seriously, implement its recommendations and listen to the voices of people like Lord Patten in shaping its China policy.
Throughout the world, writing as a Muslim and a Christian from two different countries and two different political traditions, we cry out for three simple principles: recognition of human dignity for all, defence of freedom of religion or belief for all, and action to promote dialogue and understanding and drive intolerance from our places of worship, our streets, our chatrooms and our legislatures for good.
Precisely because some of my own friends have been killed or jailed under unjust blasphemy laws, I take very seriously Voltaire's principle - I disagree with what he said, but I will defend to the death his right to say it.
<em>Denial </em>was an inspiration and a challenge to me on many levels. It is a reminder that when we step up and fight injustice, instead of taking the more comfortable option of 'settling', then as long as we are willing to work hard, conduct painstaking research, develop careful strategy and build a strong team, we can indeed win.
Fifteen years ago, I travelled to Qufu, the birthplace of China's most famous philosopher, Confucius, who lived from 551-479 BC. I had lived in and travelled around China, including Hong Kong, for much of the previous decade and wanted to learn more about the source of so much of Chinese culture's ancient wisdom before returning to Britain.
If she wins it would be a victory for the values of human rights, peace, compassion and love, and a rebuke to the thugs in Beijing who denied her the chance a year ago. As a Christian, I believe in the ultimate Comeback Kid, the man who the world thought they'd killed and who then rose again.
The immediate consequences of the US election result have been chilling. In Moscow, Beijing and Pyongyang, as well as among Islamic extremists and Burma's Buddhist nationalists, and in almost every authoritarian regime in the world, there have been celebrations. May President-elect Trump prove us all wrong...
Freedom of religion or belief is widely violated around the world, in various ways - through violent persecution or imprisonment of religious minorities, discriminatory or restrictive laws, or incitement to hatred. Authoritarian regimes, religious extremists and criminal gangs are among those who flagrantly abuse freedom of religion or belief...
Daniel Johnson's lecture is well worth reading in its entirety - and that fresh vision of a positive politics is worth searching for. There is light, if we seek it, to contrast the current grim reality of so much of the world's politics. Let's think what we are for, as well as what we are against.
It is time for the United Kingdom to lead the way in addressing this issue, just as Mrs May has championed tackling human trafficking. The United Kingdom, together with other allies, should call on the United Nations to establish a commission of inquiry to investigate China's forced organ harvesting - or, failing that, conduct its own investigation.
The argument that David Cameron had no government experience before becoming Prime Minister is banal. He was in Opposition. He had five years to prepare. Whoever is elected in September becomes Prime Minister immediately. If we were in Opposition, it might be different, but we are in government and we need an experienced hand to steady the ship.
Jo Cox spent almost all her adult life devoted to the same two causes to which I have devoted mine: humanitarian aid and human rights, and politics. And she was the same age as me. Indeed, we were only eight days apart.
China's belligerence is making it look increasingly like the Old Testament warrior Goliath, not only in its size and power, but in its attitude to the rest of the world. But there the parallel ends, because among the international community - governments, corporations, international institutions - no David has yet appeared. On the contrary, the Goliath that is China today is holding everyone else to ransom.
Last Friday I went to Ealing, a London suburb, with a friend, to a very normal residential street to deliver two letters with one of the most basic requests any human being could make: for a son to be allowed to meet his father.
Last week, Burma's first civilian President in half a century was inaugurated. Htin Kyaw is the first democrat, and perhaps the first good man, to lead Burma's government since General Ne Win ousted prime minister U Nu in a coup in 1962. So last week should have been a time of celebration, marking the achievement of a struggle for democracy that has gone on for decades. Or so many think.
Let us all, in our own ways, continue to work to ensure that the values for which Shahbaz lived, and died, did not die with him but live on, in all of us, and that those values - freedom of religion or belief for all; peace, harmony and respect between people of different faiths...
02/03/2016 12:47 GMT
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