Your report (The Argus, June 10) said "even atheists" will be protected if the Government's incitement to religious hatred Bill becomes law.

As an atheist, I do not want my views protected by law. Neither do I expect them to be.

The real purpose of the bill is to placate extremist Muslims and add another privilege to those already enjoyed by Christians.

Unlike race, religion is a matter of personal choice. As such, it should be open to criticism, ridicule and satirical attack.

Religious hatred does not, as a rule, emanate from unbelievers and sceptics but from faith groups themselves. By believing theirs is the one true faith, it follows all others must be false.

This occurs even within religious denominations.

Those who are concerned about religious hatred should look to religion. It has poisoned social life in Northern Ireland and we have already seen book-burning and stone-throwing by religious mobs in Bradford and Birmingham.

The religious hatred bill threatens freedom of expression in speech, literature and the arts. It should be opposed by everyone, including religious followers, who value such freedom.

-W J McIlroy, Hove