Lord Singh of Wimbledon said a harder look at why people become either victims or perpetrators of religious hatred was required, as he insisted such behaviour demeans the human race.
The independent crossbench peer, who is a Sikh, told the Lords: “Forgive me if I speak frankly, religions do not help themselves by claims of exclusivity or superiority.
“This simply demeans other members of our one human race and suggests that they, the others, are lesser beings.
“We all know what happens in the school playground when one boy boasts – and it is usually boys – that ‘my dad is bigger or stronger or cleverer than your dad’. The end result is fisticuffs.
“My appeal to our different religions and leaders of different religions is to stop playing children’s games.
“Guru Nanak witnessed this suffering caused by this children’s game of ‘my religion is better than yours’ in conflict between the Hindus and Muslims in the sub-continent in the 15th century.
“In his very sermon, he declared the one God of us all is not in the least bit interested in our different religious labels but in our contribution to a fairer and more peaceful world.”