Game over for radical Islamists in the UK?
British Home Secretary Theresa May today declared that the UK will no longer tolerate the behaviour of Islamist extremists who ‘reject our values’.
According to the BBC, May said the government was determined to defeat extremism in “all its forms”, but emphasised:
The most serious and widespread form of extremism we need to confront is Islamist extremism.
The Home Secretary promised that a future Tory government would introduce measures such as “closure orders” to shut premises owned or used by extremists and that shariah courts would come under close scrutiny.
She also said there were plans for civil “extremism disruption orders” that could be used against individuals.
Other measures she said would be introduced if the Conservatives won the General Election included:
• “Banning orders” for groups which do not reach the current threshold to be outlawed under terrorism laws
• A “positive campaign to promote British values” to the public
• A review of supplementary schools, which are currently unregulated
• HM Inspectorate of Constabulary reviewing how police forces have responded to “honour crimes”, female genital mutilation and forced marriage
• New “extremism officer” roles in prisons to deal with extremist inmates and gangs
• A “full review of citizenship law” to make sure successful applicants respect British values
• A “sharp reduction” in funding for translation services and a “significant increase” in money for English language training
Chairman of the Muslim Forum think tank, Manzoor Moghal, told the BBC’s World At One Mrs May’s proposals would infringe people’s freedom of speech, saying:
We might be sleep walking into what would be like a police state.
He also insisted sharia courts “do not contradict British laws” and were “subservient to British laws all the time”.
But Raffaello Pantucci, director of International Security Studies at the Royal United Services think tank, disagreed that the nation was moving towards infringing civil liberties, but said that distinguishing between extremists and conservatives was “very difficult”.
The fundamental problem here is that you’re trying to deal with a group of people who are being very careful about what they say and how they say it.
Meanwhile, it is reported here that human rights activist, Iranian-born Maryam Namazie, withdrew from speaking today at Trinity College, Dublin because of the imposition of “certain conditions”.
She wrote on her blog:
I’ve just been informed … that college security (why security?) has claimed that the event would show the college is ‘one-sided’ and would be ‘antagonising’ to Muslim students.
Last month preacher Sheikh Kamal El Mekki was invited to Trinity College in an event co-hosted by the TCD Muslim Student Association (MSA) and the Irish branch of the AlMaghrib Institute.
His visit to the university was controversial because, in the past, the “scholar” has explained why apostates should get the death penalty and why the punishment of stoning exists for adultery.
Said Namazie, who was invited to speak in part because of Mr El Mekki’s lecture.
It is unsettling because these people are given free access to a campus, while those who oppose violence and speak out against the violation of rights of non-Muslims and Muslims alike have restrictions placed on them.
No conditions were placed on his talk, nor was there threats to cancel his event over concerns that his position on death for apostates would ‘antagonise’ ex-Muslim and Muslim students who do not support apostasy laws.
If you criticise the Islamist movement, which is a far right political movement, you are seen as attacking ordinary Muslims – and this is not the case. Muslims are not a homogenous group. If you criticise the English Defence League, you’re not attacking the English.
In this report Namazie asked:
Why is defending the right of people not to be killed seen as antagonistic and why is it seen as one-sided to defend human rights?
A Trinity College spokesperson said that the university would not comment on an “event organised by a student society”, adding that the SoFIA would be issuing a statement shortly over “Ms Namazie’s claims”.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn (Namazie report)