Theresa May to fight Islamic Extremists
We’ll shut down extremist mosques supporting terror, warns Theresa May in fresh drive to defeat extremism
Theresa May wants to drive out ‘significant’ number of fanatics in Britain
Under Tory manifesto plans, Home Secretary would ban hate preachers
Pledged to use new ‘closure orders’ to shut mosques used by fanatics
Also review Sharia courts amid fears they are used to oppress women
The Home Secretary told Islamist fanatics in British: ‘The game is up’
By James Slack Home Affairs Editor
PUBLISHED: 23:34, 22 March 2015 | UPDATED: 00:36, 24 March 2015
Theresa May yesterday unveiled a raft of controversial powers to drive Muslim extremists from British public life – including the closure of mosques which harbour fanatics.
The Home Secretary said Britain had tolerated extremist views for too long and hardliners needed to understand the ‘game is up’ for anybody who rejects British values.
Her wish-list included sending hit squads modelled on the Government’s Troubled Families Programme into ‘isolated’ communities to teach English and encourage children to mix with youngsters from other backgrounds.
As the Mail revealed yesterday, there will also be new civil orders to silence preachers of hate, a review of sharia courts and new rules making it easier to ban extremist groups.
Public spending on translation services will be cut to encourage all Muslims to speak English. It will be a requirement for religious workers with pastoral responsibilities to learn the language.
Meanwhile, a new Extremism Analysis Unit is being established inside the Home Office to draw up a blacklist of individuals and organisations which the public sector should not engage with.
Mrs May said the aim was to ensure ‘nobody unwittingly lends legitimacy or credibility to extremists’ and ensure ministers don’t just speak to ‘self-appointed and often unrepresentative community leaders’.
Closure orders would be served on any premises owned or occupied by extremists or used to host extremist speakers – including mosques.
She called for a new partnership to defeat the fanatics, saying: ‘To those who do not want to join this new partnership, to those who choose consciously to reject our values and the basic principles of our society, the message is equally clear: the game is up. We will no longer tolerate your behaviour.’
Tory MPs welcomed her uncompromising stance in which she criticised those who sought to excuse Islamist extremism as mere ‘social conservatism’. But, published less than two months before the election, her plan is a list of ambitions rather than a blueprint for Government.
The measures will be included in the Tory manifesto but, in the event of a new Coalition, would be fiercely resisted by the Liberal Democrats. The speech was seen at Westminster as a reminder of Mrs May’s leadership credentials if David Cameron stands down after the election. MPs said it had echoes of Margaret Thatcher, who once declared: ‘Where there is discord, may we bring harmony.’
Comparisons were also made with Tony Blair’s 12-point plan for tackling terror, unveiled in the aftermath of the 7/7 attacks.
The Labour Prime Minister famously declared that the ‘rules of the game are changing’ but later abandoned his own proposal for mosque closure orders after a backlash from Muslim groups. Mrs May’s plans follow a series of bitter rows inside the Coalition over counter-terrorism strategy. The Liberal Democrats have made it clear they will oppose any attempt to limit free speech.
At least four Tory Cabinet ministers, including Education Secretary Nicky Morgan and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, are also understood to have argued the strategy needs more work.
The proposals drew an angry response from some Muslim groups. Islamic Human Rights Commission chairman Massoud Shadjareh said: ‘Nobody will be fooled by the Home Secretary’s claims that these measures are designed to tackle extremism.
‘They are a shameless expression of a hate and bigotry that is increasingly becoming normalised in Britain.’ Manzoor Moghal, chairman of the Muslim Forum think tank, said the proposals would infringe people’s freedom of speech.
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said: ‘Everyone other than the extremists agrees we should robustly defend and actively promote the pluralistic values our society rightly holds in esteem. But it isn’t enough for the Home Secretary to say it, she needs to act.’
The Home Office defines extremism as ‘vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs’. It also includes ‘calls for the death of members of armed forces whether in this country or overseas’.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article … z4jFrzxQhZ
This should only be the beginning as it certainly does not go far enough.