Muslims condemn Britain’s plans to combat extremism

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Prime Minister David Cameron called Donald Trump "divisive" and "stupid" for suggesting the USA ban entry for Muslim immigrants. Photo courtesy of Reuters

Photo courtesy of Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Flickr) [see page for license], via Wikimedia Commons

Prime Minister David Cameron called Donald Trump "divisive" and "stupid" for suggesting the USA ban entry for Muslim immigrants. Photo courtesy of Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister David Cameron unveiled a new strategy on Monday to combat extremism, saying the battle was “perhaps the “defining one of this century”, but his proposals were condemned by Muslims as demonising their communities and set to fail.

The Counter-Extremism Strategy has been promised by Cameron’s government for months, designed primarily to counter the ideology promoted by Islamic State militants, al Qaeda and other Islamists which the authorities say can lead young Britons onto a path of violence.

“Subversive, well-organised and sophisticated in their methods, Islamist extremists don’t just threaten our security, they jeopardise all that we’ve built together – our successful multi-racial, multi-faith democracy,” Cameron wrote on his Facebook website.

“So we have to confront them wherever we find them.”

British police arrested a record number of people last year on suspicion of terrorism offences, and say they have thwarted a growing number of plots hatched by young Britons, some of whom had been radicalised in just weeks via the Internet.

Earlier this month, a 15-year-old boy was jailed for life for inciting an attack on a World War One commemorative event in Australia from his bedroom in northern England.

Under the wide-ranging proposals, groups deemed extremist by promoting hatred will be banned; places where radicals thrive including mosques could be closed and the regulator Ofcom will get tougher powers to address TV and radio channels airing extremist material.

The new law would also give parents worried that their 16 and 17-year-old children might travel to join Islamic State the power to apply to have their passports removed, while anyone with a conviction for terrorist offences or extremist activity would be banned from working with children.

The plans are designed to target all hate groups, including far-right organisations, but they were met with immediate opposition from Islamic groups who variously described it as “war onMuslims” or containing “McCarthyist” undertones.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), the country’s largest umbrella Islamic organisation, said that while terrorism was a real threat, the government’s strategy was based on poor analysis and risked alienating those whose support it needed.

“Whether it is in mosques, education or charities, the strategy will reinforce perceptions that all aspects of Muslim life must undergo a ‘compliance’ test to prove our loyalty to this country,” said Shuja Shafi, the MCB’s Secretary General.

Muslim groups are not alone in their scepticism. Some lawmakers in Cameron’s own party are uneasy at the measures, while counter-extremism experts say the message of militants should be challenged not banned.

David Anderson, the independent reviewer of anti-terrorism legislation, has warned that any wrong decisions risked provoking a backlash in Muslim communities and driving people towards extremism and terrorism.

  • Jon

    Um, have you read a bible?

    The various bibles all have at least as much, or more, verses advocating terrorism and evil. Deut 13 is clear that those of other religions are to be killed. Jesus himself in Luke 27 says that unbelievers are to be killed in front of him. St. Augustine used the wedding parable of Jesus to justify using swords to force people to convert. There are a lot more if you want them.

    While I agree that the Qu’ran has some harmful sections, and that these have indeed caused violence, the same is true of the Bibles. If someone is condemning one and not the other book, then they are not being consistent.

  • Bernardo

    An update on the Torah:

    origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

    “New Torah For Modern Minds

    “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob·a·bly Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

    The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation. ”

    ? Luke 19: 27 “But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.’”

    Professor Ludemann is his book, Jesus After 2000 years has concluded that said passage is historically nil. pp. 381-383 (it also is a parable
    http://www

  • Bernardo
  • Bernardo

    And unfortunately, Augustine did not have the knowledge to test the veracity of the NT passages making any statements by him moot points.

  • Jon

    Those are good, but irrelevant when the vast majority of believers don’t care what scholars say, and for nearly all of them, haven’t heard that anyway. What they’ve got is the scriptural text.

    The same goes for Augustine. It doesn’t matter if the text has historical basis or not – it only matters what the believers think. After all, they’ll act based on what they think. If the entire NT were (is?) historically false, it wouldn’t change anything, since the actions of believers is what we are talking about.

  • Bernardo

    But the internet is changing concepts of religion quickly as is rational thinking.

    I like the following by Thomas Jefferson as it shows rational thinking by our founding fathers: (might want to email a copy to your bible-reading friends).

    “And the day will come,
    when the mystical generation of Jesus,
    by the Supreme Being as His Father,
    in the womb of a virgin,
    will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva
    in the brain of Jupiter.

    — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
    Letter to John Adams, from Monticello, April 11, 1823.

  • John

    With all due respect (even though I’m not sure any is due), you don’t know what you are talking about.
    As for Luke 27, Luke only has 24 chapters. The closest item I can find to your allegation is Luke Chapter 19, Verse 27, which reads:
    “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.”
    Now, if you had even a sliver of knowledge, you know that is the last line of a parable that begins at verse 11.
    And, seeing the depth of your ignorance, let me give you the definition of “sliver” ( a small, narrow piece or portion ) and “parable” ( a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principle, or moral lesson ). You’ll have to look up the definition of “allegorical” yourself.

  • John

    Interesting…a change of only 2 words and you testify against Islam.
    ———-
    “Those are good, but irrelevant when the vast majority of believers don’t care what scholars say, and for nearly all of them, haven’t heard that anyway. What they’ve got is the scriptural text.”

    The same goes for [ Muhammad ]. It doesn’t matter if the text has historical basis or not – it only matters what the believers think. After all, they’ll act based on what they think. If the entire [ Quran ] were (is?) historically false, it wouldn’t change anything, since the actions of believers is what we are talking about.”

  • Bernardo

    It appears that a few comments were deleted even though they were there most of the day. Very strange blog!!!

  • Jon

    Thanks for correcting the verse number. : ) Yes, that’s the one.

    Sure it’s a parable, but if you read the context of Luke 19, you can see that it’s all about setting up Jesus as a King entering Jerusalem, then Jesus tells a parable about a King entering his Kingdom. No one disagrees with that. .

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  • George van Apeldoorn

    Problem with Islam is, as opposed to the biblical stories you relate, that Islam is still stuck in their medieval ways and Christianity has progressed.