Hate preachers and those who support terrorism could be banned from having unsupervised access to children under tough new measures being considered by the government. The Home Secretary, Theresa May, is considering a package of measures to make it harder to radicalise vulnerable people.
In addition to the ban Andrew Gilligan reports staff at Job Centres could be asked to make up lists of those who might be at risk of radicalisation. Gilligan claims a leaked memo had also looked at reducing benefits for those who do not make an effort to learn how to speak English. The move is intended force immigrants to integrate into British society.
The new rules will have an emphasis on “British values”, and follows widespread public outrage at the numbers joining Islamic State fighters: currently thought to be around 700. In the most high profile case a Kuwaiti refugee to the UK – Mohammed Emwazi – was identified at the notorious terrorist killer Jihad John.
Emwazi was allowed into the country with his family when he was just 6-years-old and was thought to have had a typical British upbringing. However, he was radicalised in London and went on to behead a number of journalists and aid workers as part of a propaganda campaign by Jihadi terrorists.
The strategy is likely to be published before Parliament closes for the general election in a few weeks time. It says “in the past, there has been a risk that the Government sends an ambivalent and dangerous message – that it doesn’t really matter if you don’t believe in democracy”.
It adds: “We need to stand up and be more assertive in promoting our values and challenging the extremists who fundamentally oppose them. This will include explaining our foreign policy [and] promoting mainstream voices supporting the quiet majority in all communities who oppose extremism.”
Under the plan councils will have to “take steps to ensure the safeguarding of children in hitherto unregulated places”. This will include Universities, school and youth clubs. The Home Secretary is believed to be keen to put an end to Trojan Horse tactics, in which racial Muslims take over the governing bodies of schools and implement strict Islamic rules.
There is also expected to be action against the widespread use of Sharia courts across areas with large Muslim populations. They are often seen as creating two classes of citizen, with Muslims living in a parallel legal environment from their non-Muslim neighbours.