The Christian Institute has warned measures introduced in the Queen’s Speech to tackle Muslim fundamentalism could be used to “clamp down on legitimate expressions of dissent”, with practising traditional Christians branded ‘extremists’.
Director of the Institute Simon Calvert warned that without proper safeguards Extremism Disruption Orders (EDOs) could backfire on ordinary Britons, in the same way anti-extremist measures rushed in to tackle Islamist ‘Trojan Horse’ schools were used to persecute Christian schools in England. He said:
“The Christian Institute warns the Government not to rush through these measures, but to engage with groups with a track record of defending free speech.
“In the current climate, there is a real risk that EDOs will be used to clamp down on legitimate expressions of dissent.
“If the Government does not ensure that there are adequate safeguards then, because of the low burden of proof, it is perfectly plausible that comedians, satirists, campaign groups, religious groups, secularist groups, and even journalists could find themselves subject to these draconian measures.”
Breitbart London has reported on the numerous occasions where previous anti-extremist rules had been turned on ordinary people for quietly pursuing their faith. Many ‘good’ schools had their status stripped and were threatened with closure after the government introduced a ‘British values’ test to education. Although by name alone the measure seems unlikely to affect traditional rural schools, the Westminster-devised test included the presumption that active engagement in multiculturalism was a key British value, meaning schools in predominantly Christian areas were penalised.
Durham Free School was punished for teaching traditional Christian standards in Feburary, with a shockingly harsh Ofsted report forcing it to close its doors. Breitbart London reported that inspectors branded the pupils, all of whom are under the age of 12 as “bigots”, as they were predominantly Christian and gave unsatisfactory answers to questions about lesbians, reproduction, and Islam.
Writing of the behaviour of one inspector towards the students, the chair of governors at the school said: “another inspector questioned a student alone in an isolation room […] The student concerned alleges that he was asked by the inspector personal questions about his sexuality and whether he had lost his virginity. The boy reports that he felt so uncomfortable about this that he was reluctant to disclose this to school staff. He felt embarrassed and unsafe at the time, and was glad when the interview was over”.
Another Christian school in England was warned by the government last year it would be stripped of it’s ‘good’ rating if it didn’t invite Muslim preachers to address children in the classroom and assembly, and therefore had failed to teach “tolerance and respect of all faiths and cultures”.