Curbing Islamic extremism will be one of the biggest proposals when the British government sets out its policy agenda later this month.
Measures including bans on organisations, prosecutions of individuals and closing downs premises used to “promote hatred” will be included in a new Extremism Bill that will be unveiled at the State Opening of Parliament.
The Times reports that the government will also announce an independent review into Sharia courts in Britain. Home Secretary Theresa May called for a review in December 2015 amid growing concerns such courts discriminate against women.
A study claimed the courts trap women in abusive marriages, with the judge in one case reportedly laughing at a woman and asking: “Why did you marry such a person?”
The bill will also expand the vetting process so that employers will be informed of known extremists to stop them working with children.
The media regulator Ofcom will also get new powers to suspend broadcasters who include “unacceptable extremist material”. In February, the regulator slammed Islamic channel Peace TV, which broadcasts to the UK, for including anti-Semitic material and blaming Jews for the Holocaust. It is run by a hate preacher who was banned from the UK in 2010.
Examples of views that may be criminalised include calls for the complete adoption of Sharia law in the UK and “hate messages” aimed at the armed forces.
Last year, it was revealed that the government’s anti-extremist ‘Prevent’ strategy is targeting 44 “terror hotspots” in Britain, including towns such as Brighton, Burnley, Calderdale, Coventry, Crawley, Portsmouth and Southwark.
One area, Crawley, only has a small Muslim population but it hit the headlines in 2014 as the home of the first British-born suicide bomber in the Syrian Civil War.
Brighton also gained notoriety after four young friends, nicknamed the ‘Brighton Boys’, travelled to Syria to join the Al Qaeda-affiliate Nusra front.