British prime minister David Cameron will announce new measures to tackle Islamic extremism which may criminalise commonly held opinions.
In a speech that he will deliver to Muslim men and women in the Midlands, the Prime Minister will announce that counter-extremist operations will extend from those who break the law to those who “walk up to the border of illegality” and express disapproved-of opinions. The Independent on Sunday reports on a preview of the speech’s contents obtained by the newspaper. A Downing Street source said:
“There are people in the Muslim community who walk up to the border of illegality with the aim of radicalising others – they are the equivalent of David Irving denying the Holocaust.
“There are Muslims who say they are not advocating violence,” said the source, but who still deny the Holocaust, question Israel’s right to exist, and whether men and women and Jews and Muslims should mix”.
The paper reported those who expressed such views would be “denounced”, though it is not presently clear what exactly what that would entail. Speaking to American media, the prime minister clarified his position:
“We have to attack directly this Islamist extremist ideology that is poisoning young minds, including young minds in Britain and America, the ‘narrative of extremism’ must be defeated.
“People who say, ‘Well, of course I don’t support terrorism. But a caliphate, is that such a bad idea?’ Or people who say, ‘Do you know what? Christians and Muslims, we can’t really live together. And suicide bombing [is] alright in Israel, even if it’s not alright in America.’
“These are unacceptable views. We’ve got to call them out and confront them. We’ve got to defeat the narrative of extremism, even when it’s not connected to the violence. It’s the narrative that is the jumping-off point for these young people to then go and join this dreadful death cult in Iraq and Syria”.
While this policy of targeting people who hold un-politically correct opinions is clearly being targeted at the fringe Islamic community, other similar initiatives in the past have had unintended consequences, and have drawn in Christians instead.
Measures introduced to tackle ‘Trojan horse’ Islamist infiltrated schools required the teaching of a narrowly defined set of ‘British values’ in the classroom. Conceived of Westminster groupthink, many perfectly ordinary country schools were threatened with closure, or worse, for failing to adhere to London’s idea of ‘British values’.
The pupils of Durham free school were all branded ‘bigots’ in a government education report earlier this year, after British values inspectors interviewed the predominantly Christian student body on Islam, lesbians, and sex. The children were not able to give the right answers on the subjects and so the school was forcibly closed down – despite no pupil at the school being over twelve years old.
Another local school was placed into special measures by inspectors as, despite acheiving the best exam results in the area, pupils were unable to give detailed answers on questions designed to root out Islamic fundamentalists, about homosexuality and transgenderism.
Given the results of recent polling about British attitudes to Islam, it is likely many ordinary Brits will inevitably be caught up if Cameron decides to press on with ‘denouncing’ those who privately suspect “Christians and Muslims… can’t really live together”.
Breitbart London reported last week on new figures on public attitudes towards Islam, which found over half of Britons thought Islam posed a threat towards the West, with 70 per-cent agreeing that the UK faced a major terrorist attack in the future. It is a pattern repeated elsewhere in Europe – liberal, tolerant nation Austria are welcoming of almost every deviance and difference in humanity except Islam, finds a recent poll.
According to recent research, almost three quarters of Austrians think Islam should have no place in their country, while 65-per-cent wouldn’t want a new mosque built near their home, but would be welcoming of a new Buddhist temple.
Follow Oliver Lane on Twitter: Follow @Oliver_Lane or e-mail to: email@example.com