British Home Secretary, Theresa May, intends to introduce new legislation to counter the menace of the Islamic State (IS) and Islamic fundamentalists, including an extremist ASBO, or should that be an ISBO? She will announce measures to control and contain Muslim extremists in the UK, in light of the current situation.
Proposals are likely to include the curtailment of radical preachers that are not illegal under current UK laws. Religious firebrands such as controversial Saudi preacher Muhammad al-Arefe, who was recently banned from entering the UK for allegedly inciting British Muslim youth to join the jihad in the Middle East. Radical preacher Anjem Choudary has frequently been criticised by the Home Office and police service for his inflammatory comments about the rights of Islam and how British Muslims should further the cause, though he has been careful not to break existing laws.
Mrs May has written an article for the Daily Telegraph explaining the proposed changes and that they might entail. It will be illegal to be a member of an extremist group that involve disseminate violence, even if the group is not actually involved in terrorism. She set out her case by explaining the level of threat that the UK faces:
“We are in the middle of a generational struggle against a deadly extremist ideology. We will be engaged in this struggle for many years, probably decades. We must give ourselves all the legal powers we need to prevail.”
“I am looking again at the case for new banning orders for extremist groups that fall short of the legal threshold for terrorist proscription, as well as for new civil powers to target extremists who seek to radicalise others.”
Ideologically supporting terrorism would become illegal, in the same way that financially supporting it is at the moment.The current threshold for banning membership of organisations requires the Home Secretary to prove that the group is directly involved in terrorist acts. Local and statutory authorities would also become involved in preventing radicalisation by actively banning those known to encourage acts of violence or promoting Jihadist views.
The large number of young British Muslims who have left to fight with IS in Syria and Iraq has lead to the government evaluating the existing laws and they have clearly found that the law needs to be more robust to prevent British nationals being involved in atrocities, as was the case with the heinous execution of James Foley last week.
The shadow home secretary,Yvette Cooper, said: “More action is needed to respond to the serious problem of people travelling to fight with IS. The Home Secretary’s confirmation that she is continuing to look at the recommendations of the Prime Minister’s Taskforce, announced last December, is welcome.
“Though there remains no detail on things like civil powers to tackle extremists or extremist groups for people to consider. However I remain concerned that the Government is not addressing the gaps in the ‘Prevent programme’ – especially the lack of support for community led approaches to preventing radicalisation and the Home Secretary also needs to respond to the concerns raised by the current and previous Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation about the decision to weaken control orders, where they have advised that stronger measures should be put in place.”
Maybe they really should call the new personal restraints on individuals ISBOs?