UK plans to silence Muslim speakers with new “anti-terror” ASBOs

Dr Haitham al Haddad

The British government has revealed its new plans to silence what they regard as Muslim “hate clerics” with “anti-terror” ASBOs.

Anti-social behaviour orders known as “TEBOs” may be imposed on around 25 Muslim speakers that are thought to be causing unrest in the UK without breaking any specific laws.

The new initiative which could be implemented by April 2014 would restrict the activities of speakers and scholars. They will be prohibited from speaking at university ISOC events, Islamic study centres, mosques and other public areas.

The draconian proposals follow the government’s Extremism Task Force report to parliament which also called for Muslim charities suspected of being “fronts for extremist groups” to be shut down and internet filters to block out “extremist” websites.

David Cameron’s Extremism Task Force

Prime Minister David Cameron speaking as he revealed the plans said: “This summer we saw events that shocked the nation with the horrific killing of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich and murder of Mohammed Saleem in Birmingham. These tragedies were a wake-up call for government and wider society to take action to confront extremism in all its forms, whether in our communities, schools, jails, Islamic centres or universities.

“I have been absolutely clear that this is not something we should be afraid to address for fear of cultural sensitivities. We have already put in place some of the toughest terrorism prevention controls in the democratic world, but we must work harder to defeat the radical views which lead some people to embrace violence.

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“The task force I set up has proposed a broad range of measures to counter the extremist narrative. When you look at this report, you can see a very clear analysis, a very clear definition of the extremism we’re talking about…now everyone can see what it is that we need to tackle.”

He added: “There are just too many people who have been radicalised at Islamic centres, who have been in contact with extremist preachers, who have come across material on the internet who haven’t been sufficiently challenged. Some institutions have wanted to get rid of radicalisers but haven’t had the means to do so.”

The task force includes Home Secretary Theresa May, Deputy PM Nick Clegg, Minister for Faith Baroness Warsi, and advisors from the police and intelligence services.

Anjem Choudary and Haitham al Haddad

Following the murder of British soldier, Lee Rigby in Woolwich in May, it was revealed that his killers had attended protests organised by the banned group Al Muhajiroun (ALM). They were in contact with Anjem Choudary and Omar Bakri Mohammed, but not members of ALM and in actuality disagreed with Choudary.

Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale were found guilty of killing the fusilier at the Old Bailey and after the verdict was announced, Choudary was reported as saying he was “very proud” of Adebolajo, refusing to condemn the murders when invited to do so on Radio 4’s Today programme.

Ironically, Choudary is not thought to be included in the list because as a former solicitor he takes care not to break the law, but the 25 possible victims are thought to include Palestinian scholar, Sheikh Haitham al-Haddad.

Haddad is one of the most prominent Muslim scholars in the UK and has been invited to speak at many British universities. Last year one of his talks was postponed at the London School of Economics (LSE) pending an investigation after claims of anti-Semitism were made against him. Haddad was later cleared of the accusations and has spoken twice at LSE since.

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