CAGE has vowed to continue its work after Home Secretary Sajid Javid threatened to revoke its licence in a speech today.
This would effectively mean that the advocacy group, which advocates for due process, the rule of law and an end to the injustices of the War on Terror, would not be able to employ any non EU citizens.
Javid said: “One of the most prominent organisations that rejects our shared values is called CAGE. When challenged they claim the government is anti-Muslim. Something they will no doubt say about me later today.
“I will act against those who seek to divide us wherever I can. So I have amended the guidance for sponsoring migrant workers. This will allow us to refuse or revoke a sponsor licence where an organisation behaves in a way that is inconsistent with British values, or that’s detrimental to the public good.
“I can tell you now that I plan to revoke CAGE’s licence on this basis, subject to representations. I will do all I can to ensure groups like CAGE are not trusted with the privilege of sponsorship and I will see it removed.”
Following the speech CAGE said Javid’s targeting of CAGE was an attempt to deflect the public from the abject failure of Sara Khan’s Commission for Countering Extremism to produce anything substantive beyond a highly questionable survey in the 18 months since her appointment.
The CCE is eroding the longstanding British tradition of dissent, and enabling power to shape a broad and subjective definition of “extremism” that can be weaponised against a wide spectrum of detractors, CAGE said.
CAGE spokesperson Cerie Bullivant added: “Sajid Javid’s gratuitous mention of CAGE is an opportunistic deflection and dog whistle that has absolutely no impact on our work. Only yesterday his government enshrined impunity for torturers while CAGE represents and demands justice for the survivors of this abuse.
“By diverting public attention away from the abject failure of the CCE, Javid chose to praise the bigoted Nigel Farage and demonstrated he cannot understand, nor tolerate, the long-standing tradition of dissent that has shaped Britain.
Javid also took aim at several other Muslim organisations during his speech.
“Extreme views can be found on all sides of the spectrum, from Islamist organisations like Hizb u-Tahrir and IHRC, to far right groups like Britain First and Generation Identity,” he said.
“And those that spread intolerance and division from all corners are often given a platform by media and political figures. Supposedly mainstream groups can be guilty of that too – groups like MEND. They aren’t always as intolerant of intolerance as they may claim to be.”