UK: Police and faith alliance attacks counter-extremism bill


"David Cameron’s new counter-extremism legislation has been condemned by a powerful coalition of opponents, including the former police chief in charge of the government’s anti-radicalisation programme, who warns that it could actually fuel terrorism.

The multi-faith alliance of 26 organisations and prominent individuals includes Liberty, Index on Censorship, the National Union of Students, Runnymede Trust and the Muslim Council of Britain, along with individuals including Peter Fahy, ex-chief constable of Greater Manchester and a former policing lead for the Prevent programme."


See the article: Police and faith alliance attacks counter-extremism bill (The Guardian, link)

See the statement: Counter-Extremism Bill: Leading civil liberties campaigners raise concerns with proposals (Big Brother Watch, link): "We are a cross section of British society who believe in the necessity of keeping our nation safe and secure.

To defeat the scourge of terrorism we need a strategy underpinned by a soaring confidence in our values and the society we seek to build together. As such, we are gravely concerned that the proposed Counter-Extremism and Safeguarding Bill will feed the very commodity that the terrorists thrive on: fear. We must instead put forward proposals that show those who seek to undermine us that we value our freedom more than they cherish fear.

Terrorism in all its forms is already prohibited by the criminal law, as is speech that incites violence or promotes hatred. This Bill would provide the Government with the power to exclude those they disagree with from many parts of the public space. These proposals will serve to alienate communities and undermine free speech, but there is scant evidence that they will tackle the terrorism we all want to confront.

The fact that the Government is struggling to define the ‘extremism’ it wants to ban should be a clear indication that this legislation has no place in a liberal democracy."


 

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