Monday, 6 June 2011

New Strategy Tightens Noose on UK Muslims

New Strategy Tightens Noose on UK Muslims
Ending a fierce debate inside his coalition government, British Prime Minister David Cameron has approved a stricter anti-terror strategy that would target non-violent Muslim groups in Britain.
"There will be a direct challenge to these [non-violent] groups," a Home Office source told The Guardian on Sunday, June 5.
It would stress on a broader definition of extremism that will be extended beyond groups condoning violence to those preach non-violence, but whose views like the ‘advocacy of shari`ah law’, fail to "reflect British mainstream values".
Under the new policy, Muslim groups will only receive public funding under certain conditions.
Groups would be allocated funding on short-term projects but only after proving they do not promote or support extremist views.
"Under the old Prevent strategy we sprayed a lot of cash willy-nilly and the new strategy is opposed to that," said the source.
The review has been delayed for five months because of disagreements within the coalition cabinet.
Leading the supporting camp, Cameron emerged as the victor of the cabinet battle over multiculturalism by quashing his partner Nick Clegg's calls for a more tolerant attitude to Muslim groups.
Clegg called for engaging non-violent groups as a bulwark against violent extremists.
He was joined by the attorney general, Dominic Grieve, the Tory chairman, Baroness Warsi, and others including Charles Farr, the head of the office of security and extremism.
They backed the view of maintaining a distinction between violent and non-violent groups and that it is necessary to engage rather than alienate.
The £45m "Prevent" strategy was first released in 2006, following the July 7, 2005 attacks on London subway and bus stations.
It was designed to curb extremism and raise awareness in public and prevent Muslims from being lured into extremist ideologies.
However, the “Prevent” strategy was widely criticized as focusing predominantly on British Muslims.
The new shift was seen as a direct result of Cameron’s speech before an international counter-terrorism conference in Munich last February when he suggested that "state multiculturalism" had failed.
“You will remember the speech Cameron made at Munich,” a source close to the Home Secretary told the Daily Mail.
“Reread that and you will see he has a very clear view of how the nation should be dealing with extremism.
“It’s a rather different perspective from the previous Government’s strategy because if focuses more on extremism than merely terrorism.”
Speaking at a security conference in Munich in February, Cameron said he believed that multiculturalism has failed, calling for Europe to join hands to fight what he describes as “radicalization” of Muslim youth in European societies.
Urging a "muscular" defense of British values, Cameron said “we need a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and much more active, muscular liberalism."
"When a prime minister states something so unequivocally, it is unlikely they will be allowed to deviate from that," a Home Office source told the Guardian. 
Britain's two million Muslims have taken full brunt of anti-terror laws since the 7/7 attacks.
They have repeatedly complained of maltreatment by police for no apparent reason other than being Muslim.
A Financial Times opinion poll has showed recently that Britain is the most suspicious nation about Muslims.

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