UK moves to gag radical preachers

May 29th, 2013

… clamp down on Internet extremism – Published on Russia Today RT, May 27, 2013.

with video 1.36 min … The UK Prime Minister has announced an anti-terror task force to clamp down on the “poisonous narratives” of radical preachers who target recruits in schools, jails and mosques. However, some fear the government’s efforts could actually worsen extremism … //

… Malicious communications and racial or religious hatred on the rise:  

As the crackdown on the preaching of violent extremism continues, some British citizens have taken the law into their own hands – the country has recently seen a spike in Islamophobia, manifested in violent anti-Islamic attacks, protests and even arson.

Two men were arrested on Monday for starting a fire at a mosque in an Islamic district of the northeastern seaport of Grimsby late Sunday night.

“We had just finished our prayers and were discussing how to thank our neighbors for the support they have shown us over the past few days when we heard a bang and saw fire coming under the door,” Islamic Cultural Center Chair Diler Gharib told the Grimsby Telegraph.

“I grabbed a fire extinguisher and put it out and then two more petrol bombs hit the fire escape and the bin so I had to put those out too.”

A similar attack was preempted in the southeastern seaside town of Hastings when an English Defense League (EDL) activist took to Facebook to declare “the [Hastings] mosque needs burning down.” He was told on Monday that he could face jail for the inflammatory message, which urged fellow EDL members to participate in a “flash demo.”

Two further arrests were made on Monday, when protesters in Walsall, near the central UK city of Birmingham, were charged with racially aggravated public order offenses. Around 20 people had clustered in the town center, draped in St. George flags. They were believed to be EDL members, according to local press.

British religious campaign group Faith Matters released a statement reporting a leap in anti-Islamic violence:“We have received 162 calls since Wednesday [Rigby’s death], up from a daily average of four to six. Eight mosques have been attacked to date.”

“The news has left many Muslims here saying that they are afraid to leave their houses,” reported RT’s Polly Boiko from London. “Community leaders are saying that they are concerned about the spread of the incidents,” she continued.

The EDL has publicly stated that the killing demonstrates Britain is “at war” with Islamic extremism. Marches in Newcastle over the weekend drew somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 people. The demonstrators reportedly shouted,“Whose streets? Our streets” and “RIP Lee Rigby.”

The EDL has planned another demonstration for Monday in central London, near the office of UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

The British National Party (BNP) also held a protest in Woolwich on Saturday, dubbed ‘United Against Muslim Terror.’

Eleven people across the UK were arrested for making racist or anti-religious comments on social media, according to the Daily Mail. Nearly two-thirds of Britons believe there will be a clash between the Muslim population of the UK and the white non-Muslim population, according to a YouGov poll published on Saturday, which also showed that expectations of a serious clash rose 9 points to 59 percent.

The number of respondents who believe Muslims pose a serious threat to democracy stands at 34 percent, up from 30 percent in November 2012. However, two-thirds of the YouGov respondents declared that they felt negatively about protests led by the EDL and BNP, and 84 percent said they would never join the EDL.

The Woolwich brutality could lead to long-lasting damage to inter-community relations, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said in a speech on Saturday:“Fear is an extraordinarily powerful emotion and when it takes root” … //

… (full text, pictures, links to related stories and many comments).


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