Thursday, December 28, 2006

Blair Reneges on Promise to Ban Extremist Group

Hizb ut-Tahrir is an extremist group which the Pakistani government saw fit to ban three years ago. It is also banned in Canada. As recently as three months ago Tony Blair made a promise to President Musharraf that he would ban the group in Britain too. But, surprise, surprise, it has been decided not to ban them after all. According to the EU Referendum blog, which is usually well informed in these matters...

Despite public concerns about Hizb ut-Tahrir's perceived extremism, Home
Office lawyers, the Foreign Office and representatives of the Association of
Chief Police Officers have quietly lobbied against outlawing the group and have,
for now, won the argument."If there was evidence for proscribing Hizb ut-Tahrir,
we would support a move to proscribe it," said Rob Beckley, Acpo lead for
communities and counter-terrorism. "But we think such a move would be
counter-productive and not in the spirit of the government's [anti-terrorism]
legislation. It is not an offence to hold extreme views."

No, indeed not. But why then did Tony Blair promise to ban them in the first place? Another case of talking tough and acting weak? Surely not.


Anonymous said...

Al-Blair is looking to the future and the future is sandy. As in the Sahara and the House of Saud. Like Jimmy Cahdah and Bill Clinton.

Here, with breathtaking duplicity (not to say mind-boggling ignorance)is what Blair wrote, or someone from the FO Camel Corps wrote for him, in Foreign Affairs a publication, given his stupidity and June-bug attention span, I am sure he had never heard of before.

Take a deep breath, suspend your disbelief and plunge into this:

To me, the most remarkable thing about the Koran is how progressive it is. I write with great humility as a member of another faith. As an outsider, the Koran strikes me as a reforming book, trying to return Judaism and Christianity to their origins, much as reformers attempted to do with the Christian church centuries later. The Koran is inclusive. It extols science and knowledge and abhors superstition. It is practical and far ahead of its time in attitudes toward marriage, women, and governance.

"Under its guidance, the spread of Islam and its dominance over previously Christian or pagan lands were breathtaking. Over centuries, Islam founded an empire and led the world in discovery, art, and culture. The standard-bearers of tolerance in the early Middle Ages were far more likely to be found in Muslim lands than in Christian ones."

It was either written by someone from the Camel Corps or someone trying out as successor to the Marx Brothers.

Proof positive that Blair is clinically insane or he has been assured that the sums promised have so many noughts after them that there's no point in pretending any more. And with money like that, who needs to suck up to President Bush any longer? Selling your country down the river really pays off!

Anonymous said...

Wasn't this a Guardian story days and days ago? Despite the dodgy Newsnight expose film recently I think it is probably the case that the BNP have far more criminality proven within their ranks. So ban them first I say. Certainly don't ban the Hitz without banning Griffin's shits. Who are rightwing btw. Not lefties as mused foolishly by the Telegraph and picked up gleefully by UKIP.

Anonymous said...

Headline grabbing gimmick the reality.

Classic Bliar, classic Labour Regime.

Im not even concerned about Islamic extremists, the biggest threat to England on the planet is Bliar, the labour regime and their EU masters.

Anonymous said...

Chris P - and your grounds for "banning" - a word much loved by the officious British - the BNP?

You don't want British voters to have a choice beyond the "officially approved" three clones? Why not? What are you worried about?

If the BNP is so awful, do you fear your countrymen will hold their noses and vote for it anyway and if so, why?

Why do you think your judgement is superior to theirs? Surely if something is dire, it will die a death whether approved by you or not?

Please give us your reasons for wanting to ban an officially recognised political party, other than that you personally disapprove of it. I disapprove with all my heart and soul of the Labour Party, but I wouldn't want to ban it.

And let us know why you would like to see choice and democracy in Britain diminished - as in Nazi Germany, for example.

Anonymous said...

PS - Chris P - The BNP is right wing? No. They are lefties, like you, sweet thang.

They want everything nationalised, just like Aneurin Bevan - and I'll bet they approve of the NHS. People on the right - me, for example - want the NHS closed down.

If you don't like maverick political parties, go and live in Cuba.

Anonymous said...

"Selling your country down the river" - the traitor Blair is worse than Ted Heatrh.

Anonymous said...

Jeromy Jacobs - they are two of a kind. Something wicked this way comes.

There have been people like this running like a toxic strand through Britain for at least 200 years.

For absolutely no reason other than instinct, dear German-speaking Iain, I suspect the Germans have a similar strand running through their history, whereas, I think the Latinate countries don't. Please correct me if I'm wrong. But I think it's some strange Northern European poison. A curse, even.

Anonymous said...

Have a look at the official Home Office list of Proscribed Terrorist Groups.

Notable by their absence are the Taliban or any Chechen terrorist groups.

Why ?

Anonymous said...

Watching Them ... Yes. Why?

Why not followed through on? The Taliban, who our British soldiers have died to defeat, and it's not on a banned list?

The British Foreign Office is a roiling den of betrayal and love of Arabs. Probably all those bright Oxbridge people who read about Al-Laurens in the '20s or whatever, thought they'd join the Foreign Office, and they became a powerful clan in their own right.

Another job for Terminex, if they are available after the giant hosing down of the UN building before it is demolished. We may have to book ahead, but the FO should be demolished and something new - not, in the name of God, something suggested by Tony Blair - should replace it. It has a bad reputation and no credibility and it has been working against its own country for 50 years at least.

Get rid of it.

Anonymous said...

Chris P said...
Despite the dodgy Newsnight expose film recently I think it is probably the case that the BNP have far more criminality proven within their ranks. 11:56 PM

Any evidence for this besides your thinking it?

Anonymous said...

This group is probably infiltrated by MI5 which does not want to go to the difficulty of infiltrating its replacement

Anonymous said...

12.11. Blaming the European Union for the effects of Blair and Brown's disastrous governance of the United Kingdom for the last ten years is the lazy man's way of thinking about what is wrong.

Why Britain pressed so hard to join an economic and political system so inappropriate, indeed inimical to its history, economy, culture, world relationships, and goals is the unanswered question of 20th century politics.

The question for this century is how is the mess to be unscrambled, and particularly what is to be done to stop NuLabour force feeding us Brown for the next three years to continue the damage and fix it for ever.

Anonymous said...

And chris p., banning political groupings is no way to conduct a democracy.

Anonymous said...

Off Thread
Iain you are quick to comment on polls giving the Tories a lead. Any comments on the Indy Poll putting Labour 1% ahead? I'm sure in the name of fairness you will!

Anonymous said...

The police are directly responsible for many current problems, always eager to arrest the victim and ignore the culprit. Obviously they are incapable of reform.

Anonymous said...

Karl Popper put it so well in his The Open Society and it Enemies:

"Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them… We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal."

For this reason the banning of extreme groups such as HuT and the BNP is I would argue necessary to protect democracy. (I know Verity you don't like this, but we'll have to differ here). Both seek to impose laws based on totalitarian ideology. There is no human rights point here as these ideologies and their propagation represent an abuse of rights. (See The Welfare Party v Turkey [2003] ECHR 41340/98).

I did like the reference to "communities and counter-terrorism". Now which is the priority here for ACPO? Does creeping to extremists require sacrificing public safety on the alter of tolerance?

As for the Dear Leader's pronouncements in Foreign Affairs. They are laughable. Written by someone who has not read the Koran. Islam was not spread through tolerance, but with the sword. As for superstition. The president of Iran is eagerly awaiting the reappearance of the 12th Inman after 1200 years in hiding. If that isn't crackpot-central I don't know what is. Any thoughts Governor Moonbeam - sorry Tony - before your next Mayan rebirthing ceremony?

Anonymous said...

the druid - The problem with the Karl Popper view is that intolerance us very hard to pin down and define precisely, this makes legislating against it incredibly difficult.

It's easier to defend free society with reason and argument, discrediting the intolerant views on these groups.

As for Blairs comment, we all make mistakes, Tony made one in this case. Those of us on the left will take every opportunity to point out similar failings if the Tories ever get back in power.

Anonymous said...

Citizen Andreas intolerance is not difficult to "pin down". The Sharia is bursting with values that are antithetical to ours: The subjection of women, persecution of gay people, and a penal code based on a wholesale denial of human dignity to name but a few of its "tolerant" features. One need only look at Saudi or Iran to see it in practice. Do you, for example, think it tolerant to stone gays to death as in Nigeria? Or stone women raped but then found guilty of adultery? Similarly, neo-Nazim has a long pedigree in Europe. We know what it looks like, what is does and that's why its banned in Austria and Germany.

Anonymous said...

If they engage in terroristic or criminal activity then by all means ban them. If all they do is say nasty things about people then they should be left alone.

Anonymous said...

What on earth are you talking about? Can you elaborate on this 'toxic strand' running through northern Europe for the past two centuries? If you're talking about 'selling your country down the river', when did this happen in 19th century Britain? And in the present day, I can't think of a more pro-EU country than Latinate Italy.

Anonymous said...

"Both seek to impose laws based on totalitarian ideology."

The BNP claim to be a democratic party. How would you prove they wanted to introduce Nazism beyond dragging up some very old pictures of their dead former leader in a hitler costume? They have become very wily at promoting themselves as upholders of liberty and democracy (opposing ID cards, favouring referendums etc).

Only by allowing extremist groups to propagate their views openly can you expose them to the ridicule they deserve.

Anonymous said...

Banning these muppets will only serve to drive them further underground. I'd like our security services to be able to keep an eye on them.

As to Verity on the Tony Blair quote re Islam- it it's time, Islam was all of those things. But islam is frozen in time- at least the type of islam Hisbut al tossrs preach. It's only appeal is a two fingers up to the government which is desperately trying to kiss its ass.

As Ferris Bueller once said: "You can't respect somebody who kisses your ass".

Anonymous said...

Do we ban the BNP who r an extremist group?

We can't ban every1 who we disagree with.

Andrew Ian Dodge said...

Lets see one of these groups encourages genocidal violence and the overthrow of the state in the UK.

The other one are a bunch of Neo-Nazi national socialist morons who rant & rave alot.

How is hard to see which one is more dangerous?

Anonymous said...

I am not sure calling BNP sh*ts or right-wing gets you anywhere except shows you up as being rather ignorant. The BNP's policies are statist, corporatist and socialist. That makes them left-wing in most people's books. Furthermore, they do not want to introduce the equivalent of sharia law or turn this country into part of the khalifate, merely to come out of the European Union and control immigration. There are, of course, many reasons why one would not want to vote BNP or go anywhere near agreeing with them but people like Chris P need to find out a few things first.

Hizb has been banned in a number of highly democratic countries. Now, you may argue that sticks and stones etc and what people say does not matter as long as they do nothing much about it. Fair enough. But Iain's question is fair: why promise to do it if you have no intention to. This way Blair managed to antagonize everybody.

Anonymous said...

Sending people back to where they came from. Yeah, thats very socialism. Got the principles on international solidarity at its heart that. Not.

Anonymous said...

The Druid, I dislike sharia law and the host of other terrible practices associated with it as much as the next guy. The problem I have with bans on groups such as HuT and the BNP are that it is often hard to classify their official position as intolerant. It is also difficult to determine what degree of intolerance should be permitted.

For example, wanting to implement an immigration policy that only people from certain ethnic groups into a country could be considered intolerant but not on the same level as wanting to exterminate all people of an ethnic group.

It is the difficulty in making this kind of judgement that makes banning these groups so difficult.

janestheone said...

voyager - you are undoubtedly right about MI5 lobbying against because they don't want to have to infiltrate another group. But don't underestimate the effect of Labour MPs jittery about reselection, with constituency parties packed with Hizb-supporting members. I don't believe even one Labour MP has spoken out against Hizb, I would like to be mistaken in that. They threatened me with legal action when I called them extremists who were being paid by the House of Saud to campaign against education for girls. Reading Borough Council (Lab) even gives them free use of its facilities following fierce lobbying by several of its councillors and one of its MPs.

Anonymous said...

Re Al-Bla'eer - He's a liar. I guarantee you this fellow who does not have the attention span to read the back of a corn flakes packet has not read the koran. The koran isn't a book you sit down and read, like the Bible. (I wonder if a well-rounded fellow like him has alread read the Torah?) It is not sequential or in chapters. It isn't organised. It is a bunch of random thoughts and accounts and contains references that require extensive notes to explain. It isn't continuous. It doesn't tell a story.

(That is why there is so much confusion about wearing the niqab. Even islamics can't understand it and need to have it "explained" by imams,who place their own interpretations on it.)

So given that Blair has never read so much as a biography of one of his predecessors in office, he certainly does not have the mental muscle to stick with "reading the koran". As we know, he's a liar.

He claims islam is tolerant. It is the most rigid, narrow, mean-spirited, authoritarian, religion in the world.

He says, in his vasty ignorance, that it encouraged science. No, it didn't. The islamics have never invented a bloody thing. Yes, over the centuries, they charted the stars. Before the West invented the electric light, there wasn't a lot else to do in the desert at night, so gazing up at the night sky for a lifetime, yes, they noticed patterns. "Arabic" numerals came from India and passed through the Middle East as they migrated to Europe and European minds who could make use of them, as did the concept of zero. (I believe I'm right in saying the Chinese also discovered the concept of zero. The Arabs sure didn't.)

The Religion of Peace(TM) conquered the caliphate by unimaginable cruelty, at the point of the sword, and they subjected the conquered people to cruelty and intolerance. They intend to do the same again, this time employing bombs (invented by the West, not Arabs). The current wave of jihad began in 1979.

And when Blair writes (or had written for him) "the Koran strikes me as a reforming book, trying to return Judaism and Christianity to their origins", the ignorance and impertinence are mind-boggling. Forget Rowan Williams, but why doesn't the Archbishop of York, an articulate and cultivated scholar, call him on it? Or the clever Dr Patrick Sookhdeo - ex-muslim?

Tony Blair's giving dhimmitude a bad name. He is also busy selling his country down the river, just like that other cheap traitor, Edward Heath.

Anonymous said...

Adele, much as I hate to disagree with a fellow Labour blogger, I would point out that some of the BNP's policies do advocate state intervention and the protection of British industry. An idea associated more with the left than right.

The BNP's polices are generally a mix of ideas from the right and left so it's a tad pointless labelling them left or right wing.

Anonymous said...

Chris P - The BNP isn't planning to blow up public transport,airliners and cities. Militant muslim groups are.

Can you spot the difference? No? The BNP will be depending on votes to win a seat. The muslims are planning to take over by force.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I'm getting worried. The hadj deal is almost over and there hasn't been a stampede killing hundreds yet. I do hope this is an oversight. It is such a shame to see old traditions die out.

Still, the concert's not over 'til the fat lady salaams, so there is still hope.

Anonymous said...

Adele - I think if you study this blog, you will be able to deduce that most posters here do not sing 'The Internationale'. Most of us don't give a monkey's about "international solidarity". I don't want solidarity with Somalia, for example. Or many other countries in Africa. Or Russia. Or Libya. Or Venezuela. Or Syria. Or Iran.

And frankly, I think the phrase "sending people back where they came from" has a certain ring. Every illegal "asylum seeker" should go back and fight his own battles in his own country, for example. So should every illegal immigrant be sent back to where they came from. They're not our problem.

Anonymous said...

I dont sing the internationale either, I happen to agree with the principle of international solidarity, whether that is with Israeli civilians, Palestinians who face difficulty in their day to day life or Iraqi trade unions.

Rant on that over, I agree parts of what the BNP espouse is economically left wing. That does not stop them being right wing Nazi facsists who hate gays, blacks, trade unionists and the like.

Anonymous said...

Verity, you seem to be in a particularly poisonous mood today. The Islamic world in the early middle ages was far ahead of Christendom in terms of civilization. Many of the Greek and Roman texts that were rediscovered by Christendom during the renaissance only survived because they had been translated by Muslim scholars. Muslim scholars also made advances in mathematics, the study of light and lenses, in architecture. There's a difference between science and 'inventing stuff'; science is about understanding. Don't let your paranoia about Islamic terrorists blind you from seeing the contribution that Islam has made to humanity.
Most Muslims, both now and in the past, are not fanatical jihadist nutcases, just as not all Christians are evangelizing, bible-bashing creationists.
And you still haven't explained your 'toxic strand' from earlier.

Anonymous said...

Adele - "That does not stop them being right wing Nazi facsists who hate gays, blacks, trade unionists and the like." Sounds positively Islamic.

At least the BNP don't hate women. They don't believe in genitally mutilating little girls so they will never enjoy sex, meaning they will never be tempted to run off with a man other than their husband and bring "dishonour" on the family thereby forcing her husband and father to kill her.

They wouldn't require a woman who had been raped to have four male "witnesses" to the rape. (I mean, what is this sharia garbage? Four male witnesses, none of whom intervened to stop the rape? And they wouldn't be tried as accomplices? These people are not normal.) And if there weren't four male witnesses (women witnesses don't count), the woman will be tried for adultery.

No, I really don't see any similarity between the BNP and islam. The BNP holds some views you find distasteful, but we do not want a political system where only "approved" parties can run. Especially parties approved by people like you.

If enough people vote for the BNP, they will get a seat. That is democracy for you.

Anonymous said...

PS - Adele - I hate trade unionists and consider them all the things you disapprove of in the BNP of your imagination: fascist, dictatorial, controlling and bullying.

Andrew Ian Dodge said...

"right wing Nazi facsist" (sic)

National Socialist German Workers Party.

What bit of that name is right wing? No matter how much the left go on about it the Nazis were not a "right-wing" party.

Anonymous said...

The late Norris McWhirter used to say that politics is like a horse shoe. The extreme left and the extreme right are not very far apart.

I know very little about the BNP. Do they advocate curtailing freedom of speech?

Anonymous said...

Lagwolf - They cannot accept that the Nazis were one of their own. The myth among 'liberal' illiterates is that the Nazis were 'right wing' and you are not going to be able to deter the Adeles and the bruvvers with facts.

Anonymous said...

The Fascists had a statist, planned economic programme too; Mr Prodi had a nasty time from the old PCI denationalising the surprisingly large part of the Italian state, still organised on fascist lines, only a few years ago.

Undeniably socialism is a command economy, reallocating, authoritarian system; it gets its political and moral acceptability from what it is replacing.

And it's all over now, with globalisation and the pre-eminence of individual freedoms and life-style choices. The unacceptability of the nazi and fascist regimes was rather their cultural and social authoritarianism and illiberality than the grotesque economic straitjacket they forced on their people in the name of efficiency.

Anonymous said...

paddy said...
"The Islamic world in the early middle ages was far ahead of Christendom in terms of civilization."

Yes, greatly to do with civilisation in the west having fallen largely due to immigration from the east.

Anonymous said...

The islamic world was never ahead of the West in terms of civilisation because these people are primitive, barbaric and blood-thirsty. They are not ahead of the yapping dogs next door to me.

We have to get rid of this myth that they somehow had a great cache of scientific thinkers (curiously, no one ever names one of them) who advanced our understanding of the world. They did not have scientists. And save Iran, they did not have artists. What we think of as Moghul architecture (islamic) came from Mongolia or somewhere. (Can't remember, but it's not Arabic.) Nothing original, or even intelligent, came out of the Sahara and that includes the whole warrior/conquest political system of islam. Also, Mohammad (Pigs Be Upon Him)co-opted an earlier moon god and changed it into allah. And what is it with that black rock in Mecca anyway?

Only one more day of hadj to go and no stampedes yet.