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Terror preachers and associates will be exiled from Great Britain


It looks like the traditional English tolerance regarding Muslim extremists has come to an end. Thats enough!, Prime Minister Tony Blair decided as he made a declaration last Friday about a new immigration policy and a toughening of the rules for deportation of foreigners. Now people who call for religious hatred or in some way encourage terrorism will be exiled from Great Britain in a very short period of time. The Prime Ministers decision has already caused some grumble and indignation among the local Muslims.

Blair informed the public about this initiative, which he presented about one month after the Terror attacks in the London subway on July 7th, during the last press conference before his vacation. Those who take part in terror attacks or glorify terrorism will automatically be deprived of the right to stay in Britain or enjoy political asylum here, he said. According to Blair, concurrently the government will work out a list of organizations, book stores and websites which will be under special surveillance: their visitors will be first to be deportation. Furthermore, religious institutions and places for religious rites where potential terrorists could plan attacks will be closed. The same day the British Prime Minister also announced a prohibition of the Muslim group Hizb ut-Takhrir and groups that were founded on the base of the radical organization Al-Muhadzhirun, which approved of the terror attacks of September 11th. As the head of the British government assures, all these measures are necessary for a more effective resistance against terrorism. Nobody should doubt that the rules of the game are changing, Blair proclaimed.

Along with these rules, to all appearances existing British legislation will have to change, as well. This does not scare the Prime Minister at all. If difficulties appear with the implementation of the new measurement for deportation, the government is ready to change the Human Rights Act, Blair declared. Yet there is another problem. According to the European Convention on Human Rights that Great Britain signed, London cannot exile foreign citizens to their homeland if they are threatened by the death penalty or torture there. As Blair assured, however, at the moment the British government is having intensive negotiations with a number of Muslim countries in order to get their guarantee that the deported citizens will be dealt with in a humane way.

Blairs decision will probably result in a broadening of the powers of the British Ministry of the Interior. In particular, this institution will make decisions regarding individual deportations. Moreover, the time from the arrest of people suspected of terrorist activities until they are told what they are being accused of could be lengthened from 14 days to three months: Parliament will decide this question in autumn. The head of Scotland Yard, Ian Blair, declared that he is very satisfied with the Prime Ministers initiative. He complimented the Prime Minister and the oppositional Conservatives - unlike the Liberal Democrats. The Liberal Democrat leader, Charles Kennedy, remarked that the head of the government only risks deepening antagonism and pushing Muslims away, in a time when it is necessary to unite different communities. The British civil rights organization Freedom agreed with this point of view.

Still, the most audible reaction in the news about the toughening of the deportation rules and the new approach to the fight against terrorism came from those who are directly affected by this. In the opinion of the chairman of the now forbidden group Hizb ut-Takhrir, Imran Vahid, the Prime Ministers initiative will have serious consequences. Despite our partys openness for intellectual debates, despite the Prime Ministers assurances to encourage a struggle of ideas, it becomes obvious that this government cannot stand our party and is resorting to such draconic measures, Vahid said. Omar Bakri Mohammed, the former leader of the radical organization Al-Muhadzhirun who is well-known for his extremist statements, supports Vahid. : I think that this system (the British democracy - NI) is not in any way different from those of Ghaddafi, Hosni Murabak or Saddam Hussein. The Muslim youth will see that Blair isnt any better than some dictator, Omar Bakri said.

It has to be added that Blair separately mentioned the fact that the toughening of the deportation of foreigners is not at all directed at Muslims. Terrorists have become a threat to the Muslim community as well. We will particularly fight the phenomenon of terrorism and extremism, not ordinary Muslims, Blair stressed. Nevertheless the rules of the game really have changed: Great Britain has lost her tolerance towards radical Islamist propaganda. Soon it is likely that nobody will dare to call the British capital Londonistan, even as a joke.

[09.08.2005]

Source: Novye Izvetiya

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