More evidence needed to ban Islam4UK

There is not yet enough evidence to proscribe Anjem Choudary’s extremist Islam4UK - a front for al-Muhajiroun, the Home Office has told Left Foot Forward.

As the fallout continues from Islamist extremist Anjem Choudary’s plans to hold a march through Wootton Bassett, demands are being made to ban not only the march but Choudary’s Islam4UK outfit itself, with yesterday’s Guardian reporting Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling’s call to “ban the organisation”.

There are currently 45 proscribed organisations under the terms of the Terrorism Act (2000), which states (p. 2, Ch. 11, Part II, Sec. 3.5) that an organisation is considered to be “concerned in terrorism” if it:

(a) commits or participates in acts of terrorism,
(b) prepares for terrorism,
(c) promotes or encourages terrorism, or
(d) is otherwise concerned in terrorism

If these criteria are met, the final decision on whether to proscribe then rests with the Home Secretary, who must further consider (Memorandum to the Terrorism Act 2000, 2008 No. 1931, p. 2, Sec. 7.2):

• The nature and scale of the organisation’s activities;
• The specific threat that it poses to the UK;
• The specific threat that it poses to British nationals overseas;
• The extent of the organisation’s presence in the UK; and
• The need to support international partners in fight against terrorism.

These conditions cannot yet be applied to Islam4UK, a Home Office spokesman told Left Foot Forward – despite it being a front for al-Muhajiroun. He added:

“Proscription is a tough but necessary power to tackle terrorism. Decisions on proscription must be proportionate and based on evidence that a group is concerned in terrorism as defined in the Terrorism Act 2000.

“Organisations which cause us concern, including those which might change their name to avoid the consequences of proscription, are kept under constant review. As and when new material comes to light it is considered and the organisation re-assessed as part of that process.”

The remarks echo those of Parliamentary answers on the legality of Hizb ut-Tahrir, another extremist organisation which Tory leader David Cameron claimed had received public funds to run Muslim schools, a claim he later retracted.

On March 16th last year, Security Minister Lord West told the Lords that:

“Hizb ut-Tahrir (HuT) along with other organisations which cause us concern is kept under continuous review. As and when new material comes to light it is considered and the organisation re-assessed as part of that process. Any decision to proscribe must be based on evidence that a group is concerned in terrorism as defined in the Terrorism Act 2000, and must be proportionate.

An answer repeated by Crime and Policing Minister David Hanson in response to a question from David Amess on the proscription of Hizb ut-Tahrir in the Commons on November 12th.

15 Responses to “More evidence needed to ban Islam4UK”

  1. Shamik Das

    RT @leftfootfwd: More evidence needed to ban Anjem Choudary’s extremist thugs Islam4UK: //is.gd/5O17v

  2. Anon E Mouse

    Shamik – This is a well researched, accurate and well written article but is there any chance of LFF actually addressing the issue of the letter regarding the unelected leadership of this useless Prime Minister?

    I think it’s about time LFF stood up to the plate and made their position clear regarding Gordon Brown.

    You know my feelings on this control freak, bullying and unelected buffoon. We also know I share the opinion of the majority in this country which show he is the least popular leader since records began.

    We (think at least) Will Straw want’s him to remain as leader but Will – is that because you want to look loyal to this weak fool or because you are afraid of looking disloyal to the party? Or are you frightened of him?

    Is there any chance of LFF actually having an opinion they state and are prepared to stand by, preferably an honest position, or is a “lack of integrity” to be the maxim by which this blog is run?

    You either support Brown to the detriment of the Labour Party or you care more about the party than one dishonest and unpleasant individual. Well?

  3. Liberanos

    Lose big without him.

    Lose bigger with him.

    Gutless Labour MPs are contributing to their own demise.

  4. Anon E Mouse

    Liberanos – And, for reasons known only to themselves, gutless Labour Activists such as the moderators on this blog are also contributing to Labours demise by their silence.

    Shame on you Will, Shamik and anyone else who is ignoring the only story in town.

    Thanks to the weak and lack of principled stance you are taking it could cost us the election – what kind of an example does this show the public?

    From what can be ascertained Shamik Das has only ever written a couple of articles for a student magazine but as the son of a cabinet minister I expect more from you Will Straw. We know your dad’s position, what’s yours?

    Get this story on the blog – this looks controlled and sucking up to Downing Street is not an attractive position to adopt – grow some balls guys.

  5. Will Straw

    Anon,

    Get off your hobby horse!

    I’ve been tweeting on the Hoon & Hewitt’s challenge all afternoon including calling them ‘dumb & dumber’: //twitter.com/wdjstraw

    I’ve also signed up to Labour List’s letter on the subject: //www.labourlist.org/co-sign-statement-focus-challenges-ahead

    Why? Because as I’ve explained to you before on these pages, my judgment is that a leadership challenge at this time would worsen Labour’s chances in the general election rather than improving them. The time for leadership challenges was the May 2007, September 2008, or June 2009 but no other candidates came forward.

    Why didn’t Left Foot Forward cover this today? Because Sky News & twitter is an infinitely better medium for these breaking stories and Alex Smith at Labour List was doing a fine job of summarising the reaction.

    I know you have strong views on this. I just thing you’re misguided.

    All the best,

    Will

  6. Anon E Mouse

    Will – OK you have mentioned it – someone belled me about Twitter earlier – I’m off work from the snow and kind of incommunicado I’m afraid.

    I do have strong views on it and I’m right to have them – I paid my T&GW Union every week for years – I disagree with you in the strongest terms regarding the leadership from this fool.

    I care about the party that leads this country Will and with Brown at the helm it will not be us. I noticed Cameron pulling his punches at PMQ’s – bet the Tories are in a panic about losing their greatest asset.

    When my favourite blog on the net (this one) doesn’t run stories that are HYPER important to the future of both the government and the Labour Party there is something wrong.

    March 27th you’ll see I’m right Will when we are starting our long time in opposition.

    If brown is so sure he’d win the secret ballot he should roll the dice. If he isn’t sure then he knows he shouldn’t be in the job and staying where he is shows a selfish attitude to the Labour Party. The man has no guts – he’s useless and needs to go…

  7. Will Straw

    Anon,

    Respect (as ever) for your passion. Perhaps we should have done more yesterday on the blog itself (perhaps just publishing the dumb & dumber pic to provide a platform for comments and contributions).

    All the best,

    Will

  8. Shamik Das

    Anon, my experience extends beyond “a couple of articles for a student magazine”. On the leadership, the coup never had a chance of succeeding this late in the game. On our coverage of it, maybe we should have mentioned it, but the stories I wrote about the weather, Islamic terrorism and Iceland are all important in their own right – I’d say the snow and ice definitely affected more people’s lives yesterday than the leadership speculation. Thanks.

  9. Don't give up the day job

    I believe that Choudary’s already attempted to Stage the march under some sort of news blackout. Both the E.D.L. and the U.A.F. seemed to be aware, but very few others.

  10. Politics Summary: Monday, January 11th | Left Foot Forward

    […] News of the World reported that the home secretary, Alan Johnson, plans to ban the group – Left Foot Forward set out last week how this could take […]

  11. Politics Summary: Tuesday, January 12th | Left Foot Forward

    […] week Left Foot Forward investigated the difficulties in proscribing Islam4Uk under current anti-terror […]

  12. theaudacityofboats

    No one seems to be addressing what I believe is an important question – should organisations of this kind be banned? Surely we have enough existing laws to deal with people who are planning terrorist attacks (just look at the harsh treatment of the environmental activists arrested in Nottingham last year, some of whom are facing prison terms for planning trespass and property damage for environmental causes) without having to ban organisations? It just seems a little too reminiscent of the banning of those other terrorist organisations… the ANC for example. Much as I disagree with organisations like Islam 4 UK I can’t help but feel this is a slippery slope.

  13. Do Rod Liddle's human rights trump yours? | Left Foot Forward

    […] January 6th, Shamik Das set out a detailed post about the legality of banning Islam4UK and outlined clearly that more evidence was needed. Shami […]

  14. Tom Miller

    Great post Sham, pity about the off-topic comments. It’s a type of trolling, blogs should just start binning them.

    Is it possible that the HO might be able to ban them as a manifestation of Al Muhajiroun?

  15. R Ahmad

    Gerry Adam’s voice was censored in the 80s and 90s but the media are allowed to conduct live interviews with ignoramus wanna-be preechers like Anjum Choudhary?! Banning the group won’t help because they will just spring up under a different title. I suggest that their vocal propagandists should be locked up or kept off the media.

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