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.

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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: http://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’: http://twitter.com/wdjstraw

    I’ve also signed up to Labour List’s letter on the subject: http://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

Comments are closed.