British Prime Minister Tony Blair has announced new measures to deport and exclude from UK for those advocating hatred and violence.
Blair said Friday the UK’s Human Rights Act would be amended if necessary to counter Islamic extremists in Britain.
The government also plans to draw up a list of extremist Web sites, book shops and organizations that promote these extremists.
“Let no one be in any doubt that the rules of the games are changing,” Blair told a news conference in London.
The prime minister said the Government plans a one-month consultation period to determine new criteria for excluding and deporting people from the country.
“We will establish, with the Muslim community, a commission to advise on how, consistent with people’s complete freedom to worship in the way they want, and to follow their own religion and culture, there is better integration of those parts of the community presently inadequately integrated,” Blair said.
New legislation, which is expected to be passed by the end of the year, will also outlaw “indirect incitement” of terrorism, he said.
The measure is seen as an effort to crack down on extremist Islamic clerics who glorify acts of terrorism. In addition, the law would ban the training of terrorist techniques in Britain or in any other country.
“This is not, in any way whatever, aimed at the decent law-abiding Muslim community of Britain,” Blair said.
“But if you come to this country from abroad, then don’t meddle in extremism,” he said. “Because if you meddle in it, and engage in it, you’re going back out again.”
Blair named two radical Islamic groups that would be banned from operating in Britain — Hizb ut-Tahrir and the successor organization to al Muhajiroun.
Later, a spokesman for Hizb ut-Tahrir said the ban would stifle “legitimate political dissent.”
“There will be serious repercussions in terms of community relations if this ban goes ahead,” Imran Waheed told the UK’s Press Association.
“We have a lot of support among the Muslim community in Britain and it will be seen by the Muslim community as stifling legitimate political dissent.”
Friday’s announcement of new anti-hatred measures came four weeks after deadly attacks on London’s transit system.
The July 7 bombings killed 52 commuters and the four bombers. That was followed by failed attacks on July 21.
A total of 14 people are in police custody in connection with the later attacks, including the four alleged bombers.
On Thursday, the London attacks were the focus of a videotape statement by Osama bin Laden’s No. 2 man in al Qaeda. (Full story)
Ayman al-Zawahir, in a statement broadcast Arabic-language TV station Al Jazeera Ayman, threatened more destruction in London.
“To the British, I am telling you that Blair brought you destruction in the middle of London and more will come, God willing,” he said.
He also issued a warning for the United States. “Our message is clear — what you saw in New York and Washington (in 2001) and what you are seeing in Afghanistan and Iraq, all these are nothing compared to what you will see next.”
Asked on Friday for his reaction to the video, Blair told reporters:
“These very self same people who were making those remarks yesterday are the people supporting the killing of wholly innocent people in Iraq, wholly innocent people in Afghanistan, innocent people anywhere in the world who want to live by the rules of democracy,”