Theresa May has announced new civil orders which will target not only “hate-preachers”, but also those who sought to “disrupt the democratic process” and “undermine democracy”. That automatically applies to Britain, with its continued support for autocratic regimes which fund and support the coups of democratically elected governments.
Democracy of course presupposes government scrutiny, human rights and pluralism, and “extremism” which she is referring to is defined by the PREVENT strategy as opposing “British values”, such human rights and the rule of law. In the past I have demonstrated how Theresa May is an extremist in her war against human rights, the European of Court of Human Rights, and in her undermining the rule of law.
Rule of Law?
Her onslaught on the rule of law has continued with the latest sanctioning of herself. The late 19th century British jurist and constitutional legist, AV Dicey is often cited in the discourse of rule of law articulates the particulars of rule of law in his classic text The Law of Constitution (1835) one of the components includes the notion that no man can be punished or interfered with except for breaches of the law. Theresa May states,
“I want to see new banning orders for extremist groups that fall short of the existing laws relating to terrorism. I want to see new civil powers to target extremists who stay within the law but still spread poisonous hatred..”
In other words because individuals cannot be criminally prosecuted, the rule of law is being diluted to indirectly criminalise people not liked by the likes of Theresa May, Harrys Place, the Henry Jackson Society and neocon bigot Michael Gove through the use of civil law. She herself, is violating the rule of law.
Criminal procedure maintains the protection against the state through presumptions of innocence, the “beyond reasonable doubt” standard of proof and the inadmissibility of hearsay evidence. By circumventing this initial criminal procedure and going through the civil courts, such protections are not afforded. If the civil order is breached then you can be criminally sanctioned. Given the breadth of the definition of extremism, the historic abuse of PREVENT (see here, Concluding Remarks) and in particular its ambiguity, wrongful punishment is all too easy.
The implications of the Extremism Disruption Order (EDO) are incredibly broad. Will a public academic critique of democracy result in an “extremism disruption order”? Will a public discourse on communism be sanctioned? Will the mainstream Islamic belief about khilafa and its admiration for it warrant the order being applied?
Which definition of extremism is to be applied? That definition which has been pushed in government rhetoric on topical, anti-Muslim issues and in strategy documents without a Parliamentary discussion? Will those who doubt the official government narratives on 7/7 and 9/11 be regarded as extremists as David Cameron has stated despite, thousands of New Yorkers signing a petition calling for 9/11 to be reinvestigated?
More Extremism From Theresa May
Theresa May also discriminates against the Muslim minority in directing some of her comments solely against Muslims. As the Guardian reports,
“In her speech, May said Muslims in the UK were free to exercise their right to freedom of conscience, thought and religion but must realise that living in the country came with a responsibility to respect British values. She said: “You don’t just get the freedom to live how you choose to live, you have to respect other people’s right to do so too and you have to respect British values and institutions – the rule of law, democracy, equality, free speech and respect for minorities. These are the values that make our country what it is. These are our values. There is no place for extremism here.””
This farcical statement needs to be comprehensively broken down.
May is exclusively addressing Muslims here, reinforcing the notion that this extremism issue is primarily aimed at the Muslim minority. Inherent in this notion is that the Muslims are the “other” who need to respect “our” values. So much for her value of “respect for minorities”. I thought I was a citizen of this country entitled to give my full view however disliked it is. Is this not part of “your values”? Is this rhetoric of “our” and them “Muslims” not divisive and incompatible with the democratic notion of pluralism and mutual tolerance? And which individuals exactly make up the “our” in “our values”? Non-Muslim, white, upper-middle class, elitist, Christian neocons?
Freedom of conscience is an absolute right. It is a non-derogable, unconditioned right. As the body of case law on human rights has noted in the context of freedom of expression, the Court has repeatedly observed that the Convention protects not only those opinions “that are favourably received or regarded as inoffensive or as a matter of indifference, but also … those that offend, shock or disturb”, pointing out that “[s]uch are the demands of pluralism, tolerance and broadmindedness without which there is no ‘democratic society’”. The “offend” part of this right is used with abandon and then defended to the hilt when it comes to mocking Islam and Muslims, even if it incites anti-Muslim hatred and reinforces negative stereotypes. But if Muslims use these rights, conditions need to be set.
The point is however, by setting conditions for the practice of fundamental human rights, Theresa May is in fact undermining democracy!
I mentioned in the last paragraph of my last blog and maintain the same that the focus on the Muslim minority in government official rhetoric is abhorrent and a discrimination. Values such as equality and “respect for others” are frequently violated by the orthodox Jewish community. Will Theresa May and her neocon ilk dare to address the “Jews” and tell them that they need to respect “our” values? Even the Christians are challenging “British values”, calling it a “government Trojan Horse” because of “the imposition on schoolchildren of a radical liberal agenda lurking behind a thin veneer of “British Values.” Is Theresa May going to correct the Christians of this country in a like manner and force these values upon them?
The reality is Muslim public speakers have already been “disrupted” unofficially, and illegally, by PREVENT officers who are known to approach mosques and venues and then “warn” them that said speakers are “extremists” and therefore the event should be cancelled. Their banks have even been shut down. These public speakers also happen to be critics of neocon policies and in particular the Zionist entity in the Middle East. The EDOs are the representation of neocon desires to gag those who oppose their draconian and illiberal policies and agendas.
I have not even delved into the mass invasion of privacy Theresa May is promoting as well, and yet it is clear Theresa May, by her very own standards, is an extreme extremist.
Theresa May has assaulted the very values she professes. The danger that the public needs to realise is that the threat is not the public speaker espousing comments challenging democracy, but rather the cabal in the government which is destroying human rights, rule of law and democratic principles, such as pluralism. The people being sanctioned do not have the power to remove human rights, and diminish the rule of law; neocons like Theresa May do. The gravest threat to you, me and every other Briton is the neocon. Who is in power. And who is plunging this country into tyranny.
 see, among other authorities, S.A.S v. France  ECHR 69,5 Mouvement raëlien suisse v. Switzerland [GC], no. 16354/06, § 48, ECHR 2012, and Stoll v. Switzerland [GC], no. 69698/01, § 101, ECHR 2007-V)