UK Muslim groups could be in violation of extremism rule

A new official definition of extremism in the UK could ban 3 Muslim organizations with "violent or intolerant" ideology from British government links and funds.

The new definition was unveiled on Thursday as a response to an explosion of antisemitic hate crimes after Hamas' October 7 massacre in Israel. Attacks against Jews rose by 147 percent in 2023 to record levels, Reuters reports.

"Today's measures will ensure that government does not inadvertently provide a platform to those setting out to subvert democracy and deny other people's fundamental rights," said Michael Gove, the communities minister in charge of the department that produced the new extremism definition. "This is the first in a series of measures to tackle extremism and protect our democracy."

The new definition describes extremism as “the promotion or advancement of an ideology based on violence, hatred or intolerance” that aims to “negate or destroy the fundamental rights and freedoms of others” or “undermine, overturn or replace the UK’s system of liberal parliamentary democracy and democratic rights,” including those who “intentionally create a permissive environment for others to achieve” either of those aims.

Gove specifically named 3 Muslim organizations that could be in violation of this new rule, The Times reports. The Muslim Association of Britain, which is associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Islamic group Cage gave “rise to concern for their Islamist orientation and views," he said.

Groups that fall within the new definition will be denied taxpayer funds and will be barred from meeting with UK government officials which could give way to "legitimizing" them.
 

Gove told the Commons: “We will be holding these and other organisations to account to assess if they meet our definition of extremism and will take action as appropriate. Organisations such as the Muslim Association of Britain and other groups such as Cage and Mend [Muslim Engagement and Development] give rise to concern for their Islamist orientation and views.”


Image: Title: michael gove
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