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Should the government ban some political organisations?

30 replies

Solopower · 10/11/2011 22:52

Muslims against the Crusades (?) have been banned; I think because they were planning to burn poppies on Sunday. They were the group behind the protests at Wootten Bassett, too.

I heard on the radio today that several other Muslim groups have also been banned, and what the government is trying to do is stop their members reforming under another name. Obviously if they are planning terrorist attacks, that can't be allowed. But no-one is saying that is the case here, as far as I know.

So what about freedom of speech? Surely if they ban these Muslim groups for incitement to hatred or whatever, they should also ban the BNP?

Will I get arrested for posting this??

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meditrina · 10/11/2011 23:09

The list of proscribed organisations was drawn up under the Terrorism Acts 2000 and 2006. There are 43 of them icw international terrorism and a further 14 Irish organisations proscribed under earlier legislation.

List here.

One banned organisation, formerly known as Al Mujaharoon, has sought to evade the ban by changing names. MAC is their latest attempt. I'm rather left wondering why it's taken so long to update the ban on the organisation to include the new name - they've been about for a year or so.

If you google Al Mujaharoon you will see there are indeed associations with terrorism - its founder Omar Bakri Mohammed is currently in prison in Lebanon for terrorism related offences.

Disputandum · 10/11/2011 23:15

According to this article in the Guardian it has been banned because it is another name for an 'already proscribed terrorist organisation' involved in the glorification of terrorism (pro Bin Laden rally, Hell for Heroes, disrupting service in memorial garden on 9/11).

Solopower · 10/11/2011 23:16

Ah, thanks, Meditrina.

I must be very naive because I didn't know any political organisations were banned.

But there is a difference between a terrorist cell and a religious (?) or political group that is essentially peaceful (even though it might get militant from time to time). Are they all terrorist groups, do you know?

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Disputandum · 10/11/2011 23:17

X post, yes it did take me 6 mins to type and link...

meditrina · 10/11/2011 23:22

Look at the link above for the full list. It includes such organisations as AQ, Abu Nidal Organisation, ETA, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Hizbullah Military Wing, the PKK, and Tehrik-e Taliban.

Portofino · 10/11/2011 23:22

What are they banning them from? Existing? I can imagine sensitivity is high in the run up to Rembrance Sunday...

Solopower · 10/11/2011 23:24

Thanks, Disputandum, it's a very informative article.

Here's my answer: 'The immediate ban is part of the government's new drive to proscribe organisations that glorify terrorism in addition to those having direct links to terrorist groups'.

Well that does bother me a little, tbh, because 'glorify terrorism' is a bit vague, isn't it? What about banning groups that 'glorify war'?

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meditrina · 10/11/2011 23:25

Disputandum: Takes me ages sometimes too!

What I don't know us whether anyone has been convicted of being a member of a proscribed organisation since the bans were imposed.

Portofino · 10/11/2011 23:27

Excuse spelling! We went to to the Cenotaph one year - security was hot. Though nothing to stop frcking tourists taking pictures druing the slience.

meditrina · 10/11/2011 23:32

If you look at who is actually banned, you will see that it takes more than their rhetoric to trigger it.

Also, it is not a new drive. If anything, they have been very tardy as the latest version of Al Mujaharoon has been around,as I said above, for at least a year.

Solopower · 10/11/2011 23:33

I would hate the Armistice commemoration ceremonies to be disrupted, because I feel we do need to remember the people who lost their lives in the World Wars.

But I wish they could be separated from the modern conflicts. We are too close to the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to have a proper perspective on them, I think. And while I absolutely hate the thought of any life lost in conflict - British or foreign, soldier or civilian - these wars are just too controversial for us to be able to concentrate on remembering the people who have been killed. We're too preoccupied with the rights and wrongs of it all.

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meditrina · 10/11/2011 23:37

"What are they banning them from? Existing?"

Yes. It's been an offence for ages in UK to be a member of, raise funds for, sport insignia of or otherwise support the IRA. The bans in the 00s put the same proscription on other organisations which were assessed to pose a similar level if risk to the public.

I'm not familiar with all the names on the proscribed list, though, so ready to be corrected if any are not organisations of this type.

Solopower · 10/11/2011 23:39

Yes, although it says in the article that it is part of the government's new drive to ban organisations that glorify terrorism, it also says that some of the organisations have been banned since 2006.

And of course the Irish terrorist groups, ETA etc they are all terrorist organisations that were banned years ago. But horrible as it is to glorify terrorism, is it still OK to ban a group if it doesn't actually commit or incite anyone else to commit the acts? Because as I said before, isn't glorifying war just as repellent?

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DioneTheDiabolist · 10/11/2011 23:41

As they say: The Devil is in the Detail. Who is banned and what are they banned for?

Here in Northern Ireland, I believe the act has been used to convict perpetrators of terror where no other evidence can be brought into courts. Terrorism and organised crime exist because witnesses are afraid. Although it pains me to say it, it is hard to get a conviction if the victims will not testify and so sometimes the State must step in with whatever evidence it has in order to safeguard citizens.

Saying that, this power comes with great reponsibility and the the Government, Police, Business and Media should tread very carefully and work with communities to ensure justice, not fear or vengence, is served by this.

meditrina · 10/11/2011 23:52

Solopower: which groups are on the list that you think should not be proscribed, and why? (Genuine question, BTW, as I know nothing of some of them other than the sketchy description in the link).

Solopower · 11/11/2011 00:02

Meditrina, I don't know anything about any of them, except that I've heard of some of the Irish groups and ETA.

What you say, Dionne, worries me. Are you saying that people are convicted of terrorism offences when there is no evidence that they have been involved at all - just because they are a member of a banned group? How can that be fair?

What it boils down to is whether you trust the government, justice system etc to keep us safe while protecting our human rights, civil liberties, freedom of speech and democracy.

I don't know that I do - although I am very grateful to feel safe.

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DioneTheDiabolist · 11/11/2011 00:17

Solopower, people are not convicted of terrorist offences without evidence, they are convicted of being member of proscribed organisations with evidence. This law is there for all to see and if one chooses to break it, then they should face the full effect of the law.

CogitoErgoSometimes · 11/11/2011 07:25

I am appalled that you think the young men and women who have died in more recent conflicts do not deserve to be included in the act of Remembrance just because you are intellectually incapable of separating your feelings for the dead of war and the rights and wrongs of war.

Solopower · 11/11/2011 16:03


A very twisted and inaccurate interpretation of what I wrote!

What I think is that separate ceremonies should be held in order to avoid the controversies surrounding the most recent conflicts. I don't want to be distracted from giving my attention to the people who have died (and their families) by thinking about the rights and wrongs of war.

All the casualties of war need to be remembered, constantly, not just once a year.

Actually what I wrote was quite clear I think. Don't know why you have chosen to take umbrage?

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scaryteacher · 11/11/2011 18:00

'these wars are just too controversial for us to be able to concentrate on remembering the people who have been killed'

I don't think Cogito has twisted at all as I read it the same way. Those who died in the World Wars and those who are dying today, like the soldier killed on Wednesday night, fight for our country, in our Armed Services, and we should remember all those who have died. Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday can be a time to think about the rights and wrongs of war, WWI in particular.

It would upset the families of those who died in Iraq and Afghanistan if you held a separate commemoration, as if they weren't worthy of being remembered at the same time because they happened to fight in recent conflicts. Where do you draw the line at you want to include the Falklands in that?

What makes you think that those who died aren't remembered constantly by their families, comrades and friends?

bemybebe · 11/11/2011 18:09

Cogito and scary absolutely agree with you

maypole1 · 11/11/2011 20:44

Wouldn't mind the edl being banned they don't help and in my view just as the Muslim fools

They clam they need to be Extream to combat the extremist how mad is that the muslims against whatever are only about 10 strong their are 2 million Muslims in the uk any one think the edl over estimate the threat

meditrina · 11/11/2011 20:56

EDL is not a proscribed organisation (presumably because it does not engage in or directly support terrorism, as those which are banned do).

They are however subject to other laws. About 170 were dispersed from the Cenotaph area today (c.50 arrests?) for behaviour likely to cause a breach of the peace.

Solopower · 12/11/2011 00:40

I didn't mean to upset anyone.

'What makes you think that those who died aren't remembered constantly by their families, comrades and friends?' Unfair. I never said that.

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Solopower · 12/11/2011 08:54

Meditrina, well I'm glad the government are being even-handed, and treating the EDL in the same way as any other trouble-makers. I hope they keep away from the ceremonies tomorrow.

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