BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom (AFP) – Britain’s interior minister on Tuesday proposed measures to ban extremist groups and curb the activities of radical extremist preachers even if they have committed no crime, in a move denounced as “wholly wrong” by campaigners.
“Not all extremism leads to violence and not all extremists are violent but the damage caused by extremism to our society is reason enough to act,” Theresa May told the annual Conservative party conference in Birmingham.
“We must face down extremism in all its forms. We must stand up for our values,” she told delegates to loud applause, as officials briefed journalists on the proposals to be enacted if the Conservatives win a 2015 general election.
“I want to see new civil powers to target extremists who stay just within the law,” she said.
“Extremism Disruption Orders” would allow British courts to restrict the activities of individuals to prevent the risk of violence and public disorder, media reported.
They could be banned from speaking at public events, taking part in protests or speaking through the media – a proposal likely to prove controversial because of memories of a BBC ban on Irish republican leader Gerry Adams from Sinn Fein.