Home Secretary Theresa May has condemned “all forms of extremism” as she praised a British-based Islamic group for its commitment to peaceful co-existence and charitable works. Mrs May said there had been an increase in attacks directed against Muslim communities since the “horrendous” murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich last month. Mrs May was speaking at an event in the House of Commons marking the centenary of the establishment of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the UK. The branch of Islam was founded in the late 19th century in India, but its leader has been based in Britain since 1984 as a result of persecution in Pakistan, where they are officially declared non-Muslims. Mrs May said the Ahmadiyya were subjected to persecution in Pakistan and threats in the UK.
The UK Home Office has banned the controversial Islamist group Muslims Against Crusades (MAC) ahead of its planned protest (Hell for Heroes) at Armisticie Day Ceremonies (as reported). The decision to ban the group was made by Home Secretary Theresa May, who said that MAC was “simply another name for an organisation already proscribed under a number of names” (e.g. Islam4UK). The group was originally set up by extremist preacher Omar Bakri, who fled the UK six years ago, and was now led by Anjem Choudary. The ban of the group makes it a criminal offence to be a member of or fundraise for MAC. Following the ban of the group, Anjem Choudary had his house searched by the police. Choudary dismissed this search as a “fishing expedition”. While the MAC’s Remembrance Day protests were cancelled following the ban, Choudary announced, however, that it will not stop him from propagating what he believes in.
Home Secretary Theresa May has banned a march through Tower Hamlets, one of the UK’s biggest Muslim communities, planned by the English Defence League (EDL) for September 3rd. The Guardian reports that May has effectively outlawed ‘any marches in Tower Hamlets and four neighbouring boroughs – whether by the EDL or any other group – for the next 30 days, having “balanced rights to protest against the need to ensure local communities and property are protected”’. The ban was requested by the Metropolitan police due to concern over serious public disorder, violence, and damage. In the past, members of the EDL, which purports to oppose Islamic extremism but insists to not be a racist group, have been seen to be extremely provocative during their marches, which were mainly aimed at Muslim communities.
Just ahead of (and in preparation for) the publication of the updated Prevent Strategy, Home Secretary Theresa May criticized British universities for not taking the issue of radicalization amongst students seriously enough. Without sufficient willingness on the side of university officials to tackle radicalization, Muslim extremists could easily form groups on campus that support extremism, May argues. She called for universities to challenge extremist ideologies more actively and send clear messages to those that support extremism on university campuses.