UK bans Muslim protest group

Theresa May, the British Home Secretary, has banned a Muslim group named Muslims Against Crusades, which was planning to protest Armistice Day and burn poppies. Perhaps for them there’s a symbolic tie-in between the poppy fields of Northern France and the poppy fields of Afghanistan.

The Guardian has the story:

“May said: “I am satisfied Muslims Against Crusades is simply another name for an organisation already proscribed under a number of names including Al Ghurabaa, The Saved Sect, Al-Muhajiroun and Islam4UK. The organisation was proscribed in 2006 for glorifying terrorism and we are clear it should not be able to continue these activities by simply changing its name.”

A parliamentary order was laid at Westminster on Thursday morning implementing the ban.”

I can’t help thinking that Theresa May has missed her own point quite spectacularly: If you ban groups like this, they’ll just re-name themselves and effectively un-ban themselves for a few months until you ban them again.

Conversely, sometimes banning an organisation just drives it underground and further radicalises its members – This happened with a number of paramilitary organisations in the Northern Ireland troubles. Certainly it feeds their delusions that they’re righteous people being persecuted by infidels; personally, I’d rather take offense at their silly demonstrations that take shrapnel from a bombing. Why nurture a persecution complex that’s already built-in to their religion?

And finally, my attitude to things like this has changed markedly in the time I’ve been coming to UF. It’s probably exposure to all you yanks. To paraphrase a yank: I might disagree with what Muslims Against Crusades are planning on saying and doing, but I’ll fight for their right to say and do it.


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  • Gordon

    I think if you let them go ahead you should insist they use official poppies and let their silly protest raise money for rememberance day.

  • Lyonel

    Nice post, and interesting point of view, but the quote about fighting for people’s opinions despite not agreeing with thme is not from any yank’ but from Voltaire…

    • Noelle

      the greatest American of them all…

  • vasaroti

    The Muslims have their history wrong. WWI and WWII had a crusade-like nature for the Germans, not so much for the nations that defended themselves. Maybe they should burn cornblumen and eidelweiss. They also seem to have missed that Armistice day celebrates the peace agreement, not the military victory.

    I’m against crusades, too. Couching “We’re going to take your stuff” or “We want revenge” in mystical/geopolitical terms fools nobody.

  • Mike de Fleuriot

    Generally speaking these groups tend to miss the point of just about everything in the real world, hell they even have a religion.

  • Malena

    poor poppies :(
    where’s the flower equivalent to peta for them?

  • Leland Somers

    Given the national importance of Remembrance Day in the UK, I think the Muslims were up their tricks of trying to provoke a public disturbance. They do that about everything from cartoons depicting their psychotic prophet, to trying to run parts of London by Sharia Law. What a bunch of humbugs. Religion is all toxic sludge. But the very bottom of the barrel of sludge in the 21st Century is Islam, closely followed by Christianity and Judaism – the evil trinity of theistic religions.

  • Tori
  • revyloution

    Custy, I think I’ve seen this change in you. Its not just a Yank thing, Christopher hitchens defends this too. The USA is unique in that we’ve almost made a religion out of the idea of freedom of expression.

    • Jabster

      As a slight aside … *warning gross generalisation coming* there is one thing saying I will fight for freedom of expression and there’s another thing of putting it into practice. The general feeling I get from the media is when a American says “I will fight for freedom of expression” they then mumble under their breath “but only if I agree with what they’re saying”.

      • Jabster

        I should of course add that a mentality of do as I say not as I do, or them’s the rules for the little people not me, make it more like a religion not less!

    • Custador

      Indeed. It’s very British to think that causing offense is in itself wrong, and I still react that way sometimes. I’m slowly conditioning myself to realise that I don’t have a right to not be offended, and that the choice of whether to take offense is often my own. In a way, reacting to somebody who tries to offend just validates them. Ignoring them or dismissing them as irrelevant is far more effective.

      • JohnMWhite

        That is a healthy attitude, and I think it also pays to keep in mind that something can be wrong, sometimes quite grossly wrong, without being bannable. The activities of the Westboro Baptist Church come to mind. I’m certainly not an advocate of laissez-faire policies but I do think we should try to avoid legislating against everything we don’t like. The idea of banning groups also seems pretty backwards, for reasons highlighted in the OP and because it just seems petty. “You lot are mean so you can’t have your club anymore!”

  • Concerned Citizen

    Basically Theresa May just fed the trolls.