Prime Minister David Cameron announced a new proposal Monday to counter extremism in the United Kingdom that includes an idea to close certain Mosques.
The controversial plan is meant to work against all forms of extremism but focuses primarily on radical Islamists. Cameron said the fight against terrorism might be the “defining one of this century,” and he outlines a number of proposals to help prevent young British citizens from joining extremist organizations.
“Islamist extremists don’t just threaten our security, they jeopardize all that we’ve built together – our successful multi-racial, multi-faith democracy,” Cameron wrote on his Facebook page. “While Islamist extremists in no way represent the true spirit of Islam, we cannot ignore the fact that they attempt to justify their views and actions through Islamic scripture and theology.”
One point in the 40-page plan sets out to “restrict access to premises which are repeatedly used to support extremism,” which may include mosques.
The plan has been met with much opposition from the Muslim community in the country. Shuja Shafi, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, claims it has “McCarthyist undertones.”
“Whether it is in mosques, education or charities, the strategy will reinforce perceptions that all aspects of Muslim life must undergo a ‘compliance’ test to prove our loyalty to this country,” he said in a statement.
The proposal would also give parents of teenagers under the age of 18 the right to cancel their children’s passports to make it harder for them to leave the country and join terrorist organizations in other countries. Another plan calls for schools and universities to report suspicious behavior. It would further restrict social media access for people with a history of preaching radical ideas, and put individuals in treatment programs if they are believed to be on a pathway toward extremism.
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