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Blair talks tough, an Hizb-ut-Tahrir

Blair talks tough, an Hizb-ut-Tahrir

Author: Rashmee Roshan Lall
Publication: The Times of India
Date: August 6, 2005

Introduction: Extremist bookshops, centers o be listed; condoning terrorism will be offence

Tony Blair has finally talked tough on Britain-based vendors of "violence" and "hatred", told immigrants they need to 11 share our values and our way of life" if they want to be British citizens and warned the wider world outside Britain to take careful note that "the rules of the game are changing."

He promised a ban on two Muslim organizations. The first, 'Hizbut-Tahrir', is already banned in France. The second, 'The Saviour Sect' is successor to an inflammatory organization run by Arab cleric Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed.

The prime minister said a list would be drawn up of extremist websites, bookshops and centres, involvement with which would prompt the home secretary to consider deportation of any foreign national. There would be new anti-terror legislation in the autumn, including an offence of condoning or glorifying terrorism which would apply anywhere, not just in the UK.

Blair promised to make Britain an unwelcome place for people involved in the incitement or perpetration of terrorism anywhere in the world. Till now, Britain's capital has often been derisively called 'Londonistan', centre for militancy and radical Islamism, by governments around the world because extremists and separatists, including Khalistani leaders routinely found refuge in London.

Now, even naturalised Britons encouraging terrorism can be stripped of their nationality Blair's tough-guy stance, exactly one month and one day after the first wave of multiple suicide attacks on London, are thought to officially signal an end to Britain's hitherto dulcet dialogue on immigration, multi-culturalism and cross-community tolerance post-7/7.

The British prime minister insisted foreign nationals in the UK and Britons of foreign extraction needed to learn they had to "play by our rules". But he stressed that Britain's rules were not and would never be discriminatory or unfair.

"I think the Hindu community wants to start a faith school of their own (in London)", Blair said," and that's fine." The reference to Britain's Hindu community's plans to set up their first UK government-recognised school was in the context of Blair's insistence that Britain welcomed the right of every religious group Church of England, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and Hindu to hold on to its distinct cultural values.

Referring to well-integrated groups of British Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims and Chinese, Blair said, he saw no reason for every community to cherish its distinct patterns of dress and culture.

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