UK Elections: Where The Parties Stand on Islamic Extremism

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With one week to go before the UK elections, Clarion Project has prepared a breakdown of the various parties and their policies on issues relating to Islamic extremism.

As a non-partisan organization we are not endorsing any party and are providing the information so that our readers can make the most informed decision on May 7th.



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Key Figures and Their Views

  • Labour Party leader Ed Miliband pledged to outlaw ‘Islamophobia’ without defining what that term entails:We are going to make sure it is marked on people’s records, with the police to make sure they root out Islamophobia as a hate crime. We are going to change the law so we make it absolutely clear of [sic] our abhorrence of hate crime and Islamophobia. It will be the first time that the police will record Islamophobic attacks right across the country.” – Ed Miliband
  • The son of a Shakil Ahmed, a Labour councilor from Rochdale, was arrested for attempting to join the Islamic State in April.



On immigration

  • Existing counter-terrorism powers to remain in place.
  • Will “recruit an additional 1,000 borders staff, paid for by a small charge on non-visa visitors to the UK.”
  • “stronger controls to prevent those who have committed serious crimes coming to Britain, and to deport those who commit crimes while they are here.”
  • Introduction of full exit checks.
  • People working in public services, in public facing roles, will be required to speak English
  • Immigrants will not be able to claim benefits for two years.

On Honor Violence and forced marriage

  • “banning the use of community resolutions as a response to domestic violence.”
  • “widen access to legal aid for victims of domestic violence.”

On terrorism

  • Strengthened oversight of intelligence agencies.
  • “mandatory for anyone returning [from Syria] to engage in a de-radicalisation programme designed to confront them with the consequences of their actions.”
  • “zero-tolerance approach to hate crime, such as anti-Semitism and Islamophobia”
  • Overhaul the UK’s de-radicalization programme.

Read the Labour Party Manifesto



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Key Figures and Their Views

Theresa May, Home Secretary, in a speech unveiling counter-extremism measures:

  • But it’s obvious from the evidence that the most serious and wide-spread form of extremism we need to confront is Islamist extremism. Islamist extremists believe in a clash of civilisations. They promote a fundamental incompatibility between Islamic and Western values, an inevitable divide between ‘them and us

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London in a Question & Answer session said ‘Islam’ should not be mentioned when discussing Islamic extremism

  • “When anybody says Islamism, Muslim fundamentalist or terrorist or something like that, the wider public hear the word Muslim – you see what I’m saying? So you need to find an alternative word.”

Gulzabeen Afsar, a conservative local council candidate in Derby called Labour party leader Ed Miliband ‘Al-Yahud’ (‘the Jew) and was suspended.

  • “Never will I drop that low and support the Al-Yahud”



On Countering extremism, including non-violent extremism.

  • Existing counter-terrorism powers to remain in place.
  • Repeal the Human Rights Act and introduce a British Bill of Rights, meaning that the European Court of Human Rights will have no jurisdiction over British Courts. This will affect the country’s ability to deport terrorists and extremist preachers.
  • Introduction of new ‘Banning Orders’ for non-violent extremist organizations, in order to “outlaw groups that foment hate.”
  • New “Extremism Disruption Orders” to target individuals which will have power to ban individuals from using social media or the internet.
  • Will Enhance powers to monitor communications.
  • Will “enable employers to check whether an individual is an extremist and bar them from working with children.”

On Immigration.

  • In-out referendum of the EU by 2017.
  • Non-EU skilled migration cap to remain at 20,700.
  • Income threshold and English language test for non-EU spouses.

Read the Conservative Party Manifesto


Liberal Democrats

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Key Figures and Their Views

Party Leader Nick Clegg personally vetoed legislation that would ban extremist speakers from cabinet on the grounds it would erode free speech.

Maajid Nawaz, the co-founder of counter-extremism organization the Quilliam Foundation, is a candidate and has been outspoken on issues of Islamic extremism. He fought to ensure that the ‘right to blaspheme’ was adopted by the party following the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

  • Liberalism in this instance is duty bound to unhesitatingly support the dissenting individual over the group, the heretic over the orthodox, innovation over stagnation and free speech over offence.”



On Immigration

  • Full exit checks for anyone leaving the country.

On Freedom of Speech

  • “To guarantee press freedom, we will pass a British ‘First Amendment’ law.”

On Fighting FGM, Honor Violence and Forced Marriage

  • “Ensure teachers, social workers, police officers and health workers in areas where there is high prevalence of female genital mutilation or forced marriage are trained to help those at risk.”

On Terrorism

  • Maintain existing powers
  • Work with communities to counter the narratives of extremism
  • “Ensure efforts to tackle terrorism do not stigmatise or alienate Muslims or any other ethnic or faith group”

Read the Liberal Democrat Party Manifesto


UK Independence Party

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Key Figures and Their Views

Party leader Nigel Farage has said that the EU’s policy on asylum seekers from North Africa poses a direct threat to European civilization.

  • “The clear demand for the rapid implementation of a common EU migration and asylum policy, to be confirmed in a vote in the European parliament, would be wholly unacceptable to a United Kingdom that already has levels of immigration that are too high, and as Isis have previously threatened, could lead to half a million Islamic extremists coming to our countries and posing a direct threat to our civilization.”



On Immigration

  • Five-year moratorium on immigration for unskilled workers.
  • 2,500 extra border guards.
  • In-Out referendum on the European Union leading the way to a British exit.
  • “Introduce an Australian-style points based system.”
  • Repeal the Human Rights Act and disassociate from the European Court of Human Rights.

On fighting for terrorist groups abroad

  • “will amend the Foreign Enlistment Act 1870 to make enlistment in violent armed groups or transnational terror organisations a crime and we will seek a means to revoke their citizenship and prevent their repatriation.”

Read the UK Independence Party Manifesto


Scottish National Party

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Key Figures and Their Views

In December 2014 Party Leader Nicola Sturgeon supported a call byScottish Imams urging young people to avoid extremist groups and emphasized that extremists make up a tiny minority of Muslims

  • “The Muslim community here is not responsible in any way for the actions of individuals and a tiny, tiny minority and it’s our job as Government, I think it’s our job as a country and a society to stand shoulder to shoulder with our Muslim community and to celebrate the contribution that they make to life here in Scotland, to our economy, to our society, our culture, to every aspect of Scottish life”



On extremism

  • “will support targeted, and properly overseen, measures to identify suspected extremists and, if necessary, examine their online activity and communications.”

Read the Scottish National Party Manifesto



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Key Figures and Their Views

Party Leader Natalie Bennet said that it should not be a crime to be a member of terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State or Al-Qaeda.

  • “This is a part of our policy that I think dates back to the age of the ANC and apartheid South Africa… What we want to do is make sure we are not punishing people for what they think or what they believe.”



On Terrorism

  • “Take proportionate measures to protect against terrorism, ensuring that civil liberties are not undermined in the process, that communities are not scapegoated and that action reflects a genuine assessment of the threat to our security. We need targeted policing and security service activities, not mass surveillance, prisons that rehabilitate those convicted of terrorism offences and effective programmes to prevent radicalisation and to deradicalise individuals.”

On Military intervention

  • “Will oppose all future interventions that lack a sufficient moral, legal and democratic mandate or when military action risks being counter-productive, for example by providing fertile recruitment, fundraising and propaganda opportunities.”
  • “Will instead advocate for regional solutions to conflicts and for the UK to take a lead in advancing diplomatic, economic and political solutions to the threats posed by terrorist groups such as ISIS and Boko Haram.”
  • “advocate the use of sanctions and legal action via the International Criminal Court for those violating international human rights standards” against countries including Sudan, Syria and Pakistan.

On Arms Control

  • “Seek negotiated settlements to a range of conflicts around the world and block sales of weapons and military equipment.”
  • “Introducing a strict licensing regime to prevent sales of weapons and military equipment to undemocratic regimes and those that violate human rights (including, at the present time, Israel and Saudi Arabia).”

Read the Green Party Manifesto

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