Promoting “British Values” by Curbing Free Speech

GATESTONE
by Soren Kern
November 6, 2014

The British government has unveiled a new proposal that would require Islamic extremists to have their social media posts pre-approved by the government. The plan—which is aimed at curbing the spread of jihadist propaganda in Britain—is part of a wide-ranging effort to strengthen the government’s counter-terrorism strategy ahead of general elections set for May 2015.

The new policy is so broad in scope, however, and the definition of “extremist” is so all-encompassing, that the government could ultimately silence anyone whose views are deemed to be politically incorrect, according to free speech activists. The so-called Extremism Disruption Orders (EDOs) would prohibit any individual the government considers to be an “extremist” from appearing on radio and television, protesting in public or even posting messages on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube, without permission.

The new measure was announced in passing by British Home Secretary Theresa May in a speech focused almost entirely on Islamic terrorism, and delivered at the Conservative Party’s annual conference on September 29. May’s proposal was roundly condemned by critics who warned that such “gagging orders” would amount to an unprecedented attack on the freedom of speech…..

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