London, UK, January 25 – While welcoming the removal by the House of Lords of the vague term "glorification" in government plans to widen the grounds for proscription to include non-violent political organisations, Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain, the Islamic political party, observes the following:
- The term "indirect encouragement", introduced in Clauses 1 and 21 of the amended Terrorism Bill, while narrower than the term "glorification" remains vaguely defined.
- The insistence by the Home Office Minister Baroness Scotland that despite the decision of the House of Lords, the government will seek to reintroduce the term "glorification" when the Bill returns to the Commons illustrates that there is a wider political agenda at play. The evidence for this is the government's insistence on criminalising vast swathes of the Muslim community, who speak out on behalf of oppressed Muslims across the world, with this vague terminology. This insistence is despite the resounding defeat last week in the House of Lords and strong criticism of the measures from the Joint Committee on Human Rights, Acpo, the UN Commissioner on Human Rights and over 180 leading Muslim organisations and personalities.
Dr Imran Waheed, a media representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain, said, "Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain joins other non-violent political organisations, libraries, media outlets and academic institutions in welcoming the removal of the vague term 'glorification' from all parts of the Terrorism Bill."
"Widening the grounds of proscription is intended to open the door for the banning of political organisations that abhor violence but speak out about Western foreign policy and support for dictators and tyrants. If the government reintroduces this terminology when the Bill returns to the Commons then it will be clear that the intention is to silence political dissent and strengthen the dictators of the Muslim world behind the veil of fighting terror."