Outrage as Britain’s community secretary names Muslim groups as ‘extremist’


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The United Kingdom’s Communities Secretary, Michael Gove, has introduced a new government definition of “extremism” to address rising Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. Gove attributes the surge in extremism to events like the conflict between Israel and Gaza. However, his initiative faces criticism, with concerns raised about potential politicisation of anti-extremism measures.

The new definition focuses on ideological promotion of violence, hatred, or intolerance, as well as undermining democratic rights. It aims to identify and restrict individuals or groups deemed extremist, denying them government funding and access to ministers. Gove specifically named organisations like CAGE, Muslim Association of Britain, British National Socialist Movement and Patriotic Alternative as subjects for scrutiny.

Critics argue that the definition risks disproportionately targeting Muslim communities and stifling dissenting voices. Some see Gove’s initiative as part of a broader Conservative strategy to link pro-Palestinian activism with extremism, a tactic previously employed by other party members. Gove’s history of engaging with issues related to extremism, including controversies surrounding his past statements and actions, adds to the debate surrounding the new definition.