Theresa May Theresa May

Theresa May’s proposed new anti-terror laws further demonise Muslims and threaten the rights of everyone who opposes the government argues Elly Badcock

In the aftermath of a shock election victory, David Cameron’s government has wasted no time launching a war on democratic rights.

Home Secretary Theresa May’s proposed new anti-terror laws give the government the right to ban organisations that they decide promote “hate speech”. May says they could be used to close down mosques, and restrict freedom of movement for people accused of “radicalising” youth.

But anyone encouraging suicide bombing, calling for the death of certain groups, or using a public platform to promote outright discrimination could be arrested under current hate crime laws.

The new laws will only serve to further demonise Muslims, who have been subjected to official harassment since the ill-fated ‘War on Terror’ was launched in 2001.

Discrimination at the top produces attacks at the bottom. Met police figures show a 70% increase in anti- Muslim hate crimes in London over the last year.

If they start with Muslims, they’ll then look for fresh targets. The Prime Minister has made it clear that merely obeying the law is no longer enough to avoid the attentions of the state.

No mandate

The sheer scale and audacity of the Tory plans for Britain would make anyone think the Tories had won a landslide victory.

But they’re hanging on by a thread. They have a majority of just 12, the smallest Tory majority in the history of Parliament. They’ve already had to climb down on scrapping the Human Rights Act because they’re worried about losing the vote.

This is a government with a laughable democratic mandate, trying to clamp down on hard-won liberties because they’re absolutely bloody terrified.

Our job is to keep them terrified. The June 20 demo is what real democracy looks like.

This article first appeared in Counterfire’s new free paper. Contact us for copies to distribute in your area.