TAKE IT EASY ON MUSLIM EXTREMISTS, POLICE TOLD
UK, the bottom of the pits:
Guidelines will tell forces to press for conviction only in cases of clear-cut criminal acts. Officers will be advised not to proceed when evidence of lawbreaking is “borderline”.
Examples of crimes to which a blind eye may be turned include incitement to religious hatred or viewing extremist material on the internet.
Last night critics warned that the move could mean Islamic radicals being give the freedom to encourage violence.
Some saw the move as a politically correct attempt to appease extremists who hate Britain.
It could even mean officers tolerating many activities of Muslim preachers of hate like the hook-handed cleric Abu Hamza.
Tory MP David Davies said: “This sounds like abject surrender. Everyone should be equal in the eyes of the law.
“It doesn’t matter whether someone is suspected of incitement to hatred or shoplifting â€“ they should all face the same risk of prosecution.
“There should be no special favours or treatment for any section of the community.”
Officials insist there is no suggestion that people who have clearly committed offences will avoid prosecution.
*Â Then, why did officials initiate this discussion? Are Muslims to be treated equally under the law with the majority population, or, per Orwell’s coinage, “more equal than others?”
Instead, they want to avoid alienating Muslims on the fringes of extremism by dragging them to court over petty allegations unlikely to result in conviction.
One fear is that some young Muslims are falling under the influence of extremist preachers while serving prison sentences or on remand awaiting trial.
A senior Whitehall official said the guidance was being drawn up as part of a drive to use persuasion rather than the criminal justice system to fight extremism.
He added: “The aim is to stop people being dragged into extremism.
“We are not talking about letting someone off who has committed a clear offence, but where it is unclear if an offence has been committed.
“For instance, where there has been incitement or someone has been on the internet there can be a grey area where there is some discretion and it would be more sensible to avoid going down the criminal route.”
The Government’s counter- terrorism board is drawing up the advice, which will be sent to all police forces, including the Metropolitan, later this year.