Twelve people were murdered yesterday (7 January) in an appalling attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. This has inflamed religious and ethnic tensions, as the killers are believed to be violent Islamist extremists.
The UK government may limit free speech for law-abiding members of minority communities in order to defend British values such as free speech and respect for minorities, home secretary Theresa May has threatened.
UK home secretary Theresa May has promised to get tough on “non-violent extremism” as well as terrorism. Unless this is narrowly defined, such measures may undermine civil liberties and do more to promote than to counter violence.
Extremist politician Narendra Modi has dangerously inflamed religious tension during the Indian election. “This is the land of Lord Ram,” he declared in Faizabad, standing in front of a picture of the god. In 1992 fanatics tore down a nearby mosque and pledged to build a temple to Ram in its place.
In the streets of Woolwich, south-east London, a brutal murder took place yesterday (22 May). Pictures and eyewitness accounts suggest that a man was hacked to death in broad daylight and those responsible for this horrific crime were arrested shortly afterwards. While this was a tragedy for the victim, his family and friends and a shock to the local community, the reaction by some in government risks spreading unnecessary panic.