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.
Towards the end of last month, on a Sunday of all days too, I woke up to be confronted with deeply distressing images of the ongoing and violent standoff at the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi (Kenya) and also of the horrid attack on All Saints’ Church in Peshawar (Pakistan).
Nothing justifies the vicious murder of a British soldier that took place on the streets of Woolwich this week. We are right to condemn it. Consistency and integrity mean that we must also speak out against the killing of innocent people by the US and UK government in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
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.