Breaking News -- United Kingdom
|UK Government agrees forced 'De-Radicalisation' schools for
by NICK HALLETT
Britain's governing coalition has agreed that potential Jihadis who return to Britain from abroad should be forced to undergo a de-radicalisation programme when they arrive back in the UK.
The proposal is one of a series of measures agreed by the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats who form Britain's coalition government. Also proposed is a new law to force airlines to share full passenger lists with police and security agencies, and plans to temporarily suspend to passports of UK citizens fighting for ISIS, preventing them from coming home.
According to the Sun, talks over the measures were "tense" and going on well into the night last night, ahead of the Prime Minister's emergency statement in the House of Commons this afternoon.
The proposals come after the UK's offical terror threat level was raised last week to severe, meaning that an attack is "highly likely". Security sources have also said that there is a risk that ISIS sympathisers may perform a "marauding terrorist firearms attack" (MTFA), which involves opening fire in a crowded place with automatic weapons.
Although the Prime Minister is determined to plug any gaps in the UK's defences, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is under pressure from senior members of his own party block any further clampdown. One former leader, Paddy Ashdown said that is was "the job of politicians to act but as jealous protectors of our liberties," while another, Sir Menzies Campbell, said that stripping UK jihadis of their citizenship could "constitute illegality".
Tight terror controls were scrapped in 2011 after the Deputy Prime Minister demanded that the government abolish Control Orders, replacing them with the less severe "Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures" (TPIMs).
Senior Labour MP Hazel Blears said: "Nick Clegg should get off his high horse and do something to protect the British people".
British imams put fatwa on Islamic State
by Stuart Winer
Religious decree calls on Muslims to oppose jihadists’ ‘poisonous ideology,’ prohibits fighting in Syria
A grroup of leading British Muslim clerics issued a fatwa outlawing the Islamic State group and prohibiting local UK Muslims from fighting on behalf of any side in the Syrian civil war, The Sunday Times reported
Calling the IS doctrine “poisonous ideology,” the missive, endorsed by six leading Islamic leaders from across the UK, called on British Muslims to oppose IS, and in particular within the UK.
“There is no doubt that President Assad’s regime in Syria is oppressive, unjust and brutal, and has committed numerous atrocities against its own people,” the fatwa read. “The same is true of the so-called ‘Islamic State’ (IS) or self-styled ‘Caliphate, formerly known as ‘The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria’: it is an oppressive and tyrannical group.”
The move came after mounting criticism charging that Britain’s Muslim leaders were not doing enough to counter the trend of UK Islamists traveling to Syria to join IS and fight on its behalf, the report said.
“The IS persecution and massacres of Shia Muslims, Christians and Yazidis is abhorrent and opposed to Islamic teachings and the Islamic tolerance displayed by great empires such as the Mughals and Ottomans,” continued the fatwa. ” IS is a heretical, extremist organisation and it is religiously prohibited (haram) to support or join it; furthermore, it is an obligation on British Muslims to actively oppose its poisonous ideology, especially when this is promoted within Britain.”
The religious deceleration also instructed Muslims to live by the law of the land in which they reside.
“British and other EU citizens are bound by their duties to their home countries according to Islamic theology and jurisprudence: it is therefore prohibited (haram) to travel to fight with any side in Syria, including non-state actors, since this is forbidden by laws in EU countries.”
Britain recently raised its terror threat level from substantial to severe amid fears of attacks by returning jihadists.
Security officials quoted in the report said Prime Minister David Cameron was set to announce measures aimed at preventing British jihadists who fought in Syria or Iraq from returning to the UK by canceling the passports of those suspected of involvement in terror activity.
The imams, from Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Leicester and London, included Sheik Qamaruzzaman Azmi, secretary general of the World Islamic Mission; and Sheik Muhammad Shahid Raza, executive secretary of the UK Muslim Law Shariah Council and head imam at Leicester Central Mosque.
“Many scholars from diverse theological backgrounds and schools are supporting it so it carries a lot of weight,” Raza said. “I hope that our young people will listen to what we are saying in this statement. The fatwa will work to provide a better environment for safety and security.”
However, Raza noted that British Muslims were still permitted for to travel to Syria on humanitarian missions.
“We oppose Isis [Islamic State], and anybody who is supporting Isis will see our position,” said Mufti Abdul Kadir Barakatullah, a member of the UK Shariah Council. “Fighting is only exacerbating and prolonging the suffering.”
Scottish independence: Yes camp closes the poll gap
Support for Scottish independence has risen eight points in a month, according to a new poll.
The No camp are now six points ahead of the Yes campaign, down from 14 points in mid-August and 22 points early last month, excluding undecided voters.
The latest YouGov poll found that, excluding ''don't knows'', 53% of those questioned planned to vote No, while 47% would back Yes.
This compares to 57% for No and 43% for Yes in mid August and 61% for No and 39% for Yes at the beginning of last month.
Blair Jenkins, Chief Executive of Yes Scotland, said: ''This breakthrough poll shows that Yes has the big momentum - it's an all-time high for Yes support in a YouGov survey so far, and an eight-point swing from No to Yes in just three weeks. We only need another three-point swing to achieve a Yes for Scotland on September 18.
''Scotland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. More and more people are beginning to realise that a Yes vote is Scotland's one opportunity to make that enormous wealth work better for everybody who lives and works here, create more jobs here, and protect vital services such as the NHS from the damaging effects of Westminster privatisation.
''While the No campaign press the panic button and blame each other for a series of blunders, Yes will get on with the job of persuading more of our fellow citizens - both No and undecided voters - that we need a Yes vote to put Scotland's future in Scotland's hands.''
The latest poll for The Sun and The Times questioned 1,063 respondents between August 28 and September 1.
Better Together Campaign Director Blair McDougall said: ''We need the silent majority who back a No vote to do their bit. Whether it's voting on the day, knocking on doors, making phone calls or speaking to friends and family, the silent majority should feel confident in speaking up. We will not be complacent for one second and will do everything we can to secure the brightest future for Scotland within the UK.
''The nationalists talk as if they are winning but the truth is this is yet another poll showing the campaign for Scotland to stay in the UK in the lead. We speak for the majority of Scots, but this poll confirms that if people want Scotland to stay in the UK then they need to vote for it.
''The choice facing Scots couldn't be starker. A No vote is a vote for the best of both worlds - more powers for Scotland, backed up by the strength of the larger UK economy. A vote for separation would be a leap into the unknown, putting our currency, jobs, pensions and NHS at risk. By saying No Thanks we can avoid the £6 billion of extra cuts to services like our schools and hospitals that the experts say would be needed with independence.''
The YouGov findings mirror a Survation poll for the Daily Mail last week, the first major opinion poll since the second televised debate.
Excluding those who are undecided it found that support for No was at 53%, with Yes on 47%.
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