Terror bill chilling for Muslims, Blair warned

The anti-terror bill will create a “significant chill factor” in the Muslim community, censor those who criticise British foreign policy and drive extremists further underground, the government’s advisers warned yesterday.

The fears were voiced by the Muslim community working groups set up by the Home Office to prevent the growth of extremism after the July terror attacks. The warning centres on the remaining provisions in the proposed legislation – such as the ban on the “glorification” of terrorist acts – that are likely to become the next focus of parliamentary dissent after Tony Blair’s defeat on holding terrorist suspects for 90 days without charge.

The Muslim community’s police and security working group report makes clear that many believe the present anti-terror regime is already excessive, and that the measures risk provoking further radicalisation of young British Muslims.

Guardian, 11 November 2005