Recall, immediately following the London bombings of July, all the tough talk from the Blair government? The promises to crack down on extremist mosques which incubated the hatred that directly led to the deaths of dozens of Britons? Well, forget all that, from the AP:
The British government Thursday dropped a key part of the anti-terrorism legislation proposed after the deadly July 7 suicide bombings on London’s transit system, abandoning its effort to let police shut down extremist mosques.
The plan, introduced a month after four suspected suicide bombers killed 52 bus and Underground passengers, had been criticized by police and religious organizations.
Home Secretary Charles Clarke said in a written statement to the House of Commons that he was dropping the proposal “although we will keep the matter under review.”
The proposal would have given police powers to temporarily close places of worship being used by extremists. The trustee or owner would then be served with an order to halt radical activity.
The Home Office spokesman said 66 people and organizations had responded to a consultation on the proposal, and most were opposed.
The Association of Chief Police Officers also opposed the idea, saying it risked alienating ordinary Muslims and driving extremism underground.
The Rev. Graham Sparkes of the Baptist Union of Great Britain said Baptists had suffered persecution and imprisonment in the past in their efforts to “secure control over what was preached, where it could be preached, and who could preach.”