If the existing laws were adequate to the problem, why did Abu Hamza preach unhindered for seven years? Obviously any law can go unenforced, as can this one, but clearly at very least a signal needs to be sent that enforcement must become a higher priority, and this new law can only help. Anti-dhimmitude in the Commons, from the New York Times, with thanks to Paul:
LONDON, Feb. 15 “” After a series of bruising parliamentary duels, Prime Minister Tony Blair secured victory in the House of Commons on Wednesday in a vote to expand counterterrorism laws by making “glorification” of terrorism a criminal offense.
Legislators voted 315 to 277 in a ballot that pitted Mr. Blair’s Labor Party against the Conservative and Liberal Democratic opposition. Seventeen Labor dissidents voted against the measure.
Mr. Blair’s critics said the vote, one of three crucial parliamentary tests in as many days, was as much a display of political maneuvering as a strengthening of British laws, which already include prohibitions like those used last week to prosecute Abu Hamza al-Masri, a firebrand Muslim cleric. He was sentenced to seven years in prison for soliciting to murder and promoting racial hatred.
Opponents had said the term “glorification” was legally vague and unnecessary. “The existing law is quite adequate to the problem,” said Sir Menzies Campbell, leader of the Liberal Democrats.
But hours before the vote, Mr. Blair insisted in Parliament that “if we take out the word glorification, we are sending a massive counterproductive signal.”