The Guardian: New extremism definition bans UK ministers and officials from contact with ‘extremist’ groups

gove new extremism definition

The new extremism definition to be published by Michael Gove is already being challenged by Muslim groups and experts.

A draft version of Gove’s ministerial statement, which has been seen by the Guardian, names several prominent Muslim groups, including MEND (Muslim Engagement and Development), CAGE, Friends of Al Aqsa, 5Pillars and the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) as “divisive forces within Muslim communities”.

The document, which is entitled ‘Draft ministerial statement – new extremism definition and community engagement principles’, also says there is “serious concern” about the British National Socialist Movement, Patriotic Alternative and Britain First for intimidating minority groups.

It continues: “With this new definition, we will be assessing whether these, and other organisations, meet our definition and will take action as appropriate.”

Ministers and civil servants will be banned from talking to or funding organisations that undermine “the UK’s system of liberal parliamentary democracy”, under a new definition of extremism criticised by the government’s terror watchdog and Muslim community groups.

Michael Gove, the communities secretary, will tell MPs on Thursday that officials should consider whether a group maintains “public confidence in government” before working with it.

There will be no appeals process if a group is labelled as extremist, it is understood, and groups will instead be expected to challenge a ministerial decision in the courts.

Read more on The Guardian.

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