Monday, July 18, 2005

Senior British Official: Britain Not Lax Toward Muslim Extremists

From The Gulf Daily News (Bahrain):
LONDON: Britain did not have a permissive attitude toward extremist Muslim refugees before the London bombings, a senior government minister said, dismissing criticism that lax policies have made Britain a fertile recruiting ground for Islamic extremists.

The Secretary for Constitutional Affairs and Lord Chancellor Charles Falconer rejected a suggestion that the government had previously been lax in its policies toward political refugees from Muslim countries and helped make Britain a fertile recruiting ground for Islamic terrorism.

"In terms of asylum, our policy is: If you are in fear of persecution, you are entitled to come here," he said.

"Obviously, if you then seek to attack the very state that you come to, that gives rise to different questions.

"But I don't think we have been ultra-liberal. ... What we have got to do now is unify all the forces in our society, in particular in the Muslim community, against those people who are fundamentally at odds with our values."
The Lord Chancellor also noted that, contrary to popular belief, Neville Chamberlain was "quite stern" with Adolph Hitler, Yank performer Madonna is "shy and naturally chaste", and then the Lord Chancellor offered to sell London Bridge to reporters "for a pittance".