Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Greens: it should not be a crime to belong to groups like ISIS or al-Qaeda watch

    • Political Ambassador
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    Political Ambassador
    (Original post by The Independent)
    It should not be a crime to belong to an organisation such as Islamic State or al-Qaeda, the leader of the Green party Natalie Bennett has said, because people should not be punished for what they think.

    But Ms Bennett insisted that people who incite or support acts of violence “should be pursued to the full extent of the law”, when speaking on BBC1’s Sunday Politics show.

    Green party policy states that “it should not be a crime simply to belong to an organisation or have sympathy with its aims, though it should be a crime to aid and abet criminal acts or deliberately fund such acts”.

    MS Bennett was challenged about the policy on the show and asked whether the party would make it legal for people living in Britain to join brutal terrorist groups such as Islamic State (also known as Isis).

    UK terrorism laws currently state that belonging to any of the identified terrorist organisations, such as al-Qaeda or Isis or the IRA, or appearing to support them, is illegal.

    Defending Green party policy, Ms Bennett said: “What we want to do is make sure we are not punishing people for what they think or what they believe.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...-10001999.html

    An interesting perspective from the Green Party. I have to say I find it strange that Bennett seems to think people can be a part of groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda without supporting or inciting violence. Thoughts on this?
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Personally i'm usually open to thinking outside the box and while i think socialists in their economic policy are naive, i can understand that they are looking for vaguely credible alternatives.

    But this policy is not vaguely credible at all. It is i think the single most dangerous policy of any party in politics today. I find it offensive that you can legally endorse an enemy of the state.

    It smacks of naivety.. if we leave them alone, they'll leave us alone.. tell that to Nigeria and Mali, places infested with Islamists for no reason other than them wishing them harm.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    UK terrorism laws currently state that belonging to any of the identified terrorist organisations, such as al-Qaeda or Isis or the IRA, or appearing to support them, is illegal.

    I guess I see what she is saying technically but I think we should leave the above law as it is.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    Not sure I fully understand this. I agree that explicitly supporting ISIS shouldn't be a crime, but I don't see how you can in any sense belong to ISIS but not actually be an ISIS fighter (or at least be providing them with some sort of material support).
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Rakas21)
    I find it offensive that you can legally endorse an enemy of the state.
    As awful as ISIS and al-Qaeda are, this isn't why. Why should opposition to the state be a crime? If it wasn't for people who were at the time enemies of the state, we wouldn't have liberal democracy.
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by anarchism101)
    As awful as ISIS and al-Qaeda are, this isn't why. Why should opposition to the state be a crime? If it wasn't for people who were at the time enemies of the state, we wouldn't have liberal democracy.
    Opposition to the state is fine. If you want to protest that we should become some anarchic state or merge into a global village then go ahead. I've no issue with peaceful protest.

    However, if you want to join a group that commits terrorist attacks against what by your own is a liberal democracy.. then you should be considered as being little better than the terrorists themselves. You are condoning their actions, you are accepting their actions and simply by being a member, you are encouraging others to do the same.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    I agree with her on the simple basis of the freedom of thought and expression.

    Too many people are subscribed to the neo-liberal definition of freedom of speech where you can think whatever you like, as long as it fits in to a pre-agreed opinion sanctioned by the State.
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Queen Cersei)
    UK terrorism laws currently state that belonging to any of the identified terrorist organisations, such as al-Qaeda or Isis or the IRA, or appearing to support them, is illegal.

    I guess I see what she is saying technically but I think we should leave the above law as it is.
    I'm surprised it's illegal to appear to support them as there have been pro-ISIS demonstrations in London. Indeed, i supported such a law on the basis that i thought such protests were legal.

    Unless this is the authorities being politically correct and not wanting to arrest Muslims.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Rakas21)
    Opposition to the state is fine. If you want to protest that we should become some anarchic state or merge into a global village then go ahead. I've no issue with peaceful protest.

    However, if you want to join a group that commits terrorist attacks against what by your own is a liberal democracy.. then you should be considered as being little better than the terrorists themselves. You are condoning their actions, you are accepting their actions and simply by being a member, you are encouraging others to do the same.
    Do you consider terrorism a crime or an act of war (even if it's an act of war contrary to the accepted rules of justice in wartime)? And whatever your answer, what do you think the difference is?
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Rakas21)
    Personally i'm usually open to thinking outside the box and while i think socialists in their economic policy are naive, i can understand that they are looking for vaguely credible alternatives.

    But this policy is not vaguely credible at all. It is i thinkthe single most dangerous policy of any party in politics today. I find it offensive that you can legally endorse an enemy of the state.
    The state can **** off.

    The reason ISIS and et al is bad is because they murder people.

    Rule of law > Treason *******s

    The reason this is bad is that an "enemy of the state" is completely arbitrary it can mean anything from nutty murderous Religious fanatics to say someone who thinks their government murdering political opposition is bad. In Soviet Russia an "enemy of the state" was anyone how didn't agree with Stalin. There is no moral element to it at all. It has no place in a supposed liberal democracy.

    (Original post by mojojojo101)

    Too many people are subscribed to the neo-liberal definition of freedom of speech where you can think whatever you like, as long as it fits in to a pre-agreed opinion sanctioned by the State.
    See my sig ^^

    "The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum."
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by anarchism101)
    Do you consider terrorism a crime or an act of war (even if it's an act of war contrary to the accepted rules of justice in wartime)? And whatever your answer, what do you think the difference is?
    A crime is often an intent to harm an individual or a crime which effects an individual. An act of terrorism is an act to harm the state, individuals here are just cannon fodder.

    So i do think the likes of the IRA and ISIS could be construed as committing an act of war.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    She's clearly bat-**** crazy.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    No-one complained about people going to Spain to fight in their civil war...

    What we want to do is make sure we are not punishing people for what they think or what they believe.
    Basically, that is one of the best things we can do. If you're against that principle well...
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    I think the Greens have possibly blown any chance they had of winning more seats at the general election, and might even make it harder for them to keep Brighton, as it will probably put a lot of potential voters off. And I hate how stuff like this ensures those with legitimate environmental concerns will forever be associated with the crazy idealistic hippy stereotype. And it's not like it's something that's been taken out of context, or something a councillor or MEP has said - it is actually in green party policy.

    People don't join ISIS or Al Qaeda because they want campaign updates, the newsletter every month, and discounted merchandise.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Izzyeviel)
    Basically, that is one of the best things we can do. If you're against that principle well...
    Our current laws do not punish people for what they believe. They punish terrorists.

    If you join a terrorist organisation you do not do so because you want to peacefully protest a country's foreign policy, you are involved in an organisation which commits acts of terror. Joining that sort of organisation is not just free speech or freedom of thought, you are actually going beyond that and taking action.

    Expressing extremist Islamist views is frowned upon and will not win you any friends, but those people are still allowed to do that. Actually joining a terrorist group is completely different.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by RFowler)
    Our current laws do not punish people for what they believe. They punish terrorists.

    If you join a terrorist organisation you do not do so because you want to peacefully protest a country's foreign policy, you are involved in an organisation which commits acts of terror. Joining that sort of organisation is not just free speech or freedom of thought, you are actually going beyond that and taking action.

    Expressing extremist Islamist views is frowned upon and will not win you any friends, but those people are still allowed to do that. Actually joining a terrorist group is completely different.
    Yes, but we go back to the phrase - one person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter. We know ISIS is bad news, but what about other conflicts in the future?

    And presuming we these people sign up and go to Syria - how do we know what they get upto? For all we know they could be standing around doing nothing all day.
    • Study Helper
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    Study Helper
    (Original post by Reluire)
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...-10001999.html

    An interesting perspective from the Green Party. I have to say I find it strange that Bennett seems to think people can be a part of groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda without supporting or inciting violence. Thoughts on this?
    Not sure, to be honest. The current government is using terrorism as an excuse to crack down on civil liberties (and to excuse various other things that would normally be seen as outrageous) but I think this could possibly going too far in the other direction. I'd definitely prefer the Green's system over the current situation, but I'd prefer an equilibrium where terrorism is not used to allow the government to do whatever it wants but where it's still not seen as socially acceptable to affiliate oneself with one of these organisations.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    The Green party: Deluded and irrelevant.
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    Islamist sympathizers. The public are being sent mixed messages about terrorists. Furthermore, we have more evidence that the left is entirely comfortable with racism, hatred, fascism and neo-colonialism if the minority carrys it out.

    The Green party's immigration laws are utterly psychotic. In fact, i'm more worried about that then their hand being in the glove with Islamism.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    I guess if you support the views of ISIS become a member but don't actually take part in any of their activities their isn't too much wrong with that, but lets face it no ones joins ISIS to write a polite letter to the government. People join these groups to do or in some way enable illegal and damaging activities, so she is just splitting hairs in my opinion, putting any time at all into drafting this policy and pushing it through would be a huge waste of time.

    Besides if someone did join one of these organisations with the sole intention of carrying out law abiding activities there's still quite a strong chance that they will be coerced into doing other stuff. Best just leave the line where it is IMO, if you move it then it creates a grey area.
 
 
 
Poll
Who is your favourite TV detective?
Useful resources

Groups associated with this forum:

View associated groups

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.