By Robert Halfon MP
Apart from a few tabloid newspapers, the attempted disruption by extreme Islamists on last week's Remembrance Sunday was barely reported. Despite the threats to public disorder, it seems that these Islamists were allowed to burn a giant poppy, and desecrate this special day - almost with impunity.
Yet, just some days earlier, Cllr. Gareth Thompson, who made an extremist - and stupid - remark on Twitter, (about a Muslim journalist) was subsequently arrested, because of threats to public order.
It seems that we live in a kind of parallel universe, where only some of our citizens face punitive actions for offensive behaviour, whilst others do not. It appears that the more extreme and more difficult a situation is, the more afraid the 'authorities' are in dealing with it. How much simpler to deal with 'the easy case' - i.e. the Gareth Comptons of this world.
Last Thursday, in the House of Commons, I asked for a debate on this very subject. You might be interested in the transcript below:
Robert Halfon (Harlow) (Con): Will my right hon. Friend agree to an urgent debate on extreme Islamists in the United Kingdom? As action was taken against Gareth Compton for his alleged threat to public disorder, does he agree that action should also be taken against the extreme Islamists who disrupted Remembrance Sunday last week because of their threat to public disorder?
Sir George Young: I am grateful to my hon. Friend, but the specific incident that he mentioned is a matter for the police and the Crown Prosecution Service. I think we all have a role in challenging extremism. We should all stand up for our shared British values and against extremists and their bigoted, racist and false ideology.