Rushanara Ali MP urges Prime Minister to take action against all violent extremist groups, including English Defence League

Rushanara Ali MP has called on the Prime Minister to take urgent action against all forms of extremism, including the threat posed by far-right extremist organisations such as the English Defence League (EDL). This follows an alarming increase in the number of attacks against British Muslims in the wake of the recent murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich.

During the Prime Minister’s statement on Woolwich to the House of Commons, Rushanara condemned the horrific attack on Drummer Rigby and was clear that all of her constituents were united in their condemnation of the attack.

Rushanara told the House of Commons: “I join the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition in relaying on behalf of my constituents, a sizeable proportion of whom are from the British Muslim community, our deepest condolences to the family of Drummer Lee Rigby after his appalling murder.”  In response, the Prime Minister thanked Rushanara for expressing “the strength of feeling in the communities that she represents.”

Rushanara also urged the Prime Minister to take action against all forms of extremism by ensuring the Government's newly established taskforce would examine the possibility of proscribing, or outlawing, groups such as the EDL who pose a serious threat to public order and community relations.

She asked the Prime Minister: “As part of the Prevent strategy and the new Prevent programme, will the Prime Minister look at the impact of the rising level of attacks on Muslim communities, including mosques, and the role of the English Defence League? Will the new taskforce look at proscribing such groups if the evidence suggests that their violent intentions will reinforce conflict in our country?”

The Prime Minister replied: “I can confirm that the taskforce will look at all forms of extremism, and we should be looking at all the best ways of condemning the hate-filled people who are part of the English Defence League. In terms of proscribing organisations, we have to follow the law and what the law itself sets out before taking action.”

Following the statement, Rushanara : “People in Tower Hamlets are rightly concerned about religiously-motivated attacks by far-right extremists. The Government must look very closely at the risk posed to public order by violent extremist groups such as the EDL.”

The full text from the House of Commons statement can be found here.