World

UK Prime Minister May Propose Banning Public 'Hate Speech'

| by Michael Allen

UK Prime Minister David Cameron was recently re-elected in a very tight race, but is wasting no time in proposing some radical changes to free speech in his country.

According to the BBC, Cameron believes that the UK has been a "passively tolerant society" too long and will outline his proposed changes in a speech on May 27.

Cameron's proposed laws will reportedly give the government new extremism disruption orders, tougher immigration laws and allow the state to shut down places (such as mosques) used by extremists in order to confront a "poisonous" extremist ideology.

While the UK doesn't have a First Amendment like the U.S., the Brtitish government and courts have traditionally promoted free speech.

Cameron's proposed orders would likely ban extremist organizations, which do not have to be terrorist groups, from using hate speech in public.

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The Guardian reports that police would be able to ask for a court order to stop the "harmful activities" of an extremist.

The new laws would reportedly stop extremist hate speech in broadcasting and require the submission of content (for web or print) to the police prior to publication.

According to the BBC, extremism would be defined by the UK government as "vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. In addition, calling for the deaths of members of the armed forces."

However, The Guardian notes that these types of laws were proposed in March, but failed because Liberal Democrat members of Parliament believed the rules would violate people's free speech.

Sources: BBC, The Guardian
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