Still better than the UK.
None of us can claim to have an insight into why radicalised young people are joining Islamist terrorist groups like ISIS. That’s because most of us don’t have an understanding of political Islam or extremism. However, antifeminist radical blogger Claire Khaw just might be able to have a go at some tentative speculation.
To be clear, she isn’t an ISIS supporter nor does she condone violence. But there are broad ideological similarities between ISIS’ Islamism and Khaw’s Secular Koranism, a one-party Islam-based political and legal system which she apparently invented and hopes to eventually see implemented in Britain.This theocracy would involve abolishing welfare and the NHS and the reintroduction of slavery, public executions and public whippings of “Slut Single Mums”. (I previously interviewed Khaw and her views are also summarised here. She also runs a political blog.) Claire reportedly counts many prominent politicians as Facebook friends and was previously a BNP member. Secular Koranism is a state run on Koranic principles and laws- just like the ‘Islamic State’- but without belief in a deity. This secularist aspect, and (relative to ISIS) lack of violence appear to be the only differences between the ideology of Secular Koranism and that of the ‘Islamic State’. Both ISIS and Khaw, unlike Islam-based theocracies such as Saudi Arabia, openly state a wish for the UK and other countries to adopt their systems.
As you’d expect, Parliament has a lot of security including screening and police officers armed with G-13s. But that doesn’t mean Parliament couldn’t become a target for the next terrorist attack. Here are six ways ISIS could attack Parliament.
1. Liquid bombs. A liquid bomb plot at Heathrow Airport was foiled in 2006, which indicates that terrorists previously used this tactic in London, so may well use it again. In the House of Lords, one of Parliament’s two legislative chambers, bottled water is not allowed. However, handbags are allowed in the public gallery and are not searched. A liquid bomb could be concealed in a handbag and simply kicked or rolled through the curtain which adorns the lower part of the House of Lords’ public gallery. The same applies to throwing acid or pouring petrol over the railing then throwing down a match.There is no police presence in the public gallery (if there are plain-clothes police, they are too far away to stop such an act).
2. Mass attack. There are no security measures which would stop terrorists gaining access to the public gallery in several groups. As there is no time limit for watching debates, terrorists could arrive in different groups over a few hours until the public gallery is packed with terrorists. Even if all they did was jump from the gallery and land on top of, or use physical violence against, politicians, the psychological impact on the public would be huge, especially as Lords debates are televised. Terrorism is largely about inducing public fear, so this would be a relevant tactic even if nobody was killed or even seriously injured.
While the Brexit vs Bremain debate has been- and will continue to be- argued and analysed to death, one very important issue has escaped mainstream attention: human rights. The EU’s European Court of Justice, its laws and its Charter of Fundamental Rights safeguards our human rights more than the European Court of Human Rights. What’s more, the EU’s justice is much easier to access than that available through the ECHR. A case can only be heard by the ECHR once a case has gone through all the domestic courts- which is usually costly and very time-consuming. However, EU law can be applied directly by even the lowest level domestic courts; so if an EU law would mean you’d win your case at the District Court in Glasgow, then win it you shall, and immediately.
EU law protects Britons from age, race, sex, belief, disability and sexuality discrimination (see overview of EU discrimination law here).
The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights further safeguards our rights to privacy, education, being fairly dealt with by the police, and practising our religion/belief amongst many others.
If Britain leaves the EU, we forfeit all of this protection, forever.
Discrimination is ugly. Lack of legal protection is uglier. That society has yet to protect the rights of its fellow members is the ugliest.
Do differences in appearance matter more than differences in DNA? In America, perhaps the answer is Yes.