Update: I first wrote this blog in the summer, long before the Paris attacks. I didn’t publish it at the time because it really did sound too extreme. But on reflection, I think that the events of the last 7 days have more than justified publishing the post now.
In my earlier post I suggested that the Government’s proposals to conduct mass surveillance across social media – along with other means of communication – should be supported. I argued that when a country is facing an existential threat, as we are now from violent Islamic extremism, Government policy must reflect the reality facing the country as it did in the Cold War and at other periods when the country’s freedoms were under threat.
I wasn’t arguing for gun turrets on village halls, but I was arguing for the ability to prevent massacres on our own soil at the heart of our society (thereby having to use village halls as temporary morgues). Is this too sensationalist? Time will tell, especially if the likes of David Davis and his civil libertarian cohort manage to prevent the much needed legislation from being passed into law.
But I think we should be doing more. Thankfully the vast majority of Muslim families in this country are vehemently opposed to violence and travelling to Syria would be unthinkable. I welcome that, as most normal people would. So what should we do when the very few do up sticks and travel abroad to join the Islamic State?
Well, anyone who travels to live in the ‘Islamic State’ – essentially condoning a murderous and barbaric sect – or who fights for ISIS should forfeit their right to be British. Their passports should be deleted from the mainframe computer and all records removed. They should cease to exist in this country.
So what about their property and their assets?
There is a simple answer. Their houses should be requisitioned by the Government and sold. The proceeds from the sale, together with their other possessions, should then be paid into a fund to support the families of those people who have died at the hands of ISIS, whether in this country or abroad. Those who wish to do us harm, or support a regime that is intent on doing us harm, should be given no quarter in the UK.
We have to be more intolerant of intolerance.
And that should start now.