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Straight after the incident outside Finsbury Park Mosque in the early hours of June 19, when a man drove a van into a crowd of Muslims, Theresa May promised a crackdown on “extremism in all its forms”. The Queen’s Speech, a couple of days later, promptly pledged a Commission for Countering Extremism, which would identify and expose extremist practices and organise the defence of British values.

This all sounds like a decisive response to a sequence of terrorist outrages over the preceding months that included the Manchester bombing and the ISIS-inspired attacks on Westminster and London bridges. Sadly, it is not really the slap of firm government. Rather, it represents an unwelcome continuation of the imprecise and shiftily disingenuous Counter-Extremism Strategy May delivered back in 2015, when she was Home Secretary. Depending on who sits on this new commission, Catholics could face very serious threats to religious freedom in the years to come.


Catholic Herald - Will Catholics be branded ‘extremists’?