Proscribing extremist groups

16 January 2010

The clips above show that these people are a pretty frightening bunch, and they are certainly not the type who should be in control of the state and society.

The problem with banning a group under a certain name is that its members can reform and regroup under another one. Cracking down on individuals who hold abhorrent ideas and views, but not engaged in illegal activities or assembling under the name of the proscribed group, by e.g. imprisoning them without due process would question that state’s commitment to freedom of speech and freedom of association. It is a weird situation. Liberal democracies give space to people who want to destroy them, and the governments are seemingly unable to react to these situations.

The efficacy of banning a group is in doubt, so it was done probably for political purposes. The government must be seen as taking action. But by making this decision, the now proscribed group has enjoyed huge amount of press coverage. Perhaps the government has played into the hands of this group.

In the end, what matters is whether the security services have them under close observation.