Treason

British authorities are looking at charging Muslims clerics with treason, says the Guardian:

The formal process will begin this week of “examining the potential for charging” three prominent Islamic clerics for existing offences including solicitation to murder and incitement to treason, the attorney general’s office confirmed yesterday.

The director of public prosecutions, Ken Macdonald, will meet senior Scotland Yard officers to discuss the cases of Omar Bakri Mohammed, founder of al-Muhajiroun, who has said he would support hostage-taking at British schools if carried out by terrorists with a just cause; Abu Izzadeen, spokesman for al-Ghurabaa – “the Strangers” – who said the suicide bombers in London were “completely praiseworthy”; and Abu Uzair of the Saviour Sect, one of the successor organisations to al-Muhajiroun, who has claimed that the “banner has been risen for jihad inside the UK”.

  • Dishman

    “Solicitation to murder” would be my preferred charge. If they can bring to bear existing law, that’s better than adding some new piece of law to further restrict freedoms.

  • Chip Anderson

    How about sedition? We are talking about Merry Old England here, not the U.S.

  • Jim

    You would think that current law would be enough to deal with deadly threats.
    If not, then there is always martial law with the military taking control of law enforcement in the country. Just drafting new laws as terrorists declare war within your country, on your people seems foolish. The lawyers want to have trials and the terrorists want to burn the court house down or bomb it. I think I would have troops in place. Our government sent troops to Kent State University to shoot protesting students years ago. Today we have new enemies and we are going to legislate, negotiate and send them back to where they came from or build air conditioned jails and give them food and comfort. The leadership in England sounds worse than the leadership in the U.S., which is bad enough.

  • Jim

    I don’t know about sedition. You have the UN, international law and all of that kind of thing. Maybe they’ll find the UN guilty of sedition. Everybody is supposed to be loyal to the UN and screw their own country or something. The world is sure messed up. Maybe they can send UN peace keeping forces into England. Yea, bring in the baby blue helmets. Lock up your wives and daughters if they show up.

  • tonynoboloney

    I kind of liked the old Piracy laws, “Crimes against humanity”. Most of Europe and even the new republic (America) recognized these laws. It would allow for terrorists to be captured or killed wherever they are found. Hopefully that would include hanging them from the yard arms. To expect any help from the U.N. would be futile. As to sedition charges those should be reserved for our duly elected apologist politicians on the left, that would REALLY give them something to bi*ch about.

  • Dean

    “If they can bring to bear existing law, that’s better than adding some new piece of law to further restrict freedoms.”

    True in a sense, but laws to define, prevent, and punish treason do not ‘restrict freedom’ – there exists no ‘freedom’ to commit treason. If the laws of Great Britain are inadequate relative to dealing with treason, then addressing that gap is highly responsible and to be commended.

    Solicitation to murder does not adequately cover the crimes committed. They are not simply trying to murder people, they are murdering to further the religious/political goals of organized groups. Islamist’s who use terror as one of their primary (though not only) weapons against their avowed enemies are not simply soliciting to have someone murdered.

    Murdering people as a means to further religious and political change within a nation demands that laws, process, and punishments account for the treasonous acts of the persons and groups involved as well as their overt acts of murder.

    ‘Jim Says’ wrote: “Just drafting new laws as terrorists declare war within your country, on your people seems foolish.”

    Why? New laws are drafted every day to address issues and problems that arise from progress, societal and political changes, etc., so why should laws that deal with new threats not be drafted, debated, and passed if deemed necessary? Why is that necessarily any more foolish than passage of environmental laws, or laws to govern actions of business?

  • http://oodja.blogspot.com Jersey Exile

    I kind of liked the old Piracy laws, “Crimes against humanity”. Most of Europe and even the new republic (America) recognized these laws. It would allow for terrorists to be captured or killed wherever they are found.

    Yes, but you will recall that piracy was also a perfectly legitimate enterprise for civilized nations to carry out against each other as well at that time. Letters of marque and reprisal, anyone?

    Although I guess there’s nothing to stop Congress from granting a letter of reprisal against bin Laden to a ambitious group of American soldier-of-fortune types… as far as I know that power is still on the books!

  • http://oodja.blogspot.com Jersey Exile

    As for dealing with these Muslim clerics, Crooked Timber knocked this question around a bit a couple of weeks ago the first time Blair sent up some trial balloons about modifying English law. Specifically they explored whether existing conspiracy laws in the U.K. would be adequate to deal with the problem.

  • Jim

    I guess the lawyers can figure it all out, while we all to try to say safe and secure. I’m not against new laws or old ones. All I was trying to say is that the terrorists will just ignore the laws. The new laws seem to be all geared toward expanding police powers. An armed police office, by law, has the power to use a gun and kill a person. How much more power should they have than that?

  • Jim

    The new laws seek to expand political power also. This is almost always popular with politicians and bad for the public.

  • http://tongueuntied.pitas.com china

    Jim, I think that your insight on the Kent State University situation was brilliant. Why are we willing to give these vile humans the rights we nulled back in the (legal!) protests? It’s absolutely ridiculous!

    It even applies to today’s Louisiana disaster. New Orleans is flooded with water and angst. Yet, President Bush (I almost don’t want to capitalize his name- that means he is respectable) focuses his efforts on maiming the Middle Eastern society, as opposed to aiding our American citizens! We weren’t prepared because we didn’t have enough military here to prevent the death toll from being so high! How about working on the defense of America rather than killing some people who oppose us, but have barely any means of doing anything about it?

    What would happen if that was a terrorist attack down in LA? President Bush would blame it on some evil, irretrievable man that he’s had a grudge against for years!!

    /rant.