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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 February 2006, 13:28 GMT
Blair urges terror laws backing
Demonstrators outside the Danish embassy in London
Mr Blair says the glorifying terrorism offence is needed
Tony Blair has called for Conservative leader David Cameron to drop his party's opposition to proposed new laws banning the glorification of terrorism.

His call came in the Commons and follows last week's placard-waving demonstrations in London over cartoons satirising the Prophet Muhammad.

Mr Blair said the vast majority of Muslims in the UK "completely abhor" protests glorifying violence.

He told MPs at question time it was important law breakers were dealt with.

7/7 bombers

Last month peers voted to drop plans to create an offence of "glorifying" terrorism, claiming it would be "confusing" and unworkable.

Ministers immediately vowed to overturn the defeat when the plans in the Terrorism Bill return to the Commons.

I think it is very important we send a very strong signal out that any group or people who glorify terrorism in any way at all will be committing a criminal offence
Tony Blair

The bill was introduced following the London bombings of 7 July last year, in which four suicide bombers killed 52 people.

Mr Blair said last week's protests, glorifying acts or murder and terrorism, had "no place in any part of our community".

"The vast majority of people in the Muslim community across the Muslim world totally abhor acts of terrorism or those who incite terrorism or glorify terrorism."

Mr Cameron said while everyone agreed that existing laws on incitement must be enforced, he asked that police do not turn "a blind eye to those who incite violence or perhaps even worse".

Direct appeal

Mr Blair agreed with him, adding that it was "extremely important the police use the powers that are available to them".

He said the Terrorism Bill, which is due to return to the Commons next week, was designed to "strengthen the law".

"Indirect encouragement to acts of terrorism will be made unlawful and glorification will be mentioned specifically as an example of indirect incitement to terrorism," he said.

He asked Mr Cameron to "look again at this position from the point of view of the Conservative Party".

"We had provisions originally in the bill that would allow us to proscribe groups who glorify terrorism - that has been removed from the legislation in the Lords," he said.

"I think it is very important we send a very strong signal out that any group or people who glorify terrorism in any way at all will be committing a criminal offence and those groups that rely on glorifying terrorism to attract recruits should not be able to operate in our society."


SEE ALSO:
Are Lords out of order on terror?
18 Jan 06 |  UK Politics
Terror plans suffer Lords defeats
17 Jan 06 |  UK Politics
At-a-glance: New terror plans
16 Sep 05 |  UK Politics


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