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UK Muslims who shun Marks & Spencer could be radicals, warns top cop

Britain’s most senior Muslim police officer said countering extremism is a justification for the intrusion of Muslims’ “private space”

Published: Updated:

Britain’s most senior Muslim police officer Mak Chishty has warned that British teenagers who suddenly stop drinking alcohol, socializing, wearing western clothes or even shopping at the Marks & Spencer chain could be in the process of becoming extremists, The Guardian reported.

The commander at London’s Metropolitan Police headquarters Scotland Yard made the statements in light of the hundreds of Britons who have left the UK to join ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

He said countering extremism is a justification for the intrusion of Muslims’ “private space.”

“We need to now be less precious about private space,” he told the Guardian, “this is not about us invading private thoughts, but acknowledging that it is in these private spaces where this (extremism) first germinates. The purpose of private-space intervention is to engage, explore, explain, educate or eradicate. Hate and extremism is not acceptable in our society, and if people cannot be educated, then hate and harmful extremism must be eradicated through all lawful means.”

Chishty said that the move towards wanting more personal space, and shunning certain shops, giving the example of Marks & Spencer which is often mistakenly thought to be Jewish-owned, could be a sign of a move towards radicalization.

Chishty told The Guardian that he fears ISIS propaganda has become so strong that he worries his own children could be influenced by it.

Chishty said that British children as young as five-years-old have begun believing that marking Christmas is “haram,” or forbidden by Islam.

Britain now faces a major tightening in counter-terrorism as they are in “uncharted water” in terms of radicalism. Proposals have been made which include allowing authorities to close down extremist mosques, creating the role of “extremist officer” in prisons and promoting British values.