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POLITICS: Over 50 'terror apologist' websites banned in France

Over 50 websites have been banned by the French government this month on grounds they 'promote terrorism' 

In the wake of the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo killings, French authorities have continued their crackdown against "The apology of terror" by acting on new powers given to local sheriff-like magistrates. 

After handing out dozens of firm prison sentences to people 'promoting terrorism' in comments or speeches made in public places, including drunk or mentally imbalanced people and small children, the French government has now shut down several news sources. 

The Europe 1 radio channel reports here on the crackdown operation which has involved shutting down up to 50 webpages containing jihadist material.

In a rather spooky Orwellian move, the government has not only shut down the Islamic-news.info website on the grounds that it promotes terror, but searches for this website bring up a red hand symbol (pictured below). Without any message explaining the purpose of these website bans, French authorities are extending their flash powers to a widespread censorship operation across internet media.

UK media have been bizarrely quiet on this matter. Why the silence?

One of the websites which Europe 1 claim is under surveillance by the French government is https://alhayatmedia.wordpress.com/flames-of-war/ . Although this blog does provide a link to the ISIS beheading videos, there is nothing on the blog to suggest it actually promotes jihadism. In a thorough reading of this blog, I can see nothing but straightforward reporting of ISIS actions and behaviour.

It seems that the French government has been given a free pass by UK authorities and media to censor its people. From drunks in public places to 8 year olds in school, authorities have extended reactionary measures to make sure jihadism does not get discussed in any public forum or State-sponsored environment. 

How on earth is this addressing the heart of the problem? These measures constitute a callous move to curtail free speech, ahead of an election which will clearly be run on questions of security and relationships with the French Muslim population. France is still reeling from the brutality of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, and many perceive these measures as a way of preserving their freedom. 

As far as I can tell, nothing could be further from the truth.

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