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Maajid Nawaz: Threats Of Violence A "Double Edge Sword" For Both Brexiteers And Remainers
20 April 2019, 18:27 | Updated: 20 April 2019, 18:30
Maajid Nawaz pinpoints how Brexiteers and Remainers can use the threat of violence to blackmail people into doing what they want, and how it's totally unacceptable.
After journalist Lyra McKee was killed in Northern Ireland on Thursday, Maajid Nawaz explained how threats of violence can not be used as justification for policy decisions, or to blackmail people.
But he warns that the threat of violence doesn't just come from one side as "the threat of violence is a double edge sword".
He said: "We hear this from both sides, and it's totally unacceptable.
"But it's incredibly important during delicate times like these to do two things; not to threaten that if you don't get your way the consequences will be riots in the streets.
"And just as its unacceptable to threaten violence, or to imply a threat of violence, it's also unacceptable to try to silence people from expressing themselves by suggesting that through expressing themselves they are provoking violence."
"Threats of violence, whether by extremists on the Remain or Brexit side, must never be used as a justification for a policy decision or to blackmail people into doing what we want.
"Likewise with these terrorists in Londonderry, who shot Lyra McKee, any violence to try to cajole or force us into following the will of the particular violent faction, is totally unacceptable.
"The issues must be debated, they must be debated without fear that we can not say what we want because we may provoke the other side to violently attack us though at the same time the language we use must be responsible so we are ourselves not inciting any unjustifiable division.
"Another way of implying violence to try to silence people you don't agree with, in other words, you can't say this because it incites xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment and therefore any racist attack that happens as a result of this is directly your fault.
"No it's not.
"Unless they're directly inciting violence, just by them expressing anti-immigration intellectual argument doesn't mean they are now responsible for every racist attack on the street.
"And you can apply this in both directions, the threat of violence is a double edge sword.
"Both sides would be seeking to use the unjustified presence of violence to try to force somebody else to speak or think in a way you want them t, and that's why it's unjustifiable."