Is there no end to the oppression caused by Ashcroft and the Patriot Act? From the Nov. 17 edition of The Economist:
France has a strikingly harsh anti-terrorism policy. It has had no qualms in making the most of laws allowing the detention of terrorist suspects without trial for months on end. All four of its nationals repatriated from Guantánamo Bay were detained on a judge's instruction on their return to France. Dominique de Villepin, Mr Sarkozy's successor as interior minister, has been unyielding in his determination to expel imams guilty of hate crimes. When an expulsion order against Abdelkader Bouziane, an Algerian cleric based near Lyon, was overruled in the courts, Mr de Villepin changed the law — and Mr Bouziane was on the next plane out.UPDATE: Orin Kerr describes more of the Patriot Act's horrors.
For Mr de Villepin, the trade-off between security and civil liberties is a fine one. But he insists "we must never find ourselves in a position of powerlessness". The French monitor activity at mosques across the country, reckoning that of 1,500 Muslim prayer places, some 50 preach a radical form of Islam. * * *
Yet Germany is not oblivious to the threat. As in France, the government is getting tougher on Islamic fundamentalists, even as it tries to foster integration. This double strategy underpins Germany's new immigration law: it facilitates the expulsion of Islamic radicals, but also makes language classes mandatory for immigrants.
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In Germany, as elsewhere, there is now more emphasis on toughness. In October, after four years of legal manoeuvring, Germany ejected Metin Kaplan, the Turkish founder of an illegal Islamic group. There is less tolerance for radical Islamists using legal tricks to stay in Germany. The rule of law must "show its edge", says Otto Schily, the interior minister.