Clarke drops plan to close 'extremist' mosques

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Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, has had to ditch plans to close mosques suspected of having extremist links in the face of opposition from Muslim leaders and the police.

The proposal came from Tony Blair in August as part of his 12-point plan for combating terrorism following the July 7 bomb attacks in London. He said: "We will consult on a new power to order closure of a place of worship which is used as a centre for fomenting extremism."

The Muslim Council of Britain said the move would stereotype mosques as "incubators of violent extremism, while the social reality is that they serve as centres of moderation". The Association of Chief Police Officers said the legislation was not "desirable or enforceable" in its current form.