- the rule of law
- individual liberty
- mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.
What are Islamic values? Are they necessarily antithetical to British values?
Islamic morality can be defined because its rules of morality can be easily ascertainable by reference to the Koran eg the prohibition of usury, pork, gambling, alcohol, extramarital sex.
British values cannot be similarly established because there is no authoritative book with the title "British Morality For All Time" said to be written by the Greatest Liberal of All Time. Liberals will doubtless be dismayed to know that the Koran is obviously conceptually superior any other idea including liberalism because it is said to be the directly transcribed Word of God.
Islamic morality is intended to be universal and eternal, unlike British morality, which is indistinguishable from British values and British culture. British values were defined under a Conservative government whose leader and Prime Minister legalised gay marriage. British values were only defined British values in response to those who sought to challenge it by asking the government what they were. The most fundamental British value is of course the right to have extramarital sex, which is now regarded as an inalienable human right. The evil consequences of these values have been described at http://uk.reuters.com/article/2007/11/12/uk-britain-motto-idUKL1256515520071112
In my view, the exercise of defining British values is futile and illogical. It is illogical to define British values simply because they are bound to change if it is indeed the case that British values means British morality and it is the law's role to limit our immorality. The law changes from time to time and government to government. After a revolution, the morality that emerges is bound to be radically different to the morality that was in existence before the revolution. To advocate the return to pre-revolutionary laws would mean one is a reactionary, or a counter-revolutionary and therefore a security threat to the current regime, with grave consequences for our reputation, career and perhaps liberty and life itself. Even without a revolution, morality changes but more gradually, for example when a Labour government repeals a law passed by a Conservative government or vice versa, or when a Conservative Prime Minister legalises gay marriage.
On the grounds of individual liberty we should of course be allowed to say that the current system of morality is not one we ought to have, give reasons and propose changes which can only be done by changing the law (eg repealing or passing an Act of Parliament) or by changing the government (eg Labour, Conservative, UKIP etc) or indeed changing the entire system of government (eg from a representative democracy to a Caliphate, dictatorship, one-party state, theocracy etc).
If we cannot do this without being arrested for inviting support for a proscribed organisation under s 12 of the Terrorism Act 2000, as Anjem Choudary was, are even those who articulated and commissioned the declaration of British values breaking their own rules?
If the government is breaking its own rules - the one concerning upholding the rule of law as well as the one about individual liberty (which must surely include freedom of expression and freedom of belief) - then British values as pronounced by the British government is a sham. They were only declared so that those who question and challenge it can be demonised as extremists and then categorised as potential terrorists, as a way of intimidating those who are thinking of speaking out as well as punishing those who already have.