Terrorism duplicity

30th Aug 2013

Anti terrorism legislations enacted since the US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania 15 years ago (pre-9/11) have mainly affected the civil liberties of Muslims in the UK. Muslims have been and continue to be under surveillance in nurseries, schools, universities, hospitals, gyms, mosques – almost every aspect of Muslim life. Their freedom of expression has been affected too. If they support movements who are fighting against occupation like in Palestine or dictatorial regimes like Syria, they may be subject to arrests under these draconian laws as supporting terrorism.

Emergency powers, including the controversial right to stop and search without any real suspicion of a crime, have been given to the police and these powers are so sweeping that they have been found to be in breach of human rights. The main thrust of the anti terror legislation has been to almost entirely focus on Muslims. Only recently, has it been used against extreme right wing white groups, even when some were found with bombs and arsenals of weapons. Were these to have been found with Muslims, there is little doubt as how the power of the law would have been used. However, even bomb attacks against mosques – what one might term as a classic example of a terrorist act – are excluded from the implementation of the terrorism legislation.

As reported by The Muslim News last month, Prime Minister, David Cameron’s reaction to the series of attacks targeting mosques has been derisory, similar to that of the mainstream press. Home Secretary, Theresa May, also declined to issue any clear and unambiguous statement in support of the Muslim community, instead writing an article for a Pakistani newspaper on the attacks. Police were also filmed standing by while an EDL demonstration chanted threats to burn mosques. Were these to have been attacks by Muslims against other communities or threats by Muslims, would there have been the same reaction by our Government, the media or the police?

It was not until Cameron was challenged at the end of Ramadan that he insisted he condemned the series of bombing in the West Midlands and elsewhere, although he still failed to describe the attacks as acts of terrorism. He also revealed, following a campaign by The Muslim News on the lack of condemnation by the Prime Minister on the issue, that the subject his extremism taskforce was also going to look into “violence and extremism suffered by Muslims communities themselves” in a change to current policy. More important than condemnation, he said, was “action.” The extremism taskforce was created after the soldier Lee Rigby was murdered in Woolwich to deal with radicalisation and extremism in the Muslim community.

There is truth in his claim that the Government has changed the counter terrorism PREVENT Strategy to make sure it includes combating all forms of extremism and violence. But this was only after years of warnings by The Muslim News that the growth of right-wing groups was being neglected. Still, there remains only a small section in the PREVENT policy to deal with the growing and real threat faced British Muslim citizens – constituency that seems to have borne the brunt of the terrorism legislation and now the right-wing threat, without the support of the politicians elected to represent them.

2 Responses to “Terrorism duplicity”

Iftikhar AhmadAugust 31, 2013

Terror is the biggest business today at home and abroad. Everyone is a beneficiary. The government gets more clout and more powers over the lives of its hapless subjects through new terror laws and activation of old ones in an atmosphere where no one dares to question the motives of the politicians over the vital issue of “security”. Security forces get immunity for illegal acts and crimes for which they win medals, rewards, promotion and huge funds with no accountability attached.

Newspapers and TV channels improve their circulation and ratings sensationalising real and imaginary terror stories with total impunity as no one would dare question their rightful concern for our safety and security.

The vast majority of Europeans and Americans know very little about Islam. They know hardly any thing about its history and its teachings and do not particularly want to learn, according to a German academic. Very few westerners are bilingual. On the other hand, majority of Muslims are bilingual and have an associated knowledge of other cultures. In this respect, they are far ahead of many western citizens.

Islamic studies is a “Strategic subject” that, when accurately and effectively taught, can aid community cohesion and extremism, according to British Ministers. Islamic studies should be part and parcel of National Curriculum instead of citizenship education so that all state , church and private school children could learn and understand Islamic traditions and values. The subject must be taught by Muslims.


asmaSeptember 13, 2013

If only the border patrol realised that apprehending each and every person that crosses Britains borders (like Muslims currently are) is the only way to root out terrorism completely.


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