Terrorists cannot be determined by skin colour or faith

24th Mar 2020

The stereotype that terrorists are Muslim and often Asian has been resoundingly undermined by the latest Home Office stats. For the second consecutive year, figures show that the majority arrested over terrorism are white people, more than any other ethnic group. They disprove the mischievous misconceptions that section of the media as well as many politicians falsely present about Muslims.

In 2004, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination called on states to ensure that any measures taken in the fight against terrorism do not discriminate, in purpose or effect, on the grounds of race, nationality or ethnic origin and that non-citizens are not subjected to profiling or stereotyping.

Yet, sadly this is exactly what Government policies and never-ending bouts of legislation have done, resulting in Muslims being exclusively viewed through the prism of terrorism.

The official quarterly updates on the Operation Of Police Powers Under The Terrorism Legislation for 2018 found that out of 282 terrorist arrests, 88 were identified as having an Asian appearance. It was the first time that the largest classification were whites. Perhaps a blip, but it proved not to be.

Threats posed by right-wing extremists are finally starting to be recognised as the fastest-growing threat not only in Britain but throughout the west. Yet the media, ministers, the courts and even prosecutors have been reluctant to describe their offences as a terrorist. Bafflingly police continue to charge them under non-terrorism legislations.

Ironically, the latest figures come as Ryanair CEO, Michael O’Leary, called for Muslims to be profiled at airports. He told The Times the largest terror threat to airlines was posed by single “males of a Muslim persuasion” travelling alone. The outspoken airline boss even admitted, “You can’t say stuff, because it’s racism.”

It is certainly racist to presume the belief of a perpetrator and subsequently make assumptions about them solely based on their outward appearance to predetermine whether an act of violence is terrorism. The colour of a person’s skin, let alone religious beliefs however distorted they are certainly not the factors to decide regardless of the heinousness of the crime nor extent of fatalities. It would only suggest double standards to do so more so with the latest terrorism figures.

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