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Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam
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  1. #1
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    Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam (OP)


    Salaam

    Event: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Recent events from the Middle East have placed the Muslim community in Britain in the public eye once more with their every word and action coming under microscopic scrutiny by the media and politicians. This is only the latest chapter in an ideological attack that has been ongoing for significantly longer.

    Whereas the attacks on Islamic concepts of war, political governance and the unity of Muslim lands are nothing new, they have now increased on an unprecedented scale in the wake of the rise of ISIS and its declaration of a Caliphate. The matter is not about supporting or opposing the version of a Caliphate as demonstrated by ISIS but rather the criminalisation of Islamic political thought and ideology. The concepts of jihad, shariah and khilafah are not the exclusive possession of ISIS but core Islamic doctrines subscribed to by almost one third's of the world's population. It is telling that the government's treatment of ISIS is similar to its treatment of Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hizb-ut Tahrir, and the Taliban, despite the enormous differences of belief and methodology between the groups.

    The Islamophobic nature of the criminalisation of those who believe in fighting in Syria against Assad is underlined by the lack of concern for British Jews who fight in the Israeli Occupation Forces, particularly at times where they are engaged in war crimes and other atrocities, such as the recent attack on Gaza.

    On the flips side, Muslims who wish to aid their brothers and sisters through the provision of humanitarian aid via aid convoys are having their homes raided, being harassed by the security services and are effectively being accused of engaging in terrorism. Charities are having their bank accounts closed without explanation and are coming under investigation by the Charity Commission simply for being involved in crisis zones like Gaza and Syria. Witch-hunts such as the Trojan Horse hoax and the mass hysteria over issues of the niqab, halal food and conservative Muslim values demonstrate that the criminalisation is spreading beyond Middle Eastern politics. Individuals and organisations within the Muslim community who have been speaking out against these policies are now under attack. They have had their organisation, business and bank accounts arbitrarily closed. Even their children's bank accounts have been closed. They are maligned in the media as terrorist sympathisers, extremists and jihadists. Some have even been imprisoned.

    The common element across all these cases is that those targeted cared for the oppressed and for those who are suffering. They have been criminalised because they cared.

    Join CAGE at this series of events around the country to unite the Muslim communities against this criminalisation of our faith, our beliefs, our mosques and organisations, and our leaders. The following regional events will take place with the large conference taking place on 20 September at the Waterlily in London.

    Sunday 14 September - 6pm

    Pakistani Community Centre, Park Hall, London Road, Reading RG1 2PA

    Jamal Harwood
    Dr Adnan Siddiqui
    Dr Uthman Lateef
    Anas al-Tikriti
    Taji Mustafa
    Wednesday 17 September - 7pm
    East Pearl Banqueting Centre, Longsight, Manchester
    Ibrahim Hewitt
    Abdullah Andalusi
    Jahangir Mohammed

    Friday 19 September - 6.30pm

    Muslim Student House (the Daar), Moseley, Birmingham

    Dr Uthman Lateef
    Ismail Adam Patel
    Abdullah Andalusi
    Dr Abdul Wahid
    Fahad Ansari

    http://www.cageuk.org/event/it-crime-care

  2. #21
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

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    Have been involved in sending aid to Syria and am personally aware of convoys sent and successfully so.

    Am also personally aware of some people who went to Syria to fight and die for there cause...

    And also how that has been reported by the media.

    I fail to see how this is relevant to ISIS or in any way islamifies there actions..

    They are no part of me I hope.

    Have also constantly sent aid to Palestine to rebuild so they can destroy again...

    Sometimes the words are just wrong. Sometimes the tactics are just wrong.

    But its the same government that has a list of names..

    People who ordered issues of the Charlie hebdo magazine to the UK.

    Will still give to all causes but only Allah swt changes the state of the people.
    Last edited by M.I.A.; 02-15-2015 at 02:48 PM.

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  4. #22
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Another update

    Response to Telegraph Article “Worried about Muslims in Britain? Here’s the answer”

    On the 13th February 2015, a Telegraph journalist, James Kirkup, wrote a piece titled “Worried about Muslims in Britain? Here’s the Answer” presenting an argument that Muslim integration can be better approached by taking an economic perspective rather than a “British Values” one.

    The data he presented showed that;

    Muslim’s are less likely to have degrees now than they were from the previous census compared to the overall population. James argued this is partly down to gender, since in the population as a whole young women are more likely to go to university than young men, whilst amongst British Muslims the pattern is reversed.

    • Other religious groups also outperform British Muslims: 30.1 per cent of Sikhs have degrees, and 44.6 per cent of Hindus whilst 27.2% of Muslims have degrees.
    • Whilst Muslims are only slightly under-represented in the higher managerial groups, there are major gaps in the lower managerial, administrative jobs.
    • Some 21.3% of British Muslims have never worked (a figure that excludes full-time students), the figure for the UK as a whole is 4.3%
    • The 10% of council wards that count as the most deprived parts of the country are now home to 1.2 million Muslims, around 46% of the total. In 2001, this was only 33% of Muslims lived in Britain’s poorest places.



    He then connected this data to a conclusion made by BSA surveys that concluded “much of the difference on socio-moral opinions was due to socio-economic disadvantage and high religiosity, both factors which predict social conservatism among all Britons and not just Muslims.” He then summarised by presenting a new way to look at solving the integration problem though the lens of economics i.e focus on the economics and the values will “take care of themselves.[1]”

    Having read and thought about his article, I found his proposal to be indicative of the typical capitalist approach towards viewing human problems through the lens of cash. In a way it’s also quite insulting to imply that throwing money at Muslims will equate to the adoption of secular liberal values as though our Islam is only worth a few extra sterling. Moreover, the data he presented was selective and ignores some key statistics that can also be found in the same MCB report.

    Firstly, he chose to use the “Never-worked” statistic to insinuate that Muslims are economically deprived. Whilst the figure excluded full-time students, he forgets to mention that over half of the British Muslim population are under 25 which include all types of students and that one in ten babies born are Muslim even though Muslims count for 4.8% of the total population. In other words, the Muslim population is very young hence the disproportionate statistics compared to the overall population. The actual unemployment rate is 7.2% compared to 4.0% which is a much more accurate figure to describe their economic activity/inactivity[2]. This can be explained due to racial discrimination, Islamaphobia and employment inequality.

    Secondly, the reversed pattern in male/female degrees compared to the rest of the society is due to Muslim women prioritising children and family than working due to the Islamic viewpoint on gender roles in society (Of Muslim women in the 16-74 age band, 18% are ‘looking after home or family’ compared to 6% in the overall population). However, this does not imply that they are less educated than men, for example 43% of the 329,694 Muslim full-time students are female and there are a number of local authority districts where the population of Muslim women in full-time education exceeds men. The discrepancy in degrees is due to the pursuance of different priorities to Non-Muslim women who prioritise careers over children.

    Thirdly, patterns of Muslim migration differ to Hindus and Sikhs. Muslims migrated from villages following the construction of the Mangla Dam in the early 60s that submerged 250 villages and displaced 100,000 people, half of which moved to Britain and were relatively poorer, lacking education from their home country compared to Hindus who migrated from African cities mostly from Kenya and Uganda as certain African regimes encouraged a policy of Africanisation. They were better educated than the earlier immigrants, many of them were professionals or from skilled trades and already had experience of thriving in a minority community.

    Moreover, the more affluent, the more British theory doesn’t explain why second generation Muslim professionals such as teachers feel the need to strongly hold on to and teach conservative Islamic values in schools, or why Muslims have invested millions of pounds into Mosques and private Islamic schools self-funded through donations by the affluent section of the community or why millions of Muslim professionals have expressed deep affinity to their brethren in the Muslim world by criticising British foreign policy and why the government’s assimilation strategy has utterly failed leading them to implement draconian policies such as the CTS bill that aims to root out conservative Islamic values from the mainstream Muslim community of Britain.

    To me, it makes complete sense why the media and politicians focus on values rather than economics, for ultimately the Muslims can engage in economic activity and can be economically prosperous without compromising on their Islamic values.

    http://www.hizb.org.uk/current-affairs/response-to-telegraph-article-worried-about-muslims-in-britain-heres-the-answer

  5. #23
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    The fraud Obama speaks. Have to admire the gall of this man

    Obama says the West is not at war with Islam

    US president urged Muslim communities, including scholars and clerics, to push back on twisted interpretations of Islam.


    US President Barack Obama has reiterated his call for the world "to stand up to violent extremism", saying that violent groups peddle a lie that there is a clash of civilisations.

    Obama said on Thursday that there was a complicated history between the Middle East and the West and no one should be immune from criticism over specific policies.

    "But the notion that the West is at war with Islam is an ugly lie," he said. "And all of us, regardless of our faith, have a responsibility to reject it," he told a three-day conference at a White House summit on so-called violent extremism.

    "Muslim communities, including scholars and clerics, therefore have a responsibility to push back not just on twisted interpretations of Islam, but also on the lie that we are somehow engaged in a clash of civilisations," the US president said.

    Obama said that the US will continue the fight against al-Qaeda and its affiliates in Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia a day after he said that those fighting for ISIL and al-Qaeda were not religious leaders, but "terrorists".
    "We are united against scourge of violent extremism and terrorism. As we speak, ISIL is terrorising people of Syria and Iraq, involved in wanton murder of children, enslavement and rape of women and beheading of hostages," he said.

    In his speech, Obama pledged that "in Iraq and Syria, our coalition of some 60 nations, including Arab nations, will not relent in our mission to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL", referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant by its acronym.

    Obama asked Middle Eastern countries to stop actions that he claimed have stoked the rise of ISIL, al-Qaeda and others.

    Fighting between Sunnis and Shia "will only end when major powers address their differences through dialogue and not through proxy wars", he said.

    Syria and Iraq blamed

    Obama blamed the governments of Syria and Iraq for the emergence of ISIL.

    "In Iraq, the failure of the previous government to govern in an inclusive manner helped to pave the way for ISIL's gains there," he said.

    In Syria, Bashar al-Assad's "war against his own people and deliberate stoking of sectarian tensions help to fuel the rise of ISIL", he said.

    During the summit's closing session at the State Department, Obama urged delegate to "confront the warped ideology" espoused by armed groups.

    "These terrorists are desperate for legitimacy and all us have a responsibility to refute the notion that groups like ISIL somehow represent Islam, because that is a falsehood that embraces the terrorist narrative," Obama said.

    He urged Arab countries in particular to take steps to quell sectarian violence and boost economic and educational opportunities for young people susceptible to recruitment by armed groups.

    Obama also announced the creation of a joint digital monitoring centre with the UAE.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2015/02/obama-west-war-islam-150219202815818.html

  6. #24
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Another update

    5 STEPS TO PREVENT “EXTREMISM” THE FRENCH WAY

    France has recently taken measures in order to avoid what it describes as “radicalism”, “extremism” and “jihadism”, in an attempt to follow the PREVENT blueprint implemented in the UK, which once started as just a policy but is now becoming law. This article takes you through the 5 step plan to identify and prevent extremism from a French perspective, through seemingly disproportionate and extrajudicial means. This is the plan...

    Spot the « radicals » and report them

    The French government launched a website called “stop jihadism”. It is a platform to encourage the population to report on their fellow citizens if they spot any signs of “radicalisation”.

    According to the French government, these are the signs you should look out for in order to identify a “jihadist”:

    • suspicious about old friends
    • rejects members of the family
    • suddenly changing food habits
    • stops school
    • stops listening to music
    • stops watching TV or going to the cinema
    • stops playing a sport (because it's mixed)
    • changes clothing (hides shape if she is a woman)
    • spends time on the internet and social media
    • But also, they become withdrawn within themselves, they start to speak in an asocial manner and reject any form of authority or contribution to community life. Incidentally this is probably the definition of the average French citizen living in the UK.


    Prosecute everyone and anyone

    While many have made light of this, for some in France, the laughter has turned sour:

    In just 22 days, between 7 and 29 January, the French justice ministry said that, there had been 486 legal cases linked to the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

    Of these, 257 were cases of people accused of condoning or provoking terrorism.

    These included:

    A man who after a psychiatric report was conducted was found to have slight learning difficulties. He was sentenced to six months in prison after drunkenly shouting at police officers in the street: “They killed Charlie, I laughed.”
    A 21-year-old drunken man with no criminal record who had resisted arrest. He said he had been wrestled to the ground by police. While begging them to stop hurting him, he had allegedly shouted a torrent of insults including: “You’ll see, the jihadis will put a bullet in your head. Look at the damage they’ve done. My cousin Coulibaly [the gunman who killed a police officer and four people at a kosher supermarket] didn’t kill enough of you.” He was immediately brought before a judge and denied having said it. He was sentenced to eight months in prison plus eight months suspended sentence for glorifying terrorism.
    A man was arrested for drunk-driving in the north of France, he shouted at police officers: “There should be more Kouachi’s [the name of the brothers behind the Charlie Hebdo attack]. I hope that you’ll be next.” He was sentenced to four years in prison.

    Interrogate the kids

    Ahmed, only 8 years old, was interrogated by the police in the south of France.

    His Head teacher had reported him for allegedly saying “I’m with the terrorists”. When the police asked him what terrorism was, the young boy did not know.

    The Head teacher had previously been accused of bullying, mistreating the child amid islamophobic and racist remarks.

    A few days later, a father lodged a complaint for defamation after his 9 year-old son was interrogated by police. He had initially been reported to the police by the school canteen.

    Forget the courts, shut down websites

    On 9 February 2015, a decree allowed the French government to block websites accused of promoting terrorism without a court order.

    Critics say it will not prevent any attack and will likely be used to ban legitimate content.

    But refuse to condemn the glorification of Nazism

    In November 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to combat the glorification of Nazism and Neo-Nazism and all forms of racism, xenophobia and intolerance.

    France chose to abstain, so did the UK. The US voted against it.

    http://www.cageuk.org/article/5-steps-prevent-%E2%80%9Cextremism%E2%80%9D-french-way

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  8. #25
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Another update

    Islamic charities lose millions as ‘risk-averse’ banks block donations – think tank

    Millions of pounds worth of donations to British charities have been blocked or returned by global banks, amid terror financing concerns. Humanitarian operations in Syria, Iraq and Gaza are in jeopardy as a result, a think tank warns.
    In recent months, a slew of international banks including HSBC, UBS and NatWest have frozen accounts held by UK-registered charities and global NGOs that deliver aid to crisis-ridden conflict zones.

    International development think tank, the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), warns banks’ “overly risk-averse action” towards charitable organizations and NGOs in Britain is a direct result of UK counter-terror legislation.
    In a report, published Thursday, the think tank called for the Treasury to offer banks concrete guidance on how they should respond to Britain’s counter-terror laws.

    Disproportionate targeting of Islamic charities

    Muslim charities, based in Britain, argue they are being disproportionately singled out by UK authorities.
    Since April 2012 alone, over 25 percent of all statutory probes launched by Britain’s Charity Commission have targeted Islamic organizations. The ODI warns these statistics are troubling.

    In its report, ‘UK humanitarian aid in the age of counter-terrorism: Perceptions and reality,’ the think tank revealed one charity was forced to forgo donations amounting to £2 million over the past year due to funds being suspended by a bank.
    The ODI’s research also suggests aid workers based abroad have had their wages blocked or delayed regularly by banks.

    CAGE: Vilified but determined

    The ODI's report comes as British charity the Joseph Rowntree Trust faces increasing pressure from MPs to clarify its allocation of funds to UK advocacy group CAGE.
    The campaign group, which actively seeks to support victims impacted by the ‘War on Terror,’ liaised with Mohammed Emwazi, otherwise known as ‘Jihadi John,’ over a number of years.

    Its relationship began with the Islamic State executioner when he visited its modest East London office block in 2009.
    After describing Emwazi as a once “beautiful man” who had endured severe harassment at the hands of UK security services, the advocacy group’s research director Asim Qureshi was vilified last week by UK MPs and media commentators.

    In response to Qureshi’s remarks, Home Secretary Theresa May told MPs she condemns anyone who “attempts to excuse that barbarism away.”
    British government-backed regulator, the Charity Commission, subsequently launched a probe into CAGE’s financial activities.

    Investigators are inquiring whether CAGE’s financiers, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, had ensured the advocacy group was utilizing its grants in an acceptable manner. The investigation is ongoing.
    In a formal statement, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust said it issued three separate grants to CAGE between 2007 and 2010 – amounting to £350,000. It clarified further it offered a fourth grant payment to the advocacy group in January 2014.

    The trust maintains it stands by its decision to offer this funding.
    “We believe [CAGE] has played an important role in highlighting the ongoing abuses at Guantanamo Bay and at many other sites around the world, including many instances of torture,” the trust said.

    Labour MP John Spellar, however, described CAGE as “apologists for terrorism.”
    He called for supporters and funders of the advocacy group to dissociate from it entirely.

    CAGE is critical of UK authorities’ role in radicalizing Emwazi. It maintains British spies cannot continue to operate with impunity, and the state’s secret services should be made accountable for their actions.
    Qureshi, the group’s research director, rejects recent criticism leveled at the campaign group, and suggests it is politically motivated.

    “Certain media organizations [and] right-wing think tanks don't like our narrative as it goes against the prevailing national security paradigm,” he told Reuters.

    US ripple effect

    The ODI’s report concluded guidance offered by the British Treasury on how banks should respond to UK counter-terror legislation is sorely lacking and is the primary reason why charities’ funds are being blocked.
    Tom Keatinge, a financial researcher for the ODI, says America’s legal and political climate has deeply sensitized global banks to US regulations.

    He argues the “extra-territorial reach” of American authorities in pursuing banks “has had a chilling effect on risk appetite globally.”
    He stresses global banks’ decision-making processes are often heavily influenced by American regulations irrespective of their jurisdiction.

    http://rt.com/uk/238069-charities-funding-blocked-banks/

  9. #26
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Another update

    CAGE RESPONSE TO THE CHARITY COMMISSION

    (London, UK) CAGE issues this response to the Charity Commission's statement released today regarding the discontinuance of funding that JRCT and The Roddick Foundation used to provide.

    CAGE's spokesperson, Amandla Thomas-Johnson said,

    "We respect their decision. We thank them for their past support. Both of these charities have played a significant role in contributing to the development of Muslim civil society here in the UK. We anticipated this decision ever since William Shawcross, a leading member of the neo-conservative think tank, Henry Jackson Society took over the Charity Commission. This is just another manifestation of their objective of pursuing a Cold War on British Islam.

    CAGE will remain committed to its principle of speaking truth to power and calling for accountability and transparency. We will not hesitate in performing our role as whistleblowers and as advocates for due process."

    http://www.cageuk.org/press-release/cage-response-charity-commission

  10. #27
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Another update, seems the British government needs to refine its propaganda campaigns.

    UK anti-radicalisation Prevent strategy a ‘toxic brand’

    Former senior police officer Dal Babu says many Muslims see scheme as spying and many of those involved in it do not understand the communities they serve


    The British government’s flagship anti-radicalisation strategy, Prevent, has become a toxic brand and is widely mistrusted, a former senior Muslim police officer has said.

    Dal Babu, who was a chief superintendent with the Metropolitan police before he retired two years ago, said most Muslims were suspicious of the scheme and see it as a tool for spying on them.

    Babu told the BBC that the £40m Prevent programme started off as a good idea but had become less and less trusted.

    “We’ve had situations where cameras have been implemented without the community understanding in Birmingham,” he said. “A huge amount of money has been spent on this. At a time when we have limited resources we really need to make sure that we measure it.”

    Prevent was introduced as part of the government’s post-9/11 counter-terrorism strategy, aimed at stopping people becoming terrorists.

    However, the strategy remains deeply controversial. Critics believe Prevent is counter-productive and discriminates against Muslims, while others have said there is no clear way to measure its effectiveness.

    Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme, Babu said counter-extremism officials “should not be putting Muslim community in a separate box when it comes to safeguarding vulnerable young people”.

    He said there was a “spectacular lack of diversity” in local safeguarding services and police forces that meant many of those involved in Prevent did not understand the communities they serve, particularly in cities such as London and Birmingham.

    Babu – who has been involved with the National Association of Muslim Police and was chairman of the Association of Muslim Officers within the Met – added that Prevent money had been given to organisations such as the counter-extremism thinktank Quilliam Foundation, which he said was viewed with deep suspicion in the Muslim community.

    “People had an open mind when [Prevent] first came in,” he said. “Over the years you’ve had the issue about cameras that caused a huge level of mistrust. But actually the organisations that the government have been prepared to talk to have been very, very challenging.”

    Britain’s most senior counter-terrorism officer, Sir Peter Fahy, accepted that Prevent was hampered in its early days by concerns in the Muslim community about the Iraq war. Overall, however, he said the programme had been very successful.

    “What you’ve got to do is make sure this is about safeguarding more in general. There is a danger in saying this is just about the Muslim community because I think all parents agonise about how you get the right balance between allowing your children some freedom and trying to protect them, particularly when you’ve got all this material on social media,” he said.

    “But I’ve got to be really clear here: the prime responsibility for stopping young people going to Syria and being attracted by Isis has to lie with parents. If there’s one thing possibly we have made a mistake in Prevent is if we have created the impression that that somehow it is the job of the police.”

    Asid Sadiq,president of of the National Association of Muslim Police, said he disagreed with Babu’s criticism’s of Prevent.

    He told the Guardian: “Prevent has moved on a lot. Initially there were some teething problems but it is now moving in the right direction. I think Prevent is working quite well. It has made a difference. Del is entitled to his opinion, we’ve made a lot of progress.”

    Sadiq diagreed that Prevent was a “toxic brand” or seen as a spy program: “People do understand the importance of it,” he said.

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/mar/09/anti-radicalisation-prevent-strategy-a-toxic-brand

  11. #28
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Another update

    ‘Prevent’ is not just a toxic brand, it is a toxic agenda that needs challenging

    Former Metropolitan Police commander, Dal Babu, has argued that the government’s counter-extremism policy, ‘Prevent’, has become a ‘toxic brand’ viewed with suspicion by Muslims in the UK. His comments were reported a day after the Sunday Telegraph announced a planned extension of counter-extremism powers by Home Secretary Theresa May, which were largely welcomed by Shadow ‘Justice’ spokesman, Sadiq Khan – illustrating the ‘arms race’ between the main parties as each tries to appear tougher on ‘extremism’ than the other.

    Taji Mustafa, Media Representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Britain commented, “’Prevent’ has rightly become a toxic brand – not because it has been wrongly executed or misunderstood, but because it is a fundamentally flawed and ‘toxic’ agenda.”

    “It has been built on the false premise that the more Islamic a person is, the more of a potential threat they are.”

    “It has worked on a presumption that those with Islamic values or political views that dissent from the state’s standpoint are to be considered suspect, so needing state-organised reprogramming through the Channel programme.”

    “It has quite deliberately deflected attention away from foreign policy, even though that link to acts of violence within the UK is well established.”

    “It is a policy that uses a security narrative to counter political and religious beliefs. This was made clearer when, in December 2014, police chief Sir Peter Fahy said that the police risk being turned into a “thought police”.”

    “It is a policy that is more commonly seen in totalitarian states. In the same comment, Fahy pointed out that since there was no precise definition of ‘extremism’, the police had worked to their own definitions, and expressed concerns that this was on the road to a “police state”.”

    “The recent Counter-Terrorism and Security Act now places this role of thought policing and referral for reprogramming with teachers, nursery workers, health workers and universities – bringing echoes of 1950s McCarthyism or even the Stasi in East Germany.”

    “Hizb ut-Tahrir feels it is mandatory to further expose this malicious and flawed agenda to the Muslim community and to the wider society – and we state our intention to continue to do this as we have done for over a decade.”

    http://www.hizb.org.uk/press-releases/prevent-is-not-just-a-toxic-brand-it-is-a-toxic-agenda-that-needs-challenging

  12. #29
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    oh dear, its getting worse

    Extremism in Britain: Now the crackdown is launched

    The Government is planning a series of tough new measures to combat the growing threat from Islamist extremists.

    A leaked draft of the Home Office’s new counter-extremism strategy, seen by The Telegraph, targets Sharia courts and calls for a ban on radicals working unsupervised with children over fears the young could be brainwashed.

    Other measures include a requirement that staff at job centres identify vulnerable claimants who may become targets for radicalisation, after public outrage at people who hate Britain being able to live off the state.

    There will also be an introduction of penalties in the benefits system to make people learn English to improve their integration into British society.

    The rules on granting citizenship will also be tightened to ensure new residents embrace “British values”.

    The crackdown is part of a new “get tough” strategy to deal with the perceived growing threat to the UK from Islamist extremists.

    It follows the unmasking of “Jihadi John” as Mohammed Emwazi, a 26-year-old university graduate radicalised in London, and the attacks on Paris in January by a French terrorist cell with links to Britain.

    The new report, drawn up by the Home Office with a foreword by Theresa May, the Home Secretary, will spearhead a drive to thwart extremists and attempt to prevent the radicalisation of young British Muslims. The Sunday Telegraph has been told that the number of jihadists who have now travelled to Syria to fight with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) has exceeded more than 700.

    Of those, about 320 “dangerous” jihadists have now returned to the UK after fighting with Isil, reinforcing the urgent need in Whitehall for a new set of anti-extremist measures.

    The new counter-extremism policy targets a much broader problem than just finding and catching terrorists and aims to tackle radical preachers and individuals who try to brainwash others and encourage them to embrace extremist views.

    The new approach strengthens Mrs May’s grip on how the Government tackles extremists. Responsibility previously lay with Eric Pickles at the Department for Communities and Local Government.

    But his department has attracted criticism within government for being too sympathetic to Islamist groups.

    Last year, Mrs May promised to “undermine and eliminate extremism in all its forms”. The Home Office draft document says it is not “primarily” directed at terrorism, but at behaviour which, while “often legal”, is said to cause social division and “very significant damage to our communities”.

    Such behaviour includes hate speech by extremist preachers, the activities of some local authorities and plots such as the “Trojan Horse” conspiracy in Birmingham where hardline Muslims pushed out secular head teachers to Islamise non-faith state schools.

    Other extremist behaviour targeted under the crackdown is likely to include violence against women, such as female genital mutilation and honour killings.

    The strategy’s publication has been delayed for months amid arguments about how strongly worded it should be.

    The Sunday Telegraph understands that it will be published before Parliament is dissolved for the general election at the end of the month but could be implemented immediately.

    The document says that “in the past, there has been a risk that the Government sends an ambivalent and dangerous message – that it doesn’t really matter if you don’t believe in democracy”.

    It adds: “We need to stand up and be more assertive in promoting our values and challenging the extremists who fundamentally oppose them.

    “This will include explaining our foreign policy [and] promoting mainstream voices supporting the quiet majority in all communities who oppose extremism.”

    Sharia courts and councils, which are used by some Muslims to resolve disputes and have been accused of operating a “parallel system of law”, are one focus of the document.

    It says that the Government is “concerned about the way Sharia councils are working in some parts of the country” with “troubling reports that in some areas women have suffered from the way these councils work, either through forced marriage or discriminatory divorce proceedings.”

    The strategy calls for an “independent review” into the Sharia courts’ operation and also makes specific reference to the “particularly concerning” Trojan Horse plot, which it says was “not an isolated example of schools where extreme views became prevalent… we have seen evidence of extremist ‘entryism’ where extremists have consciously sought to gain positions of influence to better enable them to promote their own values”.

    It says that universities, charities and local councils are especially vulnerable to entryism. It names the London borough of Tower Hamlets as a place where “widespread allegations of extremism, homophobia and anti-Semitism have been allowed to fester without proper challenge” and where the council’s “abuse of taxpayers’ money” and “culture of cronyism” have been reflected in “partisan community politics that was to the detriment of integration and community cohesion”.

    Last night details emerged of another example of alleged “entryism”. The Sunday Telegraph can disclose that an extremist who has called for the killing of British troops, Azad Ali, was joined in Parliament by the Labour MPs Yasmin Qureshi, Andy Slaughter and Gerald Kaufman and Sayeeda Warsi, the former Tory communities minister, to launch a “Muslim manifesto” for the general election.

    The manifesto, by Mr Ali’s group, Mend, promotes the Islamist agenda of Muslim grievance and victimhood and includes demonstrable lies, such as a claim that the killing of Drummer Lee Rigby led to the murder of a Muslim man, Mohammed Saleem, in Birmingham.

    Mr Saleem was actually killed three weeks before the Rigby attack. Mend is the new name for a group, Iengage, which was removed as administrative support to the all-party parliamentary group on Islamophobia for its links to extremism.

    Under the new plan, councils will have to “take steps to ensure the safeguarding of children in hitherto unregulated places”, such as supplementary schools and tuition centres. One teacher at the centre of the Trojan Horse scandal has been handed an interim ban but has instead set up a private tuition centre, which nothing currently prevents him from doing. The new document also promises tighter rules on the granting of British citizenship, saying that any applicant will have to “prove adherence to British values and active participation in society”.

    Refugees who otherwise qualify for asylum will not be given it if they cross a “carefully defined legal threshold” of extremism or opposition to British values. Instead they will be given a “new form of restrictive leave to remain”.

    Even visitors will have to comply, with “British values” made “an integral part of applying for a visa”.

    The strategy says that the Government “will introduce the power to refuse or remove licences to sponsor visa applications from any institution in the UK which promotes extremist views or knowingly and without challenge hosts extremist speakers”.

    A number of universities, including Emwazi’s alma mater, Westminster, could be caught by this provision, which would seriously affect their income from overseas students. The launch of the Home Office anti-extremism strategy could well now coincide with a Downing Street report into the Muslim Brotherhood due imminently.

    The report into the Muslim Brotherhood, the world’s most influential Islamist organisation, is expected to denounce the group as the “ideological precursor to terrorism”.

    The report is so sensitive it will not be made public in full but a two-page executive summary is due to be published in the next fortnight.

    http://www.hizb.org.uk/news-watch/extremism-in-britain-now-the-crackdown-is-launched

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  14. #30
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Another update

    It isn’t Facebook that feeds terror. It’s war and tyranny

    It takes some mastery of spin to turn the litany of intelligence failures over last year’s butchery of the off-duty soldier Lee Rigby into a campaign against Facebook. But that’s exactly how David Cameron’s government and a pliant media have disposed of the report by Westminster’s committee of intelligence trusties.

    You might have expected Whitehall’s security machine to be in the frame for its spectacular incompetence in spying on the two killers: from filling out surveillance applications wrongly and losing one suspect’s house number, to closing down the surveillance of another – just as the pair were preparing the Woolwich attack.

    Centre stage might have been the admission that British intelligence could have been “complicit” in Michael Adebolajo’s torture in Kenya, and tried to cover that up. There is evidence that MI5’s attempts to recruit the Muslim convert on his return to Britain played a part in triggering the killing – though the trusties thought better than to inquire too closely into the matter.

    Instead it was the US internet giant, Britain’s prime minister insisted, that was really to blame. Facebook had “blood on their hands”, the Sun declared, as the Daily Mail denounced the Mark Zuckerberg corporation’s “twisted libertarian ideology”.

    It’s nonsense, of course, but it gets the authorities off the hook. The spooks couldn’t handle the intelligence they had, and the US tech companies already operate in collusion with western governments. As Richard Barrett, MI6’s former counter-terrorism director, points out, the scale of material the internet barons would need to dredge would overwhelm the security services, let alone the companies.

    No matter. The Rigby report’s timing was ideal for the government, which is launching the seventh anti-terrorism bill since 2000 – including new measures for the internal exile of suspects, crackdowns on schools and universities that fail to act against “extremists”, and requirements on internet service providers to hand over users’ identities.

    Theresa May says Britain is facing the greatest terrorism threat in its history, and that the security services have foiled 40 plots since 2005. Who would know? Even ministers are in no position to judge the claims securocrats make about themselves. For the intelligence agencies the terror threat is good for business – as Cameron made clear this week when he announced another £130m for their already swollen budgets.

    That there is a small number of would-be jihadists prepared to carry out acts of carnage in revenge for British and western bloodletting in the Muslim world is not in doubt. But, given the ease of carrying out low-tech atrocities – and the scale of the IRA’s armed campaign of the 70s and 80s – it’s striking how few there have actually been.

    But the war on terror has now become a war without end: a permanent state where a politically constructed “national security” trumps the actual security of citizens and feeds a continual ideological campaign to discipline and intimidate the Muslim community.

    For politicians, the promotion of customised “British values” has the advantage of putting themselves on the right side of the new culture wars while dogwhistling to racism in the process. But it certainly does nothing for community integration or public safety.

    The anti-Muslim drumbeat is relentless. In the wake of the “Trojan horse” onslaught against mainly Muslim state schools in Birmingham, which branded conservative religiosity “extremism”, politically directed Ofsted inspectors have now turned their attention to east London.

    Six Muslim schools in Tower Hamlets have been failed and a majority-Muslim state secondary school with good results has been put in special measures because of risks of “extremism”. That followed hard on the heels of Eric Pickles, the communities secretary, sending in commissioners to take over Tower Hamlets council from the twice-elected Muslim mayor, Lutfur Rahman.

    Pickles claimed that Rahman had dispensed grants like a “medieval monarch”, though neither the police nor the PwC report Pickles commissioned found evidence of wrongdoing – and Rahman’s progressive record is widely acknowledged. But the undercurrent of accusations of extremism and corruption was clear – as was the message of the politically driven Charities Commission’s decision to put 55 Muslim charities on a watchlist for links to “radicalisation and extremism”.

    The chilling impact of this campaign on Muslims in Britain is obvious enough, just as it fosters fear and prejudice in the non-Muslim population. One result is to feed a rising tide of Islamophobic attacks. The Metropolitan police recorded a 65% annual increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes in London in the past year alone.

    On top of that, as the Rigby report blithely conceded, “the government’s counter-terrorism programmes are not working”. Its Prevent strategy has stopped many Muslims from speaking freely, but prevented little else. Around 500 Britons are now estimated to be fighting in Syria and Iraq.

    But why would that be a surprise? The British and US governments first supported the rebels in Syria – as they did in Libya – and then turned against most of them, as the jihadist campaign mushroomed around Isis, intensifying cynicism about the west’s role in the Muslim world.

    Which remains the heart of the war on terror 13 years on. It’s not considered seemly to mention it when discussing terrorism and extremism, but western wars and support for dictatorship are what drive jihadist terror in Britain and elsewhere, just as they fuelled it in the region itself.

    Every single perpetrator of such violence in Britain has spelled out that it is carried out in response to Britain’s invasions and occupations in the Muslim world. Now British forces are once again carrying out bombing raids alongside US forces in Iraq – driving other rebel groups into the arms of Isis in the process – they are creating the conditions for more violence at home.

    No amount of surveillance or oppressive legislation will stop those determined to launch attacks. The war on terror has spawned terror from the start, fomenting community divisions and curtailing freedoms everywhere. That’s true for those states that launched it – as well as those on the receiving end.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/27/facebook-terror-war-tyranny-britain-fosters-fear-racism

  15. #31
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Its funny because if you look at other forums, neutral or antimuslim.

    They have just as many articals on how lenient the government is on extremism and how the Muslim community is given special favour..

    Its literally who can screw up the most just to make the government.. Make a bad decision... Or another bad decision.

    Its strange because there are Muslim countries with in fighting and underclasses.

    Its absurd.

    Literally anybody that panders to a sensationalist press does not know what's good for them.

    The UK had a huge anti Islam march just recently, they came all the way from Europe.

    ..it was met by protest by a vastly greater number.

    They should have put that on the front page.


    It seems we all become puppets. Its just a matter of who pulls your strings.

  16. #32
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Another update

    British Muslims condemn terror laws for creating 'witch-hunt' against Islam

    Strongly worded public statement, which includes signatories from Cage and Hizb ut-Tahrir, condemns ‘crude and divisive’ government election tactics


    Anti-Muslim rhetoric and “endless ‘anti-terror’ laws” are in danger of creating a McCarthyite witch-hunt against Muslims, according to the signatories of a strongly worded public statement, who include several controversial figures.

    The statement accuses the government of “criminalising” Islam and trying to silence “legitimate critique and dissent”, and decries what it describes as “the ongoing demonisation of Muslims in Britain [and] their values, as well as prominent scholars, speakers and organisations.”

    Signatories of the statement include Moazzam Begg, director of outreach for Cage, the organisation that came under fire last week after it sought to explain the radicalisation of Isis killer Mohammed Emwazi. Members of Islamist organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is banned in several countries including Germany, have also signed the statement.

    It comes after it was revealed earlier this week that the Home Office is planning a “more assertive” stance against extremism, with a series of measures including imposing penalties on benefit claimants who do not learn English and making visa applicants commit themselves to “British values”.

    The statement, seen by the Guardian, reads: “We reject the portrayal of Muslims and the Muslim community as a security threat. The latest act of parliament, the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act, threatens to create a ‘McCarthyite’ witch-hunt against Muslims, with nursery workers, schoolteachers and universities expected to look out for signs of increased Islamic practice as signs of ‘radicalisation’.”

    The signatories state that the “Muslim issue” is being exploited for political capital in the runup to the general election.

    “Exploiting public fears about security is as dishonourable as exploiting public fears about immigration,” the statement reads. “Both deflect attention from crises in the economy and health service, but are crude and divisive tactics, where the big parties inevitably try to outdo each other in their nastiness.”

    Jahangir Mohammed, director of the Centre for Muslim Affairs, said the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act had made the entire Muslim community feel targeted. “Counter-terrorism policies are flawed and alienating,” he said. “This approach is not working and actually backfiring. The entire Muslim community is being blamed for the actions of a violent few and as a result Muslims in Britain feel marginalised.”

    He added that the Act would legitimise public servants’ suspicions of Muslims and their beliefs and political views. “This goes against equality policies that state individuals should not be discriminated due to their political and religious beliefs,” he said. “It will serve to destroy good community relations that have been built over many years and will treat Muslims as a suspect community.”

    Asked if he thought the statement could backfire, he added: “There are those who may want to look at it in a bad light, but in general Muslims are not worried about this: they are very angry and frustrated with the current climate and policies, which target the Muslim community, and want their voices heard.”

    The list of signatories also include the high-profile Muslim converts Yvonne Ridley and Cherie Blair’s half-sister, Lauren Booth, as well as academic Dr Reza Pankhurst, who is a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir and spent four years in an Egyptian jail for trying to recruit others to the group’s cause in 2002.

    Another signatory is Shakeel Begg, the imam of the Lewisham Islamic Centre, which was attended by the Woolwich killers, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, in the months leading up to attack on Drummer Lee Rigby.

    The statement goes on to criticise “the continued public targeting of Muslims through endless ‘anti-terror’ laws,” adding that there have been 10 such pieces of legislation since the year 2000. Such legislation gives “huge power to the state”, while fuelling “media hysteria”, it claims.

    The group states that the use of words such as “radicalisation” and “extremism” prevents debate, adding that it is “unacceptable to label as ‘extremist’ numerous normative Islamic opinions on a variety of issues”.

    Dilly Hussain, a spokesman for the group, said the list of 62 signatories included moderate Islamic thinkers alongside names he acknowledged were considered “controversial”. He pointed to the likes of Arzu Merali of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, and Musharraf Hussain , chief executive and chief imam of the Karimia Institute and an adviser to the Quilliam Foundation.

    Asked why the mainstream Muslim Council of Britain, which could not immediately be contacted for a statement, were not signatories, Hussain said that members of the MCB were signatories, but because the organisation itself represents 500 mosques with different opinions, that made it difficult for the MCB to sign such a statement.

    Tauqir Ishaq, a senior spokesman for Muslim Action Forum (MAF), which organised a rally of thousands of British Muslims protesting against cartoons showing the prophet Muhammad, said Muslims were feeling frustrated and disillusioned.

    “People are being asked to compromise their faith and many feel there is no alternative here. The current environment has contributed to issues like young people leaving to go to Syria,” he said.

    Ishaq added that he had been working on deradicalising people for a number of years, but that the government’s counter-terrorism legislation and Prevent strategy had pushed extremism underground. “Raiding mosques and investigating charities is not the way to tackle extremism,” he said. “Every Muslim is being treated with suspicion and heavy-handed tactics are being used against them. Celebrities like Jimmy Savile and Gary Glitter do not represent all British celebrities: why then do a minority of individuals who do something wrong become a representation of the entire Islamic faith?”

    The combative statement declares a “concern about peace and security for all”, but adds: “We, however, refuse to be lectured on peace-building and harmony by a government that plays divisive politics and uses fear to elicit uncertainty in the general public, whilst maintaining support for dictators across the Muslim world, who continue to brutalise and legitimate political opposition to their tyranny.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/11/british-muslims-terror-laws-witch-hunt-islam-cage-hizb-ut-tahrir

  17. #33
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Here is the statement

    Muslim community rejects the State’s criminalisation of Islam and condemns moves to silence legitimate critique and dissent

    This joint statement expresses a position with respect to the ongoing demonisation of Muslims in Britain, their values as well as prominent scholars, speakers and organisations.

    We, the undersigned Imams, sheikhs, advocates, activists, community leaders, community organisations and student bodies of the Muslim community, make the following points in this regard:

    1) We reject the exploitation of Muslim issues and the ‘terror threat’ for political capital, in particular in the run up to a general election. Exploiting public fears about security is as dishonourable as exploiting public fears about immigration. Both deflect attention from crises in the economy and health service, but are crude and divisive tactics, where the big parties inevitably try to outdo each other in their nastiness.

    2) We deplore the continued public targeting of Muslims through endless ‘anti-terror’ laws. There have been around ten pieces of legislation since the year 2000, all giving huge powers to the state, which have fuelled a media hysteria even though in most cases no crime was committed. This has created a distressing and harmful backlash towards Muslims, especially women and children.

    3) We reject the portrayal of Muslims and the Muslim community as a security threat. The latest Act of Parliament, the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act, threatens to create a ‘McCarthyite’ witch-hunt against Muslims, with nursery workers, schoolteachers and Universities expected to look out for signs of increased Islamic practice as signs of ‘radicalisation’. Such a narrative will only further damage social cohesion as it incites suspicion and ill feeling in the broader community.

    4) The expedient use of undefined and politically charged words like ‘radicalisation’ and ‘extremism’ is unacceptable as it criminalises legitimate political discourse and criticism of the stance of successive governments towards Muslims domestically and abroad. We strongly oppose political proposals to further ‘tackle’ and ‘crack down’ on such dissenting voices in the Muslim community despite their disavowal of violence and never having supported terrorist acts.

    5) Similarly, it is unacceptable to label as ‘extremist’ numerous normative Islamic opinions on a variety of issues, founded on the Quran and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), implying there is a link between them and violence, using such labels as an excuse to silence speakers.

    6) We affirm our commitment to robust political and ideological debate and discourse for the betterment of humanity at large. The attempts by the state to undermine this bring into question its commitment to its very own purported values and liberal freedoms.

    7) We affirm our concern about peace and security for all. We, however, refuse to be lectured on peace-building and harmony by a government that plays divisive politics and uses fear to elicit uncertainty in the general public, whilst maintaining support for dictators across the Muslim world, who continue to brutalise and legitimate political opposition to their tyranny.

    8) We affirm our intention to hold on to our beliefs and values, to speak out for what is right and against what is wrong based on our principles, whether that be on matters such as the securitisation of society, corporate hegemony, war and peace, economic exploitation, social and moral issues in society, nationalism and racism. Not to do so would be dangerous and leave our community unguided.

    9) We call on all fair minded people in Britain – including politicians, journalists, academics, bloggers and others concerned about fairness for all – to continue to scrutinise the scare tactics, fear-mongering and machinations of politicians, which do not bode well for societal harmony and only increase the alienation felt and experienced by Britain’s Muslim community.

    It is time that politicians stop diverting the attention of the British public away from its domestic crises and disastrous foreign policies by repeatedly playing the ‘Muslim’ or ‘national security’ card.

    Signed:

    Abdurraheem Green, iERA
    Anjum Anwar, Teacher/Chair of Woman’s Voice
    Arzu Merali, Islamic Human Rights Commission
    Dr Abdul Wahid, Hizb ut-Tahrir, Britain
    Dr Musharraf Hussain, CEO and Chief Imam, Karimia Institute
    Dr Reza Pankhurst, Author and academic
    Dr Saeed Al-Gadi, Presenter at Islam Channel
    Dr Shahrul Hussain, Birmingham
    Dr Uthman Lateef, Hittin Institute
    Hodan Yusuf, Journalist
    Ibrahim Hewitt, Leicester
    Ibtihal Bsis, Barrister, Broadcaster, Hizb ut-Tahrir
    Imam Abdul Wahhab, East London
    Imam Abdul-Malik Sheikh, Imam & Khatib, London
    Imam Abdul Mateen, East London
    Imam Aziz Ibraheem, Iman Trust Community Centre, St Helens
    Imam Irfan Patel, Jamiah Masjid, Gillngham
    Imam Shakeel Begg, Lewisham Islamic Centre
    Jahangir Mohammed, Centre for Muslim Affairs
    Lauren Booth, Journalist
    Mahmud Choudhury – Secretary Poplar Shahjalal Masjid
    Massoud Shadjareh, Islamic Human Rights Commission
    Moazzam Begg, Director of Outreach for CAGE
    Muhammad Mustaqeem Shah, Al Mustaqeem Centre, Bradford
    Shaikh Abu Abdissalam, London
    Shaikh Haitham Haddad, London
    Shaikh Haitham Tamim, Chairman of the Utrujj Foundation
    Shaikh Khaled Fekry, Imam, London
    Shaikh Omer Hamdoon, Muslim Association of Britain
    Shaikh Sulaiman Gani, South London
    Shaikh Zuber Karim, Intelligence Finance Consultancy
    Shaikh Tauqir Ishaq, CEO Hijaaz College
    Ustadh Kamal Abu Zahra, Lecturer on Islamic studies, London
    Yusuf Chambers – Freelance community activist
    Yusuf Patel, SRE Islamic
    Azad Ali, Muslim Safety Forum
    Asghar Bukhari, Muslim Public Affairs Committee, UK
    Roshan Muhammad Salih, Broadcaster and journalist
    Ghulam Haydar, Director of Myriad Foundation
    Shoaib Khalid Bhatti, Muslim Lobby, Scotland
    Dr Daud Abdullah, British Muslim Initiave
    Shaikh Chokri Majoli, Imam, London
    Yvonne Ridley, Vice President European Muslim League
    Muhammad Shafique, Ramadan Foundation, Rochdale
    Hasan Alkatib, Journalist
    Mazhar Khan, Manchester Muslim Forum
    Saaqib Abu Ishaaq, Project Medinah, Rochdale
    Omar Ali, Chair of Brighton and Hove Muslim Community
    Sofia Ahmed, Activist & founder of Muslim Women Against Femen
    Nalini Naidoo, Newham Muslim Women’s Association
    Irfan Hussain, Bradford Dawah Centre
    Leyla Habibti, humanitarian activist
    Tasmin Nazeer, freelance journalist
    Ali Anees, Eccles Mosque
    Saeed Akhtar, Cheadle Mosque
    Yousef Dar, Community Safety Forum, Manchester
    Dr Shameel Islam-Zulfiqar, Humanitarian campaigner
    Majid Freeman, Humanitarian aid worker, friend of Alan Henning
    Laura Stuart, Humanitarian aid worker, journalist and activist
    Fatima Barkatula, Scholar and Director of Seeds of Change
    Salman Sayyid, Author and Academic
    Shezana Hafiz, Humanitarian Activist
    Abdus Samad, IQRA TV / TV Producer
    Alomgir Ali, MDRF, London
    Shamsuz zaman, CYCD Chairperson, Luton
    Tahir Talati, Imam Zakariya Academy, London
    Abdul Razaq, Principal Iqra Academy, Peterborough
    Fahad Ansari, Human Rights Solicitor
    Adullah al Andalusi, Muslim Debate Initiative
    Yusuf Shabbir, Blackburn Muslim Association
    Suhail Akubat, Imam, Masjid e Salaam, Preston
    Bilal Toorawa, Imam, Blackburn
    Councillor Salim Mulla, Blackburn
    Mohammed Alsheikh Mousa Attari Alhijazy, Alhuda Prophetic Medical Centre, London
    Haji Mohammed Walayat, Sunni Council of Mosques, Luton
    Edris Seth, Political Activist, Bolton
    Ali Ahmad, Imam, East London
    Zahid Akhtar, Founder Documenting Oppression Against Muslims, Walsall
    Shirajul Haque, Imam, London
    Ismail Rawat, Preston Muslim Forum, Preston
    Khaleel Ur Rahman, The Deen Project / Activist, Derby
    Ilyas Abu Yusuf, Imam, Bolton
    Yaseen Ahmedabadi, General Secretary, Nuneaton Muslim Society
    Munir Aya, Volunteer, Zakaria Mosque, Bolton
    Raheema Bux, Community Worker, Blackburn
    Nasima Begum, Solicitor, Luton
    Mustafa Mustafa, Youth Worker, South London
    Amanpaul Dhaliwal, Isalmc21c.com, London
    Khaleel Ur Rahman, The Deen Project / Activist, Derby
    Tahir Alam, PHD Student, SOAS, London
    Dr Ajmal Hussain, GP, Stoke on Trent
    Hafiz Kasim Javed, Community Activist, Rochdale
    Ahmed Desai, Imam, Bradford
    Muhammad Hansrot, Imam, Croydon, London
    Muhammad Rahman, Teacher, Ilford, London
    Rizwan Ahmed, Imam, Sheffield
    Abdul Rehman Saleem, Khateeb / Activist, London
    Inamul Hussain Yusuf, Teacher, Bolton
    Dr Suhel Ahmed, GP, Bolton
    Nasar Khan, Quran Project Volunteer, Birmingham
    Asad Zaman, Imam & Chair Inter-Mosque Sports Association, Cheadle
    Dr Siema Iqbal, GP, Manchester
    Professor Yasin Patel, Senior Professor and Academic, London
    Mohammed Makeen Salloo, Imam, Walsall
    Qasim Asad, Community Voice, Blackburn
    Ibrahim Bismillah, Director of Darul Ihsan Academy, Bradford
    Faisal Mahmood, President, UKIM Peterborough

    http://www.hizb.org.uk/current-affairs/muslim-community-rejects-the-states-criminalisation-of-islam-and-condemns-moves-to-silence-legitimate-critique-and-dissent

  18. #34
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Well Every one is trying their best to survive. Do you have any option left?

    Narrated Abu Huraira:
    Allah's Apostle said, "There will be afflictions (in the near future) during which a sitting person will be better than a standing one, and the standing one will be better than the walking one, and the walking one will be better than the running one, and whoever will expose himself to these afflictions, they will destroy him. So whoever can find a place of protection or refuge from them, should take shelter in it."

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  20. #35
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Another update

    BRITISH PRESS RESORT TO FABRICATION IN AN ATTEMPT TO SMEAR CAGE

    The Mail on Sunday has today made unsubstantiated claims that Moazzam Begg, Outreach Director at CAGE, was at the same training camp and trained Mohammed Emwazi.

    “New evidence has come to light that means that the CPS and West midlands police are dropping all charges against Moazzam Begg who is an innocent man”
    - Assistant chief Constable Marcus Beale


    So despite wasting millions of pounds in taxpayers’ money on his imprisonment and legal fees and his exoneration has the MoS investigation unearthed vital new evidence?

    Amandla Thomas-Johnson, Communications Officer at CAGE said:

    “The plain facts are that the article is barely credible and relies on “unnamed official sources” speculating over unnamed and unidentifiable people in balaclavas. However it fits with an ongoing smear campaign against CAGE that has included the most senior UK politicians from the Prime Minister to Foreign and Home secretaries but also involved government regulators pressuring funders and other NGOs to boycott CAGE for asking uncomfortable questions. The vitriol and ferocity of the attacks on a minuscule organisation like ourselves should beg more questions of the attackers rather than the victims.”

    “Our role is to provide a voice for the voiceless and is in line with statutory duties of whistle blowing. These questions will not go away and in a week when we are hearing devastating testimony by David Duckenfield over the Hillsborough tragedy and the collusion between elements of the media, politicians and the police we should not be surprised that 30 years later this could still be happening.”

    “The apology by the Metropolitan Police Commissioner to the parents of the three teenage girls who left for Syria was welcome but the role of Canadian intelligence services in ushering them in to the hands of ISIS despite UK, Turkey and Canada all being NATO members is the real issue and requires a full contemporaneous inquiry with proper oversight.”



    http://www.cageuk.org/press-release/british-press-resort-fabrication-attempt-smear-cage

  21. #36
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Another update

    CTS Act and the Elections 2015

    The CTS Act will be enforced into statutory legislation before the elections in May. The fact that all MPs backed the issuing of this bill means regardless of which party wins, all will champion the CTS Act. The negative reaction by the Muslim community since the announcement of the Bill back in September has been ignored in its entirety only confirming the anti Islamic narrative embedded in the British establishment.

    The CTS Act is designed to root out “extremism” by using the state institutions such as Ofsted, the charity commission, the NHS and those in the public service sector such as teachers, doctors, social services e.t.c to report subjective indications of “extremism” which will then be further pursued by the police, security and intelligence agencies. For example if any child even as young as 4 years of age express thoughts, opinions or actions which appear to be alien to “British Values” and hence “extreme” then they would be treated as a suspect for potential “radicalisation” and terrorist acts in the future.

    The CTS Act has been the centre of attention in the Muslim communities as it has direct implications that will affect all segments of the Muslim community. To combat the CTS Act Muslims have united in various campaigns such as the “Stop the Bill” campaign before it was enacted, writing letters to MP’s, the education and health care institutions, signing petitions, as well as holding a number of public meetings around the country to raise awareness about the new legislation.

    It is imperative that the objective behind these actions is clear lest the outcomes we seek are different. This could be counter-productive and potentially backfire on the Muslim community. One thing that’s clear however, is that voting for any of the political parties in the coming elections will only legitimise the policies against Islam. Muslims have no room for political manoeuvring within the secular liberal political paradigm that is in direct ideological conflict with the values and objectives of the Muslim community. To participate in a political framework that has for decades proved to be at odds with Islamic values such as the pressure to conform to liberal values such as same-sex marriage, non-segregation, banning of non-stunned meat to list a few will only further drag Islam into the Western idea of modernity and “Christianise” Islam until it is no longer distinguishable to “British Values.”

    Moreover, the declining trend in voting polls by the general population has not occurred in a vacuum. The political apathy is indicative of a society that is witnessing fundamental ideological contradictions of the British democracy. For example, the bailout of the banks with tax payer’s money following the economic crisis contradicted the concept of free market economy. More recently the HSBC scandal, which saw the exclusion of monetary figures being left out by the bank from as far back as 2007, so large organisations could pay less in taxes saving them millions exposed the “rule of law” having one rule for the rich and another for the poor. Extra judicial rendition, complicity in supporting dictators, complicity in CIA torture are a few examples from a long ugly list of ideological contradictions.

    History has shown us that the successful way to deter antagonistic policies is by creating an opinion against it through intellectually undermining the arguments used to justify those policies. By projecting a strong clear unified opinion it is possible to deter or even change the government’s policy. In such a case, a government would either scrap those plans or result in absolutism which would only further expose the weakness of the government. In such a scenario the moral integrity of the government would be made redundant.

    We can learn from the Sirah how the Prophet PBUH and the companions were able to generate an intellectual atmosphere that resulted in the Quraysh continuously changing their tactics to attack Islam. From torture to propaganda to boycott and even attempting to reach a compromise, each policy was repudiated due to the firm adherence and conveyance to the message of Islam. The tyranny of the Quraysh exposed their intellectual bankruptcy even amongst their own clan such that the boycott ended after Zuhayr ibn Abi Umayyah went around the Ka’bah seven times addressing the crowd who were present, he said, “O people of Makkah, are we to eat and clothe ourselves while Banu Hashim perish, unable to buy or sell? By Allah I will not rest until this **** boycotting document is torn up.” Abu Jahl, who was nearby, exclaimed, “You lie, by Allah it shall not be torn up.” At this point the other four Zama’ah, Abu al-Bakhtari, al-Mut’im and Hisham, who had dispersed among the crowd, shouted back in support of Zuhayr. Abu Jahl realized that it was a matter which had been arranged beforehand, so he feared the worst and backed off. When al-Mut’im went to tear up the document he discovered that white ants had already eaten it except for the words ‘In your name, O Allah’.

    We can also learn from examples in recent history such as in the 1950s, when the African-American Civil rights movements reached boiling point. This revolution saw a number of leading figures who made pivotal impacts, the likes of which included Malcom X, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. They gained strength by their numbers and allied against racial segregation and discrimination. This eventually culminated into a greater awareness of the racial discrimination and led to a public opinion that pressurised the government into prohiniting racial segregation. Whilst we recognise that the underlying problem of racism has not been resolved due to an inherent flaw in the concept of nation states, the point here is to show the ability of people to shift a political position by developing an opinion that undermines the moral and intellectual authority of such policies.

    Similarly, women’s suffrage gained momentum in the early part of the 19th centuryaim the UK as women became increasingly politically active (demonstrations, disrupting public events, pampheting etc) that resulted in women gaining the vote.

    Thus the way we should respond to the CTS Act is not through challenging legislation through the political framework but challenging it by exposing the intellectual weakness of the argument used to justify the CTS Act amongst Muslims and Non-Muslims. By exposing the narrative that non-violent ideas lead to violence when in reality research has consistently shown that it is grievance of government policies such as the war in Iraq/Afghanistan or the permission for cartoons to be published against the Prophet PBUH that leads to violence. Moreover, the CTS Act will result in antagonism between Muslims and local authorities due to the default position of suspicion on the Muslims and will lead to the branding of innocent Muslims.

    Such arguments should be presented to all sectors of the community including those who are expected to implement the CTS Act which include teachers, doctors, social services, police e.t.c as well as educating them about those key ideas that the government are trying to criminalise such as the aspiration of Muslims to live under a Khilafah in the Muslim World. This will weaken their conviction in these policies and will result in a public opinion against the legislation scuppering the government’s plans and providing the space for Muslims to express their Islam. The intellectual cracks of secular liberal politics will be exposed as well as the tyrannical nature of the government presenting an opportunity for the wider society to learn about Islam.

    http://www.hizb.org.uk/election-2015/cts-act-and-the-elections-2015

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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Good video


  23. #38
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Another update

    Is state Islamophobia coming to a UK classroom near you?

    We cannot allow our schools to become seeding ground for this latest wave of state Islamophobia, says Max Rosenberg.


    The National Union of Teachers conference attracted front page headlines over Easter for its stand on Prevent, the government so-called ‘anti-extremism’ strategy. Previously a voluntary scheme, Prevent has now become statutory under the Counter Terrorism Act (CTA). The union conference position represented a beacon of principle against state Islamophobia.

    Since January, we have seen a steep rise in anti-Muslim racism: a wave of demonising coverage followed the Charlie Hebdo murders; a political and media backlash was mounted against CAGE, the human rights organisation for Muslim prisoners; Theresa May announced new Tory manifesto pledges including the power to close Mosques and religious ‘supplementary’ schools. May declared ‘game over’ for ‘non-violent extremists’ while Nigel Farage referred to a Muslim ‘fifth column’ out to kill us. Meanwhile the election campaign is panning out to be the most racist in decades.

    Not surprising then that teachers’ delegates gave example after example of Muslim students refusing to express their opinions for fear of being labelled extremist. NUT conference heard how whole classes shut down in silence at the mention of Charlie Hebdo and students would not admit they found the cartoons offensive in case they were reported. Prevent officers have told teachers that a student who goes on a demonstration against the bombing of Gaza should be treated as a suspect; even charitable work for Palestine has been challenged. This is the tip of a growing iceberg.

    Jan Nielsen, NUT delegate from Wandsworth, told the conference, “We are really being expected to be the frontline storm troopers, who listen, who spy, and notify the authorities about students that we may be suspicious of”.

    This is enshrined in the Prevent ‘Channel’ programme for reporting students on a ‘pathway to radicalisation’. The Institute of Race Relations found school students had been referred to Channel panels after making strong pro-Palestinian statements or for articulating strong political opinions on the role of British forces in Afghanistan. Pressure from Channel managers on schools and colleges to deliver referrals was leading to increasing numbers of young people being identified to Channel even before the CTA was introduced.

    The stakes are high. Teachers need to have the trust of students if they are to foster discussion and debate and where necessary, challenge illusions in the likes of Anjem Choudary or ISIS. If we allow the government and Prevent to foster a climate of ‘them and us’ our students will be exposed to greater anti-Muslim prejudice and ever greater risks.

    There are also dangers that Prevent ‘training’ will lead to divisions between Muslim and non-Muslim staff as well as between teachers and students. One teacher told me that he and other Muslim staff refrained from expressing any disagreement in Prevent sessions, even though they found the content highly objectionable. At the same time he said some non-Muslim colleagues seemed oblivious to their own discriminatory attitudes.

    Now and then…

    On 15 February, 2003, two million marched against war in Iraq. In a vast display of multicultural unity, Muslim and non-Muslim, Jew, black, white, young and old, LGBT and straight, marched side by side, against war, Islamophobia, racism, and in defence of civil liberties. In the words of a slogan of the times… this was what democracy looked like.

    Tragically, we were unable to stop them from going to war and millions have paid a horrific price. However they were never able to win hearts and minds. In a poll taken on the weekend of the 2003 demonstration, opposition to the war stood at 52%, with support for the war at 29%. A decade later, the warmongers and their apologists are no further forward. In a 2013 poll, 53% of those questioned said the invasion was wrong; only 27% thought it was right.

    On terrorism, a YouGov poll in 2013 showed that a majority of the public (70%) believe the war has increased the risk of a terrorist attack on Britain.

    It is in this context we need to understand the Counter Terrorism Act now coming into force and in particular the statutory status now bestowed on Prevent. State Islamophobia is to a certain extent working. Fifty-two percent of non-Muslims now think that Islam is incompatible with ‘British values’ and polls show an alarming increase in prejudice towards Muslims and Islam. The CTA is part of an attempt to break the unity between Muslims and non-Muslims, to undermine united opposition to war and above all, to shift the blame for terrorism from where it clearly lies – with the warmongers themselves - to Muslims as a whole and to opponents of government policy.

    The Counter Terrorism Act (CTA)

    Liberty has described the measures enabling the government to confiscate passports and suspend citizenship rights as “dumping suspect citizens like toxic waste”. I do not wish to downplay these aspects of the legislation. Yet perhaps the most sinister and pervasive measures are not aimed at terrorist suspects, they are aimed at you and me.

    For a time, sections of government felt it too risky to legislate on the basis of political opinions. Instead they advocated a strategy of identifying and pursuing individuals they suspected of terrorist offences, or those they felt they could at least implicate.

    However this did not satisfy those who wished to mount a full scale ideological assault. Such a strategy, strongly promoted by Michael Gove as education minister, was characterised as ‘draining the swamp’ (as opposed to ‘batting away the crocodiles from the boat’).

    Under the CTA, schools, colleges and public bodies will be under a statutory obligation to report instances of ‘non-violent extremism’. To be clear, this is not about students suspected of planning criminal acts or absconding to Syria; such instances would be reported through established ‘safeguarding’ procedures and any teacher would want to act in such circumstances. This legislation is specifically aimed at targeting students for their political opinions. The rationale is pure McCarthyism: ‘non-violent extremists’, states the guidance, “purport to identify grievances to which terrorist organisations then claim to have a solution”. The underlying thesis is that ‘non-violent extremists’ provide the ideological vehicle for attacking ‘western liberal democracy' that terrorists then act upon.

    This is what passes for ‘analysis’ promoted by a bunch of extremely right-wing ‘think-tanks’ such as the Henry Jackson Society (HJS) and the Quilliam Foundation. The old McCarthyite charge of ‘anti-Americanism’ has been given an Islamophobic facelift as “Westophobia”. In place of the Jewish-Communist conspiracy we now face an alliance of Muslims, the anti-war movement and the left, all of whom are deemed to share a common hatred for ‘the West’. The spokespersons of the Henry Jackson Society and the Quilliam Foundation in turn find common cause with Islamophobe fringe publications such as The Commentator and organisations such as the Clarion Project.

    Suspects by skin colour

    The consequences are starting to show. Just before NUT conference, journalist Melanie Newman for The Bureau of Investigative Journalism exposed how three schools in areas of high EDL/BNP activity in South Yorkshire were assessing risk of ‘extremism’ on the basis of skin colour. A template ‘risk assessment’ approved by Prevent and the police, asks, “Is the school particularly prone to radicalisation and extremism?”. Each of the three schools replied: “No. Cohort of pupils are white British majority.” The three schools then noted that BME students (black minority ethnic) students would be singled out for monitoring. Despite the fact that the EDL have a strong base amongst soldiers and military families, pupils with military families were seen as a positive proof of low risk.

    Another example has emerged in Newham where the Labour council has appointed Ghaffar Hussain, recently of the Quilliam Foundation and the Henry Jackson Society; Hussain was formerly an advisor to the HJS front organisation, ‘Students Rights’. As Prevent lead for the borough, Hussain’s involvement in ‘Students’ Rights’ is particularly troubling. The organisation has been condemned as Islamophobic by the NUS and by a host of student unions and student organisations, including the Black Students Conference. This should disqualify Hussain from any role in ‘safeguarding’ Newham students at risk of racism and anti-Muslim hatred in the most diverse borough in Britain.

    One of Hussain’s claims to fame was Quilliam’s farcical attempt to rehabilitate and promote Britain’s two leading Nazis, Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll of the English Defence League, even though the EDL had by this time been comprehensively broken by national and local anti-Nazi mobilisations. Tommy Robinson, now in jail, has made clear he regarded Quilliam as useful idiots and his fascist views had not changed. Kevin Carroll went on to express his support for the horrific ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Myammar.

    Hussain has written numerous articles for the Islamophobe publication, ‘The Commentator’, and gave a very friendly interview to the Clarion Project, formerly the Clarion Fund. The latter is infamous for the funding and distribution of the anti-Muslim hate film “Obsession”; 28 million free DVDs were distributed in predominantly swing states before the United States 2008 presidential election, clearly tapping the Islamophobe, racist drumbeat against Obama.

    Unsuprisingly, Hussain is an extremely divisive figure in the Muslim community. Shortly after his appointment, a large meeting of mosque representatives in Newham met to express their shock and to explore whether any action could be taken to challenge the appointment.

    The examples of South Yorkshire and Newham will only deepen perceptions that Muslim kids are suspects first, students second, and that token references by Prevent to far-right extremism will at best be mere window dressing.

    The statutory obligations placed on schools and public bodies are designed to force schools and colleges to police themselves, and will have the effect of discouraging contentious views on government foreign policy, Palestine, or ‘the war on terror’. Muslim students will inevitably feel under suspicion and divisions will deepen. This is hardly a prescription for promoting faith in ‘democracy’ or preventing young people from absconding to Syria or embracing the likes of Anjem Choudary.

    Ofsted now has an oversight role for ‘Prevent’ and will now provide the stick behind the policy. The ‘Trojan Horse’ hoax in Birmingham and the case of Tower Hamlets serve as warning. Of course, if there is an incident, the legislation can always provide a retrospective tool for scapegoating a school, college or local authority. In this Catch-22 world no-one will ever be able to prove they did enough to prevent ‘non-violent extremism’. In placing schools at the centre of the new legislation, the government will be able to target Muslim communities at will.

    Resistance

    Prevent has long been recognised as counter-productive not only by researchers and bodies such as the Institute of Race Relations, but from within the ranks of the establishment itself. Dal Babu, a retired former chief superintendent and chairman of the Metropolitan police Association of Muslim Officers, recently termed Prevent a “toxic brand”; Eliza Manningham-Buller, former head of MI5, told parliament that Prevent was "clearly not working". The government itself has worried that it may risk exposing the Prevent programme to wider, generalised opposition by making compliance statutory. The government’s own impact assessment noted, “There is a risk that parts of the policy may be perceived to restrict the freedom of speech; and that legislating will give greater prominence to criticism that the programme is there to spy on individuals, or that it targets Muslims.”

    As NUT conference shows, their fears seem to be materialising. Most teachers will want to defend freedom of discussion in the classroom and treat their pupils as students not suspects. Resolutions are already circulating in some school associations insisting that Prevent ‘training’ respect professional ‘safeguarding’ principles; that such sessions respect the principles of free discussion, including on the causes of terror, and that right-wing ideological bias should not be presented as ‘expert’ training.

    Wars continue to wreak catastrophe in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Gaza and Somalia. Western governments and their allies promote vicious sectarian division in every corner of the Middle East. Terrorism is the inevitable price tag, including, appallingly, in London and Paris. Against this bloody backdrop we cannot allow our schools to become seeding ground for this latest wave of state Islamophobia. It is time to resist this ‘toxic brand’.

    http://www.stopwar.org.uk/news/is-state-islamophobia-coming-to-a-classroom-near-you

  24. #39
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Another update

    THE QUR’AN AS A TORY INDICATOR OF EXTREMISM

    In this piece, Asim Qureshi discusses the rhetoric which the Conservative party have been peddling for some time. Following their announcement that they will implement new counter terror measures to counter extremism, a term which has never legally been defined, but based on upholding so called British values, values which surely should include the individual's right to an identity.

    Two months ago I watched a Channel 4 News debate between Dr Rizwaan Sabir and the then Conservative parliamentary candidate, Nadhim Zahawi. During the interview, the MP spoke of how the government needed to be intolerant towards intolerance. He then went on to speak of how those who preach hate and use mosques to spread those messages should not be tolerated. Really though, this is nothing new, and we have heard this type of rhetoric on many occasions. What was different, was how Zahawi went from speaking about hate speech, to inheritance laws under Islamic law,

    “If you look at inheritance laws under shariah courts, inheritance laws are not equal between man and woman, and equality is a British value.”

    What Nadhim Zahawi signalled for the first time publicly, was that the Qur’an itself is open to be subjected to the scrutiny of not being in compliance with British values. Regardless of the debates surrounding the contextual application of the rules as they have been largely laid out in the Qur’an, it was his conflation of the discussion on extremism and hate speech with the application of shariah in the private space that raised serious concerns about the way in which the Conservatives would be heading.

    On 27 May 2015, the Queen’s Speech will include a raft of new counter-extremism measures, designed to shut down hatred and those whose messages run contrary to British values. David Cameron’s speech signalling their intention to bring in these new powers will focus very much on what the Tories perceive as a ‘poisonous Islamist ideology.’ The Prime Minister will say,

    “For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone',”

    “It's often meant we have stood neutral between different values. And that's helped foster a narrative of extremism and grievance.”

    Like much of the approach that successive governments have taken in relation to preventing violent extremism or extremism itself, much of language is vague and no clear definition have been provided for clarity within the law.

    As part of that process, the government has almost entirely shifted their strategy of combatting the threat of political violence within the civil law system, rather than prosecuting crimes as criminal acts. The reason for this, is to grant the Home Secretary the ability to use secret evidence when making arbitrary decisions when impacting the lives of individuals or organisations. Even with these new power, the Home Secretary will only be required to “reasonably believe” that a person is an extremist preacher/speaker in order to apply a sanction on them.

    How will this apply in a real world sense, as that will really be the test of the new laws as they come into effect? One can imagine a scenario, where a scholar is teaching one of the classical texts of jurisprudence, potentially on a topic such as a succession, only to be reported to Prevent officials and ultimately the Home Secretary, for having been teaching ideas or beliefs that run contrary to British values. A fault line is potentially being created between normative Islamic practice and teachings, and the vague and amorphous terms of British values.

    If British values are to mean anything, they must include the ability to be deferential to conceptions around identity. CAGE is not asking the UK government to remain neutral on issues to do with political violence and the conditions that foment that form of expression, rather we are saying that there should be open and robust challenges through debate and dialogue, that is the only way to reach those that perhaps have gone down an incorrect path.

    http://www.cageuk.org/article/qur%E2...ator-extremism

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  26. #40
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Another update

    DON’T CRIMINALISE THE INNOCENT

    Fahad Ansari writes this piece in light of David Cameron’s latest proposals against "extremism", which threaten to erase whatever freedoms and civil liberties remain alive. Ansari points out that the solution to terrorism does not lie in criminalising the law-abiding population of this country but in tackling its root causes. This will require a considerable degree of honest introspection and enquiry.

    Just over ten years ago, eight Algerian men walked free from the Old Bailey after a jury acquitted them of conspiring to murder through the manufacture and spreading of the deadly ricin poison. The acquittals were understandable as the evidence at trial confirmed two crucial issues surrounding the ‘ricin plot’. Firstly, that there was no ricin. Secondly, that there was no plot.

    Despite the government research laboratories at Porton Down confirming within 48 hours of the terror raids on the suspects’ premises in January 2013, that neither ricin nor any other toxin was present, the police, media and government were notified of the exact opposite. While the men remained in prison for the next two years, the lie that ricin had been discovered was used to spread mass hysteria by then Prime Minister Tony Blair, members of his cabinet and even the then US Secretary of State Colin Powell who linked the “finding” to an “Iraq-linked terrorist network” during his presentation to make the case for an invasion of Iraq at the UN Security Council.

    Although the eight men were vindicated by a jury of their peers following a seven month trial that cost the taxpayer an estimated £20 million, they continued to be treated as terror suspects by the government at the time. Within weeks of the verdict, the government announced that they would be deporting the men to Algeria despite several of them being asylum seekers who had been tortured in their home country.

    In the months following the 7 July bombings later that year, the innocent men were again rounded up and detained as “threats to national security”. After several months in jail, they were released and subjected to strict immigration bail conditions (Control Orders in all but name). Terms of their release included wearing an electronic tag, being curfewed for up to 22 hours a day, limiting their movements to a small geographical area and having their premises searched regularly. Potential visitors had to be vetted and approved by the Home Office.

    Although some were later cleared of all suspicion in a secret hearing by the Orwellian Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC), others remain subject to those conditions until today, a decade on.

    These Algerians are not the only ones to have been harassed and penalised in this manner despite obeying the law. Last year, Palestinian imam Abu Qatada was acquitted of all terrorism charges in a Jordanian court. The court verdict came after Qatada spent over a decade in detention and under very restrictive SIAC bail conditions in the UK. Despite an ugly vilification campaign against him in which he was accused of encouraging terrorism and inciting hatred, Qatada was never charged with any criminal offence (although laws were in place to prosecute him).

    This was because he never broke the law in the UK. Nevertheless, he and his family were subjected to the full brunt of counter terrorism measures for over ten years before he voluntarily left the UK.

    For David Cameron to therefore market the need for new counter terrorism laws by claiming that the UK has been “passively tolerant” of those who “obey the law” is simply disingenuous. The government’s last Counter Terrorism and Security Act was only introduced in March this year. It obliges public service providers such as doctors, nurses, firefighters, university lecturers, teachers and even nurseries to monitor and report their patients, students and toddlers for signs of the vague undefined notion of “extremism”. None of these victims of the 1984 society that is being created have been left alone, despite their law-abiding behaviour.

    The reality is that these latest proposals threaten to erase whatever freedoms and civil liberties remain alive, are only the latest chapter in a policy that has not only miserably failed to achieve its objectives – end terrorism and make Britain safer – but has proven counterproductive. Introducing banning orders such as were used in South Africa against the ANC in its struggle against apartheid may appease a population that has been frightened into believing that it is an illegitimate grievance culture that fosters extremism and violence, but history has proven that it is only by fairly addressing those grievances that progress can be made. Those who supported the apartheid government and called for Mandela to be hanged yesterday, hail him as a hero today.

    The solution does not lie in criminalising the law-abiding population of this country but in tackling the root causes of terrorism. This will require a considerable degree of honest introspection. We all have our role to play in tackling terrorism in our respective spheres. It is easy to point the finger at the mosques, Islamic schools and social media. If there is a problem, it has not been proven, but measures are in place to deal with any problems.

    It is far more difficult to admit that government policies may play a role in that radicalisation process. Until we recognise that subjecting individuals to severe harassment and persecutory measures will only serve to alienate them and foster resentment against the state, we will never win the battle against terrorism.

    It was encouraging to note that within hours of CAGE stating that the security services may have played a role in the radicalisation of Mohammed Emwazi, David Cameron ordered an inquiry into allegations that the security services may have been complicit in the mistreatment of Michael Adebolajo in Kenya in 2010. Adebolajo would become notorious three years later as one of the killers of Fusilier Lee Rigby on the streets of Woolwich, an incident that Mr Cameron is today exploiting as a reason to introduce these new laws. Perhaps Mr Cameron should await the findings of that inquiry before seeking to restrict our civil liberties further.

    http://www.cageuk.org/article/don%E2%80%99t-criminalise-innocent

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