The product of three years of work, our research suggests the stops at ports disproportionately target Muslim travellers. Schedule 7 has been in effect for nearly two decades. Up to half a million people have been stopped under this power, and it is a particularly hard-edged example of institutional Islamophobia.
To highlight this, the report is accompanied by a formal request to the APPG to invite answers from the Home Office on the utility of Schedule 7 and its inherently discriminatory framework. We are also sending a series of formal complaints to the Independent Office of Police Complaints that demonstrate the degree of harassment that Muslim travellers experience when passing through UK Ports.
Muhammad Rabbani, International Director for CAGE, said:
“The discrimination faced by Muslim travellers highlights how embedded Islamophobia is in Schedule 7, and in broader counter terrorism powers. Officers routinely ask intrusive questions about religion and practice, which amounts to a modern day inquisition.”
“Over the last decade alone, Schedule 7 has seen over 400,000 people stopped, 99.993% were co innocent of any wrongdoing. This highlights the disproportionate use the power and illustrates its abuse with devastating consequences for thousands of people. The practice amounts to the most exhaustive racial profiling strategy witnessed in modern times.”
“Our report evidences the severe discrimination faced by Muslims at UK borders. Islamophobia must be challenged at every level and it is for this reason that we have been compelled to send our research to the APPG on British Muslims and seek an urgent investigation.”
(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)