By Ibrahim, CAGE caseworker
Lockdown has no doubt affected employment levels amongst all communities. During this time, individuals whom we know work in the shadows, have tried to offset this by offering jobs to many Muslims who have then sought our support.
But this is not your everyday recruitment service; the role being offered is that of an informant working for the MI5.
Unknown numbers, unwanted propositions
One brother in particular reached out to us after having been contacted by MI5.
He received a call from an unknown number. Once he found out who it was, a sense of worry and fear overwhelmed him., He felt as though that he committed something wrong. However, this was not the case at all.
The individual on the other end of the call asked him if he would like to meet in a cafe, or hotel – alone he stressed. Apparently, they would have a “general discussion” and he would be allowed to put forward any queries or questions.
This brother then reached out to CAGE for guidance and advice. We made sure to remind him of his rights and that he has done nothing wrong.
We are noticing that these calls are becoming frequent. We have had many clients reporting such incidents.
These encounters make the average person fall into a dilemma. They are faced with two choices: either they do not attend the meeting, but often people feel the agents will think they have something to hide. Or, they do attend such a meeting, then they are walking into an unfamiliar and uncomfortable situation.
There is a sense of perplexment; not knowing what is being asked of them and what their assessment of you is. The way that MI5 operates in the shadows, exacerbates these emotions and keeps a person locked in a state of anxiety.
This is the reason why it is very important for everyone to be aware of their rights. One right that stands out is: no individual is obliged to meet with the security services after a random phone call.
Deception is not from the characteristics of a Muslim
We at CAGE advise anyone who may have received these phone calls to reach out to us for support, guidance and crucially for the right legal assistance.
If you do wish to meet them, it is advised you should only do so with a lawyer present so everything can be recorded.
Most of all, it’s important to remember that you haven’t done anything wrong.
If anything, the invitation to work for MI5 is an acknowledgement of your positive role in the community, and fundamentally it is a test from Allah from which only good can come from for the believer in the end.
We know from an Islamic perspective it is not befitting for a Muslim to spy on others. Deception is not from the characteristics of a Muslim. This specific brother that called us mentioned to the MI5 officer that he would not meet them except with a lawyer present.
After that, they didn’t go ahead with a meeting and they have not contacted him since.
Image used courtesy of Flickr/Jamie Mills
(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.)