London – David Cameron’s counter-terrorism agenda will create more distrust and alienation among British Muslims and an atmosphere in which political dissent is criminalised. He seeks to tear down a framework of laws built over centuries.
In his speech, Cameron referred to CAGE as an organisation that supports Jihadi John and ISIS in the Middle East. This is simply false. CAGE does not support terrorism or the use of political violence in any form. CAGE does not and has never supported the criminal actions of “Jihadi John”. CAGE has been consistent in its calls for a respect for the rule of law and due process, and has always advocated the need for dialogue and a rational approach to ending the War on Terror .
Cameron’s assertions that CAGE is an extremist organisation are false. The deliberate conflation of lawful political dissent with the chaos created in Iraq and Syria is the primary driver of alienation.
CAGE is seeking legal advice regarding possible defamation action given the deliberate attempt to malign a small NGO.
CAGE spokesperson Cerie Bullivant said:
“To outlaw genuine religious expression and political beliefs because they are perceived to be anti-democratic or at odds with the mainstream would put an end to centuries of development in civil liberties. All new ideas and thought start from a point of being seen as being against mainstream values.”
“Not only will it criminalise many more Muslims and thus alienate them from British society but it will also change the nature of the relationship between British civil society for future generations for all citizens. This is a fundamental assault on basic rights and freedoms.”
CAGE Research Director Asim Qureshi said:
“The worst thing about these proposals are that they will also target the ideas and expression of even school age children and turn our schools, universities and workplaces into surveillance centres. The so-called full spectrum attack will only create fear for those communities under intense scrutiny already, and may be the tipping point for many to leave the country despite our call that all right thinking people should join us in opposing these proposals.”
(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.)