CAGE https://www.cage.ngo Empowering communities impacted by the War on Terror Fri, 07 Jun 2019 10:57:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.1 https://www.cage.ngo/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/cropped-Screen-Shot-2015-07-14-at-01.30.16-32x32.png CAGE https://www.cage.ngo 32 32 CAGE extend solidarity with David Muritu, Sandwell College lecturer who voiced opposition to PREVENT https://www.cage.ngo/cage-solidarity-with-david-muritu https://www.cage.ngo/cage-solidarity-with-david-muritu#respond Fri, 07 Jun 2019 09:04:09 +0000 https://www.cage.ngo/?p=26090 CAGE express our solidarity with David Muritu, a Maths lecturer at Sandwell College who has been fired for ‘gross misconduct’ by college management after writing ‘racist’ on a college poster promoting the PREVENT policy. David is an active, and effective, branch secretary for the college’s UCU branch, and previously served as head of the UCU’s

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CAGE express our solidarity with David Muritu, a Maths lecturer at Sandwell College who has been fired for ‘gross misconduct’ by college management after writing ‘racist’ on a college poster promoting the PREVENT policy.

David is an active, and effective, branch secretary for the college’s UCU branch, and previously served as head of the UCU’s national Black Members Standing Committee, as well as head of the UCU branch at Halesowen College. There he was similarly victimised for his union work and fired back in 2013.

 

A toxic policy forced on academia to silence challenging voices

 

The role of PREVENT in colleges today provides a window into the nature of British education system which activists like David must contend with today. This means the fight against PREVENT is an integral part of the struggle to comprehensively transform education so that it better serves all who seek to partake in it.

 

PREVENT was thrust upon the education sector in the 2011 update of the programme – at the same time that the new Coalition government was imposing massive and sustained cuts to college budgets, intensifying the restructure of the college sector and shrinking job security for lecturers.

 

This was also, of course, in the shadow of the 2010 student uprisings, in which colleges – students and lecturers alike – played a significant role in campaigning against government policy regarding tuition fee increases, as well as regressive changes of education on the whole.

 

PREVENT therefore emerged in a context where the hierarchy between college management and staff was under “threat” of change intensified, and when the interests of educationalists vs management were thrown more sharply into conflict.

 

The scene was set for management to intervene more aggressively demanding greater disciplinary tools to tackle ‘wayward’ staff and students..

 

With the surveillance culture it casts over education, and the manner in which it pits students against staff, transforming the relationship between those who should be natural allies into one of distrust and suspicion, PREVENT is the ideal “disciplinary” measure for management bodies to silence challenging voices in academia. .

 

For solidarity to flourish, PREVENT must be abolished

 

Furthermore, in colleges specifically, the greater regulation of the Prevent duty, through the Counter-terrorism and Security Act 2015, has allowed for greater monitoring of teaching content – binding teaching staff to the dubious and disputed principle of ‘Fundamental British Values’, while also providing an opportunity for management to clamp down on dissenting staff.

 

PREVENT in education is therefore a mechanism of control and management, and an anti-solidarity tool, akin to policies of blacklisting that have long haunted workers in British industry.

 

PREVENT, in its prescriptiveness when it comes to what does and doesn’t constitute legitimate dissent, is an anathema to trade unions and trade unionists like David, as well as being completely counterproductive to a diverse and impactful academic sector.

 

Challenging and combating PREVENT should be central to the work of unionists and activists – something that David has acknowledged and acted upon consistently, as a matter of principle and as an expression of solidarity to the Muslim community

 

At this time we extend our solidarity in return to him.

 

We encourage people to sign the petition calling for David Muritu’s reinstatement here: https://speakout.web.ucu.org.uk/reinstate-david-muritu

 

And to join the protest at David’s college on Friday 7 June, 11.30am Sandwell College, Central Campus, 1 Spon Lane, West Bromwich B70 6AW.

 

Photo courtesy of UCU

(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.)

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CAGE calls for solidarity with Swedish Muslims as police arrest five imams during Ramadan https://www.cage.ngo/cage-calls-for-solidarity-with-swedish-muslims-as-police-arrest-four-imams-during-ramadan https://www.cage.ngo/cage-calls-for-solidarity-with-swedish-muslims-as-police-arrest-four-imams-during-ramadan#respond Thu, 23 May 2019 17:56:45 +0000 https://www.cage.ngo/?p=26060 Stockholm – A series of arrests of Muslims in Sweden threatens to tarnish the country’s image, as it moves to convict six Muslim leaders, including five imams, under an immigration law that violates due process, justifying this abuse within a narrative of “extremism”. All of them were arrested under a highly politicised immigration law that

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Stockholm – A series of arrests of Muslims in Sweden threatens to tarnish the country’s image, as it moves to convict six Muslim leaders, including five imams, under an immigration law that violates due process, justifying this abuse within a narrative of “extremism”.

All of them were arrested under a highly politicised immigration law that give the Swedish police and investigating agencies extensive powers while limiting access to due process for the accused.

The head of The Swedish Bar Association said in a recent interview that the legislation being invoked in these cases is “problematic” and that the lack of transparency in the cases also risks undermining the rule of law.

All except one of the men arrested are of an Arab background. They are all accused of ‘extremism’ and ‘Salafism’ by so-called ‘terror-experts’ – allegations that do not amount to criminal offences, but which in public discourse are being treated as such. All of them stand to be stripped of their residence permits and expelled.

Normal rules regarding due process and the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty are discarded when Muslims are under investigation. Otherwise, the imams would have been arrested under ordinary criminal law. The laws that have been invoked allow basic principles of justice to be easily discarded, and so-called ‘evidence’ to be classified, unavailable to challenge.

The open and compassionate image that Sweden has touted to the world is now cracking – in its place a fearful and oppressive regime is emerging, intent on instilling fear in the Muslim community. We call for solidarity with Muslims in Sweden, and adherence to the rule of law.

[Ends]

Press enquiries:
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(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.)

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CAGE calls for accountability for the abuse of John Walker Lindh on his release https://www.cage.ngo/cage-calls-for-accountability-for-the-abuse-of-john-walker-lindh-on-his-release https://www.cage.ngo/cage-calls-for-accountability-for-the-abuse-of-john-walker-lindh-on-his-release#respond Thu, 23 May 2019 11:52:18 +0000 https://www.cage.ngo/?p=26054 London - As John Walker Lindh is released, the US government must face key questions about his abuse under interrogation, as well as the atrocities committed by the US military during the invasion of Afghanistan. During his imprisonment, then US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ordered US interrogators to “take the gloves off”. The result was

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London – As John Walker Lindh is released, the US government must face key questions about his abuse under interrogation, as well as the atrocities committed by the US military during the invasion of Afghanistan.

During his imprisonment, then US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ordered US interrogators to “take the gloves off”. The result was that Lindh was kept naked in a freezing container for two days, while his wounds remained festering and untreated.

Lindh was paraded as a trophy in the media, as the first American captured who was “fighting for al-Qaeda”. But US terrorism experts have said that he fought for the Taliban, which he saw as an “Islamic liberation movement” struggling to remove the US-backed Northern Alliance, which he had seen committing “numerous atrocities … against civilians”.

The examples of these atrocities are well documented, but perhaps most well-known is the massacre of over 500 unarmed Taliban prisoners at the fort of Qala-i-Jangi in 2001, of which John was a survivor, and for which there has still not been any accountability or apology from the US and Britain, who backed the killings.

Moazzam Begg, outreach director for CAGE, said:

“John Walker Lindh was taken into US custody following one of the worst military massacres in recent history. Over 500 Taliban of mostly unarmed prisoners were killed by US and US-allied Afghani militias at Qala-i-Jangi. Lindh was one of only 86 who survived. The methods used to kill them included gunfire, shelling, aerial bombardment, drowning, electrocution and burning.”

“Although one CIA official – who was reportedly firing indiscriminately at bound prisoners – was killed during the violence, there was never any suggestion that Lindh was involved in any way. The majority of those who survived were sent to Guantanamo and it is from them I heard about the horror at Qala. Most of the Guantanamo survivors of Qala were released over a decade ago. John Walker Lindh’s biggest crime, however, was that he was American.”

“Despite not harming anyone Lindh was sentenced to twenty years in prison – not because of what he did but who he was. America exacted its revenge against one of its own.”

“There are those who believe that John Walker Lindh should remain in prison far longer. The truth is that Lindh has been in prison far too long and should never have received such a heavy sentence. It is now time for him to be allowed to restart his life in peace and freedom.”

 

(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.)

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Javid’s ‘designated areas’ announcement will criminalise aid workers and impact people in desperate need https://www.cage.ngo/javids-designated-areas-announcement-will-criminalise-aid-workers-and-impact-people-in-desperate-need https://www.cage.ngo/javids-designated-areas-announcement-will-criminalise-aid-workers-and-impact-people-in-desperate-need#respond Tue, 21 May 2019 17:10:15 +0000 https://www.cage.ngo/?p=26047 London - Sajid Javid’s announcement yesterday that areas of Syria and potentially West Africa will become unlawful ‘Designated Areas’ will severely affect aid workers and the provision of aid to stricken areas. Minimal safeguards against the power secured during the Counter-terrorism and Border Security (CTBS) Act’s passage through Parliament this year will do little to

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London – Sajid Javid’s announcement yesterday that areas of Syria and potentially West Africa will become unlawful ‘Designated Areas’ will severely affect aid workers and the provision of aid to stricken areas.

Minimal safeguards against the power secured during the Counter-terrorism and Border Security (CTBS) Act’s passage through Parliament this year will do little to stem the abuse and harassment of aid workers that CAGE has already witnessed and documented under existing counter-terror powers. Now aid workers face 10 years imprisonment simply for travelling to areas where they may be required to work.

Moazzam Begg, Outreach Director for CAGE, said:

“Javid’s pronouncement comes at a time when aid work is being increasingly criminalised, with charitable workers being subject to Schedule 7 interrogations, bank account closures and even citizenship deprivation. This law shows again how today, terrorism legislation isn’t about violence. It’s about geography and identity.”

“Behind the rhetoric of counter-terrorism lies the fact that the state wants to encourage aid only through large charities with government backing, but it is these charities that are often slow to deliver aid in areas of most need. This also means that aid becomes politicised, and actions of charity are aligned to UK foreign policy, devaluing the very notion of aid itself.”

(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.)

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Guess what? The response to the definition of Islamophobia…is Islamophobic https://www.cage.ngo/guess-what-the-response-to-the-definition-of-islamophobiais-islamophobic https://www.cage.ngo/guess-what-the-response-to-the-definition-of-islamophobiais-islamophobic#respond Fri, 17 May 2019 17:21:20 +0000 https://www.cage.ngo/?p=26042 By Asim Qureshi The burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander. That's not our job, alright - stop with all that. If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you better have an established record of critique of our oppression. If you have no interest in equal rights

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By Asim Qureshi

The burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander. That’s not our job, alright – stop with all that. If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you better have an established record of critique of our oppression. If you have no interest in equal rights for black people then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down.[i]

These words by Jesse Williams at his famous BET Awards acceptance speech are perhaps more relevant than ever. While of course Jesse Williams is speaking about the context of black people in American specifically, what he really means, is racism. When we speak about Islamophobia, what we mean to talk about, is a manifestation of racism that is explicitly directed towards those who are Muslim, or those who are perceived to be Muslim.

Of course, Muslims are very concerned by anti-Muslim violence on the streets, which seemingly all sections of liberal society seem to acknowledge is a bad thing? The question emerges, why are the government, police, media and think-tanks scared of the word Islamophobia? In their view, they claim it will shut down free speech and potentially increase the level of threat in the country – as Muslims will have a definition that can be applied to the actions of the state. In fact, that’s the entire point. Muslims were in need of a term that specifically identified how structures are involved in a form of racism that is targeted at Muslims. The book ‘What is Islamophobia?’, helps to identify this:

We regard the state, and more specifically the sprawling official ‘counter-terrorism’ apparatus, to be absolutely central to production of contemporary Islamophobia – the backbone of anti-Muslim racism.[ii]

If we want to understand how racism and Islamophobia connect, we need to understand how racism is a process of pathologising, one that sees danger of black and Muslim lives in not just the colour of their skin, but also in the beliefs, ideas, culture and superficial registers.

So, for example, when tens of thousands of British Muslim citizens are stopped each year at UK airports are stopped only due to a profiling exercise, we need to be able to call this racism and Islamophobia – in the same way SUS laws were identified in the 1980s. The markers that are used are not just linked to actual evidence of wrongdoing, but rather part of a pathology that identifies Muslims as being problematic by virtue of their very existence. It is no surprise then, that Tony Blair, who brought in these counter-terror measures, recently resurfaced in order to call for the increased securitisation of minority communities over knife crime:

but remember the communities that are most affected by these crimes are the communities that will be sensitive to these questions. Whatever it takes, you do it.

This is precisely the response of those who have no desire to hold up a mirror to themselves or the machinery of the state. In the UK, there are many cases of individuals who have been arrested or interrogated for these outward symbols of danger. So a UK academic studying terrorism for his PhD is arrested for reading the al-Qaeda training manual as part of his research. I have a client who was interrogated by counter-terrorism police about his views on Palestine, at the age of 7. These are all markers that are problematised due to racist and Islamophobic assumptions.

We need to acknowledge one thing at this point. Racism is violence. When the architecture of racism and Islamophobia deploy to harm an individual, the impact of that violence cannot be understated, as its long-term impact of trauma has not been fully understood yet. The fear system that is invoked when this violence takes place changes the physiology of the impacted person, so they are changed forever by their experience. We still don’t know what this might mean intergenerationally.

Ultimately, our lives are on the line, and we do not have the luxury of engaging in the systems of racism and Islamophobia. The Christchurh killer, Brenton Tarrant, is a low hanging fruit. While I want to see him pay for his crimes, I’m much more interested in the systems that produced him and his thinking – what are the root causes of his violence. I would argue that it is the structures of racism that permitted him to carry out this violence, and so it is the structures that we need to hold to account before anyone else.

It is the reason why the state has sought to privilege voices in its assessment of the word Islamophobia, that have traditionally called for the increased securitisation of Muslim communities. A letter signed by 40 individuals who have consistently warned of the dangers posed by Muslims comes as no surprise, as it is these very same individuals who are open to be accused of being involved in Islamophobia, as they seek for Muslims to be subjected to increased scrutiny for their very faith. None of these individuals has any track record of calling out the structures of racism that exist within the state, particularly in relation to Muslims, but have rather been involved in a process of increasing it. And so I return to the words of Jesse Williams I began this piece with:

If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you better have an established record of critique of our oppression. If you have no interest in equal rights for black people then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down.

 

[i] Lasher M. (2016) Read the Full Transcript of Jesse Williams’ Powerful Speech on Race at the BET Awards. TIME

[ii] Massoumi N. et al (2017) What is Islamophobia? Racism, Social Movements and the State. Pluto Press

(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.)

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Julian Assange’s arrest: The UK is doing the US’s dirty work by persecuting a man who exposed war crimes https://www.cage.ngo/julian-assanges-arrest-the-uk-is-doing-the-uss-dirty-work-by-persecuting-a-man-who-exposed-war-crimes https://www.cage.ngo/julian-assanges-arrest-the-uk-is-doing-the-uss-dirty-work-by-persecuting-a-man-who-exposed-war-crimes#respond Thu, 11 Apr 2019 12:29:31 +0000 https://www.cage.ngo/?p=25850 London - Wikileaks founder and international whistleblower Julian Assange must not be extradited to the United States following his arrest and forceful removal by the Metropolitan Police, upon request by the Ecuadorian Embassy, where he has been seeking refuge for the last 7 years. The work that Assange and Wikileaks produced has reshaped the debate

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London – Wikileaks founder and international whistleblower Julian Assange must not be extradited to the United States following his arrest and forceful removal by the Metropolitan Police, upon request by the Ecuadorian Embassy, where he has been seeking refuge for the last 7 years.

The work that Assange and Wikileaks produced has reshaped the debate about the abuses of powerful states, especially the US, in the context of the War on Terror. Without such courageous work, the awareness of unspeakable crimes, let alone the small semblance of accountability that we have seen, would have never happened.

Moazzam Begg Outreach Director for CAGE said:

“This is a witch hunt against whistleblowers and those who are seeking accountability from the powerful. The UK-US extradition treaty which has always been ripe for abuse, will be used once again to silence voices of dissent.”

“Assange must not be extradited to the US. He is a truth-teller and one that has sacrificed his own liberty to shed light on the abuses of the world’s most powerful states. If no one is above the law as Sajid Javid boasted, then surely we should be supporting Assange not arresting him.”


(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.)

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Row over LGBT lessons in schools centres PREVENT to draw false pathways between belief and violence https://www.cage.ngo/row-over-lgbt-lessons-in-schools-centres-prevent-to-draw-false-pathways-between-belief-and-violence https://www.cage.ngo/row-over-lgbt-lessons-in-schools-centres-prevent-to-draw-false-pathways-between-belief-and-violence#respond Mon, 08 Apr 2019 14:26:28 +0000 https://www.cage.ngo/?p=25841 London - The current row over LGBT+ lessons in schools in Birmingham and other parts of the country highlight how the discriminatory counter-extremism framework is being used to falsely draw equivalences between private belief and acts of political violence. This is being done with special aggression, the targets of which are children, at a time

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London – The current row over LGBT+ lessons in schools in Birmingham and other parts of the country highlight how the discriminatory counter-extremism framework is being used to falsely draw equivalences between private belief and acts of political violence.

This is being done with special aggression, the targets of which are children, at a time when PREVENT has been comprehensively lambasted as Islamophobic, discriminatory and unscientific in its basis.

There has been a conflation of numerous issues during this debate, but of most concern to CAGE is the idea being peddled by PREVENT advocates and voices that are close to the government, that by teaching children alternative ways of living we can confront “radicalisation” and “extremism” and by extension, prevent ‘terrorism’.

Asim Qureshi, Research Director for CAGE said:

“Underlying all this is a deep mistrust of the Muslim community in teaching their own children how to coexist alongside others. The language of ‘isolated communities’ which is steeped in racist stereotypes is being exploited to further a securitised agenda with LGBT+ lessons being used as only the latest in a series of blunt instruments to achieve this aim.”

“Parents are the primary educators of their children and have the right to impart their values and beliefs freely. The state or educational institutions should play a supportive role and not undermine this.”

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

(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.)

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Sajid Javid’s ‘Public Health’ approach to knife crime is a gross perversion and an extension of PREVENT-like logic https://www.cage.ngo/sajid-javids-public-health-approach-to-knife-crime-is-a-gross-perversion-and-an-extension-of-prevent-like-logic https://www.cage.ngo/sajid-javids-public-health-approach-to-knife-crime-is-a-gross-perversion-and-an-extension-of-prevent-like-logic#respond Wed, 03 Apr 2019 10:32:40 +0000 https://www.cage.ngo/?p=25824 London - In another swipe at minorities, Sajid Javid has announced a “public health” approach to knife crime that co-opts discriminatory PREVENT logic and extends it further into society. City Hall announced it would be taking a public health approach to knife violence last year, and now the Home Secretary has recently announced that his

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London – In another swipe at minorities, Sajid Javid has announced a “public health” approach to knife crime that co-opts discriminatory PREVENT logic and extends it further into society.

City Hall announced it would be taking a public health approach to knife violence last year, and now the Home Secretary has recently announced that his office will be taking a Prevent-style “public health” approach to the issue.

This approach is evidence of the exploitation of a social issue, and the corruption of the very notion of “public health”, rather than an honest attempt to solve deeper societal injustices that give rise to criminal behaviour.

Furthermore, the move will entrench the failed and toxic securitisation and behaviour intervention processes of PREVENT, while blending it with the police’s already racist and problematic database known as the Gang Matrix.

Asim Qureshi CAGE Research Director, said:

“To solve social violence it is crucial to understand it as a product of underfunded, under-serviced and abandoned communities, and ongoing, deep social inequalities that plague Britain. Instead, this securitised approach is whipping up sympathy for police and opening the door for heightened discrimination and abuse.”

“This announcement is yet more evidence that the government seeks to evade accountability, while continuing its criminalisation of Black and working class communities through a gross perversion of the very notion of “public health”, which is meant to embed trust in society.”

“The very fact that Mr Javid is evoking PREVENT in this framework, illustrates not only the commonalities of experience between black and Muslim communities, but a blind continuation of a policy that has already been acknowledged as having failed.”

 

CC Image courtesy of DPP Law on Flikr: www.dpp-law.com

(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.)

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MI5 aims to share even more data and “partner” up with public services should alert us all to resist a rising police state https://www.cage.ngo/mi5-aims-to-share-even-more-data-and-partner-up-with-public-services-should-alert-us-all-to-resist-a-rising-police-state https://www.cage.ngo/mi5-aims-to-share-even-more-data-and-partner-up-with-public-services-should-alert-us-all-to-resist-a-rising-police-state#respond Tue, 02 Apr 2019 17:27:47 +0000 https://www.cage.ngo/?p=25818 The recent announcement that MI5 will be sharing even more information with local authorities and public sector services about potential “extremist threats” is a startling move that must be opposed since it amounts to a fear-based effort to create a more closed society and entrench control over dissent. It is also yet another manifestation, of

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The recent announcement that MI5 will be sharing even more information with local authorities and public sector services about potential “extremist threats” is a startling move that must be opposed since it amounts to a fear-based effort to create a more closed society and entrench control over dissent.

It is also yet another manifestation, of Islamophobe Douglas Murray’s call in 2006 at the right-wing Pim Fortuyn Memorial Conference on Europe and Islam, to make “conditions for Muslims harder across the board”.

This “full spectrum”, “multi-agency” approach, according to Mi5 director Andrew Parker and Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, “means sharing intelligence with a wider range of partner bodies than before, such as health and social services” in an approach that “has parallels with how the authorities manage the risk posed by sexual or violent offenders”.

The result will be a closed, mistrustful society, where ideas that even hint at dissent or challenging authority are criminalised, and individual prejudice against certain communities is more easily leveraged and justified.

It will also further erode Britain’s tradition of due process and the rule of law, since this approach seeks to circumvent any legal redress available to targeted individuals, families and organisations.

Blacklisting in the dark

The European Union passed the General Data Protection Regulation in 2016, to protect individual privacy for individuals within the EU and the European Economic Area. This includes addressing the manner in which personal data is stored, used and shared.

The government routinely rejects FOI’s into data collection, retention and other related issues based on national security grounds. Consequently it is impossible to ascertain the basis of the data collection, how it is used and the extent to which such blacklisting is used by the State.

This move by Mi5 means that data sharing within Prevent and counter-terrorism (for example why a public meeting or speaker has been banned, or how the Home Office uses data gathered by the Henry Jackson Society to blacklist “extremists”), will effectively be put in the dark.

Extension of PREVENT and the pre-crime space

By bringing in public sector services as “partner” agencies, in the same way as is done for tackling sex offences, the security services are placing suspicion at the same the level as criminal convictions.

The pre-crime space is an area where criminalisation occurs when no crime has taken place. It fosters an environment where prejudice and suspicion operate to label an individual as “vulnerable” and requiring state intervention. These concerns have been expressed forcefully in connection with the toxic PREVENT strategy.

Strengthening the arm of the state for civil sanctions

The sharing of information that has not been adequately challenged in court, and of which an individual may not even be aware, is not only a violation of the rule of law, but it also opens the door for personal and political vendettas, intimidation and discrimination to occur.

Individuals in public services cannot be given even more authority to report those with whom they work, or individuals under their care. The result is a surveillance nation, and a huge fracture in trust between individuals in sectors where trust is paramount.

Representatives from the security services have openly stated that the primary target of this is “Islamist extremism”, but the move will put more people into the “extremism” matrix, a catch-all term for all forms of dissent and non conforming attitidues and beliefs.  

However, the overarching stated aim of combating “Islamist extremism” – which is so subjectively and broadly interpreted by a society easily triggered by Islamophobic media and politicians – will further securitise Muslims and their families.

In this way, it builds on a broad matrix of fear that gives public institutions a green light to accept Muslims as second class citizens, thereby exceptionalising them.

This must be seen for what it is, and the violations it can lead to

This initiative must be challenged through legal avenues. It is about fortifying state control over ideas, behaviour and the way we engage with causes close to us, while boosting the profits of the counter-extremism and security/surveillance sector.

Problems associated with pre-crime, third party data snatching and sharing without real safeguards, the securitisation of entire families, and the increasing use of militarised, secret courts are all connected to this.

Most importantly, further pressurising social workers and health care practitioners to become agents of the police, undermine an open and free society society.

This is a move that is at odds with the values held dear by the general populace of Britain, and as Muslims we are at the forefront of it. This is why we must resist this encroachment into our lives and beliefs.

Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

(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.)

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Scotland Yard investigation into torture of Abu Zubaydah must result in clear answers about Britain’s role https://www.cage.ngo/investigation-into-torture-of-abu-zubaydah-britains-role https://www.cage.ngo/investigation-into-torture-of-abu-zubaydah-britains-role#respond Tue, 02 Apr 2019 00:47:46 +0000 https://www.cage.ngo/?p=25811 London - The criminal investigation into the complicity and role of MI5/6 in the torture of Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn (also known as Abu Zubaydah) must be done with thoroughness and independence, to shed light on his innocence after almost 17 years of imprisonment in secret prisons and Guantanamo without charge or trial. Despite once

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London – The criminal investigation into the complicity and role of MI5/6 in the torture of Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn (also known as Abu Zubaydah) must be done with thoroughness and independence, to shed light on his innocence after almost 17 years of imprisonment in secret prisons and Guantanamo without charge or trial.

Despite once being touted by the US government as a senior member of Al Qaeda, the US administration has reversed its stance and admitted that their original allegations were incorrect, and now the CIA considers that  Abu Zubaydah was neither part of Al Qaeda nor the 9/11 attacks. The UN Security Council has echoed this and removed Abu Zubaydah from its sanctions list.

Moazzam Begg, Outreach Director for CAGE, said:

“In 2014, the US admitted its role in the torture of Abu Zubaydah, which included being waterboarded 83 times, sleep deprivation and mock burials, but no accountability followed. Conversley, Poland, Romania and Lithunia accepted they had played a role in facilitating his torture on their soil and paid him compensation. Britain’s role in his case is only now being probed.”

“The British police have pursued several criminal investigations of MI5 complicity in torture – during which many Guantanamo survivors have given evidence – but each attempt has concluded with “insufficient evidence to press charges.” The primary stated reason has been refusal of US authorities to engage. For any faith to be resurrected in this process, the law needs to force the cooperation of both British and American governments. Anything less is quite simply, a farce.”
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(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.)

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