London – CAGE is astonished by the sentence of Jamshed Javeed for six years for the mere intention to go to Syria to support the victims of the Assad regime.
The sentence is disproportionate and will be perceived as an injustice leading to further alienation of Muslims in Britain.
The Javeed case failed to take into account that that most people who were traveling to Syria during that period were motivated by a desire to defend the Syrian people and not join ISIS.
The reported comments by the judge and prosecution about the adoption of an ideology, jihad, appearance and radicalisation, are all indications that the flawed PREVENT conveyer belt theory with its vague and broad definition of extremism, is now being applied in British courts.
Of immediate concern is that social media activity is taken as an indicator of radicalisation. The browsing habits of individuals is influenced by a multitude of factors. The presumption against a Muslim will be that he or she is radicalised whereas non Muslims will be treated as curious browsers involved in research. This double standard is compounded by the difference in treatment between Muslim and non Muslim participation in the Syrian conflict as exemplified by the continued failure to prosecute only Muslims travelling to Syria.
CAGE Outreach Director Moazzam Begg said:
“There were 165 Syria-related arrests last year. If all these people are given lengthy sentences, there will be a great deal of anger among Muslims at the destruction of families and lives.”
“Why did the prosecution choose to arrest and prosecute Jamshed Javeed, if they knew his intentions and therefore could have stopped him and deradicalised him?”
“The idea that some people can go and fight for some groups and face no sanctions, whilst others can be sentenced for six years for not even setting foot on Syrian soil is a travesty of justice.”
“British fighters that fight with pro-Assad groups are not classed as terrorists whilst those who go to fight Assad are considered terrorists and dangerous. If engaging in violence overseas is unlawful then it should be unlawful for all citizens.”
(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.)