London & Paris – Last year, the Justice & Liberties For All Committee (CJL), CAGE UK, the Council on American Relations (CAIR) and Defend The Right To Protest, joined forces to launch the Transatlantic Coordination Against Racism and Repression.
The initiative connects organisations in Europe and North America and allows for the emergence of a human rights and civil liberties collaboration that links campaigns, builds unity in strategy and facilitates the sharing of knowledge.
The Coordination began its work in September 2017 with each organisation reporting on state repression against Muslims in the name of the so called war on terror. Each grouping exposed their respective governments on the same platform these governments use to lecture the world on the rights of minorities.
This year, the Coordination Against Racism and Repression continued its international work with CAGE UK and the CJL joining forces with EMISCO at the OSCE’s annual summit on human rights.
We can no longer afford to act in separate silos as our respective governments have proven time and again that the so called war on terror is a hot war against Muslims abroad and a cold war against Muslim citizens at home.
The exceptional measures employed through maintaining a state of fear have primarily targeted Muslims and turned them into suspect communities through programmes like PREVENT in the UK, CVE (Countering Violent Extremism) in the US and the permanent state of emergency, ‘stop jihadism’ and counter-radicalisation programs in France.
These exceptional policies practised on Muslims are then mainstreamed, eroding rule of law and reducing safeguards for all, whilst laying the groundwork for ever-more repressive measures.
These “suspect communities” cannot be held responsible for the destruction of Iraq and Afghanistan, the support to brutal dictatorships across Africa and the Middle East, the extra judicial killings of people in Muslim-majority countries, the imprisonment-without-trial of innocents, the rendition program or the Guantanamo Bay camp, that have all led to violent Blowback. Those decisions were made by our respective governments and if political violence is to be stopped, we have to address these root causes rather than look for scapegoats.
The CJL and CAGE UK have taken the stage to bring forward their respective programs of resistance against violations of human rights. We do so against the backdrop of rising right wing populism across Europe that is capitalising on the polarisation of western societies. We firmly believe that only a mobilised civil society can push for equity between citizens and keep governments in check.
History teaches us that solidarity requires long standing efforts and we send a message to other activists to join forces with us and give reasons for our peoples to believe in a better future.
(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.)