London – A recent revelation in the Middle East Eye by a former police officer that non-white passengers have been placed on terrorism databases without their knowledge and others stopped only to meet a Schedule 7 quota, confirm that racial profiling is built into Schedule 7 – and it is now more pressing than ever that the power be abolished.
CAGE has worked consistently through a number of campaigns and reports to highlight that Schedule 7 is a draconian power and a manifestation of structural Islamophobia and racism. Recently we documented the harassment of Muslim women at Schedule 7 stops, with many having been asked to remove hijab for no clear and compelling reason.
The recent statements that police literally pull names out of a hat in order to meet targets is looking increasingly embarrassing and demonstrates that this power is a tool for abusing minority communities, crushing down on dissenting voices and has allowed for the building of a sprawling policing surveillance infrastructure.
Muhammad Rabbani, Managing Director of CAGE who himself has been stopped over 20 times under Schedule 7, said:
“This is a shocking revelation by a police officer, finally proving true what CAGE has been repeatedly saying over the years: thousands of innocent people are being stopped, surveilled and harassed because they are ‘non-white’. Police have been given free reign to profile Muslims to “meet a quota” with no accountability for this discrimination whatsoever.”
“The Home Office must now release the figures of people that have been added to the police terrorism blacklist, and inform them how they can remove themselves immediately.”
“Furthermore, we call upon the police watchdog and the information commissioner to urgently investigate how in order to meet Schedule 7 quotas, unsuspecting members of the public had their information potentially illegally uploaded on a terrorism database, causing them unknown amount of grief each time they travel”
“We call on other Police officers to come forward and share their experiences of islamophobia and racism within the Police. Schedule 7 is institutionally islamophobic and racist, it needs to be abolished.”
(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.)