Thursday, February 08, 2007

Today we are freeing the prisoners

Today we are freeing the prisoners. Well two of them anyway.

Are we all evil in the eyes of the state?There was much hoo-haa in the press when nine "Muslim looking" men were arrested under anti-terror laws. The press printed their photos and revelled in various grisly plots that were supposedly afoot in this clean and pleasant land. Although even The Times had to admit today that these stories seemed to be unsubstantiated leaks.

The police have now let two of these men go without charge and Abu Bakr, a PhD student and one of the released men, has a lot to say about his arrest and detention.

He said that "It's a police state for Muslims, it's not a police state for everyone else, because these terror laws are designed specifically for Muslims. That's quite an open fact because the people who have been arrested under terrorism laws, the groups that have been banned under the terrorism laws, the people that have been affected by terrorism legislation, have been Muslims. So we are feeling the brunt of it all. We are the ones that are being locked up, detained, and then told to go back to our lives."

Mr Blair has said that is quite wrong and our friend Jack Straw said "We should not give excuse or quarter to whose who claim this country is a police state - that is absolute, utter nonsense. We live in a democracy and what we are sadly having to fight at the moment is people who seek to destroy the very basis of our democracy."

Thank you Mr Straw that's just what we need during allegations of heavy handed police reaction against the Muslim community, inspiring words about not giving any quarter, very helpful language. Of course, I totally agree anti-terror laws are not just for Muslims - after all I was in Bury earlier in the week supporting peace protesters up on terror charges for trying to oppose illegal weapons - these laws are draconian for everyone.

I agree with Respect when they state that; "Following the anti-terror raids in Forest Gate last summer, in which not a single suspect was ever charged or convicted, is it surprising that Muslims across Britain are concerned about being victimised by anti-terrorism legislation, and about community relations? Is it surprising that they are angry at being demonised by the media? If this government is serious about “winning hearts and minds,” presumably to prevent extremism, then it must do more to counter the creation of false perceptions that Muslims are to blame."

But whilst I've no particular beef with the police arresting someone and letting them go - I think investigations need to be thorough and we should release people who we discover are not guilty of any crime - I am increasingly concerned about the attitude of the press to rumours, speculation and those who get themselves arrested. All this stuff about kidnap plots is reported as fact when, perhaps, it isn't.

Not only has Abu Bakr never been convicted or charged with any terrorism offense, the police appear to have no intention of doing so - yet the press have named him, printed his photo and discussed lurid plots about beheading soldiers that he was never even questioned about. The effect the press can have on people's lives is enormous and the injustice seems all the greater when they single out individuals who are cleared later that very week.

Over the Ipswich murders late last year the first man arrested was named and shamed, had every aspect of his life printed in the press (with no doubt an unhealthy dose of made up nonsense) and then was released without charge because he had nothing to do with it. Additionally a man who the Daily Mail wrongly named, on its front page, as a suspect in the murders has been found dead at his home just yesterday. I can't help feeling that apologies are too little too late (even when they are forthcoming).

Speaking of the effect the media coverage has had on his life Abu Bakr told local news reporters that "they don't realise that, after seven days of virtual torture for my family, it's going to be hard to readjust... This is going to affect me for the rest of my life." Let's see how many more of the suspects are released without charge, let's see what evidence is brought to court before we make up our minds about these men and the communities they come from.

7 comments:

The Sentinel said...

I agree that no suspects of any crime should ever be named or photgraphed. It is very unjust.

After conviction I guess it is fair game.

But considering that the only terrorism we are currently facing is from the muslim section of the UK it is obviously not unreasonable at all for the security forces to direct their efforts toward that community.

If the police were looking for a burglar who's description was 6"2', well built and ginger you would not expect them to stop people who were 5"5', slim and blond, just so as not offend ginger people. It would be a crass waste of time and resources.

It is simply a matter of logic and in a sane world it would not even be questioned or taken as anything other then a common sense approach.

Whilst I agree that some of these incidents are blown out of proportion or even entirely fabricated, for various reasons, clearly some threat is present, and as such operations in this direction are essential.

Given the recent poll's released, and depending on whether you hold any faith in them, support, or at least sympathy for what we perceive as muslim terrorists is enormous and very widespread; if this is really the case then things can only get much worse.

Jim Jay said...

"But considering that the only terrorism we are currently facing is from the muslim section of the UK"

Sentinel do you ever actually watch the news or open a paper?

Are you aware that the big news story right now is a whole series of letter bombs that appear to have absolutely nothing to do with muslims of any persuasion. And just last week there were big stories about animal rights people having a bomb plot.

Rubbish like this comes out of the way the press has reported the news in the last six or seven years - and the totally unjustified scape goating of the muslim community in this country is a major cause of injustice.

The Sentinel said...

Jim Jay,

Of course I keep up with current affairs.

These letter bombs are most likely the work of a disgruntled individual rather then a network of internationally financed subversives. Certainly it is aimed at one section of government control and not at the general overthrow of our system and way of life. The same can be said for the animal rights mob.

Crucially, none of these incidents have resulted in fatalities.

Whereas the 7/7 bombers, all muslim, possibly with international links, murdered 52 people, with the clear intention killing more. The next day, more muslims attempted to carry out a similar atrocity.

The Madrid train bombers murdered 191 people and the Twin Towers attack left 2,973. Again, both were perpetrated by muslims in an organised way and in as part of a concerted campaign.

Many, many more attacks have been carried out globally with a lot less attention. I personally witnessed the handiwork of the muslim AiJ and mujahideenists in Bosnia.

If even a fraction of the reported plots that are currently being monitored are true then we are in very real danger.

I would suggest that the track record of muslims fanatics in every country they reside from UK to the USA form Spain to Somalia and from India to Thailand has fully justified any intrusion into their communities in intelligence lead preventative actions.

I would ask if you keep up with current affairs yourself?

Are you aware of the recent Dispatches programme on the issue; or Abu Izzadeen arrest; or the Muftis of Australia's comments on Australians and woman in general; or the recent polls showing widespread support among muslims for further atrocities?

They have hardly put them themselves into your definition of 'scapegoats' and the attention they receive is far from unjustified.

AN said...

I cannot elp noticng that the last two terrorist issues relating to my home town were Mark Bulman, recently sentanced to 5 years for attempted fire bombing of broad street mosque. Mark was Wiltshire find holder for the BNP, and BNP leaflet was used as the fuse,
and the other case was Kevin Tovey, who was caught in the nick of time by police with an aresenal of guns, military detonators and explosives (not hime made) and lists of names and adresses of blacks and asians in swindon. Police found correspondence at his home between him and the BNP.

This does throw some doubt on the claim: "the only terrorism we are currently facing is from the muslim section of the UK "

The Sentinel said...

an,

The nonsense you refer to was a 22 year old muppet, who daubed graffiti over a mosque and threw a bottle, with some accelerant contained within it, through a window and was arrested almost immediately after it. He was convicted of attempted arson, criminal damage and possession of an offensive weapon and received five years imprisonment.

http://www.wiltshire.police.uk/news/newsview.asp?id=1251

Once again, you and the truth have parted company.

No arsenal of guns; no detonators or explosives of any kind, let alone of military grade were found; no charges of terrorism or even conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism were laid; consequently no 'lists'of any kind were found.

It exists only in your imagination or in the realms the rumour mill you fuel.

You only purpose in any 'debate' is to twist facts and make excuses in order to excuse the inexcusable.

52 people were murdered by muslims, who choose to blow themselves apart in an expression of hatred for Britain and the British. The biggest single terrorist atrocity in the UK.

That is 52 sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, brothers and sister.

A lot of senseless waste.

You seek to justify it by obfuscating the definition of terrorism.

That atrocity only failed again in its replication the following day by the grace of God.

You are no advocate free speech I know, but trust me you share no further similarities with the creed you assume affinity with.

Islam is intolerant of all else; and in particular despises your branch of theory: homosexual rights; feminism; equality ('positive discrimination' style) and pretty much any kind of affiliations or rights other then those laid down by the Qur'an.

You treat all of the very real problems we face as some point scoring game and like to pontificate as if you oppose this government, but the reality is that this government, like every one before it to at least three generations has played the fiddle to your tune.

And here we are; with suicide bombers in the heart of London and many alien voices demanding many alien concepts and performing very un-British acts.

The 'political correctness' you follow so slavishly is founded upon the work of German Marxist academics operating out of a Frankfurt faculty in the 1920's, later culminating in the 'critical theory.'

The obvious question is what is that theory? And the answer is simply: criticism.

Unrelenting criticism of 'western' institutions, traditions and culture. The usage of labels to constrain and frighten; the use of double speak and code to narrow debate and the twisting or ignorance of facts that do not fuel the desired catalyst.

Dialectics, in another even more insidious form.

You have no interest in the truth or reality.

The amusing part is that these people, the true practitioners of Islam. will not dance to your tune; or the tune of the government that brought them here wholesale; so you will most likely be the target of the after effects of it all at first.

The tragedy is that decent people, men, women and children who have no desire to play politics but merely wish to live their lives in peace will be inevitably be murdered sometime again because of those who do.

Jim Jay said...

For a "network of internationally financed subversives" these Muslims aren't much cop are they?

I'd make a much better terrorist.. i mean there are millions of them and they only carry out one successful attack in *years* yet one "disgrunted individual" is whacking out bombs like nobodies business.

they are clearly crap at being terrorists... it's time they moved aside and let the big boys have a go.

You seem to be confusing reactionary comments with terrorism - not a mistake the IRA ever made and certainly they are only being reported because it is muslims making them - so they sudendly become representatives of all Muslims.

We don't let the BNP get away with speaking for all white people... so comments like "Islam is intolerant of all else" is not just skating on very thin ice (in deletion terms) but also inaccurate - there are as many forms of Islam as there are Muslims - and certainly I have met many who would be difficult to describe as "intolerant"

Jim Jay said...

Actually I'm being flippant about you - not the attacks.

All your examples from around the world are part of on-going conflicts with more than one side - yet you only seem to care about making out that Muslims are inherently violent - and if you knew any personally you would know that is not the case.

It isn't a question of censorship - it's a question of whether I allow my blog to become a vehicle for race hatred. Which is illegal as well as completely unpalletable.

I had hoped to avoid this - because you had previously been making your case without resort to such idiocies - but it is for this reason I regret to inform you that that was the last time you posted at this blog without being deleted.