Loose with Liberties

‘It would be better that the Government recognised that there are risks, rather than frightening people in order to be able to pass laws which restrict civil liberties, precisely one of the objects of terrorism: that we live in fear and under a police state.’

The US has gone too far with Guantánamo and the tortures. MI5 does not do that. Furthermore it has achieved the opposite effect: there are more and more suicide terrorists finding a greater justification.

That is the view of Dame Stella Rimington who has rightly identified the Governments relentless march to curtail civil liberties in the name of fighting terrorism as being counter productive. David Davis MP will be pleased that such a senior figure from the intelligence industry albeit retired has confirmed his concerns relating to the erosion of the hard won liberties that shape this country. To Muslims like me it has long been obvious that measures such as pre trial detention without charge do little to reduce terrorist threats, yet give radicals recruiting to their cause more reasons to highlight the alleged prejudices against Muslims in the war on terror.

As I mentioned yesterday, a cohesive and well planned strategy is desperately needed to deal with the increased radicalisation of many young Muslims living in this country which the Government seems incapable of delivering. It could start be speaking and listening to people like Dame Stella.

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One Response to Loose with Liberties

  1. UK Voter says:

    I agree that Dame Stella Rimington’s stand is very helpful and of course, it is not the first time she has spoken out on this issue. I also share your concern regarding the introduction of pre-trial detention’ etc. However, this does not just affect Muslims, it affects us all, given any form of detention without charge can be applied to any one of us. As we know, governments are adept as using one set of legislation to deal with a completely different issue. A prime example being the Iceland situation.

    The reality is, our civil liberties are being eroded and removed across the board. It matters not, whether this is pre-trial detention, the right of over 250 government agencies to enter our homes forcibly, the fact that our email, internet habits, calls and movements are routinely monitored or the banning of demonstrations outside parliament without prior notice. Each and every one of these changes are an attack on us all. Therefore, we should be acting collectively, not as separate groups.

    Personally I do not think radicalisation of any group can be dealt with by spying on them or detention without charge. The latter did not work in Northern Ireland, in fact it just made the problem worst. Government needs to engage, not lecture…nor should they provide ammunition. What government is prone to forget, is that most people believe they speak for the majority, therefore government has a massive responsibility to get it right. And, for those that do believe they speak for the majority, I would say this, 57% of voters voted for a party other than New Labour and there was no reference to the majority on going to war or an attack on our civil liberties. Why? Because they would NEVER have gained the support of the majority.

    So please, let’s be clear, this is a government that is completely out of touch with the people and reality, they do not speak for me and I suspect, they do not speak for the majority.

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