Loose with Liberties

February 17, 2009

‘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.