Blair’s Indifference to Criticism of Anti-Terror Bill Confirms Wider Political Agenda
London, UK, November 22 – A report in yesterday's Guardian newspaper reveals that the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) "knows of no intelligence to justify a Hizb ut-Tahrir ban" and that the anti-terrorism proposals currently before the House of Lords "risk alienating Muslims". The report outlines the police's outright opposition to 4 of the government's 14 proposed anti-terror measures including the banning of non-violent Islamic political parties, amending human rights laws to get round obstacles to new deportation rules, making the justification or glorification of terrorism anywhere an offence and automatically refusing asylum to anyone linked to terrorism anywhere. The Muslim community has also spoken out in a resounding manner against these draconian laws in an unprecedented joint statement issued by almost 200 prominent Muslim organisations and individuals.
Prior to the government's defeat over the extension of detention of terrorist suspects to 90 days, the government encouraged the police to make their position on the issue through the media and through direct contact with members of parliament. Andy Hayman, head of counter-terrorism at the Metropolitan Police, wrote a memorandum arguing the case for the plan, which was widely circulated, including at the Prime Minister's monthly press conference on Monday 7th November 2005. He also joined Home Secretary Charles Clarke to meet Labour backbenchers and was interviewed on television and radio. The Conservative Party also say that MPs received telephone calls, emails and letters from chief constables.
Taji Mustafa, a media representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain, said, "Blair made much of the police advice to extend the detention of terrorist suspects from 14 days to 90 days but is now playing down these new revelations. However in ignoring the Acpo advice and the views of the Muslim community it would seem that the Prime Minister has a wider agenda. The banning of non-violent political parties despite the opposition of the Muslim community is similar to the policies of the dictatorial regimes of the Muslim world. Is it that Blair is so eager to prop up these dictators and prevent the return of the Islamic Caliphate that he is willing to be indifferent to criticism? Will the government now circulate Acpo's view that there is "no intelligence to justify a Hizb ut-Tahrir ban" "
"If these draconian laws are enacted, with the right to speak out about illegal occupation and call for the removal of dictators being curtailed, then it will only further prove that freedom and democracy are only a smokescreen to hide the interests of western governments in the Muslim world."