British government’s rendition of Muslim detainees to US
We are disgusted – but not surprised – at the travesty that has been described as a judicial process, ending with a decision at the British High Court, which then lead to the extradition of five Muslims from the UK to the United States.
The cases of Abu Hamza al Masri, Adel Abdul Bary, Babar Ahmad, Khaled al-Fawwaz and Talha Ahsan, who have been held without charge or trial for a collective period in excess of 40 years, have exposed a disease at the heart of the British justice system showing how political pressure trumps principles of justice.
For more than 10 years, different governments in Britain have demonised Islam for their foreign policy objectives – fuelling a hostile public opinion, which has created an atmosphere where a Muslim cannot expect a fair judicial process.
In the aftermath of the judgment from the High Court, some commentators have praised British courts for ‘asserting themselves’. Yet, those who witnessed court proceedings in the past few days have described what they saw as a ‘façade, farce, charade, mockery, show trial and pantomime’. They heard court officials make arguments about ‘public interest’ in a way that seemed synonymous with appeasing hostile public opinion towards the defendants.
When the US aircraft to extradite these detainees arrived before the courts had finished deliberating on the matter, it becomes obvious the decisions are made at a high level only to be implemented by the High Court.
When politicians jump onto the bandwagon of media propaganda, playing to the basest sentiments of the masses (such that jokes about disability are widely tolerated) and accusations about ‘dangerous men’ remaining on British soil for too long (men who had never had the evidence against them tested in court) go unquestioned, then Britain should recognize the extent of the propaganda in society.
When men can be held for so long without justice and the normal rules for society are set aside in their cases (the campaign petition which raised over 140,000 signatures failed to secure the parliamentary debate that so many others managed to secure as their right) – the conclusion can only be that there is a parallel system of justice and rights for Muslims in the UK.
When British and European courts consider the possibility of sentences of up to 50 years in solitary confinement in a ‘supermax’ prison (described by one former warden as “a clean version of hell“) as humane punishment for Muslims against whom evidence did not meet a standard to trigger a prosecution in the UK – the conclusion can only be that Britain is outsourcing punishments to America that are unacceptable within the UK (a type of ‘extraordinary rendition’) – and that any pious attempt to lecture others about human rights is utter hypocrisy.
In the cases of Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan the Muslim community in Britain tried every democratic campaigning method available in order to release them from prison. They unified in an unprecedented way, mobilizing online and in other ways. They had support from many fair-minded non-Muslim individuals, activists, lawyers and even some journalists. They petitioned Downing Street only to be denied a parliamentary debate that 100,000 signatures is supposed to guarantee. They lobbied parliament, in particular appealing to Muslim MPs to represent their cases, only to be offered half-hearted support at best. They took their cases to the highest courts in Britain and Europe, only to be trumped by political considerations. They struggled hard, prayed harder, failed to achieve justice for these five Muslim men but proved beyond reasonable doubt that the judicial and democratic processes are driven by a political policy that is systemically hostile to Islam – and not by principles of rights and justice.
This is the sad but honest truth that explains why such enormous and sincere efforts failed, and why such a climate exists in the UK today.
This episode shows the farce of democracy and how it is used to suit the interests of the establishment. The reality today is that there is no government that will stand up for justice for Muslims. That is why we call all Muslims – who have at first hand witnessed the hypocrisy of this system – to multiply their efforts to establish an Islamic government in the Muslim world that will stand up for the interests of Muslims and Islam
We pray that Allah (swt) rewards all those who made sincere efforts for real justice for these men. We pray that Allah (swt) gives their families and loved ones a beautiful patience and abundant reward at this time of enormous test.
Most of all, we pray that Allah (swt) keeps these five men safe and under His Protection and lets them see real justice soon. For He (swt) is capable of all things.