London, UK, March 24 2009 – Today, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith launched ‘Contest 2’, widely publicised as a new anti-terror policy which boasts that it intends to confront those who oppose ‘our values’. In Sunday’s Observer newspaper Prime Minister Gordon Brown stoked public fears of further terrorist attacks in Britain and last month both a leaked article in the Guardian and a speech by Communities Secretary Hazel Blears confirmed that one of the tactics is to label core Islamic ideas as "extremist".
Commenting on today’s proposals and last month’s statements, Taji Mustafa, media representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain said, “What exactly does the government mean when they talk of core values? Are these the same values that have brought the world to the brink of economic meltdown? Or those values that mean you prefer to spend billions on banks ignoring the world’s poorest? Or perhaps those which have been launched at the end of missiles in Iraq and Afghanistan? The truth is that Smith, Brown and Blears are simply launching a McCarthyist doctrine that will at first isolate, then stigmatise and eventually criminalise people whose political and social views oppose those of the secular liberal state.”
“This policy exposes the extent of Labour’s weakness in 3 ways:
Firstly, the alarmist tone in launching this policy suggests they desire to stoke public fear, thereby distracting from a failed foreign policy, an economy in recession and on-going allegations of ministerial corruption.“
“Secondly, in today’s sad political climate anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant policies go a long way to appease the right-wing media who thrive on this kind of cheap propaganda.”
“Thirdly, the ideological nature of this campaign revealed in last month’s Guardian leak and the speech by Hazel Blears, proves once again that secular liberal states can be as totalitarian as communist states once were. The government has been utterly unable to convince Muslims to adopt secular liberal values, and a regressive nationalist identity, through strength of argument. By finally resorting to bullying and intimidation, and defining a state version of Islam, the government seeks to nationalise people’s political and religious beliefs.”
“The spectacle of a secular government interfering in religion and morality would be laughable if it were not so destructive to community relations.”
“Hizb ut-Tahrir pledges to work to expose these plans for what they are, and encourage the Muslim community to hold fast to Islamic values, and engage with the wider society based on these values. We will encourage the Muslim community to counter the media and political propaganda by direct engagement with people.”