David Miranda’s detention: Britain the police state, just ask the Muslims
When it comes to Muslims, politicians are selective in their use of anti-terror laws.
On Sunday 18th August at 8:05am, a 28 year old Brazilian man, David Miranda, was stopped and detained under the Terrorism Act at Heathrow airport before his flight to Rio de Janeiro. In brief, he was detained for nine hours without access to a lawyer and unable to contact anyone and his possessions were confiscated before release.
David Miranda is linked to Edward Snowden, the former US intelligence contractor, who has leaked the details of a major US spy programme, via Glen Greenwald, a Guardian journalist. Mr Greenwald has threatened the government that he will leak more documents obtained from Edward Snowden.
Since Sunday’s episode, MP’s, politicians, human rights activists and even the Brazilian government have been quick to openly condemn and express their ‘grave concern’ over the application of anti-terrorism legislation in this particular case.
One question is where are these same individuals and organisations whenever Muslims are stopped and detained?
Within the sphere of discourse taking place, some have argued the law is being misapplied because journalists are clearly not terrorists betraying an unconscious prejudice that assume that most terrorists are the Muslims. This is however no coincidence because of the overwhelmingly disproportionate application of Schedule 7 against Muslims.
Schedule 7 of the 2000 act allows travellers to be questioned in order to find out whether they appear to be terrorists. They have no right to remain silent or receive legal advice, and they may be detained for up to nine hours. Suspects must even submit their DNA upon request, despite the lack of hard evidence. In reality it is commonly being applied to anyone with a beard, love of the Qur’an, concern for the oppression of the Muslim Ummah or dislike of barbaric western foreign policy.
It is well known that the word terrorism has become synonymous with Islam due to government efforts. It is difficult to take seriously a far from independent government review of the act conducted by David Anderson QC that found that Schedule 7 is not being used in a way that discriminates against ethnic groups. The review therefore only provides further justification for the blanket use of such powers employed against Muslims, who are all too familiar with the above scenario.
This has raised grave concerns within the Muslim community who feel discriminated against and their rights violated. If we look beyond Schedule 7, it is quite clear that the intentions of the British government are to target Muslims under the guise of rooting out extremism, and at all necessary costs.
The difference in attitudes towards Gary McKinnon, responsible for one of the most severe hacks into US military databases who was cleared of any offence and allowed to remain in Britain, and that of Babar Ahmad, Talha Ahsan, Abu Hamza al-Masri and many others who were never tried or charged and imprisoned for years illustrates the blatant, hypocritical agenda of western powers. In fact, most right-wing extremists are not arrested under terrorism legislation despite committing identical if not worse offences. On the many occasions that non-Muslim individuals have been found with hoards of weapons and explosives or found planning credible plots, they have been prosecuted under criminal legislation and not under terrorism. This gross twisting of the reality is why it may appear that there are more terrorists that are Muslim.
Britain fits the very definition of a totalitarian, police state which spies on its citizens, discriminates against ethnic minorities, namely Muslims and uses unjustified measures to counter ‘terrorism’. In Britain, Muslims are all treated as suspects whether citizens of the state or from abroad.
The Khilafah, Islamic state, does away with such measures which produce an atmosphere of suspicion, hate and fear.
Allah (swt) says:
“O you who have believed! Avoid suspicion much. Truly, some suspicion is a sin, and do not spy upon one another…” (al-Hujurat: 12)
Therefore it is forbidden to suspect one another for any reason. The standard of proof is set high in order to protect society and to avoid any doubt to be cast upon individuals or ethnic groups.
The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “Do not hate one another, do not envy one another, do not secretly listen in on others, nor spy on others, and do not bid against one another. Be slaves of Allah as brothers.” [Muslim]
Under the Islamic State, spying, surveillance, policing and monitoring of individuals is extremely restricted unless there is an obvious and imminent threat. Muslims are reminded about the consequences of this and are driven to look out for one another, rather than act in suspicion, which leads to backbiting and mistrust.
The Prophet (saw) said, “O people who have attested to iman by their tongues but not their hearts, do not backbite the Muslims, and do not pursue their private matters. Whoever pursues the private matters and secrets of the Muslims, Allah will pursue his private matters, and he whose private matters Allah pursues, He will expose them even within his own home.” [Abu Dawud, Ahmad]
The future Khilafah state will provide an environment of security, free of suspicion and profiling. The society will be intrinsically driven by its link to the Hereafter where individuals will be more concerned about obeying Allah (swt) and their accountability than busying themselves with the pursuance of individuals in their private lives. It will indeed be a true open state where people will be encouraged to account rulers and state institutions; where spying on the population will be prohibited; where there will be sparse police presence; and where people’s private lives will be respected and left alone, whether Muslim or non-Muslim.