London, UK, December 15 – The announcement by the Home Secretary Charles Clarke today that he is dropping plans that would have allowed police to close down mosques as part of new anti-terror measures is little more than a smokescreen to divert attention from the wide array of other draconian measures being introduced by the Government under the pretence of fighting terrorism.
The government felt able to drop this proposal, to give the impression that it is listening, as it had been overwhelmingly opposed by the Muslim community, other faith groups, the Home Office's own taskforce on extremism and the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo). The British Muslim community has always been a law-abiding community, its endeavours to create a more just society have been entirely peaceful and its mosques have not been breeding grounds for violence.
On the same day, almost unnoticed, Charles Clarke issued a statement outlining 'very significant progress' towards accomplishing the 12 point anti-terror plan outlined by Prime Minister Tony Blair on the 5th of August and ruling out a public inquiry into the events of July 7th and July 21st 2005.
Dr Imran Waheed, a media representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain, said, "Charles Clarke's announcement about mosque closures should not fool anyone. The government is still intent on bringing in draconian anti-terror measures which include the prospect of innocent young Muslim men being held without charge for 28 days, the outlawing of the ?glorification' of terrorism which will criminalise support for legitimate liberation struggles against oppression, the proposed proscription of non-violent political organisations like Hizb ut-Tahrir and the deportation of suspects to regimes which practice torture. These measures will criminalise and alienate Muslims."