6th December 2007 – Home Secretary Jackie Smith has apparently randomly selected to extend the period of detention without trial to 42 days, though there is no evidence that longer periods are needed for reasons of public safety. This surprises no one. Over the past two and a half years both the Labour and Conservative parties have played gesture politics with terrorism laws each trying to ‘out-tough’ the other with ever more extreme policies.
Many Western politicians and commentators continue to try to perpetuate the notion that Western states are liberal, and that it is only the implementation of liberal values that can secure justice and the rule of law. Yet, there is nothing just about laws such as these, which are harsher than some of the laws in Sudan – which recently received scathing criticism for its punishments – and are as harsh as the laws of some of the dictators that are so often denounced by many western commentators. This is the ugly face of an ideology rooted in pragmatism and expediency where the rights of citizens are not universally guaranteed, and the partial dispensation of justice based on the tyranny of the majority is increasingly commonplace. In this case, the government’s populist move seems to be to call for incremental rises in the length of pre-charge detention despite lack of evidence for the increase. Indeed, some innocent people released without charge under these laws have testified that periods of detention over one week made them consider confessing to crimes they did not commit in order to end the tortuous uncertainty they faced.
The government and opposition consensus that Britain requires more draconian laws only varies on details such as whether to ban non-violent political parties, and how long a period of detention they can actually get away with. Many will see this as creeping authoritarianism at a minimum, and at worst fostering a police state just for Muslims citizens. It is entirely consistent with their consensus on foreign policy, in which all semblance of principle has collapsed in the ‘war on terror’ with cross party backing for invasion, occupation and the support for tyrannical regimes.
All of this is just another reason why the Muslim world rejects the imposition of western ‘liberal’ values desiring the implementation of Shariah for the well being for all its citizens, Muslim or otherwise. Supremacist and extremist commentators in the west may well try to delude themselves and others that there is an inherent superiority in their standards of justice which now criminalises thoughts and ideas, detains people without charge for four weeks, and detains non-British citizens indefinitely without even producing a shred of evidence. These are often the same voices that support attempts to impose their values on the rest of the world by coercive means. In our view, this kind of justice is not fit to be imposed on anyone.
Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain
26th Dhil Qada 1428
6th December 2007