London, UK, January 17 – While welcoming today's defeat of the government in the House of Lords over plans to introduce a new offence of "glorifying" terrorism, Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain, a non-violent Islamic political party, reiterates the need for all people of conscience, Muslim and non-Muslim, to speak out against the other draconian measures contained within the legislation.
The government's defeat comes in the wake of advice by Louise Arbour, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, that proposed anti-terror legislation posed grave challenges to human rights and risked breaking international treaties. In addition to criticising the 'glorification' offence, Ms Arbour also criticised the government's definition of terrorism, the proposed proscription of non-violent Islamic organisations and the extension of pre-charge detention to 28 days. In her letter, Ms Arbour wrote that parts of the Terrorism Bill "could pose grave challenges to effective human rights protection and set worrying precedents in the global struggle against terrorism."
Dr Imran Waheed, a media representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain, said, "The vague definition of "glorification" would have criminalised vast swathes of the Muslim community who speak out on behalf of oppressed Muslims across the world. The new legislation also widens the grounds of proscription on the basis of the vague term "glorification". It will open the door to the banning of political organisations that abhor violence but stand up to Western imposed dictators and tyrants."
"If the government persists in its endeavour to proscribe non-violent Islamic organisations, despite this resounding defeat and criticism from the Joint Committee on Human Rights, Acpo and over 180 leading Muslim organisations and personalities, then the Muslim community and wider society will reach the conclusion that there is a wider political agenda at play."