Today, British Home Secretary Theresa May blocked the extradition to the USA of Gary McKinnon, who had admitted to hacking into the Pentagon’s computer system, only two weeks after the approval and extradition of five Muslim detainees, one of whom –Talha Ahsan, like Mr. McKinnon, has Asperger’s syndrome.
We bear no ill will towards Mr. McKinnon on his good news and do not begrudge him the fact he has escaped American ‘injustice’. But we would like to make the following points about the way this case has been handled by the British government, and what it says about British standards of justice – or the lack of them.
This case proves, if ever more proof were needed, that justice in the UK is far from blind to race and religion, but operates a double standard of justice – one in how it deals with Muslims and another for everyone else – which is driven by the interests of the British state and the political interests of governments.
There is one standard of citizenship for Mr. McKinnon – defending him against extradition to a foreign country even though it is their closest ally – and another for their Muslim citizens and residents – shipped off to the US or abandoned for years, as many of the Guantanamo detainees were, and still are in the case of Shaker Aamer.
There is one standard of compassion for Mr. McKinnon based on his vulnerability due to Asperger’s, yet another for Talha Ahsan, abandoned to the risk of life imprisonment in a US ‘supermax’ prison despite his Asperger’s.
Mr. McKinnon’s suicide risk was cited as a reason for concern by the same British government who effectively allowed Abu Hamza to be tortured for years in Belmarsh through sleep deprivation, waking him hourly every night to ‘check he was okay’ (a standard practice for those on suicide watch).
The British government won headlines from the tabloid press for the way it dealt with ‘terror suspects’ extraditing the Muslims suspects (i.e. people accused but not proven guilty of any crimes in most cases) only two weeks ago – yet won headlines for halting the extradition and showing ‘compassion’ today.
We have seen yet again that British justice is more about political expediency than legal principle. The mother of all democracies has been shown to be more about populism, and perpetuating punishment against Muslims who dare to raise their voices against injustices towards fellow Muslims around the world.
If all citizens are not to be treated equally then Britain should at least be honest and say so, instead of spreading a lie that its system is built on pluralism, fairness and a rule of law.
Once again we see the ugly face of the democratic system, and how it is used to suit the interests of the establishment.
Today, there is no government that will stand up for justice for Muslims the way a citizen should expect their government to stick up for them.
And that is why we call all Muslims – who have at first hand witnessed the hypocrisy of this system – to multiply their efforts to establish an Islamic government in the Muslim world that will stand up for the interests of Muslims and Islam the world over.
30 Dhu al-Qi’dah 1433
16 October 2012