|13 Apr 2006
The Terrorism Act will formally come into effect today. The British Muslim community appeals to the Government to exercise maximum restraint and caution in the months ahead in applying the new measures. These laws could seriously damage the admirable human rights record of Britain and contribute to the alienation of large numbers of people, particularly from the Muslim community.
`The fact that these laws are based upon a number of false premises and an unacceptably vague definition of terrorism makes them a recipe for disaster as well as a huge blow to our freedoms’, said Sir Iqbal Sacranie, MCB Secretary General.
The notion that the Muslim community somehow harbours a threat to the country, and to society as a whole, is wrong and offensive. The fact that a handful carried out the terrorist attacks on the 7th of July should not render the entire 2 million strong Muslim community liable to suspicion, censorship and persecution under these laws.
The Government’s attempt to criminalise non-violent organisations, groups and individuals for supporting legitimate causes around the world and expressing political opinion will result in a loss of trust between the Muslim community and the Government. The ramifications of this are serious, potentially putting us in more danger than we face today, by dividing communities and alienating those who we must work with in order to defeat terrorism.
The Muslim community will consider legal intervention if the Government uses these new laws to ban non-violent organisations. In the meantime, we are urging all Muslims to continue to engage in democratic processes to make their voices heard.[ENDS]