15 Jul 2010
The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) warmly welcomes the announcement made by the Home Secretary to review anti-terror legislation and to reappraise the government’s Prevent strategy. This review was long overdue. Whilst we recognise the need to protect the safety of our citizens and the security of our country, the current state of laws had made serious and disproportionate inroads into rights of ordinary citizens. These have been seen to give licence to criminalise a community for the actions of few. In addition, the MCB has long argued that our counter-terrorism strategy has conflated security and community cohesion. We are glad this is being decoupled through the suggested dismantling of the Prevent programme.
The Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, Farooq Murad said: `The draconian nature of the current anti-terror legislation has been counter productive. It has had an adverse and unjustified impact on the Muslim communities living in the UK. I very much hope that the review will take full account of and give due weight to the criticisms made by our highest courts of our existing laws on the prevention of terrorism.”
He added, `The MCB would be willing to contribute to the consultation process on the review. We are pleased to note that the views of the much respected human rights organisation, Liberty will be sought. The MCB should like to take this opportunity to reiterate its full commitment to the safety of the people who live in the UK and to the security of our country. In that context the MCB recognises the need to have laws to prevent criminality that is perpetrated by misguided individuals. Such laws need to be robust but as the highest Court of our land has said, anti-terror laws must not be allowed to undermine or erode respect for the rule of law and the equal protection of the laws that have underpinned the English Legal system for centuries.’[Ends]
Notes to Editors:
The Muslim Council of Britain is the UK’s largest Muslim umbrella body with around 500 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools.[ENDS]