Socialist Worker

Terror laws are attacks on our most basic rights

by Saghir Hussein, Stop Political Terror
Issue No. 1963

The first so called terror laws New Labour introduced in 2000 were so draconian I am surprised that these new proposals go even further away from Britain’s basic laws and traditions.

The 7 July bombings showed the terror laws have been completely futile. They have not protected us. They haven’t provided security, which was the pretence upon which they were based. Now Tony Blair wants to go even further.

It’s particularly shocking that a modern British government would go as far as to ban organisations simply for speaking out.

I hope that the majority of civil society will join with us against this attack on one of our most basic rights — the right to freedom of expression.

These attacks on our freedom impact upon the very fabric of British society. With the Macpherson report into the death of Stephen Lawrence onwards there has been a real attempt by the police and other policy makers not to be seen as institutionally racist.

These new laws coupled with statements from the likes of home office minister Hazel Blears give the green light to re-institutionalise racism. It says it’s okay to target Muslims or Asians because they are terror suspects.

We have seen the consequences of this climate of suspicion and hysteria with the tragic death of an innocent Brazilian.

Blair is expanding the definition of terrorism.

Rather than going to the causes of the problem he targets an already vulnerable Muslim community.

He wants this to be seen as a Muslim problem because he knows as soon as the focus moves away from the Muslims it will go straight to him.

It will go to his guilt, his culpability. His own security forces told him before the war that if he sent troops into Iraq Britain would become a more dangerous place and that’s exactly what has happened.

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Sat 13 Aug 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1963
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