SHAFAQNA – As Conservatives increase their rhetoric against extremism, a leader in the British Muslim community has warned that the Tory government is set to launch a major crackdown on the religious minority under the guise of combating terrorism.
“UK government is using terrorism as a sort of red herring to try to target the Muslim community,” Abed Choudhury, Head of Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) told Press TV on Tuesday, May 12.
“The government has been following a xenophobic anti-Muslim policy for the last 10-15 years. Terrorism is just the excuse to do this.”
According to Choudhury, the crackdown will be targeting Shari`ah courts besides making it harder for Muslims to get citizenship.
Choudhury warning came a few days after Conservatives announced plans to revive the much-criticized Snoopers’ Charter bill, with its huge surveillance powers.
The bill revival came a few days after Conservatives won five more years in Downing Street in May 7 elections.
Under the controversial legislation, phone and internet companies will be required to maintain records of customer’s internet, email and mobile phone activity for 12 months, without intruding calls or messages.
Since announcing its revival, the Snoopers Charter has been facing fierce opposition from privacy campaigners and rights groups as an attempt by the government to show an “insatiable appetite” for boosting the state’s powers of surveillance.
Last January, British Prime Minister David Cameron said that in case he wins the election he will introduce a communication data bill dubbed the Snooper’s Charter.
Britain is home to a sizable Muslim minority of nearly 2.8 million.
The Muslim leader’s comments came as PM Cameron urged a crackdown on “terrorists”, claiming that “passively tolerant society” has fostered extremism.
Cameron is set to unveil measures against extremism during the first National Security Council meeting after elections.
“For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens: as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone,” Cameroon will tell the Security Council, Daily Mail reported.
“It’s often meant we have stood neutral between different values. And that’s helped foster a narrative of extremism and grievance.
“This Government will conclusively turn the page on this failed approach. As the party of one nation, we will govern as one nation, and bring our country together,” the British Premier added.
The new anti-terror measure will extend security powers to close premises, including mosques.
Meanwhile, the PM said that new measures would mean actively promoting certain values.
“Freedom of speech. Freedom of worship. Democracy. The rule of law. Equal rights regardless of race, gender or sexuality,” he said.
“We must say to our citizens: this is what defines us as a society. To belong here is to believe in these things.”
In November 2014, Cameron disclosed that British fighters travelling abroad to take part in the conflict in Syria and Iraq could be prevented from returning to the UK under a new Counter Terrorism Bill.
Under new “exclusion orders” announced by Cameron, suspected fighters would be barred from returning to Britain unless they agreed to be placed under strict controls.
Rights groups criticized the new proposals as being unjust and warned they were pushing Britain into becoming a “police state”.
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