Muslims are told to accept more searches

#1
Britain's Muslim population must accept that people of Islam appearance are more likely to be stopped and searched by police, Hazel Blears, the Home Office minister, told MPs last night.

Because the Government’s anti-terrorism laws were geared to dealing with Islamic extremists, Muslims would inevitably be disproportionately targeted, she said.

“The threat is most likely to come from those people associated with an extreme form of Islam, or who are falsely hiding behind Islam,” she told MPs. “It means that some of our counter-terrorism powers will be disproportionately experienced by the Muslim community.

“That is the reality and we should recognise that. If a threat is from a particular place then our action is going to be targeted at that area.” She made the comments during the all-party home affairs select committee’s inquiry into the effect anti-terrorism powers have had on community relations.

Her frankness surprised MPs, particularly as Labour is already facing a backlash at the coming election from the Muslim community because of the Iraq war.

Massoud Shadjareh, the chairman of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, described Miss Blears’ comments as “outrageous” and “irresponsible”. Mr Shadjareh, who sits on an advisory panel on stop and search set up by the Home Office, accused her of “playing an Islamophobia card” before the election.

“She is demonising and alienating our community,” he said. “It is a legitimisation for a backlash and for racists to have an onslaught on our community. This sort of comment is just music to the ears of racists.”

He said statistics showed that of the 17 people in Britain found guilty of terrorist acts since September 11, only four of the 12 whose ethnic backgrounds were known were Muslim.

That did not indicate an overwhelming threat of terrorism from Muslims, he said. He accused Miss Blears of being “irresponsible” for making such comments when she had those facts.

Mr Shadjareh said Muslims who committed acts of terrorism went out of their way not to look Islamic. “The profile that has been used in stop and search is looking for a long beard and Islamic beard, which is not the profile of a terrorist.”

His comments were echoed by Inayat Bunglawala, of the Muslim Council of Britain, who said: “Quite frankly, her remarks are thoroughly unhelpful and irresponsible at a time when there is an increase in anti-Muslim sentiment in the UK and Europe.”

He added that the comments served only to add to the animosity of those who were already targetting Muslims unfairly. Marsha Singh, Labour MP for Bradford West, which has one of the largest Muslim electorates in the country, joined in the criticism and said that security should be “intelligence-led, not appearance-led”.

Mr Singh, who is of Sikh origin, said: “People of Sikh appearance with beards and turbans have experienced being stopped because they are being put in the same bracket as Muslims.”

Miss Blears’s remarks are all the more controversial because they appear to contradict views she expressed seven months ago. At that time she warned the police against abusing their powers when stop and search figures showed the numbers of Asians being targeted had risen by 302 per cent

The row broke as the Tories put immigration back in the spotlight. They reinforced their intention to impose tougher controls on immigration and asylum at the heart of their election campaign.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/mai...ml&sSheet=/portal/2005/03/02/ixportaltop.html

Who would like bets on which interested party will be the first to call this racsist? My money is on the muslim council of britain.

A_S
 
#2
He added that the comments served only to add to the animosity of those who were already targetting Muslims unfairly. Marsha Singh, Labour MP for Bradford West, which has one of the largest Muslim electorates in the country, joined in the criticism and said that security should be “intelligence-led, not appearance-led”.
S when the security services are told to urgently look out for a a gentleman of asian apperence approx 5'10" wearinf Islamic regalia then they are supposed to ask for more info, such as his name and address? A photo perhaps? All in the space of they few minutes they might have to prevent a disaster?
 
#3
Good for a Labour MP to be honest about it, if it were Jock extremesists who were doing this, I would have no problem about being stopped and searched and it wouldn't in my eyes be racist either.
 
#4
dui-lai said:
Good for a Labour MP to be honest about it, if it were Jock extremesists who were doing this, I would have no problem about being stopped and searched and it wouldn't in my eyes be racist either.
Nope but you just know the SNP would grumble about it :D
 
#5
Agent_Smith said:
dui-lai said:
Good for a Labour MP to be honest about it, if it were Jock extremesists who were doing this, I would have no problem about being stopped and searched and it wouldn't in my eyes be racist either.
Nope but you just know the SNP would grumble about it :D
its what keeps them going :roll:
 

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