UK: Terror laws are anti-Muslim says senior policeman

Britain’s most senior Asian police officer will today warn that anti-terror laws discriminate against Muslims and could “criminalise” ethnic minorities, it has been reported.

Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Tarique Ghaffur will call for an independent judicial review to investigate what caused the “anger and resentment” of young British Muslims that lay behind the July 7 bombings in London.

Addressing a National Black Police Association conference in Manchester, Mr Ghaffur will also speak about how racism within the police has affected his own career, according to the Guardian newspaper.

He will say: “Not only has anti-terrorism and security legislation been tightened across many European countries with the effect of indirectly discriminating against Muslims, but other equally unwanted practices have also emerged, including ‘passenger profiling’ as well as increased stop and search and arrest under terrorism legislation.”

Mr Ghaffur, who started his police career with Greater Manchester Police in 1974, will argue that stopping and searching tends “to be based more on physical appearance than being intelligence-led”, the paper reported.

He will say: “There is a very real danger that the counter-terrorism label is also being used by other law enforcement agencies to the effect that there is a real risk of criminalising minority communities.

“The impact of this will be that just at the time we need the confidence and trust of these communities, they may retreat inside themselves.”

Ahead of the todays’s conference Keith Jarrett, chairman of the National Black Police Association, said that racism in the police service “had not gone away”.

He told Sky News: “The majority of the police service are decent, hard-working people who are not bigoted but the people who are bigoted will always be bigoted.

“But I know routinely black youths are stopped simply because they’re black.

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Telegraph, UK
Aug. 7, 2006

Religion News Blog posted this on Monday August 7, 2006.
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