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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 2nd November 2015 15:11
Over the last 13 years, rafts of repressive anti-terror laws have been passed, so many that our democracy feels at times like an authoritarian state. This week the Government was forced to abandon a new law which would have given the police and security services full access to all our internet browsing activities. (Anti-terrorism and other “special” measures inevitably get extended to ordinary citizens.) The state will not give up – it will fight back.

Just as sinister are the statutory duties now imposed on teachers and lecturers, prison warders, local government staff, doctors, midwives, nurses and ancillary staff to report “troubling behaviours” in clients, pupils, users and patients. Children in particular are to be watched. So if, say, one of Aamer’s children expresses fury in school about Americans and Guantanamo Bay, his teachers would be in trouble if they did not report him to the relevant authorities.

If a Muslim questions “British values”, he/she gets on to the danger list; if Muslims object to government de-radicalisation policies, they are traitors. Dissent and freedoms are firmly and unfairly being withdrawn from this large section of the British population.

Since 2012, four thousand people have been referred to the government’s anti-radicalisation programmes. Half were teenagers and one was a three-year-old. A junior doctor got in touch last week to ask if he should tell the police about a Muslim woman who, while giving birth, screamed that she hated living in Britain and wanted to go home to Pakistan. All this uproar about freedom of speech in universities – prompted by Germaine Greer’s intemperate comments on transgender people – and yet few of these freedom warriors seem concerned about a far bigger threat, the spying and censorship by the state.

What a time for a punished prisoner to return to these shores. The world is in turmoil and threatened by homicidal Islamicists. British lawmakers mistrust Muslims more than ever and pass draconian laws to keep us down and submissive. Aamer will find he has left a real prison for one where unseen walls press in on him and unseen eyes watch him all the time. One hopes he retains his resilience

yasmin ali bhai brown

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