Airport Profiling of the Muslim Minority and the Need to Challenge Injustice

And so the experiences resulting from the continued erosion of liberties is starting to become mainstream.  The human rights destroying UK anti-Terror legislation was brought into deal with the perceived increase in the terrorism threat, and with the fear whipped up in the media and the brown-faced sycophantic opportunists providing the architected narrative of the great “Islamist” threat, postulating their own unsubstantiated fantasies as fact, the scene was set for the public to hand over their rights on a platter to the government, the very entity against which the human rights protect.

The unchecked power of the government and the scapegoating of the Muslim minority in the media means profiling based on religion, which is illegal in international law even in the case of national security issues, has been occurring wholesale without as much as an eye-lid being batted.

And though MI5/Special Branch harassment of influential members of the Muslim community for the purposes of recruitment for spying is reasonably well-known, the repeated, almost normative harassment of the Muslim minority at UK airports is lesser so.

Under Schedule 7, police officers can detain travellers for hours without suspicion. Channel 4 journalist Jamal Osman is the latest to air his experience publicly and his description is standard affair: either get pulled to the side at the passport control desk, or once you have passed through the desk you are called to the side by an “Officer Morgan”, and then your passport and often your phone is taken whilst you are asked questions. If the detained is savvy then sometimes “Officer Morgan” ends up admitting the ridiculousness of the procedure and the deliberate targeting and then cops out with typical line, “I just take orders”.  So did the Gestapo.

Osman writes that,

“I told him that I didn’t particularly want to talk about Somalia and that I just wanted to go home. “Don’t try and be difficult,” he snapped at me. “I’ll detain you if you don’t answer my questions.” And so it continued for another 15 minutes, during which he continued with his threats and with calling me an “idiot” and a “bad person”, claiming “you will die angry and the world would be a better place without people like you”. Finally he compared me to “the racist thugs we are fighting”.”

Indeed, amongst some of the officers there is a tendency to overcook their patriotism.  In one incident a friend of mine (born and bred in the UK) experienced the same whilst returning from a holiday. He was asked “so what are your people’s political views” on a particular international issue, to which he replied, “what do you mean ‘your people?’ ‘Us people’ are British like you, if only you would recognise it”.  And Muslims are lectured about a “Clash of Civilisations”.

For more examples of such disruptive and invasive experiences, I highly recommend the website, schedule7stories.com, which is cataloguing some of the experiences of the mainly Muslim victims of this Nazi-esque profiling.

Chatting to an atheist friend of mine, I asked him about what his thoughts were about the maltreatment of the Muslim minority purely from a human rights perspective and why there was a deafening silence from upright men such as him about these issues, despite the fact these issues affected him, just as they did me. His reply was that the issues facing the Muslim community needed to be brought out to the public, however currently, the Muslims are regarded as the “hot potato” – too hot a topic to touch – and with the people being cowards or simply indifferent, it meant that the broader population would only really speak out when it affected them.

mirandaThe sad reality is that it is affecting the non-Muslims of this country and the laws are being abused to prevent Government scrutiny, something which, we are told, is a hallmark of modern democracies.   David Miranda, if we recall, was stopped at Heathrow airport earlier this year. His detention was not for terrorism, but because he possessed encrypted files, including a hard drive which containing 58,000 intelligence documents. Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act was therefore used to prevent government scrutiny.

Schedule 7, detention without trial, the discriminatory PREVENT policy and the Channel programme which has normalised surveillance of the public by the public, are all measures which despotic regimes use.  The majority of the targeting for now maybe the Muslim minority, but the impact will soon broaden and to some extent already has.  It is for the British public to take stock and start bringing these human rights violations to the top of their agendas.  These policies and laws are an affront to the intellectuality and morality of the philosopher legists of yore and indeed to every upright, reasonable human being today.  Those who are challenging it and are working to expose government-shaking issues, like Miranda, Moazzam Begg and others are detained and/or imprisoned. But as the 19th century American philosopher, Henry Thoreau, said,

“Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.”

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One thought on “Airport Profiling of the Muslim Minority and the Need to Challenge Injustice

  1. Academia these days is preaching that racism is systemic and endemic — that it is so imbedded in everything we do and say that we aren’t even aware of it. Some even go so far as to say that if you’re white, you’re racist. This is not a useful approach, and may well backfire. After all, if racism is as innate as gravity, why fight it? What’s the point in making a Herculean effort if at the end of it society is still as racist as it has ever been, just a bit subtler about it? Most people are naturally racist. Good people will live their lives without showing it. Bad people will get caught through their stupidity or when they’re drunk. There is not much we can do.There was a recent study that showed children tended to lean towards other children of the same skin colour when making friends. There are good people and there are bad people of all colours. So if a good white person doesn’t like a bad black person are they racist? So if a good black person doesn’t like a bad white person are they racist? Dislike of someone can happen not because of their colour but because of their actions. The term racist is over used in the UK and USA, it has so many problems where would we start?

    In my entire life in Canada I never heard the kind of racism either publicly or privately that I hear on a regular basis in the UK. It took me a long time to stop myself from gasping out loud or feeling like I had been slapped across the face. What passes for entirely acceptable discourse is just astonishing. Just in my workplace alone, I made formal complaints about a co-worker who referred to Asians as ‘slant-eyed bastards’ and ‘slant-eyed devils. I listened to someone finish a call with a customer, and then heard them say ‘well, fuck off back to your own country then’. I just had a staff meeting on Friday where the supervisor, the supervisor, referred to annoying customers as ‘mongs’ and made associated faces to go along with it.

    When I address these things with management, they apologise profusely and state it will be dealt with, but then they follow it up by saying ‘but if you weren’t white, they probably wouldn’t have said it in front of you’. Like that makes it better somehow. There is this rationalising that goes on that it should never be said to or in front of people who are not British born, but it never seems to occur to anyone to never say it at all. I hear it a lot on transit as well. Not very long ago, a lovely bus driver stopped for a woman of colour when it was pouring rain, even though he overshot the stop because he didn’t see her hailing the bus. People on the bus could be heard muttering. Racism, everybody has a view but everybody is too frightened to express it. Racism is more complex than just a white on black thing. We’re building a multicultural society and we have to realise that many ethnicities have much more traditional, conservative and intolerant views than the majority of the UK. I have no statistics, but I’d wager there is just as much intolerance of immigrants from other immigrants and 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants than the white population. We just don’t hear about it. I guess it’s not mentioned because most journalists don’t come from working class, multicultural areas. They see racism from afar. They see multicultural communities like visitors to a zoo. Outsiders looking in, if you will. I find that a shame because it generalises what is a complex issue.

    Racism has been so watered down that it doesn’t even mean anything anymore. Simplistic people shouting racism! racism! at people who want to vote UKIP for example completely detracts from the issue itself that ‘if she had been white, he wouldn’t have done that for her’. If it isn’t racism, then it’s sectarianism. I’m tired of watching people at each other’s throats because of that as well. Racism, sexism and homophobia keep the working class divided. A divided working class will always have much less political clout, this suits the capitalist state. These artificial divisions encouraged by the capitalist class in the West. Racism, fear of others, of others taking what you regard as yours. It’s grown from an evolutionary response (maybe?) to an institutionalised, economic and power/political one – Farage with his blatant racism, Cameron and crew with their ..what would you call it..physical and mental cleansing? ideology. We’ve surely moved on and are not so easily fenced into hate and fear-fuelled beings.

    Jeremy Clarkson’s racist outburst, in my opinion is perfectly excusable (considering he probably learnt the rhyme at a young age, the words probably come naturally to him without an association of the words with implied meaning). There are far worse things with far worse implications for both human lives and human society which Jeremy Clarkson frequently endorses which we constantly overlook because they don’t touch on sensationalist or “hot” issues such as racism. Some of these include making fun of cyclist deaths, endorsing speeding, endorsing British nationalism and criticising electric cars/alternative energies. Frankly what offends me far more than the worst racist slurs celebrities utter is the issues that we as humans prioritize as important and/or reprehensible. Jeremy Clarkson is a c***t not because of his racist remarks, just because that is the nature or his being as a generally abhorrent individual. No one denies (other than racists) that racism is still big issue, and it is a shame, but there are far bigger problems facing our society, planet and lives. Public outcry over such a trivial and minor issue only serve to distract from these.
    IA
    London School of Islamics Trust

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