In this piece, Karen Jayes of CAGE Africa examines Cameron’s ‘extremist’ speech which was made last month, which bears many resemblances to PW Botha’s disastrous 1985 ‘Crossing the Rubicon’ diatribe which brought on South Africa’s second State of Emergency.

(CC image courtesy of Number 10 on Flickr)

PW Botha’s ‘Crossing the Rubicon’ speech– a reference to Julius Caesar’s march across the Rubicon River in Italy, from which sprang the Roman Empire and the genesis of modern European culture – was delivered on 15 August 1985 in Durban, South Africa to an international audience of over 200 million.

When Botha took to the stand it was after months of deliberation and advice revolving around the need to recognise black human dignity, eradicate discrimination and create real tangible equal opportunities as a solution to South Africa’s spiraling violence, international isolation and dire economic status.

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It must be a sign of the times that as we mark 800 years of Magna Carta we expect a law that will tear it to shreds to pass through parliament largely unscathed. A community campaign was launched to #StopTheBill, a piece of legislation that will have a wide reaching impact, particularly against the Muslim community in Britain, giving the government Stasi-like powers to arrest, detain and render stateless, people whom the security agencies feel are at risk of ‘extremism’. Despite the large support this campaign received, this Bill has now been enacted into law. Though this may feel like the end – there are more actions that can be taken – here CAGE sets what you can do next.


As of 12 February 2015, the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill became an Act of Parliament by virtue of the Royal Assent. This means that the provisions within the legislation are part of the legal framework of the UK and applicable to all those living within British borders. Despite this being the most immoral piece of legislation to be enacted by Parliament since the Terrorism Act 2000, for now, we must accept that it has passed into law.

The final version of the CTS Act 2015 contains some amendments from the original bill as it was first introduced before Parliament, however, the vast majority of it has remained the same. The only real positive difference has been a recognition within the statute that higher education universities should be permitted the right to freedom of expression – however that is still not a complete exemption, as the Home Secretary can still order monitoring bodies to overview whether there is a balance between freedom of expression and stopping potential threats.

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Crosspost By: Asim Qureshi

With the government opening the draft Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill 2014 up to public consultation, CAGE has released an advisory document that attempts to educate public bodies on the problems inherent within the draft legislation. Key to the draft Bill is the ability for the government to use multiple public bodies to make decisions about the lives of everyday people, based on spurious grounds. Of key concern is where Prevent officials cannot gain consent of parents, they will have the ability to use health and social services to potentially remove children from their homes in order to implement their strategies of ‘deradicalisation’.

(CC image courtesy of amrufm on Flickr)


On 26 November 2014, The Home Secretary Theresa May introduced the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill (CTS Bill) to Parliament highlighting some revised and new counter-terrorism powers that would be placed on a statutory basis. Key among the various sections and sub-sections is the Part 5 emphasis on providing support for those at, “risk of being drawn into terrorism”. The Bill provides a statutory obligation for public bodies to actively prevent individuals from being drawn towards terrorism in the UK.

The Bill, however, is purposely vague. It provides no guidance within the Bill itself as to the specific instruments that will be used to prevent this terrorism, but rather simply instructs public bodies that guidance will be issued by the Home Secretary to comply with the obligations the statute will create.

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Islam’s First Extradition Case – An Alternative Christmas Message

Source: Economist

Crosspost by: Asim Qureshi

Living in the western world, we sometimes fall into the trap of thinking of rights and due process only within the context of an international framework established through key documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Often by doing so, we miss the history and importance that other cultures, communities and societies have brought to these modern day formulations.

Currently the Muslim community in the UK has become the victim of a number of policies where due process has been removed completely. The cases of the five men who were extradited to the US, including Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan; those men facing deportation, such as Abu Qatada; and finally those who have their citizenships removed, such as Mahdi Hashi – all have in common that the fundamental guarantees of due process have been denied to them.

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Humza Arshad – A Bad Man with Bad Strategy?

(CC image courtesy of See Li on Flickr)

When the question amongst the scholarly milieu arose regarding the status of India under British colonialist occupation during the 19th century as to whether the land had become a place of war or not, those scholars who gave a sympathetic view to the British were supported and paraded. This, despite the fact that the British fully knew and acknowledged the correct position according to Islamic jurisprudence was that the land indeed had become a land of war.  The manipulation of religion and people to meet policy ends is nothing new then.

Let us now turn to a question:

How far can you caricaturise a serious issue replacing a detailed discussion with false premises and reductionist one-liners to foster a strategy which has discriminated against the Muslim minority of Britain and set the course for the erosion of liberties and “British values”? If Humza Arshad’s video is anything to go by, very far would be an understatement.

I was planning to write on his video in detail, except that Fahad Ansari has done a better job than I ever could, lucidly enunciating the problems with giving credence or support to the controversial PREVENT strategy, hence I have re-posted it on this blog.

There are a couple of additions I would add.

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