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Press Release: IHRC comments on ëTerrorism and Community Relationsí Report

06 April 2005

IHRC welcomes the Home Affairs Select Committee report on ëTerrorism and Community Relationsí. However, IHRC disappointed with certain findings of the Committee.


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Islamic Human Rights Commission
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6 April 2005


Press Release: IHRC comments on ëTerrorism and Community Relationsí Report


Overall IHRC welcomes the Home Affairs Select Committee report on ëTerrorism and Community Relationsí. IHRC is however deeply disappointed with certain findings of the Committee.

Many of the Committeeís findings such as Islamophobia being a societal problem rather than a Muslim problem; that the Muslim community must be involved in the review and drafting of existing and new anti-terrorism legislation; that the media are behaving irresponsibly; and that more detailed statistics are needed on how anti-terrorism powers were being implemented, have been previously highlighted by IHRC in recent reports.

Although the Report explicitly stated that Muslims are no more likely to turn to violence than followers of any other religion, IHRC is extremely disappointed by the Reportís repeated concern about British Muslims being involved in ìextremismî and ìterrorismî. The Report calls on Muslims to condemn anti-Semitism with no corresponding call on any other specific community to condemn anti-Semitism, Islamophobia or any other hate crime.

IHRC is also deeply disappointed with the finding that the Asian community was not being ìunreasonably targetedî by stop and search. Recent Home Office statistics reveal a disproportionate level of stop and search of the Asian community. The finding condones and endorses such targeting of a specific community.

IHRC is most frustrated by the Committeeís finding that the targeting of the Muslim community by the terrorism laws is an incorrect Muslim perception. IHRC strongly believes that such a contention cannot be made without clear statistical evidence. This can only be obtained by recording the religion of victims of stops and searches, a recommendation rejected by the Committee. IHRCís own case files and statistics indicate that it is not just a perception but a clear policy of Muslim profiling.


[Ends]

Note for Editors:

The IHRC reports, ëTerror in the Name of Anti-Terrorismí, which discusses the effect of anti-terrorism legislation on British Muslims, and ëMuslim Profilingí which discusses police strategy and policy are both available to download from the IHRC website www.ihrc.org .

If there are any problems downloading the reports, please email info@ihrc.org and request a copy of the report

For more information please contact, info@ihrc.org.

Islamic Human Rights Commission
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