Today the media has reported on the Human Rights issues surrounding the terrorism Stop & Search powers used in England and the outlawing of the radical Islam4UK (see BBC profile) group.
BBC: Police powers to use terror laws to stop and search people without grounds for suspicion are illegal, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled.
BBC: Islamist group that planned a march through Wootton Bassett will be banned under counter-terrorism laws, Home Secretary Alan Johnson has said.
These events, despite being at the opposite ends of political spectrum and/or religious opinion, have obviously left some highly charged feelings. Many people have quickly voiced equal levels of both support and condemnation, views that are obviously dependant upon which side of the fence they sit.
Over recent years numerous new laws have hit the statute books in an effort to combat the threat of terrorism but how successful has some of it actually been? At what point do we stop being suspicious (and scared) of people simply because of their appearance or try to stifle opinion by the use of more legislation?
It has to be said that; much of the distrust and fear of Muslims in the Western World is, in direct proportion to the vociferous views of a radical fundamentalist Islamic minority. A small (in my opinion misguided) group, seeking to impose their views on others by means of violence. Such opposing religious/political beliefs are (as history has continually proved) the fuel of wars!
Now I’m no cleric or even a well read student of religion, so I can only look at the issues in a simplistic but hopefully humane manner. I do believe that (unless taken literally) there are relatively few differences between the actual principles of Christianity and Islam. Over the years I have had many friends and acquaintances from all manner of ethnic backgrounds and cultures and hopefully, we have always managed to get on, even when we didn’t totally agree. Just sometimes, due to fundamentally differing educational and cultural backgrounds, you just have to agree to disagree.
It is interesting to see how Islamic groups who bemoan ‘their restriction of freedom’ in the UK, are not afforded similar levels of expression their countries of origin. It must be really hard work to be a ‘good’ Muslim when you are only allowed to have Islamic thoughts? I can only think that; a lot of the ideas found within Animal Farm must have originated in the Middle East somewhere?
Political language . . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. – George Orwell
And the Islamic fundamentalist groups have the nerve to complain about our ‘thought police’? That’s rich!
Wikipedia entry on Islam http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam