INTRODUCTION
In the written submission , FAIR have stated, "The ATCSA 2001 is viewed as being targeted primarily at Muslim communities and also leading to the greater criminalisation of Muslim communities in the UK… There are no clear safeguards or systems of accountability to prevent the disproportionate uses of the powers (in the legislation) … The lack of safeguards allows for these powers to be applied in a blanket and indiscriminate manner giving rise to a culture of fear and insecurity amongst vulnerable Muslim communities."

This supplementary submission presents further evidence of experiences within the Muslim communities which have bred widespread fear and insecurity.

The case transcripts in Section One of this document have been kindly provided by Ms Muddassar Arani of Arani and Co., to be presented to the Committee of Privy Counsellors charged with reviewing the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 on 19th June 2003.

For reasons of confidentiality, identities of both organisations and individuals have been kept anonymous, with the exception of one case.

The organisation statement in Section Two represents the views of the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) and An-Nisa Society and has been kindly provided by Massoud Shadjareh, Chairperson of the IHRC and Khalida Khan, Chairperson of An-Nisa Society.

Section One: Case Transcripts

Case 1: Police state client innocent
Case 2: Access to solicitor of own choice denied
Case 3: Charity assets frozen
Case 4: Retention of properties and cash


Case 5: Retention of properties
Case 6: Stop and Search I
Case 7: Stop and Search II
Case 8: Client accused of being a terrorist financer
Case 9: Work of numerous charities hampered
Case 10: Harassment by MI5
Case 11: Client arrested and, charged and acquitted
Case 12: UK Sovereignty Eroded by G8

Section Two: Organisations statements

IHRC
An-Nisa

 
SECTION ONE: CASE TRANSCRIPTS
CASE 1

Police State Client Innocent

Police obtained a warrant from Bow Street Magistrates Court.
At the time that the warrant was executed the client was not at home but working in Ireland. Police contacted the client in Ireland and a mutual agreement was made as to when the client would return back to England.
Three officers from the Anti-Terrorist branch attended the offices of Arani & Co. They spoke to Miss Arani and confirmed that Miss Arani’s client was innocent and that the client was not involved in any criminal activity.
The officers however wanted to interview the client as a potential witness but "under caution".
On the legal advice received that a potential witness is not questioned under caution, no agreement was made for such an interview to take place.

Either the client was a suspect or he was a witness.
The police could not state that he was a witness on the one hand and a suspect on the other; it had to be one or the other.

It was made apparent to the police officers that should they wish to arrest the client as they had indicated, then the client would attend on a voluntary basis at the police station in order for the arrest to take place at the police station.

The client’s wife was heavily pregnant. The client wife had previously given birth to a still-born child.
Furthermore the client’s father was a heart patient and he would not be able to sustain such a shock.

Innocent client still raided by police
The client on legal advice refused to be interviewed as a potential witness under caution.
The following day, the police nonetheless raided the client’s home when there was no need for such a raid to take place.

To date the Police have failed to provide evidence of the change in the circumstances from when the officers stated that the client was innocent to his arrest taking place.

The client was detained in custody for up to 48 hours and released without charge.
In the duration that the client was detained he was interviewed for up to two hours.

No evidence
Clearly the police did not have had any evidence to suspect the client of being involved in criminal activity: had such evidence been available the officers would not have admitted that the client was innocent and was not suspected of being involved in criminal activity. The police officers however still continued to arrest the client and raided his home.

MI5
Subsequently the client was approached by MI5 officers in order to attempt to entice him to work for them. He refused to do so as the experience he had had with the Anti-terrorist branch had left him an embittered man.

This is a London case.

We would like to draw attention to the following paragraphs of ‘Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 Review, A Submission from Fair, May 2003’, the arguments of which this case example supports; Para’s 25, 117, 129, 133,140, 145.

 
CASE 2

Access to solicitor of own choice denied

The client was arrested under the Terrorism Act.

He requested to speak to Miss Arani in order to instruct her as his solicitor.

Miss Arani was contacted by third parties to represent him.

Miss Arani telephoned the police station on numerous occasions and was informed that the client did not wish her to represent him.

Miss Arani was subsequently informed that the client had instructed another solicitor and did not request her services.

It was discovered subsequent to the client being released that he had not only provided Miss Arani’s card to the police officers, but that he had also stated to the police officers that he had wanted Miss Arani to be his solicitor.

The police officers refused to allow him to have access to the solicitor of his choice. Instead the client was informed that there was a list of duty solicitors and he could select one of the duty solicitors to represent him.

In spite of Ms Arani having called and left her details she was informed that the client had not requested her to represent him.

It was wholly inappropriate for officers to dictate who the client is or is not able to instruct as their solicitors.
This is a Bradford case.

The client does not wish to pursue the complaint as he feels that he will be targeted in the future by the Police.

We would like to draw attention to the following paragraphs of ‘Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 Review, A Submission from Fair, May 2003’, the arguments of which this case example supports; Para’s 24, 25, 113, 133, 134, 147

 
CASE 3

Charity Assets Frozen

The client was arrested under the Terrorism Act. The client is involved in assisting a charity. The client was released without charge after 36 hours. However, the charity funds are frozen and the charity is being investigated.

As a result of the charity assets being frozen and the charity being investigated, this creates a very unsavoury reputation in the community.

Furthermore it also has the consequences of the charity having to recommence again once the investigations have concluded that none of the funds have been provided for any terrorist groups.

Had there been any evidence of this nature then the client would have been charged with funding a terrorist organisation.

The mere fact that no such charges were levied is an indication of the vindictiveness that is directed against the charities which results in funds not going to the charity and people who need the funds not being able to have access to the funds.

This is a Bradford case.

We would like to draw attention to the following paragraphs of ‘Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 Review, A Submission from Fair, May 2003’, the arguments of which this case example supports; Para’s 31, 45, 138, 140, 117

 
CASE 4
Retention of properties and cash

A warrant is executed against three clients who have in their property approximately £2,400 pounds and gold jewellery consisting of one necklace set containing one necklace, one pair of earrings and a gold ring removed by Special Branch, also known as SO13.

The client has never been charged or arrested under the Terrorism Act yet the money (£2,400) and the gold jewellery is seized by Special Branch.

Arrangements are made for the three clients to attend on a voluntary basis for an interview that takes place under caution.

It is made clear that the gold jewellery, as stated consisting of one necklace, a pair of earrings and a ring, is nothing unusual for a Muslim woman to have in her possession. The £2,400 cash relates to savings and money that was used by the client to feed her and her baby.

The client did not wish to claim income support or rely on any state welfare benefits. The client was being provided with rent money from a property that was rented by her mother in order for the client to feed herself and her daughter. The money was not used for any terrorist purposes neither had the money been obtained from any terrorist organisation.

No legal aid is available to represent clients on such cases in the magistrate’s court. The burden is on the client to prove that the money is not terrorist money.

SO13 eventually returned the gold jewellery but not the money that had been taken from the client’s home.
The client was too petrified to attend court even with counsel as she was terrified. The client’s knowledge of English was limited. She was petrified of even setting foot in a police station fearing that she would never return from the police station alive to look after her baby.

Had Miss Arani not attended the police station with the client she would not have been able to even enter the Police station.

The client at one stage even grabbed Miss Arani’s hand as she was waiting at the station to be interviewed by the officersThe money would have been used by the client in order for her to purchase belongings for herself and her daughter. Yet under the guise of terrorism the client and her daughter have been deprived of this essential sum of money.

The client is assumed guilty until she can prove her innocence.

The client has clearly been denied access to justice as no legal aid is available on such cases.

This is a London case.

We would like to draw attention to the following paragraphs of ‘Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 Review, A Submission from Fair, May 2003’, the arguments of which this case example supports; Para’s 31, 33, 34, 140, 117

 
CASE 5
Retention of properties

Miss Arani is dealing with numerous cases where clients who have had warrants executed against them, yet no arrests have yet taken place of the individuals concerned.

As a result of the warrants being executed, properties have been seized by the police and it takes months (if not years) in order to have their properties returned.

The clients have not been charged with any criminal activity, neither have they been arrested or questioned by the police officers. Yet their properties have been removed from their homes.

No explanation is given as to why their properties have been removed. Furthermore, warrants have also been executed on their homes.

We as solicitors are not aware of what evidence is provided in order to obtain the warrants against the clients as we are not privy to such applications when the applications are made before the district judge in the magistrate’s court.

It takes months in order to have the properties eventually restored to their clients.
The clients believe they are only being treated in this manner as they are Muslims and not for any other reason. These are mainly London cases.

We would like to draw attention to the following paragraphs of ‘Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 Review, A Submission from Fair, May 2003’, the arguments of which this case example supports; Para’s 31, 32, 33, 34, 129, 140, 117

 
CASE 6
Stop and Search I


One client in a car is stopped by the police for a minor road traffic offence.

Arrangements are made for his friends and other relatives to collect the car.

A group of young Muslim man collect the car. (Please note they were clean shaven)

There is a short journey that takes place once they have collected the car during which they are stopped by armed police officers who point guns to their heads.
Abusive, racist and vulgar language is directed at the individuals concerned. Further Police officers make threats as follows:
" Fucking Paki’s, if you look at me I will blow your head off"

The clients are taken to the police station, they are strip searched, and they are detained in custody for 36 hours and eventually released without charge. No interviews take place in relation to these defendants.

The following day one of the clients was taking his 10 year old son in order to purchase some toys from a shop.

On the way back the car was surrounded by armed police officers and guns were placed not only on the client’s head but on the 10 year old child’s head as well.

Abusive and racist language was directed against the client.

Furthermore, the police officers made threats to the client that they would blow his son’s head off.

Subsequently it was realised that there was an error made by the police in that previously they had failed to remove the vehicle registration from their database.
Yet again this client was released with his son. Yet he was subjected to racial and abusive language directed against him. Furthermore threats were made by police officers to blow the son’s brains off.

Miss Arani has filed complaints against the police officers concerned. The Police complaints authorities are not pursuing this matter any further.

We are now in the process of obtaining counsel advice in order to instigate proceedings against the Police.

This is a London case.

We would like to draw attention to the following paragraphs of ‘Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 Review, A Submission from Fair, May 2003’, the arguments of which this case example supports; Para’s 24, 25, 117, 129, 130, 133, 134, 140, 143

 
CASE 7
Stop and Search II

There were four clients who were making their way to the mosque to pray on a Friday.

Suddenly they were surrounded by armed police officers and were ordered to put their "hands up", they complied. They were threatened that they would be shot if they so much as moved an inch. The clients fearing for their lives dared not move.

Then the police officers set their dogs on each of the clients, ordering them to make the clients fall to the floor.

The clients fell flat facing the floor with their hands outstretched in front of them as the clients had been taken down by the dogs.

The dogs returned to the police officers but who again deliberately and intentionally set the dogs onto the clients and the dogs bit into the clients’ legs continuously.
One of the clients had five deep bites on one of his legs.

The clients were too petrified to move being fearful for their lives. They were screaming out in pain and anguish. The clients were fearful that the dogs would tear the flesh off their legs.

Eventually the dogs were ordered off the clients.

The client’s were taken to the police station.

No immediate medical aid was given to the clients. The clients were left to suffer the pain from the wounds to their legs. The clients requested to be provided with the first aid kit.

They cleaned their own wounds and attempted to cover the tears on their skin with first aid.

Eventually after hours FME (i.e. the doctor called at police station) was called who stated that the injuries were so serious that he could not treat them.

The clients were taken to the hospital where they had stitches placed on their legs. They returned back from the hospital and were questioned. They were detained in police custody for 36 hours; subsequently they were released without charge. There was no need for the dogs to be set on these individuals. Furthermore there was no need for the dogs to bite these individuals when they had not followed the advice of the officers and placed their hands up police officers.

Miss Arani is attempting to obtain legal aid on behalf of two of the clients who are willing to instigate proceedings against the police.

This is a Newcastle case.

We would like to draw attention to the following paragraphs of ‘Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 Review, A Submission from Fair, May 2003’, the arguments of which this case example supports;
Para’s 24, 25, 117, 129, 130, 133, 134, 140, 143.

 
CASE 8
Client accused of being a terrorist financer

A client who is involved in charity work involving orphaned children was arrested and alleged to be a terrorist financer.

After being detained for 48 hours, an application was made for an extension. This was the first time Miss Arani and her client learned what was being alleged against the clients when the application was made in the magistrate’s court for the further detention of the clients.

When a second application was made for a further 48 hours, further new information was made known to the Miss Arani and the clients.
After 6 days in custody, the client was released without charge. However, property is still being retained by the police.

Police officers then attended the client’s home in order to return his passport.

The police state they are aware that he is innocent and that the client is a compassionate individual, in that he helps orphan children. The police state that the client should assist the police by becoming an informer for them.

The client is shocked and is not interested in becoming an informer for the police.

The money that the client collects for orphan children is still being retained by the police. As a result of legal aid not being available, the client does not have the means to pay for legal representation in the magistrate’s court.

Miss Arani makes arrangements for the client to be represented in the magistrate’s court regardless of the funding problems.

The police have in their possession documents showing the breakdown of the money that the client has for each orphan child, photos of the children and the people who have donated money for each of the orphaned children.

Furthermore money has also been given by individuals for meat to be distributed for the poor and needy people in third world countries.

These sums of money are still being detained by the police despite of the police officers stating to the client on the unofficial visit that is made to the clients home that they believe that the client is innocent and that he collects money for a very good cause.

The client is guilty until he can prove his innocence.

He is not entitled to forward the money to the orphaned children who would die without this money being made available to them.
There is an abuse of the process taking place whereby the fund are not reaching their destinations and the very children’s whom lives they are intending to save are starving to death.

This is a London case.

We would like to draw attention to the following paragraphs of ‘Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 Review, A Submission from Fair, May 2003’, the arguments of which this case example supports; Para’s 31, 32, 33, 34, 45, 117, 129, 133, 134, 138, 140.

 
CASE 9
Work of numerous charities hampered


There are numerous Muslim charities that have been targeted as a result of this allegation being made that they are funding terrorist groups.

This means that the charity funds are frozen. Further that the charity as a result are not able to function properly.

Once the investigations are complete the stigma continues to be attached, leading to charities being closed down or having to start afresh. This leaves low morale and it is an impossible position for fundraising to recommence again.

To date all of the charities that have been investigated for terrorism have been Muslim charities. Further there has not been any finding made against any of the Muslim charities where money is wasted on legal battles.

Further time is wasted where no collections can be made and charities eventually seize and phase out.General relating to cases in different areas.

We would like to draw attention to the following paragraphs of ‘Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 Review, A Submission from Fair, May 2003’, the arguments of which this case example supports; Para’s 32, 33, 34, 45, 117, 140.

 
CASE 10
Harassment by MI5

There are numerous clients that are being approached by MI5 in order to work as agents and in order to become an informer against the Muslim community. The reluctance of MI5 officers in accepting no for an answer has resulted in clients having to resort to threats of applications for injunctions in the High Courts in order to protect the clients from this constant harassment by MI5 officers.

If a client wishes to become an informant and lead a double life that should be a choice for a client to make. However, there are also situations where the clients do not wish to do so. For these client’s to be continuously approached constitutes harassment.

As a result of the Muslim communities concerns regarding approaches by MI5 and anti-terrorist branch officers and the increase in indiscriminate stop and searches, Ms Arani was approached by the Islamic Human Rights Commission to draft a leaflet as there was a lack of even the most basic knowledge of individual’s rights.

This led to the production of a leaflet called ‘Know Your Rights’ which has been distributed in the Muslim and non-Muslim communities. (Attached)
This is evidence in itself as to how vulnerable and desperate the Muslim community feel in relation to how they have become targeted as a result of the crackdown in the Muslim community. Further how they are perceived as the enemy.Arani & Co. have dealt with cases from London and Leicester Area mainly.

We would like to draw attention to the following paragraphs of ‘Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 Review, A Submission from Fair, May 2003’, the arguments of which this case example supports; Para’s 24, 25, 117, 129, 130, 133, 134, 140.

 
CASE 11
Client arrested and, charged and acquitted

Miss Arani’s client was informed by the police that he "was innocent" and that he as not suspected of being involved in any terrorist activity.

Officers threatened him that if he did not become a police witness that they "would arrest him and throw away the key."

The officers wanted him to attend a police station in order to interview him as a potential witness but under caution.

On legal advice received he refused to do so.

Officers notified Ms Arani that they "would have him locked up and throw away the key" if he did not cooperate with the police officers. Miss Arani is a witness to this conversation and the threats made by the officers against the client.

A warrant was obtained and executed against the client. The client was detained for four days in police custody, subsequently released without charge.

MI5 officers carried out surveillance on the client and subsequently approached the client in order to offer him the opportunity to work for MI5. The client refused to work for MI5 as he did not wish to become an informant and did not wish to be alienated within the Muslim community.

The client then published a website to set up a community security firm.

The Telegraph newspaper published an article about his website, yet nothing happened against the client. Then the unfortunate events of 9/11 took place.

The Community Security Trust provided his website details to the Evening Standard newspaper.

The client as a result of the newspaper article sought advice and was advised to attend the police station for protection. This advice was offered via his MP and Ms Arani. He also had a panic alarm fitted at his home. He made no attempt to run away nor made any attempt destroy neither documents nor papers that are in his possession.

The MP Andrew Dismore made references to the client in Parliament. Ten days after the newspaper article was published, he was the first Muslim in the UK to be arrested and detained under the Terrorism Act.

He was accused of funding terrorist organisations. However the allegations by the prosecution changed from the time of his arrest up to the date of the trial from providing terrorist training to inviting terrorist training.

He co-operated with the police and provided all of the answers to the questions that were put to him throughout his interview.

The client was kept on remand and his bail applications were refused.

At one of the hearings at Bow Street Magistrates Court the prosecution sought an adjournment of the case in order to ‘rebut his innocent explanations’ so that they may instruct an expert on this matter.

40 police officers were allocated to work on this case working 7 days a week. We as his lawyers discovered more information in the press about his case than is made available to us at the initial stages. It is suspected that officers who have direct involvement in the case were leaking information to the press.

Ten months later the case comes to be tried. It is clear that the client is the only Muslim who is attempting to set up a community security firm. The service that he is providing is being provided by 125 other non-Muslim companies yet they are not targeted. The perception naturally is that he is being targeted is because he is a Muslim.

The explanations that the client had offered over ten months ago whilst Miss Arani and the client were in the police station are exactly the explanations that were being presented to the court and the jury.

After a trial of approximately five week, he was acquitted on the 9th August 2002 at the Old Bailey.

The client suffered by being on remand away from his family; he had also lost his council home where he had lived with his wife for between 15-20 years. After his acquittal he had to live in bed and breakfast accommodation with no prospects of employment as nobody would employ him even though his name has been cleared and he had been acquitted at the Old Bailey.

The client’s wife was made homeless and was placed in a bed and breakfast. She even collapsed in Miss Arani’s offices and was taken by ambulance to the hospital. The client’s mother also suffered a heart attack as a result of her son being charged.

His mother had lost her son as well as his sisters who were Roman Catholics and did not wish to have anything to do with him as he was a convert to Islam. They were too frightened to even visit him. Instead they kept stating to him to change his religion so that he would not have to suffer in this manner indicating that even their perception was that he was targeted for being a Muslim

In November 2002 he was admitted into hospital. He was in intensive care with an infection that penetrated into his blood stream. The doctors at the hospital stated that he did not receive proper medical care when he was in prison.

On the 22nd Dec 2002 he passed away. On the 24th Dec 2002 his funeral took place.This was a London case.

We would like to draw attention to the following paragraphs of ‘Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 Review, A Submission from Fair, May 2003’, the arguments of which this case example supports; Para’s 24, 25, 31, 32, 117, 133, 134, 140

 
CASE 12
UK Sovereignty Eroded by G8

At a G8 meeting which took place in 2002 where the client was not represented, it was decided that Sheikh Abu Hamza’s funds should be frozen as he was alleged to be providing funds to terrorist.

This was despite the fact that no arrest of Sheikh Abu Hamza had taken place and that there were ample provisions in the law to charge Sheikh Abu Hamza if he was providing funds to terrorist organisations.

He has not even been arrested or charged with any such offence yet he is guilty until he proves his innocence.

Yet the G8 meeting decides what his fate will be without any evidence being shown, without this man even being able to represent himself, without a trial and yet this agreement that has been passed at the G8 meeting is binding on the UK. We have made requests for all information relied upon for the G8 decision without any success.

It appears that the sovereignty of the UK is not with the UK but at the hands of G8 summit meeting where such resolutions are being passed where nobody can have any recourse to challenge them.

It is extremely important to ensure that the sovereignty of this country is not undermined and yet the G8 meeting and the decisions that that have been taken thereafter clearly shows that that is precisely what is happening.

No provisions in this country have been invoked in relation to freezing any alleged terrorist funds that Sheikh Abu Hamza is supposed to have in his possession yet the resolution of the G8 summit is binding on UK.

The ironic situation is that the funds that have been frozen are the funds that have been paid into Sheikh Abu Hamza’s bank account by the DSS offices relating to his income support and his disability living allowance. This is a London case.


We would like to draw attention to the following paragraphs of ‘Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 Review, A Submission from Fair, May 2003’, the arguments of which this case example supports; Para’s 40, 42, 43, 44.

 
SECTION TWO: ORGANISATION STATEMENTS
Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC)
Statement on the effect of the Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001

Organisational work

Donations/Fundraising
The majority of donors are apprehensive due to fear based on the perception that their donations to Muslim organisations, even to those NGOs with established reputations such as IHRC, recognised by international bodies such the UN, EU and FCO, may find themselves targeted by security services and politically-motivated interest groups e.g., the far-right (BNP, NF, etc.), pro-Israeli and –BJP advocates, etc.

Public Image
IHRC notes that the association between terrorism and Islam/Muslims made by certain sections of the media, mainstream politicians and security forces . The above has fostered an environment in which it is increasingly difficult to effectively campaign for the rights of many Muslims within the generally accepted framework of universal human rights as understood by all. The perception created by the ever-increasing demonisation of the Muslim community, that Muslims should not be afforded the same recourse to civil liberties as enjoyed by their co-citizens .

Involvement of Volunteers
IHRC notes an increase in both the numbers and quality of volunteers coming forward. This is can be mainly attributed to the marked realisation and growing religio-political consciousness that on one hand Islam and Muslims have become, in effect, the "new Jews of Europe" and Islamophobia the new anti-Semitism. On the other hand, IHRC as a long-established and respected platform for effective campaigning against prejudice and injustice.

11. IHRC points to the recent Eid scare. Certain intelligence and security agencies drew a somewhat nefarious link between the annual Eid festivities and the likelihood of a terrorist atrocity.

3. IHRC again notes that at no point during the bloody history of the Northern Ireland conflict and its vicious sectarian nature, were any Protestant or Catholic churches violated by the state. However, in the last one to two years, despite the absence of any "Islamist" acts of terrorism in the British Isles, several mosques have been subjected to state raids and dozens others placed under intense security surveillance and scrutiny.

Perceptions of the ATCSA 2001

IHRC believes that the ATCSA 2001 legislation is not primarily concerned with safeguarding and protecting the innocent. It is quite evident that it is a piece of legislation that has been motivated by exaggerated security concerns. As the government itself has been using its power to derogate from its obligations under the ECHR by invoking a state of emergency. This is legislation that falls well short of what are acceptable international standards. IHRC believes that if a British national were to be arrested and imprisoned indefinitely without charge and notification of accusation, say by a Middle Eastern government, we would surely be up in arms and protest against injustice and unacceptable behaviour under international norms.

IHRC believes that the ATCSA 2001 and its implementation has quite clearly targeted and victimised the Muslim community. An overwhelming number of those stopped, searched and or arrested under its provisions have been predominately, if not exclusively visibly Muslim. IHRC wishes to stress the latter point.
The ATCSA 2001 was instigated in the aftermath of the hyperbole surrounding 9/11, claiming that its intended effect was to specifically target those suspects and their co-conspirators behind 9/11 and similar outrages. If one looks at the profiles of those who allegedly committed the 9/11 outrage, it is apparent that they were clean-shaven, never attended mosques or Islamic centres. They reportedly attended bars and kept girlfriends, being well financed and possessing numerous identities.

However, the implementation of the ATCSA 2001 is targeting people with profiles such as men with long beards, women with headscarves, regular attendees to the mosque, asylum seekers with virtually no money or valid identification/passport.

This profiling runs contrary to the profiles of the alleged 9/11 hijackers. Hence, IHRC believes that its resultant victims have been totally dissimilar to the profiles of the 9/11-type suspects the instigators of the ATCSA 2001 claimed to target. Hence, IHRC resolutely believes that the ATCSA 2001 in its practical format is wholly discriminatory and counter-productive to the very notion of civil liberties. It displays all the facets of religious and racial stereotyping and profiling at its worst, to which IHRC expresses its profound dismay.

Targeted Policing
Furthermore, IHRC has witnessed peaceful demonstrations, such as those organised by IHRC itself, assessed and targeted by the security forces as potential security threats e.g., all IHRC-organised events to demonstrate against Israel and its supporters have been treated by the police and security forces as undesirable and potential security threats. This is despite the fact that at all previous pro-Palestinian IHRC demonstrations, IHRC volunteers and supporters, including Orthodox (anti-Zionist) Rabbis, have been physically-attacked (and seriously assaulted) by pro-Israeli supporters.

Case examples
IHRC has been overwhelmed by the number and types of human rights and civil liberties violations since and as a result of the enactment of the ATCSA 2001. IHRC continues to support those affected by the ATCSA 2001 and urges and encourages them to seek legal help. IHRC has produced several reports relating to this and related issues (downloadable from IHRC website, www.ihrc.org). Examples include:

  • Case of three Chechen asylum seekers attacked by police dogs in a mosque, sustaining severe injuries which subsequently required hospital treatment. The nature of their arrest, arising from a false accusation related to an employment dispute, lead to their arrest under the ATCSA 2001. The charges were later dropped.
  • The stop and search of Muslim Royal Mail employees in the City of London under the ATCSA 2001, whilst in a Royal Mail van and uniform. When one of those stopped and searched, protested with the statement to the effect of, "It is because we are Muslim, we are being stopped", one of the police officers retorted, "Yes, because you are Muslim". In response to accusations of racism, the same officer replied with a confirmation that they were being racist towards Muslims in the manner of this particular stop and search under the ATCSA 2001 provisions.
  • Muslim van driver held by police at gunpoint at night due to the manner of his Muslim attire under the ATCSA 2001.

IHRC notes that the perception in the Muslim community is that they are been targeted unfairly e.g., IHRC Chairperson, Massoud Shadjareh, was contacted to participate in a Radio 4 programme on the pro-Palestine launch of ‘Mecca Cola’ in support of a boycott of pro-Israel Coca Cola.

The interview, arranged at a local mosque for the purposes of obtaining sound-bites from ordinary Muslims, was objected to by the mosque committee. The objection cited the fear that the mosque, its attendees and those interviewed for sound-bites would fall foul of the security services on the account of their participation.

Individuals approached outside the mosque for sound-bites also refused to participate on the same grounds. This example, which is now the norm not the exception, highlights the very real fear and apprehension the wider Muslim community harbours towards the ATCSA 2001 and similar legislation.

It is exactly because of this fear that IHRC has with Arani & Co., produced a special civil liberties leaflet entitled, ‘Know Your Rights: What to do if you are approached by British Intelligence and Security Services or arrested under ‘Anti-Terrorist’, or any other legislation’. It is self-evident as to why this leaflet the most popular leaflet IHRC has produced to date. Over 500,000 have been distributed. (See Case 10 above)

IHRC is extremely concerned with not just the legislation, but its implementation and the role of the media in reporting, and instigating arrests. IHRC notes a number of high profile cases of arrests, raids and investigations by security forces after media articles all prompted by pro-Israeli politicians such as Andrew Dismore, citing evidence collected by Community Security Trust (pro-Israeli registered ‘security’ charity). (See case 11)

Undoubtedly, the ATCSA 2001 is compounding a mindset of alienation within Britain's Muslim communities. For the Muslim communities the ATCSA 2001 signals an era of curtailment of civil liberties, legitimate political expression and an assault on religious sensibilities.

 
An-Nisa Society
Implications of the Anti-Terrorism Crime & Security Act 2001

Donations/Fundraising

Historically, we have had difficulties accessing significant public funding in the UK, as we are a faith-based group. We have been reliant on small project funding and until 2000 all of our funding was from the UK.

However, when we lost our free office in 2000 we managed to access funding for the first time from an overseas Muslim businessman. This enabled us to get a new office. We had found it impossible to access funds urgently from mainstream UK funding for core costs. This businessman’s funding saved our organisation from going under.

However, following Sept 11th and the consequent legislation our funding was not renewed as had been agreed, placing us in financial crisis.

Our solicitors, who are negotiating a new lease, queried the origins of our funding before they could take on our brief. They said that they were legally bound to do so. This highlighted to our Management Committee that we might be implicated without realising it, if we accept money in good faith from an overseas Muslim and we do not know the origins of the funds. How can we possibly know where the money comes from?

In addition, the goalposts keep changing. For example, at one time it was considered acceptable to fund groups who have now been blacklisted and those who gave money to such groups in the past are now being penalised for funding ‘terrorism’ retrospectively. How do we know what the situation will be in the future? We may accept funding from someone who is acceptable currently and then the UK and USA decide they are not and we could be in breach of the legislation.

Similarly, funders from abroad are now reluctant to fund charities in the UK as they may give funding in good faith but do not know how the money will be used by the recipients which may get them into serious difficulties.

We were invited to present our projects to Muslim businesswomen in the Gulf who are seeking worthy charitable causes to fund and we do not know how we stand with that.

I know from other Muslim organisations that they are facing similar difficulties. We find it hard to get local funding and now we cannot even access funding from overseas charitable business people.

Public Image/Perception
The public image of Muslims was already negative and the legislation has further demonised and criminalised Muslims without giving them the protection of the law by outlawing religious discrimination in all areas.

Concerned about Stop and Search – Figures for ‘Asians’ whom I suspect are Muslims of various backgrounds went up dramatically in London, more than the African-Caribbean community for the first time. This is very intimidating and, as with the African-Caribbean community’s experience, it makes young men furious and leads to feelings of alienation and marginalisation. We have had instances of women being stopped and searched by male police, which has been a humiliating experience for them. We feel this is a recipe for disaster.

We are worried about our young people and that they could innocently do something that may be defined as ‘terrorism’ by the authorities e.g by going to a demo, sending emails, etc

Many people have been arrested (with much media uproar) and then charged with offences unrelated to terrorism or released. This has created a climate of fear in the community and strengthened the perception of all Muslims as terrorists, particularly as the media does not give much coverage to the fact that those people were released.

Most Muslims suspect that we are under surveillance and that our communities are being infiltrated by undercover agents.
We feel that we can no longer freely voice our opinions as anything we say could, at some point, be held against us.

The compound effect of the legislation has greatly added to the climate of fear, insecurity and marginalisation in the Muslim community.