Saturday, 10 November 2007

In Britain

Possessing a book can be 'Terrorism'

This week a 23year old woman was convicted of an offence of possessing material ‘likely to be used for terrorism'. It was accepted that she has committed no act of violence and has not helped anyone planning to commit acts of violence. However, by simply writing poems and possessing literature for which no violent motive was found, she has been convicted as a ‘terrorist'. Hers is not an isolated case. A young Muslim man was recently convicted of possessing DVDs and we now see ‘innocent' people being pressured - via long detention periods - into pleading guilty to ‘get it over with', thus changing the law of precedent and in some instances making possession of certain literature virtually illegal.
This is occurring in Britain, a nation that trumpets the rhetoric of freedom and free speech. Many in the media turn on Muslims who criticise Salman Rushdie for insulting the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) or who are critical of those who draw offensive cartoons. Yet this is now a nation where possession of articles meant for no violent purpose is considered terrorism!

Undoubtedly, there will be media outlets, academics and maybe even some who are simply ‘voyeurs' who view and possess material that is similar to what the convicted lady possessed. However, prosecutions will be selective and based on racial, religious and political profiling. Destroying the lives of young people and their families by criminalising ‘possession without intent' is the justice of countries like Uzbekistan.

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