Uniting in light of the CTS Bill

Now is the time, perhaps more than ever, that Muslim communities in the UK need to pull together to avoid the Counter Terrorism and Security Bill (CTS Bill). Not because the majority of us will have anything to do with terrorist activities; but because once the CTS Bill is passed, it will mean that any Muslim seen or heard doing anything unfamiliar in public will probably be reported on suspicion of terrorism.

Of course, in today’s times of extreme Islamaphobia, this is already happening but soon all public sector workers such as teachers, doctors and university staff will be obliged to monitor and report anything they deem suspicious of their subjects. As ridiculous as it seems, just saying ‘alhamdulilah’ after sneezing could get you ‘nicked’ or labelled ‘at risk of terrorism’.

Theunity climate of suspicion in the UK will reach extremes and we will also see an increase of reporting based on fear rather than facts which, will result in more illegal detentions, house raids and an increase in the demonization of Muslims in Britain. This is because nothing in the CTS Bill is defined, therefore public sector workers will be reporting  based on their whims and we will all be ‘skating on thin ice’ when out in public.

It is for this reason that Muslim communities need now, more than ever to rely on each other financially, institutionally and educationally; thus lessening the chances of unjust reporting and the climate of fear within our communities. Below is an outline on how you can avoid the repercussions of the CTS Bill by using the services of trusted Muslims and (non-Muslims) and by supporting Muslim organisations.

Healthcare

Visit a trusted GP you have built a rapport with or have known for some length of time. Alternatively, visit a Muslim GP (in the hope he/she can be trusted not to make a false judgement of you). If possible, stick to visiting the same doctor for your medical needs (unless urgent) and avoid religious and political discussions with him/her. Remember you are visiting the doctor concerning your health!

Education

Where finances and other conveniences allow, send your children to Muslim schools. (Be aware, that government funded Muslim schools will also be obliged to monitor and report individuals they deem at risk of terrorism), however, Muslim staff are  more likely to have a better understanding of your practice of Islam and may not report you based on normative practices of the religion. Be sure to inquire about their obligation with regards to the CTS Bill and try to obtain information about the kinds of things that could prompt reporting.

**If your child/children attend a non-Muslim school, make the school aware of their religious practices (if you haven’t done so already), i.e prayer and hijab and inform your child/children not to engage in any political discussions at school. Regularly liaise with your child’s teachers regarding their performance and keep staff informed should you not be able to attend parent meetings. Notify staff in advance of your child’s absences or illnesses, and where possible, support these with a doctors note.

Support Muslim homeschooling initiatives and educate other parents of the CTS Bill by way of workshops and parent meetings, highlighting ways to avoid the abuses that will stem from this bill. Read more about how the bill may affect your children here.

Universities

Educate others of the normative practices of Islam and the sunnah. This can be done by way of pamphlets or posters you are permitted to post around your campus. With the permission of your university, hold educational talks about Islamic practices to dispel the fear of Muslims and enhance community cohesion. If your dawah (propagation) activities at university are restricted, maintain giving dawah by way of action, i.e handshakes, offering your help or services and displaying good manners etc.

Workplace

Know your religious rights at work and steer clear of political discussions. Try to keep your personal life separate from your colleagues, if you are uncertain of their trustworthiness. See ACAS’ pdf on Religion or Belief and the Workplace for advice on all aspects of workplace relations and employment law.

Support Muslim activists/organisations

Support Muslim activists and organisations such as Muslim think-tank, MEND (Muslim Engagement and Development) who are one of many groups that have scrutinised the CTS Bill, and have published a detailed briefing paper and action alert to the public to prevent the bill being passed as it currently is

CAGE, one of the UK’s leading advocacy groups is also actively raising awareness about the consequences of the CTS Bill and have compiled an extensive report entitled, ‘Challenging the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill‘, along with a number of case studies that highlight the problems of anti-terror policies in various divisions, such as childcare, health and social care, local government, criminal justice and education systems

CTS1Stop the CTS Bill is a website dedicated to educating the public about the bill. The organisation have set-up a petition for the cause, where you can sign here. Below is a summary of the main points within the CTS Bill taken from the stop the bill ‘quick quide’.

  • Seizure of passports from persons suspected of involvement in terrorism– The Bill proposes granting powers to police and border officials to seize a person’s passport for up to 14 days (This can be extended upon application to a judge). The seizure applies to those coming into the UK as well as those leaving and affects UK citizens as well as non-UK nationals and is based on ‘suspicion’; the officer need not have any grounds or evidence for his suspicion.
  • Temporary exclusion orders– The Bill will empower the Home Secretary to issue a Temporary Exclusion Order, which will ban a UK citizen who is abroad from returning for up to 2 years, where she/he believes there is a “reasonable suspicion of involvement in terrorist activity abroad”. The Home Secretary may issue a permit for the individual to return, but the permit will impose conditions including where the person lives and what flight they take to return to the UK.
  • Introduction of new, tougher measures within Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures– TPIMs replaced Control Orders, which were used to restrict the activity of suspected terrorists who had not been convicted. When TPIMs were introduced in 2011 they decided they would scrap the powers to move people across the country. The Home Secretary now proposes bringing back the power to send suspects to new towns (up to 200 miles from their normal residence), introducing internal exile.
  • Creating an obligation to monitor and report extremism– Colleges, schools, prisons, GPs and councils will now have a legal duty to prevent people being drawn into terrorism. Schools, nurseries even GPs will be required to monitor those they provide services to and report anyone they believe is at risk of, or has in fact been drawn in to terrorism. Universities will have to draw up policies on extremist campus speakers, and prisons will be required to have policies for dealing with radicals. The Home Office will be able to get court orders obliging bodies to comply with their obligations.
  • “De-Radicalisation” Panels– The Bill creates a legal duty that will require local authorities to establish a panel to refer people identified as being at risk of ‘being drawn into terrorism’. The composition of that panel is set out in the Bill, and its purpose is to draw up a “de-radicalisation” plan for the person identified as being at risk. The Bill makes no provision for the person identified to have legal or other representation, or in the case of a child, to have a parent present.
  • Obligations on airlines– Airlines will now be required to disclose personal information about their passengers in advance. Airlines that refuse or fail to provide advance passenger lists will be banned from landing in Britain and may face a penalty.

The proposed CTS Bill affects us all, particularly how we live, practice Islam and communicate our beliefs. Once it is passed, the bill will harbour an intense environment of suspicion between Muslims, therefore, it is paramount that we work together to combat the exploitation of this bill and unite in defence of Islam, despite our religious differences. It is our duty to protect our deen, as Allah says:

On the authority of Abū Saʿīd al-Khudrī (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) who said,

“I heard the Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) say, ‘Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.”[8]

What you can do

-Support any petitions against the bill and share with all your friends and family. The more Muslims that speak out in opposition to it, the higher the chance we have to have it amended, at least.

– Send letters and emails to your local MP and Councillors as they will be voting on the bill and have more power to have the bill overturned, so please lobby them to ensure they vote against the bill. Visit www.writetothem.com/ to find the details or your MP and/or Councillor

– Help groups that are working to prevent this bill.

– Make duʿā’ that Allāh helps us defeat this legislation and enables us to live as free believing Muslims.

**Join the campaign to stop the CTS Bill by visiting: www.stopthebill.co.uk; alternatively, get involved in our campaign here: http://4themuslims.com/urgent-action-alert-stop-the-cts-bill/

Disclaimer: All material found on 4themuslims.com is for information purposes only. The maintainers do not necessarily share any of the views expressed on 4themuslims.com or on linked sites.

Tags

You may also like...

0 thoughts on “Uniting in light of the CTS Bill”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Twitter

Write for us

Stories from Reverts

Error type: "Bad Request". Error message: "Bad Request" Domain: "usageLimits". Reason: "keyInvalid".

Did you added your own Google API key? Look at the help.

Check in YouTube if the id PL9JfNXAl6FSJqeEQE1GdsvBPZ8-qAaXAv belongs to a playlist. Check the FAQ of the plugin or send error messages to support.