Freedom and civil liberties must not be forsaken – MAB

The Muslim Association of Britain expressed grave concern over the Prime Minister’s statements at the press conference earlier today, in which he outlined a number of radical measures and proposed extreme legislative changes.

There can be no doubt that during these difficult times we must all stand together to preserve our country’s unity, safety and prosperity, whilst at all times and at all costs, maintain what we take great pride in; our freedoms and liberties.

The suggestion of the Prime Minister that he may move to change the Human Rights Charter in order to allow for extra-ordinary measures to deport, ban and eradicate those who carry views other than “ours”, is worrying to say the very least.

Mr Blair in his statement used vague and loose language which may lead to ban legitimate freedom of speech and support for just causes. We agree with the Mayor of London in his statement today that if the Prime Ministers proposals were to be implemented 20 years ago they would have meant banning Nelson Mandela or anyone supporting him.

MAB also extremely concerned by the decision of the Prime Minster to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir. Despite the fact that MAB has constantly had major disagreement with Hizb ut-Tahrir, banning HT will serve no cause and could prove counter productive.

Anas Altikriti, speaking on behalf of MAB stated today:

“The PM is, unfortunately, not addressing the core problem here correctly. Once again we seem to be looking at draconian laws and legislations to provide us with safety and security. They don’t. What we really need is to initiate a true and real dialogue with all sections of our society, including the disillusioned youth. Unless we address the problem properly and admit our mistakes, we will not be able to reach correct answers. The anti-terror laws did not bring us safety, nor did fighting wars abroad. The PM should be proposing a totally new direction and a new set of policies at home and abroad for our country and our people to look towards.”

MAB news release, 5 August 2005