Local councils to ‘spy’ on British Muslims

The British government is launching a controversial multi-million-pound package to help local authorities spy on Muslims to tackle so-called “extremism”, a British daily reported Saturday. Council staff will be asked to “establish systems to share potential risks or concerns at the local level with councils and staff acting as the eyes and ears for police in countering threats”, the Daily Mirror said.

The government’s tactics in tackling extremism has been criticized by Muslim leaders as misguided, counterproductive and a virtual “witch-hunt”. Some of its policies and comments by ministers have been blamed for provoking Islamophobia and alienating the country’s 1.8 million Muslim community, at a time when the government refuses to accept the damaging effects of its foreign policy, including the Iraq war.

Muslim News, 7 January 2007

See also Daily Mirror, 6 January 2007