From the Guardian:
Liberal Democrats yesterday warned that the government’s counter-terrorism proposals would inflame community tensions and alienate young Muslims, as they unanimously passed a motion urging the party to defend civil liberties and oppose any move to water down human rights legislation. The emergency motion warned that many of the measures included in last week’s draft anti-terrorism bill, or suggested by ministers elsewhere, would “undermine traditional civil liberties, risk alienating minority communities and [would be] open to abuse”.
Speakers expressed particular concern about extradition to countries where torture and other human rights abuses occurred, and about proposals to allow police up to three months to detain suspects before charging them. The proscribing of political parties which had not been linked to violence was also a worry. They warned that the new powers were likely to be invoked disproportionately on ethnic and religious minorities.
Very few people want to mistreat ethnic or religious minorities, but many wonder what causes Muslims, in particular, to feel alienated. The onus of integrating into British society begins with the Muslims themselves. A task they seem to take lightly considering the fact that as many as 150 independent Muslim schools “offer a religion-dominated education little different to the madrassas of Pakistan, and do little to encourage integration.” It appears that a disconnect with British society is what they really desire. Have liberal democrats considered Sura [5.51] – “O you who believe! Do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends” – as a possible factor behind self-imposed Muslim alienation?
Moving the motion, an activist, Tim Nichols, said: “Three months’ detention without charge is internment. We know that internment in Ireland contributed to the recruitment of terrorists, the worsening of conflict, more lives lost and more lives damaged. If the government wants to radicalise a generation of young British Muslims, it is going about it the right way.”
Greg Mulholland, MP for Leeds North West, added: “These measures will inflame tension and increase the same resentment which led to four young men from West Yorkshire bombing their own capital city.”
Nasser Butt, a Mole Valley councillor and chair of the Liberal Democrats’ Muslim Forum, urged activists: “Let’s not forget that the terrorism brought to this country is also related to Iraq. To deal with it by coming up with authoritarian laws restricting civil liberties [Tony Blair] is getting away from his responsibility for what he’s done to this country.”
Alienated by society, inflamed by anti-terrorism legislation and outraged by Britain’s involvement in Iraq are explanations liberal democrats have given as motivating factors behind Islamic terrorism. The desire amongst the Muslim faithful to “fight for the sake of Allah” and to die for his cause is virtually ignored. This underestimation has proven to be fatal, as the London bombings have shown.