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Writing in diversesociety.org, ‘I believe schools and the further and higher education sectors should be concentrating on helping students achieve and not be ‘spying’ on them. As this, will only feed into the perception that Muslims are a suspect community as is shown by research, I have conducted which indicates that Muslims feel stigmatised, alienated and marginalised. The Muslims, I have spoken to tell me of a ‘them versus us’ culture. They also remind me of past incidents since 7/7 which leading to a ‘breakdown’ of relationships between the Muslim community, the police and the State.   This form of anxiety and suspicion is epitomised in the words of one the people I spoke to. He told me: “Imran, what’s the point. I feel integrated but I’m told it’s all your fault. Can you please tell me how do I integrate?”

A part of my study, looking at the impact of counter-terrorism legislation and policies focused on Muslims, a number of people who I have interviewed, have spoken about their anger at and distrust of law enforcement agencies and the political elite based in Westminster. One man, I spoke to stated that: “Terrorism Laws have been invented for Muslims, to arrest us and treat us all like terrorists.” This lack of trust is evident from previous cases where people have been arrested for counter-terrorism related offences, but are released and found to be innocent. click here.

Imran Awan is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Deputy Director of the Centre for Applied Criminology at Birmingham City University and has previously held academic posts at the Centre for Police Sciences (University of Glamorgan) and Wolverhampton University. He has published widely in the area of counter-terrorism, human rights, Islamophobia and policing and has co-edited the book Policing Cyber Hate, Cyber Threats and Cyber Terrorism (Ashgate 2012).

 

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