|The Muslim Council of Britain commends Gordon Brown's initiative to seek national consensus in tackling terrorism. The safety of Britain concerns all of us and British Muslims are ever-ready to do their part to counter terrorism.--------------------------
26 July 2007: The Muslim Council of Britain welcomes Prime Minister Gordon Brown's intention, made known to the House of Commons on 25 July 2007, to seek consensus on security matters in all the communities across the country. The safety of our realm concerns all of us and British Muslims are ever-ready to do their part to counter terrorism.
The MCB will, as before, support any measure that prevents or reduces the risk of terrorism. The MCB will continue to do all it can to support the enforcement agencies in their task to prevent crime, to pursue criminals and to seek severest punishment against those who are found guilty.
The MCB remains committed to fulfil its responsibility. The MCB's commitment to tackle extremism and to build a cohesive society is reflected in its programme of activities such as the Leadership Development , the Books for School, the Footsteps , the 100 M Projects and in the leading role it is playing in the setting up of the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board.
Whilst we note that the Government wishes to extend the pre-charge detention period, the MCB urges caution. According to the Government's own figures on arrests and releases on grounds of suspicion of involvement in terrorism offences, a substantial proportion are released without charge. In the circumstances therefore any further extension to the pre-charge detention period has an even bigger potential to subject innocent persons to lengthy incarceration.
Instead of seeking extension to pre-charge detention period, the MCB would like the Government to consider strengthening the resources of the enforcement agencies so as to enable them to carry out their investigations with greater expedition and more care.
The MCB requests the Government to consider enacting statutory measures to ensure fair treatment of those arrested on suspicion of terrorism. Coverage in the media and irresponsible statements by politicians in this regard are matters of serious concern to the MCB as are allegations of ill treatment while in custody made by some detainees. In this regard, the Government's recent response to the outrageous London and Glasgow attacks has been balanced and measured and the MCB commends it.
The MCB would also like the Government to consider putting mechanisms in place which will, in appropriate cases, acknowledge when person/s arrested and investigated have been found either victims of mistaken intelligence or plainly innocent. False or unproven allegations of involvement in serious crimes such as terrorism have the most horrendous consequences for the victims and their families. Victims of such allegations must receive the protection of law just as those guilty must face the full rigour of the law.
The Muslim Council of Britain maintains that eradicating extremism requires collective effort from all of us - Muslims, non-Muslims, Government and non-Government agencies including in particular the media. We are encouraged to note that the Prime Minister's approach is one of inclusivity, consultation and consensus. This approach bodes well for the future. As the leading umbrella organisation of Muslims, the MCB will remain participative, engaged and where appropriate supportive, to bring about the common good of all. We look forward to working closely with the Prime Minister and his team.[ENDS]