At last, it seems, some good sense has prevailed in the UK legal system. The paranoid madness that is their ‘anti-terror laws’ has taken a jolt that should bring into focus the stupidity of the British governments downward spiral into Islamophobia. Lord Phillips, the Lord Chief Justice, has overturned the convictions of five British Muslim men who were jailed for downloading and sharing ‘extremist terror-related material’. The Law Lord ruled that it was not illegal to read or study such literature.
How sensible is that!? If it were illegal then everyone who had read it, including the security organisations, the police, and the lawyers and so on, would have all been guilty of an offence. However, the Terrorism Act 2000 states that “a person commits an offence if he possesses an article in circumstances which give rise to a reasonable suspicion that his possession is for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism." Merely having it ones possession is not a crime; having it in ones possession in order to commit a terrorist act is, but how difficult is that to prove in law unless a terrorist act is actually committed? If a bunch of Skinheads from the West Ham Supporters Club had been detected downloading this material, does anyone imagine that they would have been prosecuted and sent to prison? One very much doubts it. Or if a student or researcher had been detected downloading this material, would they be prosecuted and sent to prison? Yet if one is a Muslim….
As the Bush era that was to herald the New American Century based on world-wide fear and paranoia leading to US world dominance comes to a grinding halt so those governments that supported this ridiculous notion begin to dismantle the legal apparatus that supported it. It’s a small beginning but it’s a start. The peoples of our planet are beginning to realise who the real terrorists are in our world. Even the British judiciary are beginning to understand.