[Marxism] British Injustice
Jscotlive at aol.com
Jscotlive at aol.com
Tue Oct 23 12:24:00 MDT 2007
Today I witnessed a serious crime. It was committed in broad daylight in
front of fifty or so witnesses in the High Court in Edinburgh, Scotland. The
perpetrator of this crime was the British State which, through a judge, Lord
Carloway, sentenced Mohammed Atif Siddique, a young Muslim male, aged 21 years,
to 8 years imprisonment. He was sentenced under the provisions of British
anti-terror laws for the heinous act of browsing various Islamist websites and
expressing his sympathies with Al Qaeda, the Iraqi Resistance, and the
Palestinian Intifada to a few of his fellow students at the university at which he
He was arrested in July 2006 at Glasgow Airport whilst attempting to board a
flight to Pakistan with his uncle. This fact, the fact he was on his way to
Pakistan, was introduced as evidence, in conjunction with the material found
on his computer, and in conjunction with the fact he’d expressed sympathy
with those engaged in armed resistance to US and British foreign policy in the
Middle East, to accuse him of intent to engage in terrorist activity.
As I sat there, watching such injustice masquerading as justice, I was
reminded of the hysteria, fanned by the media and manipulated by the British
government of the day, which resulted in the wrongful convictions of the
Birmingham Six and the Guildford Four back in the mid 1970s at the height of the IRA’s
war against the British State. A total of ten Irish men and women were
arrested, evidence was concocted against them by the police and security services,
signed confessions were extracted using torture, and they were tried and
sentenced to imprisonment for terms of between 12 and 30 years. Ultimately, they
were arrested and imprisoned simply for the crime of being Irish in Britain
at a particular period in history.
Some eighteen years later their convictions were found to be ‘unsafe’ and
those who were still in prison at that time were released. The story of one,
Patrick Conlon, was immortalised in the Hollywood movie ‘In The Name Of The
The point is that then, just as now, the British State’s occupation of
another country, its colonisation of another people, was inevitably being met by
armed resistance. The ‘dirty war’ that resulted rebounded on British society
in the form of so-called terrorist attacks, mainly in the form of
indiscriminate bombings in cities like London in which civilians were killed. But rather
than admit the cause of such attacks – namely the colonial occupation of
another country and another people – the then British government labelled those
responsible as terrorists and criminals and dealt with the matter accordingly.
It was a measure which led directly to an attack on civil rights and the
willingness of the police to lie in court and use torture in order to send
innocent men and women to prison.
In short, when a government engages in imperialist wars and occupations
abroad, the end result is the corruption of the political and legal establishment
at home. What I witnessed today with regard to the imprisonment of a young
Muslim male was the net result of this corruption.
The attacks which took place in London on July 7th 2005, carried out by young
Muslim males, were followed by a failed attempt by other Muslim males to
carry out further attacks on July 20th in the same year. Earlier this summer
there were two failed attacks in London and Glasgow, again carried out by Muslim
males. These attacks, all of them, though rightly condemned by every serious
person of every political stripe, were directly linked to Britain’s role in
the ongoing occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, along with the British
government’s continued support for Israel its occupation of Palestinian land.
Yet the British government, under Tony Blair and now Gordon Brown, refuses
to budge from the nonsensical and ludicrous position that these attacks are
not connected with the Middle East, that instead they are the work of evil
people who “hate our values and are determined to attack our freedoms.”
Of course, that the government does so is not due to any lack of
understanding or awareness of the issues involved. Of course it isn’t. The position
which they have taken and maintain is one arrived at in a concerted attempt to
deflect their responsibility for and, yes, complicity in the various terror
attacks that have taken place on British soil in the last few years. Simply put,
the British government has sacrificed the law and any notion of justice as
the aim of the law in order to pursue a foreign policy in support of a US
reach for global hegemony.
The Judge who presided over today’s proceedings, a Lord no less, did so safe
in the knowledge that he was dispensing the law of the land. The jury which
heard the evidence and came to a verdict based on the evidence, did so in an
atmosphere of anti-Muslim hysteria that had been whipped up by the media in
the wake of the attacks already described, the resulting fear being
manipulated by the government in order to undermine civil liberties and introduce
anti-terror laws which move society ever closer to totalitarianism.
This will come as small comfort to Mohammed Atif Siddique, who today begins
the first day of an 8 year prison sentence. In the aftermath of his original
trial his lawyer, Amar Anwar, issued the following statement:
"Today Mohammed Atif Siddique was found guilty of doing what millions of
young people do every day, looking for answers on the internet.
"This verdict is a tragedy for justice and for freedom of speech. It
undermines the values that separate us from the terrorist, the very values we should
be fighting to protect.
"Mohammed Atif Siddique states that he is not a terrorist and is innocent of
the charges and it is not a crime to be a young Muslim angry at global
"The prosecution was driven by the state and carried out in an atmosphere of
hostility after the Glasgow Airport attack, and ending on the anniversary
of 9/11. In the end, Atif Siddique did not receive a fair trial and I will be
considering an appeal."
For daring to issue this statement, Amar Anwar was today informed by the
same Judge who sentenced Siddique that he could be facing a charge of contempt.
This is what passes for justice in Britain in the year 2007.
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