Joint Committee On Human Rights Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 220-224)


31 OCTOBER 2005

  Q220  Baroness Stern: So you are opposed to three months whatever the safeguards for the suspect during those three months are?

  Mr Jafar: I think traditionally the judiciary, when it comes to issues of national security, have given great deference to the Executive, and I think that that would also be the case here, as has been the case with SIAC?

  Q221  Lord Judd: The proposed legislation envisages an extension of the powers of proscription. What is your reaction to that?

  Mr Jafar: I think some organisations which do espouse violence, like Muhajiroun, that is a good thing, but when you try and use proscription to silence political dissents and views that you do not like, like Hizb Ut Tahrir, although I do not like them I completely disagree and hate them with a virulence, but I cannot say that they promote violence and I cannot conscientiously think of a reason why they should be banned.

  Q222  Lord Judd: Would you argue that proscription, if not very convincingly handled, could actually provoke a worse situation?

  Mr Jafar: Completely. They are already working outside the mosque structure, they already work within cells, so this would not be a big change, this would add to their argument that a secular liberal democracy simply cannot give you justice, that there is no way a secular liberal democracy could provide the answers. This would further add weight to the arguments propounded by extremists with this nihilistic philosophy.

  Q223  Lord Judd: There is one specific question I would like to put before I finish. If it is accepted that there is an offence of encouragement of terrorism, should the encouragement of terrorism be one of the grounds on which a decision about proscription should be made?

  Mr Jafar: I am against encouragement of terrorism in principle if it does include proscribing legitimate resistance movements. Therefore, following on from that, I would be against that being used as a basis for proscription, but inciting murder or inciting acts of terrorism against civilians or supporting certain terrorist movements, then that should be proscribed?

  Q224  Lord Judd: Your basic thesis, if the Chairman permits me to put this question, which it seems to me you have repeated several times in this session, is that you are unhappy about a lot that is being proposed in the absence of what you believe is an acceptable definition of terrorism.

  Mr Jafar: Yes.

  Chairman: A nice straightforward question and answer to round off our session. Thank you for coming. It has been a lot longer session than we thought, but there was a lot to tell us which has been very interesting and helpful for our future deliberations. Thank you for coming and for staying longer than everyone expected.

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