When I read the news earlier today that Umar Uthman, more commonly known as Shaikh Abu Qatada, had been arrested pending deportation on the basis of “diplomatic assurances” from the torturers haven of Jordan, I could scarcely believe my eyes. How far down the road of racism and bigotry has this country gone, MPs seeking to satisfy a baying conglomerate of media and public, eager to take their frustrations of a declining country out on a 52 year old disabled man who they wish to suffer in the most despicable ways.
Not enough was it for them to keep a man without charge for 11 years in captivity, denying him the most basic rights and freedoms, simply because of a despotic government seeking to blame him for their peoples anger against so-called “King Abdullah”. Shaikh Abu Qatadah spent years in a small unit of eight people for no crime or charge, but instead because a foreign dictator demanded his deportation. Britain has now it seemed pandered to a man whose prisons torture 66 in 100 prisoners (Human Rights Watch, 2008). Worse is that this so-called Government of the United Kingdom seems to be encouraging it.
Now, there are those in the blackshirts who might say that he deserves it, where were the rights of the victims, and all the rest of the claptrap that the media likes to wheel out. In the midst of a drunken haze, it could look like a half-point, until we look at the history of the man called Abu Qatada and we see that he has never been involved in any crime.
The solitary charge, for which Theresa May now takes Torturer-in-Chief Abdullah’s words at face value, is one of conspiracy to attack civillians in Jordan in 2000. The only evidence in this Al Qaeda plot (which I am sure will come out in that bastion of virtue, the Jordan Military Court) is an alleged intercepted conversation between Abu Zubaydah and one other individual. The fact that Abu Zubaydah (who still remains without charge in Guantanamo Bay) has been declared by the USA NOT to be a member of Al Qaeda is irrelevant to the wheels of justice in the paranoid terror state of Jordan. More importantly, there is no record of Abu Qatadah knowing any of these individuals, of speaking to these individuals, or indeed any evidence whatsoever of his involvement in any plot (and it is extremely spurious there was never a plot in the first place).
Abu Qatada has been present in the United Kingdom since 1993. He has been under MI5 and MI6 monitoring since shortly after that time, and despite this we are asked to believe that he was able to organise a plot across multiple continents, but not to such an extent that there was actual evidence. Lacking such items as witnesses and evidence, the Jordanian court carried on all the same and gave out death sentences to some, and life with hard labour to others. No evidence, no testimony, no jury.
So this is the circumstance of the man they want to deport. The man they accuse of being Al Qaedas man in Europe, without ever wondering how such an alleged high operative could function at such a level without even knowing the language of the “enemy”. He is accused of making “hate speech” (whatever that means), yet I am sure the average Sun or Daily Mail reader has never heard him speak. He is accused of spending millions on terrorism plots, yet his bank and cash accounts have been monitored for a decade whilst he languished in Belmarsh and Long Lartin.
So why the hatred, from the government down? Its certainly not because of any evidence of terrorism or else he would have been charged. It can’t be because of what he has said, because no one understands the language that he speaks.
However, there is another reason.
This is where we have got to. A country whose media, police, armed forces, government and people all unite together to vilify, condemn and victimise a person because of the colour of his skin, his dress and his appearance. There was of course another country that did this. Another country that victimised a minority because they blamed them for all the ills in the world, and generated a hatred for those that spoke different and acted different. It started with the ridicule in the media, then the absence of justice, and ended in the gas chambers of Auschwitz.
One can see not the latest Daily Mail article on the “muslim population increase” but instead a statement from Hitler in the 1930s :-
“Why does the world shed crocodile’s tears over the richly merited fate of a small Jewish minority? … I ask Roosevelt, I ask the American people: Are you prepared to receive in your midst these well-poisoners of the German people and the universal spirit of Christianity? We would willingly give everyone of them a free steamer-ticket and a thousand-mark note for travelling expenses, if we could get rid of them.”
This “small jewish minority” eventually ended with a figure of 17 million. Jews, Gypsies, Poles, Russians, the Disabled, Boy Scouts, Communists, Socialists, Yugoslavians and many other social, religious and ethnic groups. Some would say I am being sensationalist in making these comparisons, but I’d rather not wait for the future to prove me right or wrong.
If you want history to judge you as that failed empire was judged, then by all means throw your lot in with the dictators, the fascists, the racists and the bigots.
However if you want to be judged as a person of fairness and tolerance, of compassion and one who stood up against oppression, oppose all the efforts to deport Abu Qatada, and all the other innocent muslims in Jails facing SIAC, Deportation and Extradition.
Remember to write to all in your power to oppose these deportations and extraditions, as well as to write to the prisoners and their families.