Abdul Wahid here gives a short critique of the latest ‘anti-terror’ laws and it doesn’t take a legal mastermind to see how these new laws are going to be used to ratchet up the pressure on the Muslims of the UK.
Here is a link to a news article on the new laws, I think most of us seeing new laws being proposed nearly every year turn off but these latest ones include some new and frightening powers for the government to use.
“This is a classic example of the ‘injustice’ in the legal system.
Firstly, enacting a law that allow sentences viewed as ‘too lenient’ to be extended by the appeal court for serious and emotive crimes such as murder, rape and the ‘most serious terrorist offences’. (What does that mean? Murder is murder, and implying a political motive in some cases but not others means you have just politicised the law).
Secondly, extending the scope of that law to apply to much more vacuous and politicised acts – such as ‘ supporting extremist organisations, encouraging acts of terror’. What constitutes ‘support’ and ‘encouragement’ in terms of legal thresholds? Who as yet has defined ‘extremist’? Without robust definitions all laws become arbitrary. This classic sign of a politicised legal system, with parallel streams of justice for those who think differently.
This reminds me of security states in other parts of the world, where people could be serving a sentence of a political offence, and they are retried or resentenced years later.
It concerns me that some criminals will get longer sentences than other just by the tabloid press or 24/7 news media whipping up populist sentiment after a trial, whilst current laws prevent media interference in trials.
Of course all secular laws change with the wind. Secularists think of this as a strength, because blatantly unjust laws of the past are now repealed.
But Islam’s strength is that its legal code is not easy to manipulate. It is not public opinion that we seek in justice, but Allah’s Opinion on any given matter.
Speaking about the Islamic Shariah at the trial of Warren Hastings, the political philosopher Edmund Burke spoke of the ‘Mahomedan law, which is binding upon all, from the crowned head to the meanest subject; a law interwoven with a system of the wisest, the most learned, and most enlightened jurisprudence that perhaps ever existed in the world’.
Bukhari narrates from our mother ‘Aisha, may Allah be please with her that Usamah ibn Zaid (may Allah be please with him and his father) approached the Prophet ﷺ on behalf of a woman (from a noble, rich family in her tribe who had committed theft). The Prophet ﷺ said, “The people before you were destroyed because they used to inflict the legal punishments on the poor and forgive the rich. By Him in Whose Hand my soul is! If Fatima (the beloved daughter of the Prophet ﷺ) did that (i.e. stole), I would cut off her hand.” i.e. You do not apply laws selectively – either on the poor and not the rich; nor on the unpopular but let off the popular.”