Friday, September 30, 2011

Sheikh Salah can sue. So what happens to CST ...and Cameron??

Press Release: High Court rules Raed Salah is 'entitled to damages for wrongful detention' SHEIKH RAED SALAH getting the last laugh?

THE High Court has ruled that Sheikh Raed Salah was unlawfully detained and is entitled to claim compensation. This is an embarassment for Home Secretary Theresa May, who ordered his detention.

Sheikh Salah, leader of the northern section of the Islamic Movement in Israel, and a former mayor of Umm el Fahm, came to this country on June 25 to honour speaking engagements, one of them with MPs at the House of Commons.

These meetings had alll been pre-advertised and were public. No one told the Sheikh that he was banned from this country. An immigration officer at Heathrow scanned his passport reportedly ignored an alert to exclude him.

Three days after entering the UK, having spoken at at a meeting in Leicester, and with his other engagements, including that at he Houses of Parliament, to keep, Sheikh Salah was detained at his west London hotel, handcuffed and taken to Paddington Green police station, which has often been used for alleged "terror" suspects.

No clear reason was given. No crime had been committed, although newspapers like the Mail implied Sheikh Salah had somehow breached Britain's security. The Home Ssecretary subsequently served a deportation notice on him, on the grounds that his presence in the UK was "not conducive to the public good".

Salah challenged his removal and obtained bail in July. He is appealing against the decision to deport him in separate proceedings before an immigration tribunal which continues next week. In the judgment released on Friday, Mr Justice Nicol found for Salah on one of three grounds that his detention was unlawful. He rejected his claim on two other grounds.

It was reported this week that senior officials at the UK Border Agency had opposed the Home Secretary's decision, warning that the evidence against him was disputed, open to legal challenge and the case "very finely balanced". Salah had sought damages for illegal detention, arguing in an earlier hearing that he had been "confined without lawful authority" and subjected to what was essentially "false imprisonment".

It was also observed that the government action had succeeded in prolonging the Sheikh's stay in Britain for much longer than his originally planned trip.

Salah has been imprisoned before in Israel for funding Hamas and leading a violent demonstration. But unlike some other cases - from the Anglican Canon Riah al Awal to the nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu - he had evidently not been banned from travelling. Yet the order banning him from entering the UK has apparently been based on allegations from Israel concerning antisemitism as well as fundamentalism.

It is reported that Theresa May decided to act after receiving a dossier on Sheikh Salah from the Community Security Trust (CST). a body whose official remit is to protect Jewish people and institutions in Britain from any threats, and monitor antisemitism. The CST, which has enjoyed good relations with the police for some years, boasts of having alerted the authorities.

Informed members of the Jewish community, including those who have worked with the CST, say it receives much of its guidance from the Israeli state. Supporters of Sheikh Saleh say that the evidence against him, including alleged antisemitic statements, was fabricated.

I've nothing against people organising to defend themselves and others against racist attacks, and antisemitism, quite the contrary beingJewish myself. But I've had my own experiences with the Jewish community's security, and so have friends, and they did not leave us feeling secure. It was the Community Security Organisation, as CST used to be called, which excluded several people from a film festival, apparently because one of them had been recognised from a previous occasion selling Jewish Socialist. Even after he spoke to the organisers, whom he knew, assuring them he had come to see the films and not sell magazines, the security men told them they would not be responsible for the security of the festival if this man was admitted.

On another occasion a couple I know were trailed around the foyer of the Royal Festival Hall by these Community Security heavies even though they were only treating his parents to a concert of Russian Jewish music. What kind of security "threat" they were suspected of plotting neither they or I know. But I did recognise one of the "security" team as having doubled as a guard for Ariel Sharon when he visited London.

I doubt whether I would have much political agreement with Sheikh Raed Saleh. I would certainly not support his party if I was a Palestinian. But that is different from seeing him as a "security threat" or saying he has no right to speak to members of the public or MPs in this country. As for his alleged antisemitism, considering some of the people the government has allowed in, for instance extremists who support the ant-Islamic EDL. it is hard to justify privilege. Nor would I trust an Israeli security-influenced source for evidence.

If some of us have learned to distrust an organisation which confuses security with policing, terror with politics it does not like, and leaves doubt as to where its accountability lies, one man thinks it is fine. Prime Minister David Cameron was guest at a CST dinner earlier this year. "And it’s great to be able to show my support again for Community Security Trust and the brilliant work you do. ... I believe CST is a model for all our communities in Britain. So much of what you do epitomises what I’m getting at when I talk about the Big Society. You don’t say “just leave it to the government, it’s not my responsibility", uou say “I want to play my part; I want to do my bit.”

"I want to be frank with you. It shames our country that our Jewish schools should need protection. But they do. And it’s fantastic that CST provides it. But just as your community does so much to raise money so we should help too. So I’m proud that Michael Gove has announced up to £2 million on security for schools this year and there will be more to come for all the years it’s needed in our country".

Cameron went on to extol the importance of countering extremism by educating in British national identity.

Welcoming Salah's arrest in June, CST's blog said "Most of the publicity regarding his visit had concentrated upon his speaking in the House of Commons tonight, alongside various pro-Palestinian activists and Jeremy Corbyn MP, Yasmin Qureshi MP and Richard Burden MP.

"Salah’s Islamist ideology is reflected by those organising the events, most of whom are leading lights in Britain’s pro-Islamist, Muslim Brotherhood type circles, such as the MEMO group. These groups and activists seek to dominate the ideological and political leadership of Britain’s highly diverse Muslim communities. Many on the secular far Left have made common cause with these Islamist ideologues: not because they believe that British society will be a better place for having such groups dominate Muslim communities, but rather because both ideological streams are would-be revolutionaries with many enemies in common.

"The fiasco over how Salah actually entered the UK, should not distract attention from the crucial fact that the Government has shown the meaningfulness and intent of its recent review of Prevent counter-extremism strategy. Salah’s banning and subsequent detention demonstrates that Government has now moved beyond only seriously challenging those who are explicitly pro Al Qaeda, or otherwise in favour of terrorism against Britain and British overseas forces and facilities.

"Now, Government is also facing up to the enormous challenge of how to reverse the influence of those pan-Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood (including Hamas) and Jamaat-i-Islami, both of which make common cause and have significant control over British Muslims’ physical and political infrastructure; including an extensive network of lobbying groups, umbrella bodies, charities and mosques. Prior Governments have attempted to work with such groups (largely out of perceived necessity), but have repeatedly found them to be, ultimately, not conducive to the public good and social cohesion.

"The Labour Party may also have shifted its position. Some Labour MPs have long mixed in the Islamist and secular pro-Palestinian circles demonstrated by Salah’s visit, and exemplified by the past behaviour of Ken Livingstone. The Shadow Home Secretary has criticised the Government’s handling of border controls, but such criticism risks rebounding unless Labour is able to rein in those MPs and Lords who move in such circles"

Note that satisfaction over Salah's detention and some lumping together Muslim parties and "secular pro-Palestinian circles" was followed by the admonition to Labour to "rein in MPs and Lords..".

The writer seems confident of having his way. Mind you that was in June, and this is September.

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At 11:15 AM, Blogger Eliyahu m'Tsiyon said...

why don't you find out what Salah actually said, maybe by reading HaArets, which is probably your favorite Israeli newspaper?? Whoever told you that he didn't say clearly antisemitic things is lying to you. Recall that the Arab press generally is full of Judeophobic lies and hate incitement. Don't you know what some of the muftis and imams have said at the Finbsbury mosque in London? If you read the Quran, you can find hate incitement against Jews, such as calling Jews apes and pigs. Try looking up "Jews" in the index to the Pickthall translation of the Quran. Why are you "socialists" so ignorant about history? Do you only read your own propaganda?

At 6:11 PM, Blogger Charlie Pottins said...

I don't usually publish bigots and racists since I figure they got enough media outlets, but thought this guy deserves answering.
I admit i have not read anything Salah said. But clearly there is no need to, as by Mr. M'Tsiyon's argument he must be guilty by virtue of being both an Arab and a Muslim, as our Israeli adviser cites "the Arab press generally", and the Quran as evidence, and is even surprised I don't share his knowledge of what has been said in the Finsbury Park mosque here in London.
This is worrying, as at this rate we must not be content with stopping one Palestinian speaking to our MPs but must regard the entire Muslim population here or anywhere else as a threat, and take steps tban the Quran for inciting racism.
Well, I must confess that I have not got around to reading the Quran yet, though it is my intention. Nor have I read the Talmud nor yet even seen a copy, and yet if you believe some antisemites and even some Jewish scholars we are all as Jews supposed to be Talmud-chochams and this is supposed to be the basis of Jewish behaviour including not least the racist behaviour of right-wing Jewish settlers. So you see more than one side can offer supposed quotes from the other's books to collectively stigmatise them.
A book which I have read is the Tanach, the old testament, and I know Zionists. religious or otherwise take it astitle deeds. Some of our enemies (and some religious Zionists) also point to passages apparently supporting exclusive possession of the Land, and massacres of enemies, but one can also find enough passages taking the opposite view, with the repeated exhortation to "not oppress the stranger, for you were starngers in Egypt, and know what is in the heart of a stranger".
That is a good enough way to view history for me, and the history of which Mr. m'Tsiyon thinks I'm so ignorant does tell me that for centuries Jews lived unscathed in Muslim societies, even thriving, when they were persecuted elsewhere. So without romanticising the past or ignoring more recent conflict and extremism it will not do to pretend it is some eternal war or all explained from the Quran.
I also know a bit of more recent history, enough to know that the threat and attempt to destroy the Jewish people did not come from Muslims, and that Israeli Zionists were not the innocent injured parties in the Israel/Palestine conflict, even if some Muslims and others now take things too far by imposing a religious interpretation of it, or adopting European antisemitism and conspiracy theory. If Salah is that way, then like I said, I obviously do not support him. But nor am I convinced he is a threat.
We do have a history of confronting real threats in England, and I was happy to march on Sunday with fellow Jewish Socialists, Bangladeshis and others to commemorate the Battle of Cable Street when Mosley's fascists were repelled in London's East End. I am also proud to see that my comrades in France are joining with others on October 17 to remember the massacre of Algerians in Paris fifty years ago. The man in charge of the Paris police then was Maurice Papon, same World War II Vichy criminal who deported Jews to the concentration camps from Bordeaux.
Yes, we socialists do know our history thankyou, and we also know that in Britain and other countries the fascists are temporarily putting their antisemitism on the back burner while they bring Islamophobia to the boil. But an injury to one is an injury to all, and we know who our enemies are.

At 7:22 PM, Blogger YMedad said...

You write: "the Israeli state". What is the difference between that and "the stae of Israel"?

At 7:38 PM, Blogger Eliyahu m'Tsiyon said...

Charley, it seems that you never heard of Haj Amin el-Husseini [Husayni], British-appointed mufti of Jerusalem, British-appointed leader of the Supreme Muslim Council, etc., during British rule in the Land of Israel. This Husseini [also spelled Husayni], often simply called The Mufti, was the chief Arab leader in the country from about 1921 to 1950, approx. He allied with the Nazis during the war and spent most of the war in the Nazi-fascist domain, meeting with both Hitler and Mussolini, broadcasting to the Arabs lands during the War over Radio Berlin, and urging Axis countries to send Jews --including Jewish children-- to Poland, where --he wrote-- these Jewish children would be "under active supervision." Of course, this came after more than 1000 years of Arab-Muslim oppression of Jews in Israel and in other Muslim-ruled lands. Jewish subjects in the Islamic state were called "dhimmis", as were Christian subjects.

At 7:40 AM, Blogger Charlie Pottins said...

First, to Y. Medad, the State of Israel is the official name of the country so if I merely said that something came from the State of Israel that would not mean very much, whether we were talking about advice or oranges. I was talking about the Israeli state in the same way that I might refer to the British or French state, meaning institutions of government.
And I had in mind certain institutions in particular.
To Eliyahu m'Tsiyon, yes everybody knows about the Mufti, but I believe he is dead and so there was no question of him coming to Britain, and it is a long time since he held any position of influence in Palestinian society. As for the oppression of Jews and Christians in Muslim societies, it did not prevent Jews fleeing from Spain for instance to Muslim lands, and it seems to have been somewhat more tolerable than some of the things done by Christians to both Jews and Muslims, and in much more recent times. I remember hearing fascists and antisemites here rejoicing over Sabra and Chatila, and I know that though the killers were Christians, an Israeli court found Ariel Sharon morally culpable. That did not prevent him becoming Prime Minister. But unlike you I do not believe in either collective guilt or punishment.
And much as I might dislike Sheikh Salah for his own politics, I see more danger to myself and our freedoms here from allowing powers to either Teresa May or the CST and perhaps Avigdor Lieberman to decide what is legitimate.


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