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June 23, 2006
One sided US Extradition Treaty 'radicalising British Muslims'
The Government's handling of the case of Babar Ahmad and its 'lopsided' extradition arrangements with the US has succeeded in "radicalising a new generation of British Muslims," according to evidence compiled in a new report Friday, reports The Muslim News.
"The fury, bitterness and ominous threats heaped on the British Government and western establishments leave no doubt that British Muslims are being pushed towards extremism by the Government's failure to listen to their pleas and their blind persistence with an unjust and dangerous extradition policy," the report warns.
Ahmad, who has been in jail for nearly two years, is appealing against a decision to extradite him to the US to face charges of running 'terrorist' websites. The appeal is due to be heard on July 11 and scheduled to run for four days.
In a forward to the report, Labour MP Sadiq Khan said the US can make extradition requests to the UK "without having to provide prima facie evidence about the case," but he added "the same is not true in reverse, and this signifies an inequity in the extradition law."
"It is noteworthy that the British Police and Crown Prosecution Service have decided that there is no basis for Babar to be charged for any criminal offences here in the UK," said Khan, who is also a human rights lawyer.
The report, the result of a four month study by the Free Babar Campaign, provides excerpts from emails, letters, weblogs, poetry and statements by leading figures to underline the counter-productive effects of his treatment and the 'one-sided' US Extradition Treaty.
"British Muslims are outraged that a law-abiding citizen of the UK and a valued member of their community can be detained without charge for nearly two years, abused and tortured, and possibly extradited to a country that is proven to have no regard for the human rights of Muslim 'suspects,' it says.
This was "despite the fact that no evidence has been presented to this day, all for the sake of a one-sided alliance," contines the report.
The report found that there was an "unfairness" of the 2003 UK-US Extradition Treaty, which makes British citizens "subservient to US law."
The Treaty "has confirmed without doubt in the minds of British Muslims that this government has turned Britain into a second-class state and a 'pillion passenger' in America's war on terror," it says.
The campaign group warned that the treatment of Ahmad, a 32-year-old UK-born Muslim from London, along with Britain's foreign policy, has meant that the current government has "irrevocably lost the trust of British Muslims."
Judging by the increasing level of public interest in this case, the report also says it would be "dangerously na´ve to assume that this matter will quietly fade away if Babar Ahmad is eventually extradited to the US."
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