Several members of the Conservative Muslim Forum presented a petition to the Rt Hon David Davis MP, the Shadow Home Secretary, which was signed by over twelve hundred people and opposes controversial Government proposals to extend the time for which terrorism suspects can be held without charge.
The Government recently unveiled a new Counter-Terrorism Bill, which proposes to extend the period a terrorist suspect can be held without charge from 28 days to 42 days. These controversial proposals will in effect enable investigators to detain suspects for up to six weeks without declaring a state of emergency and have been strongly condemned by the Conservative Party.
Commenting Lord Sheikh, the Chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum, said:
‘All citizens, regardless of religion or ethnic origin, are threatened by terrorism. However, we will not defeat terrorism by legislation which takes away liberties that Briton’s have enjoyed for centuries. Instead, citizens must be encouraged to do everything possible to assist the police in their task of protecting our people.’
David Davis, the Shadow Home Secretary stated the following on receiving the petition from the Conservative Muslim Forum:
‘The Government is fixated with extending detention without trial without a shred of evidence regarding the need, even though it will cut off vital cooperation from local communities. There are already emergency powers to deal with the nightmare scenarios Ministers keep speculating about.’
The Rt Hon David Davis MP has been a vocal critic of the new anti-terrorism package and has also previously accused the government of trying to establish a ‘permanent undeclared state of emergency.’
The Conservative Muslim Forum has worked with great dedication and commitment in regard to promoting support for the petition and was able to get hundreds of people to endorse it at the Global Peace and Unity Conference, where the CMF had a stall.