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Nap Time!!!

Thursday, November 02, 2006
Oh noes!

Profiling! In some other country. You know, one of those "not America" types.
When I read an article entitled "Universities urged to spy on Muslims," in an October issue of the United Kingdom publication "The Guardian," I felt deeply betrayed. The article exposes the British government's request to universities in the United Kingdom to reveal personal information on Muslim students of South Asian appearance as a national security measure.
That's what you get for living somewhere other than America!
As an exchange student from Britain now studying at UC Berkeley, I no longer feel at ease returning to such an environment in what I once considered to be my safe and non-threatening homeland.
What a coincidence! Apparently, your homeland no longer feels at ease being safe and non-threatening towards you. I guess it all works out.
During my stay at here at UC Berkeley, it has been made clear to me that—when it comes to monitoring Islamic activities—encroaching on civil liberties in a post Sept. 11 world has become a common practice here in the United States.
Really? How so? It's been made clear to me that a lot of people think this has been made clear to them, but that clarity doesn't seem to translate too directly into actual civil liberty encroachment.
I did not, however, expect the British government to take such extreme measures in light of its previously exemplary record of cultural and religious accommodation.
I think what has actually happened is that the British government thinks its exemplary record of cultural and religious accommodation is perhaps too exemplary. They're probably concerned about things like the torched-car relay passtime that seems to be so popular in France these days.
It is apparent that now, the British government has decided to emulate the U.S. domestic policy in dealing with the threat of terror.
Maybe they were counting subway bombings in various countries. But if America has been so evil towards Muslims all this time, why would Mohammed Surve suddenly feel ill at ease returning to Britain? After all, it's no worse than what we dumb Americans have created.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/02/2006 10:18:00 PM #
Comments (6)
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eh, who's to say he's not being spied on right now? no one. he should just consider himself lucky that he knows about what's going on in the UK.
the rather amusing thing, of course, is that he can't do anything at all about either situation. if either government thinks he's a threat, for whatever misleading reason, then they are going to do it.
i don't really see what's new here...the gvmt spies on people. now they do it on more ppl. it sucks. end of story.
This doesn't surprise me at all. I don't know why people think a country without Constitutional rights will have a better record in protecting "civil rights". In particular, Americans enjoy a "right to privacy" (albeit merely an interpretation by the Supreme Court) that isn't really defined in the UK.
Although I agree with the idea that today’s policies have made it almost impossible for a person to protect themselves if they just happen to "look suspicious", one immediately thinks of the British citizens who were detained at Guantanamo bay for many months, and were subject to what has been referred to as interrogation methods “especially designed for Muslim men”. It is however, important to remember the power of speech and lobby in affecting our policies. I think that governments want us to think that our voices no longer matter when it comes to affecting real policy. However, the policy that is referred to here is a clear example of how this is still NOT the case, and shows how when we unite in one voice and speak out, it will cause change. The government has now gone back to the drawing board as a result of the unanimous rejection of the document from teachers, universities and students’ unions. Hence it is a great loss for the government, but for the people it is an outstanding accomplishment. We should use such triumphs as examples of the importance of speaking out against all injustices, and not let ourselves be incorporated into the growing apathy especially within student movements.

Although I find the request of the British government to spy on Muslim uni students to be as vile as you do, I do believe that your opinion piece is extraordinarily unbalanced. If you truly hope to ameliorate the current toxic religious and racial environment in the UK, you, as a standard-bearer of the Muslim community, will have to suggest real solutions to the problems that it faces.

Of which problems do I speak?


The astonishing reality is that despite the British government's "exemplary record of cultural and religious accomodation", the British Muslim community remains not only on the periphery of the social sphere, but in a few extreme cases has quietly let fester the radical elements that led to the events of 7 July. How is it possible that British Muslims can feel such hatred towards their country when it *has* let them preserve their religious and cultural identity in a manner that the French social model has not? Moreover, why have other ethnic and religious immigrant groups fared much better with regards to assimilation and integration into the social fabric of the United Kingdom?

Regardless, I'm with you on this one: far from stamping it out, igniting this kind of rage only serves to further radicalize those who already feel marginalized.


Perhaps elected officials don't immediately listen to the voices of dissenters because those aren't the people who voted them into office anyway. Perhaps these officials' constituents actually believe they are doing as good a job as possible.

Without being patronising, the role of an elected body in a democracy is to listen to the people. If you are refering to FOSIS as 'dissenters', I assure you that is not the case. FOSIS a group which represents Islamic Societies on a national level with a moderate view, just like any other religious organisation. If the government listened to FOSIS in the first place, it would not have had to put up with the stick which it has encountered over the last fortnight over this matter. The government has had to give in due to agreement among Islamic Societies, Students' Unions and Lecturers' Unions taking a strong stand.
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