D4.1 Country Report | November 2021
Authors: Tasawar Ashraf (1) – Glasgow Caledonian University; Nelli Ferenczi (2) – Brunel University; Ozge Ozduzen (2) – University of Sheffield; Roland Fazekas (2) – Glasgow Caledonian University
This D.Rad 4.1 report shows the ways in which the United Kingdom counter-terrorism laws define terrorism broadly to include all terrorism acts pursuing the advancement of either political, cultural, religious, or racial causes; however, the new laws introduced during the last decade perceive jihadist terrorism as a more serious threat than far-right terrorism. The counter-terrorism laws’ over-emphasis on jihadist terrorism reflects the counter-terrorism operations of the law enforcement authorities. Therefore, this report shows the ways people belonging to ethnic and religious minorities are more likely to be suspected of terror-related activities. Despite serious institutional efforts to make the police use of stop and search objective and impartial, the report brings evidence to how the threshold of reasonable suspicion varies from case to case and constable to constable, due to the broad nature of the definition of reasonable suspicion. Counter-terrorism police subdivide far-right terrorism into white supremacy, neo-Nazism, and white cultural imperialism; on the contrary, jihadist terrorism is generally treated as Islamic radicalisation. This approach has wide stigmatisation and alienation effects. In this report, we recommend that a uniform process must be applied to different cases of terrorism. Where the evidence permits (the Thomas Mair case, for example) terrorism charges should be levied to every case of terrorism provided the case come under the definition of terrorism. This report recommends that jihadist terrorism must also be subdivided according to the political, cultural, religious, and racial ideologies of the offender. Such an approach is more likely to help in applying uniform process to all acts of terrorism and redress some of the lasting impacts of institutionalised Islamophobia within the UK legal context.