| ||The Herald newspaper reports on a public meeting held yesterday in Glasgow to discuss growing concerns among Scottish Muslims on the abuse of Schedule 7 powers by police, ports and immigration officials to harass and intimidate Muslims travellers forcing some to boycott Glasgow airport. |
Scottish Muslims took the opportunity to challenge the use made of the powers and to present evidence of some of the experiences of Muslims who had been stopped for questioning.
From The Herald:
“Glasgow’s Muslims are boycotting the city’s main airport and choosing to fly from Manchester because of perceived harassment from counter-terrorism officers it was claimed last night.
“The allegations were made a t a public meeting called to discuss concerns held by parts of the Asian community that powers held by police, ports and immigrations officials to question travelers at travel hubs were abused with travelers singled out solely on the basis of their race or skin colour.
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill told around 70 people at Pollockshields Burgh Hall in Glasgow that Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 was a necessary tool in fighting global terrorism.
“But lawyer Aamer Ahmed said some Muslims had become so disillusioned at the way they were treated at Glasgow airport they decided to take their business south of the border.
"He said he would challenge police to deliver statistics on how much counter-terrorism intelligence had been delivered as a result of questioning travelers at the airport.
"He said “The questions are offensive, rude and intimidating in the way they are carried out…It seems as if there is racial profiling going on at Glasgow Airport and what people from the community are doing is using Manchester Airport and other airports to fly out.
“Everything is not fine at Glasgow Airport. People do not accept the way they are being treated. They are not terrorists and they expect to be able to go about their business.”
Last year The Herald newspaper reported on the abuse of stop and search powers by Scottish police to intimidate Muslims into spying on their community. A Guardian investigation earlier this year also uncovered cases of Muslims traveling into Scotland’s airports being stopped by counter-terrorism police and asked "to keep an eye on the Muslim community".
The allegations reported in The Herald newspaper present important questions for the Scottish Assembly and the Government in light of the new Prevent strategy which was unveiled last month and a growing body of evidence on the construction of Muslims as a ‘suspect community’.
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