Harris Farooqi, a Muslim man once accused and held by authorities for committing terrorist activities was interviewed by the BBC following the horrific attack in Manchester England. From his perspective, the present strategy used in the U.K. to find radicals confuses extremism with religious devotion.
Interviewer: “But it’s there to try and stop people from becoming extremist.
Farooqi: “What is extremist? What is a sign of extremism? In my case, when I was accused of being a terrorist, it was set up that extremism is practicing your faith. We were told if you’re praying five times a day that is the first step of extremism.”
‘When you’re targeting innocent people well then ya. No one agrees with extremism or terrorism in any form. But when you’re discriminating against innocent people When you’re targeting a sect of people in the community that have lived in peace for many years. I think that is extreme, and racist and terrible. “
They are spying on the community. That is what my opinion is”
Farooqi makes one good point. Nobody wants their privacy compromised or to be watched. Furthermore, he was found not guilty of conspiring to commit acts of terror.
However, his other points appear to be rather dubious:
1. Praying 5 times a day is the 1st step of extremism
Many Muslims pray 5 times a day. 93% of U.K. Muslims pray at least once daily and 43% pray at least 5 times a day. These statistics released back in 2014 were compiled the year Farooqi was investigated. Furthermore, it is an established fact that the U.K. lacks the proper infrastructure to monitor high numbers of suspected terror threats.
2. Targeting innocent people that have lived in peace for many years
Although it is interesting to note that it’s not the Red Hat Society, the gay community or the Mormons associated with committing radical acts of terror. That is not the larger point. No one thinks twice about getting checking the baby car seat model number when a major manufacturer announces a recall. That is just not something any parent would choose to risk. Government intelligence agencies have a duty to protect the children.
3. No one agrees with terrorism or extremism
How can someone agree with extremism if they’re unsure “What is extremist? That is a fundamental aspect of this problem. Farooqi is most likely very genuine in his arguments and confusion over why Muslims are being watched for terrorist sympathies. The Quran instructs Muslims to fight back against perceived discrimination
Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you – Quran 2:190
Farooqi's struggle to understand why the Muslim community might be viewed with slight apprehension and at times investigated is rather self-explanatory. The people who commit acts of terror do not see themselves as a terrorist. They're being persecuted as they fulfill Allah's mission for their lives. Farooqi's sentiments are not an anomaly. Linda Sarsour also agrees with his viewpoints regarding Muslim victimhood and terrorism.
Source: The Quran, Engaging the Other: Public Policy and Western-Muslim Intersections