ICV: In accordance with our community consultation last week, ICV executives met with the Attorney General and his advisors on Friday 5 September. The meeting was attended by approximately 40 community representatives including member societies of the ICV, Imams, representatives of the Shia, Syrian and Iraqi communities as well.
We had the opportunity to raise a number of issues and concerns during the day. These included:
– the speed with which the Government was introducing these laws;
– the lack of genuine community consultation;
– the reasoning behind why there was a need for these laws;
– the absence of a proper consideration of the underlying causes of this problem;
– the fact that the government only seems to be using enforcement as a policy tool without looking at other issues;
– the language of the government that adds to further alienation of the community;
– the fact that these laws themselves may lead to further alienation of the younger generation;
– the way in which the government engagages with our community;
– why the current laws are not sufficient to meet whatever threat exists;
– the increasing number of cases of people being singled out at airports at the moment, without the new laws.
Many people had an opportunity to present their view and while they may have approached it from a different perspective the underlying message from all those there was the same.
The pleasing outcome from the meeting was that the Government will refer this legislation to a Parliamentary committee once it is tabled in the Parliament. This means that there will be a formal, public, inquiry with an opportunity to make submissions once the final version of the law is presented. This also gives us more time now to mobilise our other activities to try and influence the outcome.
The ICV will be putting together an action plan in response to these laws. This will include community forums and information sessions, letter writing campaigns to politicians, media and political lobbying. Keep an eye out for more information that will be coming soon on these actions insha’Allah. In the meantime if you have any questions or suggestions please send them through to us – firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: ICV newsletter.