Muslims criticize naming of plot suspects

Via Jihad Watch:Yet another attempt to deflect attention away from jihad terror and onto anti-terror efforts. Muslim groups in Britain, including the jihadist Hizb-ut-Tahrir, are doing their best to portray yesterday’s arrests as the unwarranted vilification of the Muslim community. It’s a campaign of deceit designed to shore up the falsehood that the religion of the plotters is incidental, despite the fact that it is almost certainly their primary motivation. From the Hizballah News Agency, aka Reuters:

LONDON (Reuters) – Muslims criticised the government on Friday for publishing the names of 19 men who police sources say are under arrest for allegedly plotting to blow up passenger planes bound for the United States. The government instructed the Bank of England to publish the names on its Web site on Thursday, just hours after police arrested 24 people in connection with the suspected plot.

Police have not named the 24 but a police source confirmed they include the 19 named by the central bank. Although the bank did not give the addresses of the 19, it listed their dates of birth and the areas where they live.

The bank’s action is unusual. Normally, authorities do not publish the names of suspects until they have been formally charged and identified by the police.

But the government defended the move, saying it was essential to ensure the assets of the 19 were frozen.

“The Treasury has informed us that this is a normal procedure,” Home Secretary John Reid told a news conference.

“When people’s assets are frozen, the names are published, and this, the Treasury tells us, is part of the obligation of ensuring that people cannot deal with such individuals in the transfer of assets.”

Some Muslim groups said the move was unnecessary and could hamper the suspects’ chance of a fair trial if they are eventually charged in connection with the plot.

The Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS), an umbrella group representing Muslim students, said it was “extremely disappointed” by the government’s action.

“It is important to wait until a thorough investigation has taken place before pointing fingers and drawing conclusions,” FOSIS spokesman Wakkas Khan said in a statement.

“It is important to maintain the legal principles we hold dear, namely the concept of innocent until proven guilty.”

The government said that in publishing the names, it was not inferring guilt.

Police are still questioning the 24 suspects and can hold them for up to 28 days before either charging or releasing them.

Hizb ut-Tahrir, a radical Islamist party which the government says it plans to ban, said it too was dismayed by the publication of the names.

“It concerns us that there is already talk in the media about the ethnic identity of the suspects, and that suspects are presumed guilty before any due process,” said Imran Waheed, spokesman for the British branch of the party.

“We urge caution before jumping to conclusions.”

Many Muslims accuse the police of unfairly targeting their community in their crackdown on terrorism.

Since 2000, police have arrested over 700 people — many of them Muslims — under tough anti-terrorism laws, but have brought only a handful to court. The vast majority have been released without charge.

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