This week I have my home town of Luton left for the first time in more than five months to go on holiday to an English village with my wife and our five children. Travel anywhere with an airport is now terrible for all of us. Up until now, I’ve been too scared to even leave, Luton.
Last October, my wife and I were taken to the wrong festival and detained on suspicion of terrorist activities, while on our way to a family holiday in Turkey. We were detained at the accession, our extended family, as I was held overnight in a cell at the police station in Southwark, where we were interviewed to find out whether we planned a terrorist attack. My wife was forced to breastfeed our youngest child, then four months old, in a police cell. I was released from prison, the set was the following day and the investigation. But all of us are still under the consequences of the unlawful arrest. Our lawyer has made a formal complaint about the way we were treated, to investigate the Metropolitan police is now.
For someone with my background to travel to Turkey for a holiday that was clearly not acceptable
I have always been a community person, and as a youth worker, I focus on the aid and support of others. Neither my wife nor I have ever been in any trouble with the police, nor any members of my family. We are locally known for our contributions to the economy, the welfare associations and the local police. We have worked hard over the years to combat discrimination and positive role models. In the course of my work to provide youth the help I needed, together with local Prevent officers and police, where.
The prevent programme is part of the school curriculum and is designed to identify that those who are already radicalised or at risk of radicalizing. But the positive work I’ve done was for about two decades, working with young people from a variety of different religious and ethnic backgrounds, is clearly not enough. Even though I had done nothing wrong, I was arrested and taken into police custody. The only explanation I can come up with is for this unlawful arrest, that I was a victim of ethnic profiling, because of my race and my religion.
For someone with my background to travel to Turkey for a vacation that was apparently not acceptable. My family and I were humiliated in front of our community, separated from each other, suffered unnecessary panic and anxiety, as well as imprisoned for the “crime” of planning a vacation with the family. Such treatment has made me realize that, no matter what we do, we will always be measured and treated differently in this country because of our race or religion.
Police met the Muslim man’s wrongful arrest over terrorism
My “error” was the online search for the cheapest holiday package deal to stay in the same hotel as my relatives. I found an offer to fly to Turkey with easyJet and back with Thomson. I cooperated fully with the police and gave them all of my travel information, including a full explanation of why I was travelling in Turkey, travelling with one airline and home with others – surely a completely normal trip, and I gave the officials to seek access to my phone, but they arrested me. She asked me what my view on the Islamic state. I said I had a negative opinion of you, that I live in a democratic country, and working to deradicalise young people.
Whenever I think about what happened to me and my family, I get to talk about horrible flashbacks.
Community relations with the police stressful it can be, in the best of times, but what kind of message it will send to my unlawful arrest to the young people I work with? Although I have always together with the police and Prevent the officers in the course of my work I believe that the prevent strategy has failed. After what happened to me, I have no answers about what is the right way to have to ensure that the community relations peacefully and harmoniously. But what I do know is that if the police arrests of innocent people like me, who is on suspicion of terrorism based on ethnic profiling, it is extremely harmful. The police need to stop this kind of ethnic profiling, and instead, focus on credible intelligence worthy, if you try to fight terrorism.