This report has been commissioned by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (the Commission) to develop and deepen understanding of the impact of counterterrorism legislation on Muslim communities. There has been concern regarding the compliance of counter-terrorism laws and policies with human rights, and their potential discriminatory impact on specific communities.1 In Great Britain, counterterrorism measures are overwhelmingly experienced by Muslims. Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11 there has been a raft of legislation and policies specifically designed to counter terrorism: many of these have departed from the usual criminal justice or other policy and practice and have been subject to criticism and concern. Furthermore, the courts have found some measures to be non-compliant with human rights. The need to understand the impact of counter-terrorism laws, policies and practices is critical, as counter-terrorism measures may be counterproductive, especially if they fail to protect human rights, discriminate, increase repression, or stigmatise and alienate certain groups. This can undermine the trust and confidence needed for effective cooperation and may, in itself, bolster the terrorist’s narrative. This is, primarily, a small scale, in-depth, qualitative study. It examines the experiences of counter-terrorism laws, policies and practices through case studies of local communities in four areas across Britain: Birmingham, East London, Glasgow and Leicester. In each of these areas four focus groups were held involving local residents (both Muslim and non-Muslim), exploring participants’ experiences and perceptions. In addition, 60 interviews were held with individuals working in the civil society and community organisations, practitioners and officials at the local and national level.
Choudhury, T., & Fenwick, H. (2011). The Impact of Counter-Terrorism Measures on Muslim Communities. Equality and Human Rights Commission