Acts of terror and criminalization of society segments on a global scale
The September 2001 terror acts have shocked the international community, there are changing perspectives on the threat of terrorism and whole segments of society have been criminalized as a result. There are numerous instruments that have been established to deal with terrorism since the 1960. However, the unparalleled influence and global reach of terror groups such as the al-Qaeda and its affiliates have led to societal stereotyping of Muslims across the globe. Even after the death of its leader in 2011, governments and agencies across the globe are surveying for effective ways to address the threat of terrorism. Communities and societies have been criminalized as a result of the action of these terror groups. These developments have consequently rendered and negatively affected the freedom and liberty of Muslim groups.
Throughout the world, there are numerous occasions where certain communities have been subjected to enforced migration, sting operations, special registration measures, and surveillance and other law enforcement measures. These measures are usually carried out with the belief that Muslims are the main force behind the numerous terror acts in the world. Therefore, globally, Muslims have been criminalized and there is a need to approach the issues surrounding terrorism with utmost agency to ensure that only criminals are trapped by the law. However, it is worth noting that the criminalization of the Islam religion is not the first time that a minority group has been subjected to unwarranted legislative measures on account of the ethnic or religious affiliations. It is clear that in the Western nations, Muslims and Islam as a religion has been criminalized based on the policies, laws, and societal norms upheld within these nation.
This criminalization of Islam has also been adopted in other regions that have been affected by terrorism. The structures that have been developed through legislation have disadvantaged numerous religious groups and racial minorities. While these accusations against Muslims and other minor groups are growing, it is clear that religion cannot be used to brand a community or certain group of people as terrorists. In the recent years, numerous criminal activities have been associated with Islam. This is usually experienced through religion or ethnic affiliations. The stereotypes perpetrated by the Muslims have increased the levels of distrust, disillusionment, and alienation among Muslim communities. The United States of America and the United Kingdom have become very strong preachers against the dominance or development of Muslim communities in other regions of the world.
Apparently, the Muslims residing in western nations have been perceived as part of the terrorist and are targeted through the anti-terror legislations. These sentiments from the leaders have affected the cohesion and integration of Muslim people into the communities. The legislations aimed at preventing terror acts have turned to become the legislations of the government against Islam. Counter-Terrorism Efforts Terror acts have a source of human rights abuse, strongly undermining the dignity and security of individuals. However, the strategies that have been developed to address these challenges have been found to be biased and target innocent people instead of individual perpetrators. With a transnational link between terror groups, the effects have been experienced in almost every part of the world. Violence and terror acts have destabilized legally instituted government as people seek to pursue their political and ideological ends.
The global criminalization of Muslims has been caused by the stringent opposition of Western values by terror groups. The influence of the ideologies of the terror groups usually extend beyond their reach of command, influencing and leading to the emergence of minor criminal groups to carry out violent actions. The threat of groups such as al-Qaeda has proved to be global, multidimensional, and complex to track. Hiding behind the colors of Islamic religion, this group has continued to abuse the rights of innocent individuals and wreaked havoc in diverse measures. There are other groups that have emerged with their own independent agenda when carrying out terror acts. Terrorists by Association In addition to the stereotyping of Muslim, it has been observed that members of black communities and minority groups have been branded as violent and problematic, who challenges the view that people are living in an era when people cannot be judged by the ethnic or religious affiliations.
Apparently, people have been criminalized based on their race, which has ordered the society, and condemned the minorities as groups. The criminalization becomes worse when these individuals are associated with Muslim religion. In the contemporary society, racism is viewed as a varied, normative, and wide-reaching trait. The race and racial stereotypes have been used by political elites to preserve the social order in the society and its associated oppression against the minor groups. Most of terror groups brand themselves to be acting in the name of Islam. However, with close analysis of their activities, it will be found that the actions of these people are different from the values promoted by Muslims. Similarly, violent groups associated with certain races also acknowledge that they are acting as representatives of the whole race.
When these activities and ideologies promoted by these people are assessed, it will be acknowledged that they differ from those cherished by the primary group (Patel 2017). Biased Legislations The measures aimed to curb crimes are usually biased and are aimed to undermine the liberty of certain individuals in the society. Similarly, the African American has been branded as dangerous people as they continue to associate with their minor groups. These false accusations have birthed bitterness and long-term conflicts between racial groups living together within a certain jurisdiction (Bhattacharyya 2008). In the war against terrorism, it is believed that being a Muslim is equal to being a criminal: “…it is equal to belong to a group with common origins, shared culture and monolithic identify that can be held collectively responsible for terrorism, segregation, and the failure of multicultural [nation]” (Patel 2017).
All Muslims are treated as the worst type of criminals in the world. They are considered as the fundamental terrorists who are different from the terrorists of previous years. Further amendment of the British Act against terrorism increased the Number of organizations that people were prohibited to associate with to include those which originated from areas where Islam was the main religion (Patel 2017). Moreover, police office and law enforcing agencies were charged with powers to search individuals whenever they suspect them to carry out terrorist acts. There is no need for officers to have reasonable evidence for suspecting an individual before they charge an order to stop and search. There is also a plethora of other legislation that has strongly criminalized Muslims in the United Kingdom.
It is, therefore, legal to brand Muslims as sources of risk and terror. Conclusion The prevalent terror acts in the recent years have resulted into some social groups to be branded as criminals. One prevalent example, as seen from the ensuing discussion, is the criminalization of Islam as people who are the main perpetrators of terror. It is apparent that many nations across the world brand Muslims as criminals and individuals who are connected with the heinous terror groups. This approach is wrong and is based on biased judgments that disregard individual character. Clearly, the values promoted by Islam are non-violent as portrayed by the terrorists who claim to be Muslims. rutgers. edu/issues/criminalizing-muslim-identity/ Gallagher, M. ‘Criminalised’ Islamic State Veterans – A Future Major Threat in Organised Crime Development? Perspectives on Terrorism, 10(5), 51-66.
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