UK Border stop powers are Islamophobic: Home Office and Police must be investigated

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The All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims must investigate the discrimination of Muslims travelling through UK Borders and ensure that Islamophobia at all levels of society is challenged.

UPDATE 18/03/2020: It was revealed this week in the Observer, that a Muslim woman, ‘Asiyah,’ who pursued a judicial review against the police and won, with the help of CAGE and her lawyers, after she was coerced to remove her hijab at Heathrow airport. This is the latest event to highlight the Islamophobic nature of Schedule 7 stops. 

More than half a million people have been stopped and interrogated under Schedule 7 powers since their introduction. The Guardian newspaper ran a headline describing these powers as ‘structural Islamophobia’. It followed a new report by CAGE which compiled evidence supporting this claim.  

A Cambridge based research found that 88% of people stopped at a particular airport were Muslims. In 2016 the Home Office itself admitted that 78% of those stopped were of ethnic minorities.  

What happens during a Schedule 7 stop:

  • The Police can detain you without suspicion for up to 6 hours.
  • You do not have the right to remain silent 
  • The Police can search you and seize your possessions.
  • The Police can confiscate your electronic devices for up to seven days, and they can coerce you to disclose your passwords.
  • The Police can collect and retain your data.
  • The Police can force you to surrender your DNA and fingerprints.
  • The Police can strip search you. 

All this without the suspicion of any crime. 

  • Women have had their Hijabs removed.
  • Pilgrims have missed their flights. 
  • Children and elders have been detained. 

Enough is enough.

It is the duty of the APPG on British Muslims to investigate prejudice, discrimination and hatred against Muslims in the UK. We urge them to investigate the Home Office and Police on the Islamophobic nature of Schedule 7 powers.

Islamophobia at all levels of society must be challenged.


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