Monday, October 16, 2006

"Let us not assassinate this lad further, senator. You've done enough."

British universities encouraged to spy on 'Asian-looking' students

Lecturers and staff at British universities will be asked to spy on "Asian-looking" and Muslim students they suspect of supporting terrorist acts and involvement in Islamic extremism, The Guardian reported.

Citing a document drawn up by the British education ministry, the newspaper said universities had been warned of talent-spotting by terrorists on campuses across the country, and of students being "groomed" for extremism.

The 18-page document, which also acknowledges "concerns about police targeting certain sections of the student population (eg Muslims)", has apparently been sent to official bodies for consultation within the last month.


The Guardian also said that the document encourages universities to proactively report students to the special branches of local police forces that deal with matters to do with national security.

The report also suggests universities make checks on external speakers invited to give lectures by their student Islamic societies, which it says can often be "more radical speakers or preachers".

This alone is bad enough. As the president of the National Union of Students notes, this reeks of McCarthy-era witch-hunts. But what makes this so much worse is this quote:

It identifies Muslim students from "segregated" backgrounds as more likely to support extremist stances than their counterparts who are "integrated into wider society".

So they have noticed that Muslims who are viewed suspiciously--segregated, viewed as foreigners and outsiders--are the ones more likely to become extremists. And the government, in its infinite wisdom, decides the solution is to view them with even more suspicion.

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