Britain’s Department of Education believes that McCarthyism needs revival:
Lecturers and university staff across Britain are to be asked to spy on “Asian-looking” and Muslim students they suspect of involvement in Islamic extremism and supporting terrorist violence, the Guardian has learned.
They will be told to inform on students to special branch because the government believes campuses have become “fertile recruiting grounds” for extremists.
The Department for Education has drawn up a series of proposals which are to be sent to universities and other centres of higher education before the end of the year. The 18-page document acknowledges that universities will be anxious about passing information to special branch, for fear it amounts to “collaborating with the ‘secret police'”. It says there will be “concerns about police targeting certain sections of the student population (eg Muslims)”.
The proposals are likely to cause anxiety among academics, and provoke anger from British Muslim groups at a time when ministers are at the focus of rows over issues such as the wearing of the veil and forcing Islamic schools to accept pupils from other faiths.
Wakkas Khan, president of the Federation of Student Islamic Societies, said: “It sounds to me to be potentially the widest infringement of the rights of Muslim students that there ever has been in this country. It is clearly targeting Muslim students and treating them to a higher level of suspicion and scrutiny. It sounds like you’re guilty until you’re proven innocent.”
Gemma Tumelty, president of the National Union of Students, said: “They are going to treat everyone Muslim with suspicion on the basis of their faith. It’s bearing on the side of McCarthyism.”
The stupidity, racism and naivity is staggering. Does the government not think that any number of spurious reports will be filled, alleged “terrorist” activity reported (stop reading that Pilger/Chomsky/Said book or I’ll tell the government) and new enemies made?
The Blair government – caring for a better, more inclusive future.