A Muslim father from Derby who made an application to adopt a child was flagged up by Derbyshire Constabulary for sharing articles from Hizb-ut Tahrir’s website on Facebook.
Shakeel Suleman’s internet activities were mentioned in his Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. DBS helps employers and others make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children.
After completing his adoption application Suleman’s enhanced DBS check stated the following:
“Other relevant information disclosed at the chief police officer(s) discretion.
On 27th December 2014 Mr Suleman uploaded and shared a link from the Hizb-ut Tahrir website.
On 2nd October 2014 Mr Suleman uploaded and shared another link from the Hizb-ut Tahrir website about the discontinuance of the prosecution of an ex-Guantanamo Bay detainee who had been arrested and charged with terrorism offences.
The Hizb-ut Tahrir is described by official government departments as a non-violent extremist Islamic group that promotes a radical Islamic ideology. They support the creation of an Islamic state governed by strict Shari’ah law. Shari’ah law is a violent law that enforces capital punishment for apparent minor indiscretions and discriminates against women. Shari’ah does not recognise any other religion and does not accept anyone who is not Muslim. Although not a proscribed group in the UK it is proscribed in other parts of the world.
After careful consideration the chief officer of Derbyshire Constabulary believes that this information ought to be disclosed because we believe it is relevant to consider the risk of harm if a vulnerable child were to be placed in a family where Hizb-ut Tahrir and Shari’ah law is supported. Hizb-ut Tahrir rhetoric is anti-Western, anti-establishment and not accepting of any other religion or belief. If Shari’ah law were to be practised within the family, it could potentially breach a number of UK laws. Therefore, on this occasion, the risk of harm to children outweighs the impact of disclosure of the information on the private life Mr Suleman.”
The “ex-Guantanamo Bay detainee” mentioned in the DBS check is Moazzam Begg, the Outreach Director of advocacy group CAGE, who was released without charge on Syria-related terror offences in October last year.
Mr Suleman has previously adopted a child and this was his second Intercountry Adoption application.
He sarcastically described Derbyshire Constabulary’s comments on Facebook as, “intimidation, harassment and freedom.” He told 5Pillars that once a decision has been made on his application, he will write a formal letter of complaint to the DBS and Derbyshire Constabulary.
He added that his main areas of concern were: “…monitoring, bullying tactics, the definition and description given to Shari’ah law, the impact such statements would have on my life if I wasn’t self-employed and potential jeopardy to future adoptions.”
In light of the recently passed Counter-Terrorism Security Act, many within the British Muslim community fear that incidents such as this may become more frequent.
This comes as no surprise as prior to the CTS bill being passed, Mayor Boris Johnson suggested that Muslim children should be taken into care to “safeguard” them from “extremist parents”.
Similarly, Home Secretary Theresa May stated in her set of new anti-extremism measures before the CTS became law that nursery teachers and childminders should monitor children who display signs of “radicalisation”.