THE BLOG

Abu Qatada, Why he Perhaps Shouldn't Be Deported, and Why Torture Is Wrong

28/03/2013 16:26 GMT | Updated 28/05/2013 10:12 BST

I've just been reading the latest news about Abu Qatada and I'm so very angry. I imagine that I'm just as angry, if not more so than others in the UK. Yet I imagine for very different reasons. Once again there appears to be a number of extremely misguided people leaving comments on social media and news websites. Some of these comments really do make my blood boil, people making them should be ashamed of themselves.

Condemning the government with such lines as 'this government is a joke' not only makes me angry, but shows up people for what they often are, which is ignorant to how this country works. If you are going to be abusive and loud about your disagreement with how your country is being run, then at least take the effort to understand how it works. The government are trying to deport Abu Qatada, it is the judiciary who are blocking these attempts. Just on the off chance you don't understand, the government and the judiciary are two separate entities.

People often feel like their government are taking them for a ride. In all likelihoods they are, and will continue to do so until you stop expecting to be spoon fed everything. Go out and research things if you don't understand them.

A second point I wish to highlight, is the issue surrounding torture. Regardless of what you think of Abu Qatada, this case has been about deporting someone to a foreign country, where there is a high likelihood of the case against him being made using evidence gained through torture. Let me state this very clearly so you don't misunderstand, torture is wrong. You can't have a grey area with torture, you are either for or against it. You can't justify torture against one person and not another. One of the big issues surrounding politics in the UK at the moment, is people feeling abandoned by the government. How would people feel if UK citizens suddenly started getting tortured either here or abroad? People would of course kick off and go mental.

The government case against Qatada is not that they agree with torture, they're trying to argue that he will get a fair trial where evidence gained through torture won't be used. The judicial system disagree with the government, which is why for now Mr Qatada will remain in the UK. I don't particularly like Mr Qatada, but if I condone either torture against him, or the use of evidence against him which was gained through torture, then I would be a complete hypocrite if I ever complained about torture against a UK citizen.

The third point I wanted to make is how annoyed I get when people seem to pick and choose when and how laws apply to them. If someone turned up at your house and either tortured, harassed or generally made your life a living hell then you would call the police. If they murdered or otherwise restricted your freedoms, then someone would call the police. People calling for this man to just be shot in plain sight, obviously forget that we can't just pick and choose what laws apply to us and when. Never be prepared to sit at home with your laptop or iPad behind the veneer of the Internet and spout pure hatred, no matter how much someone deserves it, unless you think the same actions would be justifiable if they happened to you.

I've never been ashamed of being a British citizen, but I've sometimes felt guilty about being a white non-Muslim man. Mainly because the overwhelming amount of hate and racism that is contained within the UK is generally in my eyes, originating from the white and non-Muslim side of the divide. There should be no divide, we are all just people when it comes down to it.

I'm not saying there isn't wrong on both sides, but when organisations such as the English Defence League (EDL) exist in the UK and they are worse than the supposed Islamic extremism they aim to combat, I shed a tear. EDL claim they're an inclusive movement dedicated to peacefully protesting against Islamic extremism, except many of their members don't do it peacefully and are very racist indeed. Why can't people just get on with each other?

I'll sum up succinctly; I don't think Abu Qatada is a very pleasant man. Not all followers of Islam are extremists (and therefore evil). Groups like the EDL are not very pleasant. Don't act (or purport to act) like the reprehensible people in society you claim to be against; it just makes you look like a hypocritical w**ker. If you condone torture in one situation, you have condoned torture.