MUSLIM FAMILY FACE HAVING THEIR HOME CONFISCATED UNDER TERRORISM LAWS – The Farooqi family, totaling eight members, are in danger of having their £200,000 home in Manchester, UK, confiscated under the Counter Terrorism Act 2008.
Full Story: Daily Mail
Under Section 23a of the terrorism act a convicted terrorist can have their assets seized by authorities under a forfeiture order.
Manir Farooqi, a former Taliban terrorist, was convicted in 2011 for attempting to recruit two undercover police officers to join a Jihad movement in Afghanistan is now facing the real prospect of losing his home.
The debate here is while Munir Farooqi, 56, was sentenced back in September 2011 with four life sentences he leaves behind an extended family in the home who have not been found guilty of any crime and yet all eight now face eviction.
Initially the authorities wanted to move on confiscating the property soon after Farooqi’s sentence however his lawyers lodged an appeal to the High Court and judges have said that no action can be taken until the High Court appeal has been heard and ruled on.
The Crown Prosecution Service’s Proceeds of Crime Unit have served papers on the grounds that the home belongs to Munir Farooqi and intend to enforce the seizure notice once the High Court has given its final ruling.
This leaves society in a precarious situation and will certainly test the Human Rights Act 1998 once again.
There is no evidence that the Farooqi family had any involvement in the plot to recruit people for Jihad terrorist activities against British troops in Afghanistan and therefore they intend to fight the conviction using the Human Rights Act as a shield. Under the Human Rights Act it is unlawful to deprive anyone to the right to life and family and the confiscation of the family home could well be seen as such a move.
Harris Farooqi, 29, the son of Munir, was in fact cleared of terror charges during the 2011 trial and has announced to the press that he will fight the notice of eviction as this is demonizing a whole family for the criminal activities of their father.
Harris certainly has a point but the question is; where do we draw the line. According to Harris the home is owned by his sister and mother; but was the home transferred to them by Munir in order to circumnavigate the possibility of losing his property? That also is unclear at this stage.
Harris has continuously defended his father saying that the initial charges were fabricated by the police and is hoping that the Court of Appeal will quash his conviction in the coming weeks.
It would be easy, given public sentiment at this time and so shortly after the murder of Lee Rigby; in what has to be one of the most vile and heinous terrorist related murders of all time in the UK. However are we prepared to tar all Muslims with the same brush?
I have often been accused of being a Muslim hater, a racist and a bigot but for those who know me personally, including all my Muslim friends, will tell you I am none of the above.
I truly worry here that an innocent family could be persecuted in what could almost be seen as revenge on Muslim terrorist activities and that we are willing to tar everyone with the same brush.
Regardless, the law must be upheld and seizing property and other assets is a sensible way to reduce funding for terrorist related activities. If the property is indeed in the name of Harris’s sister and mother, and if it can be proven that it was transferred in order to avoid seizure then the law should be applied to the full extent.
It would of course be easy to blame the authorities if this family is put out on the street and that the taxpayer then has to provide them with appropriate housing. However we simply cannot demonize the authorities here and the loss of the family asset falls squarely on the shoulders of Munir Farquooi.
I feel for the family, if indeed they are innocent, but they should not complain about the legal system but rather about their father’s illegal terrorist activities. It is almost inconceivable that Harris and other family members were unaware of their father’s activities and therefore are partly culpable.
Again, the Human Rights Act will be used and considering it past history of not being able to deal appropriately with known terrorists, add into the mix the European Convention on Human Rights and it is likely that the property will not be able to be seized lawfully by the authorities.
There are defined rights and wrongs to this particular case but unfortunately I would have to say that the authorities should be able to seize the property and the Human Rights Act or the ECHR should play no role in seizing assets from a convicted terrorist.
Do you think the property should be seized? Do you think this family is being persecuted for the actions of their father? Please leave your comments below.