We need a national debate on how to deal with convicted terrorists

Lord Noon

As I watched the events in Paris unfold last week; along with my horror and fears for the innocent people caught up in this callous act, I relived, in my mind, the Mumbai terrorist attack of November 2008.

As I was entertaining guests in my suite at the Taj Hotel we came under attack and I along with my guests feared for our lives. We immediately barricaded ourselves in our room – moving furniture and anything heavy we could find to block the hotel room door from being opened. In the corridor outside heavily armed terrorists were walking around and indiscriminately firing their weapons.

These men did not fear jail or even death, they were intent on killing at any price – nothing would deter them. Just like Chérif and Said Kouachi in the attacks in Paris and Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale who brutally murdered Fusilier Lee Rigby in Woolwich in 2013, or the attackers of the Army Public School and College in Peshawar last month.

I believe there is a “public demand for a full review of how we deal with these most dangerous and fanatical terrorists, (this could include the first major debate on capital punishment for 50 years). What the public see is ever increasing restrictions on the law abiding citizen, tighter checks at airports, stop and search in the street and more security alerts, but at the same time they see terrorists let out of prison onto the streets, the European Court of Human Rights telling us to give votes to terrorists while they are in prison and that our judges cannot lock them up for life even though that is the wish of our Parliament. If we fail to act – the public will turn to the right wing parties in their droves – something that troubles me dearly.

I was an early voice calling for confiscation of passports for radicalists returning from fighting in Iraq and Syria, these people are trained and battle hardened and I welcome government proposals for new powers to restrict travel and confiscate passports from known extremists.

I also welcome the placing of the PREVENT policy on a statutory footing, I have always been a strong voice for more help for communities in tackling extremism and radicalisation at root cause and for helping families at risk.

Unfortunately due to ill health I had to pull out of the debate at second reading of the government’s Counter-terrorism and Security Bill on Tuesday 13 January. If I had been able to attend the debate these are the points I would have raised.

5 comments for “We need a national debate on how to deal with convicted terrorists

  1. 15/01/2015 at 12:41 pm

    You say “These men did not fear jail or even death, they were intent on killing at any price – nothing would deter them.” and then go on to say, “I believe there is a “public demand for […] the first major debate on capital punishment for 50 years”

    Isn’t there a contradiction there?

    The existance of a death penalty wouldn’t have deterred the attacks in Paris or London. Lee Rigby’s killers will probably never be released from prison (and certainly in one case) and neither would the Paris gunmen had they survived to stand trial.

  2. moiz challawala
    19/01/2015 at 10:21 am

    Capital punishment is must for extrimists & terrorists having destroyed World peace and killed innocent people. World leaders must unite to rootout ISIS,Talibans & Al-quidas.
    , and for sustained world oeace,root causes of terrorism should be resolved.

  3. Bill Jones
    19/01/2015 at 5:49 pm

    Poverty and displacement breeds violence and terrorism.
    The riches of the 1% causes the poverty of the 99%

  4. Daedalus
    16/02/2015 at 5:13 pm

    There’s certainly a lot of bad luck both for perpetrators and victims. Punishment would heap more bad luck onto the offenders. Islam has an embedded connection with “luck” or the mathematics of chance.

    There are many views as to why an image of the prophet should not be drawn but the website biblicalarchaeology.org “Jewish Worship, Pagan Symbols: Zodiac mosaics in ancient synagogues” gives a possible explanation. It’s all a matter of interpreting Exodus.

    “You shall not make for yourself a graven image or any likeness of what is in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them” (Exodus 20:4–5)”

    The author Walter Zanger explains:

    “…The second commandment can be read in several ways because the Hebrew original of this text is entirely without vowels and punctuation points. We, writing English, have put in a period after the word “earth.”6 But if the period weren’t there, the verse could be read as a long conditional clause: “make no graven images … which you worship.” In this case it’s not the making that is prohibited, but the worshiping…”

    Jews and Christians it seems can draw graven images but cannot worship them whilst Muslims cannot draw graven images of the Prophet because to do so is worship that image. To draw an image of the prophet certainly attracts bad luck.

    Is a full stop required?

  5. Daedalus
    16/02/2015 at 5:14 pm

    The Prophet a member of the Quraysh merchant family is well connected in Mecca. As a young man he travels and does business within the confines of the Sassanid (Persian) Empire where the teachings of Zoroastra form the state (Mazdayasna) religion. Zoroastra is a visionary who takes the many gods of Persia and reinvents them as a single sentient being called Ahura Mazda.

    The prophet is an admirer of Zoroastra and wishes to reform the gods of the Arabian Peninsula in a similar manner, but how? The creator of Ahura Mazda is asha (truth and order) the antithesis of druj (falsehood and disorder). Zoroaster’s reforms have borrowed and done away with the gods of the regional superpower Egypt to create a supreme being from the Egyptian notions of Ma’at and Isfet.

    Later in life the Prophet needs to persuade the worshippers of Mazdayasna to convert to Islam. He succeeds by replacing Ahura Mazda with Allah and reshapes asha and druj into forms of the Jinn or Jinnaye creatures of free will. The Jinn will be created from the fire that is held sacred in the Mazdayasna religion.

    This is a perhaps why Allah seems to have two faces one good and the other bad. Some Muslims are naturally unlucky and are favoured by the Shaitan where they serve aggression, falsehood and chaos whilst others are drawn to the Jinn where they promote peace, truth and order.

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