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There has been a stark growth in UK public interest on religious slaughter and food labelling, driven to some extent by pervasive and often prejudicial media coverage of halal slaughter methods and political campaigns, by far right parties principally, on the welfare of animals – that is how animals are kept, treated and methods by which they are slaughtered. This In Focus looks at the policies on religious slaughter across Europe and Commission guidelines.

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The European Union Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) has undertaken extensive research into the situation of Muslims in the European Union (EU) including the experience of anti-Muslim hate crimes under its remit for investigating the exercise of fundamental rights in the EU and rights awareness among EU citizens. The FRA has on numerous occasions advocated for improved policies on tackling hate crimes through better complaints mechanisms and more detailed data collection by Member States.

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We welcomed manifesto commitments by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties that “security measures must be proportional and consistent with liberal democratic values and the rule of law”, and that “the best way to combat terrorism is to prosecute terrorists, not give away hard-won British freedoms,” respectively. Our submission to the review of counter-terrorism and security powers presents our responses to the six strands forming the scope of the review.

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The Counter-terrorism and Security Bill (CTSB) has been presented against the backdrop of the terrorist threat posed by ISIL, reports of British citizens travelling abroad to engage in ‘terror-related activity’; and the raising of the domestic terror threat in response to perceived threats from those British citizens returning home from conflict zones where they are suspected of having undergone radicalisation. The Bill raises significant issues for British Muslims with Government proposals to introduce passport seizure powers, temporary exclusion orders and the expansion of the discredited Prevent policy to cover a swathe of statutory agencies from nurseries, schools and universities to hospitals, prisons and the probation services.

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The UK is one of the few EU Member States which collects and regularly publishes data on the incidence of stop and search on ethnic minorities. The Home Office and Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) have regularly published in this area demonstrating the disproportionate number of stops and search conducted on Blacks and Asians in the UK. This In Focus looks at the practice across Europe, the incidence of anti-Muslim discrimination, trust in policing and recommendations by the EU’s human rights agencies to protect the civil, religious and political rights of European Muslims.

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We set out in this submission our concerns on the current exercise of Schedule 7 powers, drawing on official, academic and anecdotal evidence and media reports.

It is Continue reading

ENGAGE welcomed the party manifestos of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties with their assertion that “security measures must be proportional and consistent with liberal democratic values and the rule of law”, and “the best way to combat terrorism is to prosecute terrorists, not give away hard-won British freedoms,” respectively.

We welcome this opportunity to contribute to the review of counter-terrorism and security powers and present our responses to the six strands forming the scope of the review.

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a) Privacy

Question 1: Do you agree with this approach? If not, what changes Continue reading

This submission is the work of ENGAGE, a not for profit non-governmental organisation Continue reading