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From the 'old' to the 'new' suspect community : examining the impacts of recent UK counter-terrorist legislation

Discussions on Policy

Pantazis and Pemberton develop the notion of ‘suspect community’ to demonstrate how Muslims have replaced Irish communities in the British government’s approach to security. ‘Suspect community’ refers to the establishment of a dual criminal justice system, with an ordinary criminal justice system remaining for ordinary, decent, criminals but with a draconian system created to deal with suspected terrorists. The article highlights that previously in relation to Irish dissident terrorism, and more recently in relation to al Qaeda linked terrorism, the undermining of democratic principles and practices for security can adversely affect those targeted communities, and may potentially increase rather than reduce the terror threat. The authors conclude that the very powers that are supposed to promote security are serving to undermine it, and that Muslim communities continue to endure the spectre of state suspicion.

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