This Human Voice story forms part of CAGE’s report Schedule 7: Harassment at Borders
See the rest of the report here
The process is to intimidate you to get information out of you that will be useful to them, but I am not afraid at all. What they are trying to achieve doesn’t work with me.
I’ve been stopped more than seven times. Whenever I leave or enter the country I am stopped. It doesn’t matter what my destination is. I am stopped because I have done some aid work in Syria and also because of my beard and my colour.
If you are a white man, you can go to Syria and do aid work but if you are brown man you are a terrorist.
They’ve taken my DNA three or four times and my fingerprints. They don’t need do this all the time; they only need to do this once.
At the Heathrow stop the officers behave in a rather aggressive manner. I am a big guy and not easily intimidated and I know quite a lot.
The process is to intimidate you to get information out of you that will be useful to them. I am not afraid at all. I am happy to answer questions. What they are trying to achieve doesn’t work with me.
They want me to work with them; I told them – you should work for me
Once I went and dropped off my brother at the airport I had armed response units turn up and call me out and question me. It’s been happening for years.
They want me to work with them. They asked me at Heathrow and Birmingham to work for them. But I am not interested in the offer. I have never worked for anyone.
The last time they offered, it was two young boys who spoke to me – I am fifty years old with a grey beard – and I just said to them, “Look you are my son’s age, you can work for me, not the other way around.”
We know what the agenda is and it’s not going to stop. But it’s ill-judged and ill-informed and it’s going to end up in a lot of pain for Muslims.
(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)