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CIA given details of British Muslim students

The Independent reported earlier today that personal information concerning the private lives of almost 1,000 British Muslim University College London (UCL)  students is to be shared with US intelligence agencies in the wake of the Detroit bomb scare.

The police initially approached the UCL Islamic Society on 4 January 2010 for a list of names of their members between 2005 and 2008. Following legal advice, the society declined to give the information. The police then approached the student union with a personal data request. The union provided names and email addresses of members of the UCL Islamic Society and Royal Free and UCL Medical Islamic Society between September 2005 and June 2009. The police then approached the university for telephone numbers and home addresses. These were passed on by the UCL Registry.

The Student Union has absolutely no right to betray its own students. Student Unions have a primary role in representing and supporting student interests. It is as though the rights and privacy of Muslim students bear no importance.

As a Muslim the reason I joined the Islamic Society at my University was completely for social reasons, to meet people who enjoyed the same things I enjoyed, it’s the same reason one joins any society at University. This is simply heavy handed intelligence gathering by the police. I have no doubts that as an ex-president of an Islamic Society I am on some sort of list, this new information that has come to light only lessens my doubt.

I am glad that the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) has taken an active stance on this issue, and will be keeping a close eye on the forthcoming events.

I am shocked that UCL’s Student Union succumbed to Police pressure at the expense of the privacy of the very students they are meant to represent. As much as the government claim that Muslims are not being targeted, I refuse to believe it.

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