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Dr Salman Butt launches legal case against UK Gov

The Government’s entire counter-extremism strategy is to be challenged in the courts for the first time.

In this Judicial review case the Court has found that there is an arguable case on behalf of Dr Salman Butt, Chief Editor of Islam21c.  Dr Butt challenged the government which dubbed him as an “extremist” and “hate speaker” on a 10 Downing Street press release last September.  Dr Butt had no right of reply. This is in breach of the rules of natural justice and unlawful.

Permission has been granted to take the case to trial. This will happen on a date to be fixed hopefully by December.

Click here to watch Salman’s interview with Channel 4 News

Click here to read Channel 4 News’ coverage

Click here to watch the interview with RT News

Permission is granted by Mr Justice Ouseley to challenge the Secretary of State for the Home Department:

I. That the Prevent Duty Guidance issued to higher education institutions is flawed because it conflicts with the right to free speech which is enshrined in the Education Act for higher education institutions.

II. That the information collected about Dr Butt by the Extremism Analysis Unit of the Home Office, is in breach of the Data Protection Act and also   the procedure for identifying people as extremists is flawed and in breach of the law and the rules of natural justice.

III. Dr Butt issued judicial review proceedings on the above grounds. He also argued that the words used in a press release from the Prime Minister’s office dated 17th September 2015 were defamatory. This ground is to be considered at a half day hearing in October. Date to be fixed.

Dr Salman Butt said:

“I am very grateful to the judge Mr Justice Ouseley for granting permission to take my case forward to a full hearing.  Many people will be eager to see the hidden and murky processes by which individuals are tarnished with the label of ‘extremist’, so that these issues are forced into the open and to the scrutiny of the courts.”

Saimo Chahal QC (Hon), Partner of Bindmans LLP, acting for Dr Butt said:

“Dr Butt’s case is a test case and the first of its kind to look in depth at the Prevent Duty Guidance in general and specifically for higher education institutions. It is has been impossible for the Government to arrive at a credible definition of “extremism” which works in practise and targets the mischief that it is aiming at. The Government’s view that there is an escalator which starts with religious conservatism and ends with violent extremism is not proven. Innocent people like Dr Butt are being drawn into the net and targeted – this is neither fair, just, nor acceptable. There is widespread criticism of the Prevent guidance including by the Joint Committee on Human Rights. This case highlights all of these difficulties.”

Background facts to the case

Dr Salman Butt, a British citizen and practising Muslim aged 30. He has a degree in Biochemistry and also holds a PhD from Imperial College. Dr Butt is the Chief Editor of Islam21c a publicly accessible website which describes itself as “articulating Islam in the 21st Century”. The website has articles written by Dr Butt and others and covers issues ranging from timetable for prayer and fasting to politics. Dr Butt describes himself as supporting the values of democracy, the rule of law, liberty and respect and tolerance of other faiths and beliefs.

On 17 September 2015 a press release from the Prime Minister’s office entitled: PM’s Extremism Task Force: Tackling Extremism in Universities and Colleges top of the agenda, was issued. The press releases referred to the coming into force of the Prevent duty guidance on 18 September 2015 issued under s.29 Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 setting in particular how universities and other further education institutions should give effect to their duty under s.26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act to have due regard in the exercise of their functions to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism – the Prevent Duty.

The press release identified Dr Butt as an “extremist” speaker referred elsewhere in the press release as a “hate speaker” and an example of the kind of individual that universities should not permit to speak at events on campuses in order to comply with the Prevent duty. This has led to a curtailment of the right to free speech for Dr Butt and been damaging to his reputation.

Dr Butt issued judicial review proceedings to challenge the lawfulness of the Prevent Guidance and the definition of extremism as well as the lawfulness of the collection of data about him by the Home Office Extremism Analysis Unit. It is argued that this data is gathered and disseminated in breach of the Data Protection Act and human rights law. Further that Dr Butt has been prevented from exercising his right to freedom of speech in circumstances where he is not an extremist and does not support extremist organisations.

His claims include a claim for defamation as the words in the press release were understood to mean that Dr Butt is an extremist hate speaker who legitimises terrorism, is likely to radicalise students and from whose “poisonous and pernicious influence” students should be protected. The publication of these words has caused serious harm to the reputation of Dr Butt.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department by the Government Legal Department has filed grounds for contesting the claim on behalf of the defendant on 22 July 2016.

Permission was granted by Ouseley J on the papers to proceed with the challenge to the Prevent Guidance and the challenge to the way that the Home office Extremism Analysis Unit gathers and stores data about people like Dr Butt. The Defamation ground will be considered at an oral hearing to be listed in October for half a day- date to be decided.

Notes to the editors:

Bindmans LLP was founded in 1974 by pre-eminent human rights and civil liberties lawyer Sir Geoffrey Bindman QC (Hon). Since then we have built a formidable reputation for our commitment to human rights and our ethical, creative and campaigning approach to legal issues. We often represent some of the most vulnerable people in society and champion cases which challenge the law.

Source: www.islam21c.com

About Editor


  1. simon with regards to your morbid fascination of decapitation, you are basically claiming Islam is a terrorist religion and that Rasool-Allah was a terorrist. Before you falsely accuse and demonise Islam and our beloved prophet, you should bear in mind the heinous atrocities that white caucasian christians and zionists have perpetrated (and continue to do so) upon non-white people. Look through history as you will find that the most heinous war criminals, mass murderers, terrorists and despots have always been white caucasian christians and zionists.

    Historically, masonic-christianity and zionism have been synonymous with illegal invasions, forced conversions, rape, pillage, brutal genocide, grand theft of other people’s land and natural resources, slavery, racism and white supremacism. Consider the following –

    Who started WW1?. Not the muslims!.

    Who started WW2?. Not the muslims!.

    Who murdered 6 million European jews?. Not the muslims!.

    Who raped 285,00 German women during WW2?. Not the muslims!

    Who murdered 20 million aborigines?. Not the muslims!.

    Who nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki and murdered 1 million people?. Not the muslims!.

    Who invaded Vietnam & Cambodia and brutally murdered the local people?. Not the muslims!.

    Who murdered 10 million North American Indians, stole their land and almost forced the rightful heirs of the land into extinction?. Not the muslims!.

    Who murdered 50 million South American Indians?. Not the muslims!.

    Who murdered 1 million Indians in Bhopal via usa company ‘Union Carbide’ chemical leak?. Not the muslims!. Three decades later, usa refuses to pay a single cent of $1 billion owed to the victims.

    Who brutally forced Africans into horrific slavery for hundreds of years?. Not the muslims!. In fact, usa and europe were built on racism and slavery!.

    Who illegally and criminally invaded Iraq & Afghanistan and murdered 1.1 million innocent civilians in Iraq alone?. Not the muslims!.

    Who raped 250,00 Iraqi women & teenage girls (13yo and above) on ‘weekend rape rallies’?. Not the muslims!.

    Who took 180 million Africans as slaves, of whom 88% died and their bodies were thrown into the Atlantic ocean?. Not the muslims!.

    Furthermore, the kindness, love and respect demonstrated by your (christian) british empire can be succinctly portrayed by just two examples (although I can give many more examples)
    The Amritsar massacre – when peaceful protesters defied a government order and demonstrated against british colonial rule in Amritsar, India, on 13 April 1919, they were blocked inside the walled Jallianwala Gardens and fired upon by british soldiers who were under the orders of brigadier reginald dyer and kept firing until they ran out of ammunition, killing 1,000 protesters and injuring another 1,100 within 10 minutes. Brigadier Dyer was later lauded a hero by the British public, who raised £26,000 for him as a thank you.
    Famines in India – 29 million Indians died of starvation whilst it was under the control of the british empire as millions of tons of wheat were exported to britain as famines raged in India. In 1943, four million Bengalis starved to death when the war mongering christian terrorist winston churchill diverted food to british soldiers and countries such as greece while a deadly famine swept through Bengal.
    Talking about the Bengal famine in 1943, the racist bigot (churchill) said “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion. The famine was their own fault for breeding like rabbits”.
    Would you like me to educate you wrt british terrorism in muslim countries, for example the illegal and criminal invasions of Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria?.

    You really should clean up your own Christian house before you start falsely accusing muslims. Afterall, prophet Jesus (pbuh) did say ‘let he who is without sin cast the first stone’.

  2. Mashallah Salman Butt has had the courage to challenge these extraordinarily un-British laws and policies we seem to have in the UK today. On behalf of us all: jazakallahu khayr. If the unjust laws and policies oppressing Muslims today are allowed to remain, they can and will be used against every citizen tomorrow.

  3. Sallam alaikom br. Shaukatali,

    Jezak Allah khair for the above. Quite informative ma-sha-Allah!

    As to the Beloved (p.b.u.h) being said by a westerner as the greatest man who ever lived, if we truly knew the extent of that statement! Khair walad Adam billa fakhr..the best son of Adam with out boastfulness/the first of the signs of the hour…etc.

    As to Aisha, according to my limited knowledge and I understand that there is a few theories as to the age..etc, the marriage took place at 9 yrs and if there was anything as such, but the night of banaa took place at 12! With that said, there was also a British king, I do not know his name who married a six year old Isabel (I think) of spain. Also, just to mention the mother of god (God forgive me for saying such), but how old was she when she had Jesus??

    The worst thing, if we really knew was the Beloved’s death, and not just for us the muslims but for the whole of humanity!

    Who is Muhammed-spoken word.

    So brother in humanity simon and if by any chance any one else reading – THINK FOR YOURSELF and please READ! And please do not be afraid-just read for yourself!


  4. Dr Butt,
    I have a lot of information for you about Britain`s counter terror policy. In actual fact this policy is a terrorist policy. I have chronologically dated the full sequence of events on my blog which you could use in court. Prevent is a terrorist programme.
    Obama put his defence secretary, Leon Panetta, in charge of the CIA. Panetta blew the whistle four months later saying that the CIA were running an assassination programme in countries friendly to America. Obama went to CIA headquarters and told them he had terminated the programme and that they did not need to worry as he was not going to delve into past murders. This programme is still active in the UK. For all the detail go to my blog titled: American cia and british death squads

  5. Allah Akbar ..Allah Akbar….His promise is true..He gave victory to His slave..and He defeated the confederates and He most definitely continues to do so and will…..but all by His will….

    May I ask is there anything us the muslims can do to help Dr Salman ? obviously 1 for all and all for 1….Peace train…..cho cho……any peaceful zealots out there?..Allah make me one….looks like the 21st century will be a better place for humanity after all…Allah the wise knows best…!!


  6. Allah Akbar ..Allah Akbar….His promise is true..He gave victory to His slave..and He defeated the confederates and He most definitely continues to do so and will…..but all by His will….

    May I ask is there anything us the muslims/non can do to help Dr Salman? as obviously all for one and one for all!!….Peace train…..cho cho……any peaceful zealots out there?..Allah make me one….looks like the 21st century will be a better place for humanity…Allah the wise knows best…!!


  7. How do Muslims translate the revelations of John whom in 350AD was presented with the name of the antichrist who’s name (in ancient Greek) looked like the numbers 666, but the same image is Arabic for Allah? Do you consider that Mohammed could be the false prophet or just a mad man and master manipulator that had sex with a 9yr old and liked to chop off heads? Is Islam so cultish that you cannot see the indoctrination of the Quran or do you think after analysis that trees will one day speak and tell you if Jews are hidden behind them? Many thanks

    • The best way to check Muhammad (saw) is a false prophet is to meet the challenge, produce a chapter like the Quran, bring similar or better if your man enough instead of tittle tattle.

    • I assume you mean Revelations in the Bible? So you admit the Bible was written more than three hundreds after the death of Jesus (AS) and therefore cannot be the word of God? If so how can you rely on Revelations?

    • Simon
      1- “Is Islam so cultish that you cannot see the indoctrination of the Quran”
      If by indoctrination you mean instructions then yes the Holy Qur’an [HQ] does have many instructions, for example,
      a) be kind to your parents no matter what faith they follow,
      b) do not follow any faith blindly use your intelligence to find out if it makes sense and
      c) [this is particularly applicable to you] when you come across negative information about somebody don’t act on it, verify it first.

      2- “Mohammed could be the false prophet”
      He probably is according to you, but he very easily passes the test of a true spirit from God given in 1 John 4:1-3 and recommended for telling a true prophet from a false one.

      3- “Mohammed could be …just a mad man”
      Is not a new accusation. It is as old as the HQ in which it is recorded. The fact that the message he brought fourteen centuries ago is still being followed around the world is testament to his very sound mind.

      4- You may see Mohammed as “master manipulator” but he is seen by historians as one of the greatest and most beneficial leaders the world has ever seen. The French historian Alphonse de Lamartine in his Histoire De La Turquie, says in conclusion about Mohammed, “As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?”

      5- If it was ok in 1179, to establish a family alliance between France and the Roman Emperor, for prince Alexios to have “had sex” with his 8 yr old wife, Agnes of France then why was it not ok centuries earlier for Mohammed to have “had sex with a 9yr old” wife he married to establish a family alliance?

      6- Historians don’t portray Mohammed as someone who “liked to chop off heads” but if chopping heads fascinates you then have a look at the French revolution. They had so many heads to chop off that they invented a machine to do it called the guillotine.

      7- “that trees will one day speak and tell you if Jews are hidden behind them” is not mentioned anywhere in the HQ.

      8- Regarding your comments about the antichrist I think you’ll find that
      a) Muslims expect Jesus to slay the antichrist in his second coming
      b) although Christians regard Jesus as God Muslims regard neither Jesus nor Mohammed as God
      c) though you see Allah as 666 it is a fact that all Arabs, including Christians, use the word Allah for God and that the Christian Bible in Arabic is full of the word Allah.

      • JazakAllah khair shaukatali,
        MashAllah, what an excellent reply and rebuttal!

        May Allah al-wasi’ un-‘aleem increase you in knowledge and wisdom, ameen!

    • simon says ‘I forgot to take my olanzapine’. That aside, it is laughable you are equating Islam to a ‘cult’ and a terrorist organisation, bearing in mind christianity was infiltrated and corrupted to the core over 1.6 millennia ago by the ‘knights of the temple of solomon’ (ie – freemason/satanists). Indeed your beloved cross is the symbol of the freemasons. See the youtube video ‘satanic religious symbols in christian churches’. Then there is the issue of at least 50,000 errors in the bible. How can you expect muslims to accept your religion bearing in mind the prolific errors and contradictions in your ‘holy’ book? (which btw, claims prophet Noah pbuh to be a drunkard who committed incest with his daughters). How can you expect muslims to embrace such misguided filth?. Indeed, Allah swt has warned the ummah about vile people of your ilk. See Suarah Al Baqarah (2:120) –

      ‘The Jews and the Christians will never be pleased with you until you follow their religion. Say, ´Allah´s guidance is the true guidance.´ If you were to follow their whims and desires, after the knowledge that has come to you, you would find no protector or helper against Allah’.

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