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#SaveTheFamilyHome – Interview with the daughter of Munir Farooqi

CAGE speaks to Zulaikha Farooqi, daughter of Munir Farooqi who is appealing his recent and controversial conviction based on terrorism offences. His family are now being subjected to further proceedings. In an unprecedented step those prosecuting are trying to seize the family homes, which would make them homeless.

CAGE: Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?  

Zulaikha Farooqi (ZF): My name is Zulaikha Farooqi, I am the daughter of Munir Farooqi who was active with da’wah in Manchester for over 10 years. He held a stall where he distributed Quran in English and other Islamic literature free to non-Muslims. The whole purpose of da’wah stalls was to build bridges between communities by educating our communities about Islam. He spent most of his free time devoted to da’wah. The police and our government clearly did not like this which is why they tried various attempts to stop my father running this da’wah stall. I only realised this when he was arrested because I, and our communities knew the da’wah stalls were totally harmless! When they failed at their attempts to get my father off the streets they decided to send two undercover officers to his da’wah stall separately. They pretended to take an interest in Islam, took literature from him and eventually embraced Islam at the local mosque. These undercover officers came to our house, abused our hospitality and privacy in order to invent a fake “terror gang”.

This was only confirmed by the head of counter terrorism unit, Tony Porter, after the convictions, “This was an extremely challenging case, both to investigate and successfully prosecute at court, because we did not recover any blueprint, attack plan or endgame for these men.” These undercover men; known as Simon and Ray, were the only persons to give evidence against my father. They made it out as though the da’wah stall was there intending to lure in vulnerable people, by inviting them into our home, this hospitality was interpreted to be winning their hearts and minds;  and answering their questions about Islam was made out to be so-called ‘radicalisation’, in order to go abroad and fight. Ridiculous. My father is appealing his conviction.

CAGE: Could you tell us a little more about the Court proceedings that are taking place on Thursday?

ZF: Following my father’s conviction, Greater Manchester Police and the CPS wish to confiscate our home saying that it was some sort of a recruitment centre for terrorism. Anybody who has been to our home can prove what it was and is far from it. In fact, all the da’wah leaflets and DVDs that were stored in our house and used against my father in trial (which were commonly referred to as “fifty thousand terrorist publications” by the media) have been returned BACK to our home! However, they still intend to confiscate our home, a privately owned property which has never been owned by my father!

Furthermore, the LAA (Legal Aid Agency) want to confiscate two other properties in order to cover the cost of my father’s defence. These properties are the main source of income for us all so not only do they wish to leave three generations homeless, but also penniless!

The hearing for these three properties will be THIS Thursday 22nd and Friday 23rd May at Manchester Crown Court. We will also be protesting outside the court.

CAGE: Can you explain why this case is so significant?

ZF: The legislation they’re using to confiscate our home, Terrorism Act 2000 section 23a is unprecedented. This has never happened before and if this attempt is successful then this WILL happen to other innocent families of convicted persons. This is why is it so important to back Save The Family Home campaign, because it is not just about my family, it affects us all regardless of our faith or race!

CAGE: Your family has never been found guilty of any wrongdoing, yet you are criminalised. How do you feel about it? 

ZF: I think it’s disgusting how even though my brother was acquitted, he was found NOT guilty, in a British court yet they are still adamant to punish him by leaving him homeless and penniless; as well as us women and children who live in this house!  It is collective punishment.

CAGE: What would you say has been the greatest strain on you and your family during this time? 

ZF: The greatest strain has been my father’s health deliberately neglected by the oppressive prison authorities of HMP Manchester and HMP Wakefield. My dad is diabetic and this neglect can cause him to lose his eyesight and mobility of his legs. We are now working with private health experts to assess my father in prison which I know will not be easy and will be very costly.

CAGE: If the prosecution are granted a confiscation order on your home, what kind of impact will that have on your family? 

ZF: This would destroy our family further, and force us to live separately rather than as one big family. However, although the aim of this bullying may be to weaken our family, we hope that the love and the strong bond we share will only get stronger, Insha’Allah.

CAGE: After the prosecution of your father and his co-defendant, the head of the North West Counter terrorism Unit admitted it was a very challenging case to prosecute since there was no evidence of any plot, but rather what they ‘were able to prove was their ideology’. Do you feel that what the family is going through is disproportionate, especially since no one was ever harmed?

ZF: Of course. There have been many miscarriages of justice over the past five years. However, we say that even though my father may have been convicted, this should not justify collective punishment of a whole family. We are merely a test case to see how far they can push a law which was never intended to confiscate family homes, but rather mobile phones or laptops! So yes, punishing three generations despite knowing they have done nothing wrong is not only disproportionate but evil, and cruel.

CAGE: For those who would like to help, what would you advise they do in order to assist you and your family? 

ZF: Please write to your MP’s regarding this injustice, like us on Facebook SAVE THE FAMILY HOME for regular updates on the situation, please visit our website to read the facts. And most importantly, please join the peaceful protest outside the Manchester Crown Court this Thursday 22nd and Friday 23rd May from 10am. We need to stand in solidarity to show that there is a lot of support from all faiths and backgrounds so the courts know that this is definitely not in the public interest.

CAGE urges everyone to attend the demonstration outside Manchester Crown Court on Thursday 22 May and Friday 23 May at 10am. 

Source: www.islam21c.com

Cross-posted from CAGEUK

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5 comments

  1. This is a further example of humiliation in the “land of democracy ” or as i would call it “the land of crusaders ” who act on the past history but are the least faithful in their mannners and dignity. I am full aware that these so called “faithful” people have many expectation of others on how to live in thier country
    and respect the law. When these people gather other groups ie edl to place fears in minority communities ;
    pump up media and journalism against specifically islamic minority; impose immoral code through literature
    ie gay promoting books in young naive minds ie Nursery and primary schools; become from a tolerant to intolerant fascist society and rebel againt their very principles of protecting minorities and refugees and allow so called halal products controverersy as well as other issues mainly discrimination, hidden racism
    promote extremism in other areas eg Zionism . Allow USA thier marriage partner ( and send thier women to usa soldiers in thousands during world war yet speak of muslim women going to syria ) ; Their is only one
    thing that can be done and that is to call for our own homeland within UK which is preserved and has its own government cf Crimea. We need our own peace haven within EEC cf the jews which were shipped to Palestine territories. We can no longer lives with these criminals but can live within as a separate homeland within or without EEC. Behind all the crimilogy is one spooky dracula which is Tony Bliar & usa cousins.

    • Very Interesting. This is the Jamaat-e-Islami school of thought The Muslim Brotherhood – Islam will rule the world.

      There is much to praise about traditional & moderate Islam, including values that some in British society have lost. However just as indigenous British people have much to learn about Islam so the reverse is true. For the most part people do not like being told what to do and this is not very compatible with Islam.

      The article says “The whole purpose of da’wah stalls was to build bridges between communities by educating our communities about Islam”

      Er No…The birds in the trees know the purpose of a dawah stall is to convert people to Islam. Millions of British people don’t like this as it is a violent one way street where like the Hotel California – You can check out but you can’t leave – Many of the females in my life (wife, work colleagues, cousins ) have been insulted belittled hassled or threatened by muslims in the street, at school or in the work place. There is no “Tell Papa” equivalent of “Tell mama” so it gets bottled up but believe me it is recognised and known about.

      When you stop the arrogance of calling converts “reverts” – when you allow your daughters to wear what they like and marry who they like – when you cease the incessant invention of phrases like – “Islamophobia” to imply unwarranted prejudice – people are fearful of Islam as they see the madness and patriarchal misogyny it induces in some; when you stop the victim and entitlement culture that means for e.g. nearly all school Children in UK being forced, knowingly or otherwise to eat “halal” food, then you will find people are more friendly and welcoming and the advent of that era will be welcomed by all.

      • Wow… Converting people; violence; harassing women; misogyny; victimhood; entitlement. You’ve nailed six of the top 10 stereotypes that have been a staple of the white imagination for centuries. I bet those brown ‘savanges’ that brought your ancestors down from the trees are kicking themselves now…

        • Just when did ‘brown “savanges”‘ bring white people “down from the trees”? When did white people go into the trees?

  2. News update today…the Faruqi family got off alhamdulillah they took one of his houses But they have to pay 500k for the court costs?!

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