Al Jazeera

Woolwich report fails to address torture and harassment claims

London, England¬†– An official report into whether British security services could have prevented the murder of a soldier on a London street has been denounced as a smokescreen by critics who say it fails to address serious allegations of the intelligence agencies’ complicity in the torture and harassment of one of the men who carried out the attack.

Michael Adebolajo, left, Michael Adebowale.

Adebolajo, left, and Adebowale, said they killed Lee Rigby, a serving British soldier, in protest at British foreign policy.

Civil liberties campaigners also questioned the timing of the release of the report just one day before the government’s presentation to parliament on Wednesday of tough new counterterrorism measures to tackle the perceived heightened threat posed by Britons fighting in Syria.

“This is carefully choreographed. You’ve got the security apparatus investigating the security apparatus and deciding they need more money and more power so they can roll back civil liberties even further,” said Cerie Bullivant, a spokesman for CAGE, a human rights group.

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Al Jazeera

‘Poppy hijab’ stokes debate over religion and remembrance

London, England — To some it is a symbol of faith and freedom, a celebration of multicultural Britain and even a fashion statement. But for others, it entrenches divisions and plays on the insecurities of an already marginalised community. A ‘poppy hijab’ designed to commemorate their co-religionists who fought for the country is splitting opinion among British Muslims.

[Photo courtesy Rooful Ali/Aliway.co.uk]

Some see the ‘poppy hijab’ as a challenge to extremists; others as a ‘shrouded loyalty test’.¬† [Photos courtesy Rooful Ali/Aliway.co.uk]

Paper lapel poppies are traditionally worn by many people in the UK in the run up to November 11, the anniversary of the end of World War One, in memory of those who fought and died for Britain in both world wars and subsequent conflicts.

But a poppy-themed headscarf backed by the Islamic Society of Britain (ISB) and British Future, an integration think tank, is this year offering Muslim women an additional way to support the campaign.

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