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Discrimination in European anti-terror policy and the threat of indiscriminate policy

Publication date: 
20-Sep-2005

With the rise of attention towards anti-terrorism policies, there are mounting concerns that the tensions within race relations will only rise further. As a consequence, anti-terror laws are increasingly drafted to be non-discriminatory in response to fears voiced by ethnic and minority communities.

This report looks at surveillance policies to identify the emerging hazards of idealising a non-discriminatory approach. First, we fail to acknowledge that the principle of 'freedom from discrimination' is upheld for the most part in law but the political reality is that discrimination emerges nonetheless. Second, this conflict between principle and practice is only made worse by attempts to make generalised policies that are colour-blind and without regard to faiths. Attempts to develop non-discriminatory and indiscriminate policy are fraught with peril, and the chosen paths of reconciliation threaten European society as a whole.