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"It gets a lot better for Mr Qatada (or worse if you’re a taxpayer)"
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"It gets a lot better for Mr Qatada (or worse if you’re a taxpayer)"

A controversial court decision which allows a radical Islamist preacher to remain in Britain exposes problems with the country’s current anti-terrorist policies, argues Ryan Bachoo, 22, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Trinidad & Tobago.

Not for the first time since becoming Prime Minister of the United Kingdom has David Cameron been utterly unsuccessful in his handling of the ongoing war between Great Britain and terrorism. That’s just putting it nicely.

Extremist preacher, Abu Qatada, is now back on the streets of Britain after winning a bail hearing that allows him to leave prison after six and a half years.

There are many questions to answer from David Cameron’s government as to how this radical preacher was allowed to spend six years in a British prison, or how he was let out, but the most important question lies in why Abu Qatada is still on British soil.

The blame lies squarely at the front door of Number 10 Downing Street. Of course, it may be shared between Gordon Brown and David Cameron, but the latter’s handling of this case has shown how rookie he may really be in handling the war affairs of Great Britain.

I’ve thought long and hard about this case, read as many articles as I can to understand it, and put myself in David Cameron’s shoes, but the only real response I can come up with, is that David Cameron is just a text-book Prime Minister. Humans rights embodies the laws of Great Britain, from juvenile courts straight up to the European Court of Human Rights, but is this case really worth grinding the human rights axe on?

No matter how one looks at it, the underlying factor is this is a man who has preached hate on Great Britain’s culture and ideals. Instead, David Cameron has stepped back and allowed the judicial system to go about its work. In turn, what has happened is that Britain has fed and accommodated Abu Qatada in prison for more than half a decade and it doesn’t stop there.

Now that Mr Qatada is out of prison on a very short leash, at a cost to taxpayers of £10,000 a week, a team of up to 60 police officers and MI5 agents will provide round-the-clock protection for him. It gets a lot better for Mr Qatada (or worse if you’re a British taxpayer); security costs are estimated to be around £500,000 a year on top of the £1million in benefits, prison costs and legal fees the terror sympathizer has drained from the public purse – as the Daily Mail saw it.

So where is David Cameron in all of this? The British Prime Minister is busy fighting for reform within the European Court of Human Rights, which overruled the deportation of Mr Qatada.

Nigel Farage, leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party, said, “Downing Street can make all the noises it wishes about finding a way of removing Qatada from this country, but ultimately it is impotent and can do nothing. David Cameron is hamstrung by the European Court of Human Rights on one side, and his coalition partners on the other.”

This has been David Cameron’s leadership, of never wanting to disappoint ‘either-or’. Farage went on to add, “He would not dare defy either, so instead we have a man who is a real threat to national security being released from jail. It hardly sends a tough message to other preachers of hate or would-be terrorists around the world.”

But it’s difficult to think of such instances in Great Britain’s main ally, the United States, simply because Abu Qatada would not have been allowed such luxuries of life in London. His prison in the West would have been Guantanamo Bay, where instead of fighting against deportation, he would have been fighting for extradition.

Britain is becoming a home to terrorists, and it shouldn’t be a surprise. Because of its definition of the word ‘freedom’ which consists of a mixture of Christian values and principles, the British government believes it should not judge anyone, whether it is foreign immigrants creating a mass invasion or terrorists making extradition difficult.

On the 10th anniversary of 9/11 last year, 100 protestors burned an American flag and protested outside the United States Embassy in London. This wasn’t the first time, it won’t be the last. David Cameron is stuck on a line of believing it is their fundamental rights to do so, and it is, but it is time Downing Street started acting against anti-democracy, whether preached or practiced, on their soil.

In countering terrorism, Americans are a fine example of the zero tolerance approach when it comes to their homeland. As for Britain, their government seems to be selling the country one square-foot at a time to terrorists. I would have expected with all of David Cameron’s troubles of a depleting economy, a show to put on with Sarkozy and Merkel. That he would have told William Hague, “By whatever means necessary, get rid of Abu Qatada. When I wake up tomorrow morning, he must not be on my list of ‘why I hate being Prime Minister.’”

Follow Ryan Bachoo on Twitter here.

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About me:

“Hi, I am Ryan Bachoo, a journalist and public relations officer from Princes Town in Trinidad and Tobago. I currently work with the West Indies Cricket Board.

“I am currently working as a broadcast journalist for Cable News Channel 3. I also write on various talking points and current problems facing the world including international politics and the issues of a depleting economy.”

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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