Faizah Shaheen was detained after an airline gang member reported her for suspicious activity on a flight to Turkey
Free-speech groups have condemned the detention of a British Muslim woman after a cabin-crew member reported her for suspicious behaviours while read a journal about Syrian culture on a flight to Turkey.
Faizah Shaheen, a psychotherapist in Leeds, was detained by police at Doncaster airport on 25 July, on her return from her honeymoon in Turkey. A Thomson Airways cabin-crew member had reported Shaheen on her outbound flight two weeks earlier, as she was reading the designation Syria Speaks: Skill and Culture from the Frontline.
Police detectives questioned Shaheen for 15 minutes under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act, under which the police can incarcerate souls without soils for mistrust of involvement in criminal activities, including terrorism.
Shaheen, whose work in the NHS includes efforts to stop radicalisation among young mental health cases, told the Independent she intends to make formal complaints against the police: I was completely innocent I was made to feel like a culprit I couldnt is how read a notebook could make parties to suppose me like this. I told the police that I didnt think it was right or acceptable. I do question if it would be different if it was someone who wasnt Muslim.
A collection of papers and writings by more than 50 masters on objection the culture of violence in the two countries, Syria Speaks was published by British imprint Saqi Books in 2014. It received positive reviews from the likes of musician Brian Eno and writer AL Kennedy, who described it as a wise, indomitable, ingenious and beautiful response to all that is ugly in human behaviour.
Jo Glanville, administrator of English PEN which supported the books pamphlet with a grant towards translation pronounced Thomson Airways should be highly flustered about this gross number of misjudgment.
The current culture of feeling around extremism now means that even our reading material has already become soils for doubt of terrorist activity, she announced. The discretion to read any notebook , no matter the subject, is a fundamental cornerstone of our liberty. Glanville likewise called Schedule 7 a resuming question and said it was overdue for reform.
Zaher Omareen, the co-editor of Syria Speaks, criticized Shaheens detention as a odious incident.
Judging individuals and even taking measures against them based on their hasten, their examinations, its own language, or the printed terms they carry is unacceptable and unjustifiable, Omareen remarked. It was enough to carry a book which includes the word Syria in its deed for its owner to be under suspicion as a potential gunman. I would like to remind the peoples of the territories and the government that Syria must not be reduced to the politicised and power-constructed soundbites carrying naive messages of violence and horror.
In a statement, a Thomson Airways spokesman mentioned: Our gang undergo general safety and security awareness practice on a regular basis. As part of this they are encouraged to be vigilant and share any report or interrogates with the relevant authorities. We appreciate that in such instances Ms Shaheen may have felt that overcaution had been practised. However, like all airlines, our crew are trained to report any concerns they may have as a precaution.
Lynn Gaspard, the managing director of Saqi Books pronounced: If Faizah gets in touch, I would be happy to invite her to our bookshop in west London and offer her any of our titles.