Is history repeating itself with new measures to tackle Muslims in the UK?

In 1275 the King of England Edward I issued a law called “The Statute of the Jewry” which placed a number of restrictions on Jews living in England. These included:

  1. Usury was outlawed in every form.
  1. Debtors of Jews were no longer liable for certain debts.
  1. Jews were not allowed to live outside certain cities and towns.
  1. Any Jew above the age of seven had to wear a yellow badge of felt on his or her outer clothing, six inches by three inches.
  1. All Jews from the age of 12 on had to pay a special tax of three pence annually.
  1. Christians were forbidden to live among Jews.
  1. Jews were licensed to buy farmland to make their living for the next 15 years.
  1. Jews could thenceforth make a living in England only as merchants, farmers, craftsmen or soldiers.

The UK government’s Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measure (TPim) operates outside the criminal justice system and the threshold for applying a TPim on someone is extremely low. In the wake of the Woolwich killing the use of TPims is likely to increase dramatically and someone deemed to have ‘extremist’ (anti-government) ideas could be subject to this. The Telegraph has already called for Anjem Choudary to be placed under a TPim simply for having views the government doesn’t like even though he has broken no law.

Interestingly there are many similarities between being under a TPIM and the restrictions applied in the 1275 statute. Some restrictions applied by a TPIM can include:

  • Leaving your house overnight
  • Going beyond the geographical boundaries decided by the Home Office
  • Taking off your electronic monitoring tag
  • Talking to or meeting with whoever you wanted
  • Stopping the police or staff from the monitoring company entering and searching your home without a warrant
  • Having friends or family to your home unless approved by the Home Office, approval which can be removed at any time
  • Travelling overseas

An electronic tag is a modern version of a yellow badge. Preventing someone travelling outside their area is the same as the 1275 statute. Restricting the professions a Muslim can work in is already happening through classifying them as a security risk as happened to one Muslim airline pilot who was prevented from working in his chosen profession.

Fifteen years after placing these restrictions on Jews, Edward I in 1290 went a step further and issued another statute called The Edict of Expulsion which expelled all Jews from England. They only returned 350 years later when for economic reasons Oliver Cromwell encouraged their return.

In 1492 King Ferdinand of Spain followed England’s example and issued his own Edict of Expulsion called the Alhambra Decree. The Jews were expelled from Spain but were welcomed in to the Islamic State by the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid II who famously said: “How can you call this Ferdinand wise – he who has impoverished his dominions in order to enrich mine?”

This was proved true because the Jews played a major role in contributing to the economic activity of the Islamic State. Jewish physicians from the school of Salanca were employed in the service of the Sultan and the Viziers (ministers). In many places glass making and metalworking were Jewish monopolies, and with their knowledge of foreign languages, they were the greatest competitors of the Venetian traders. (Cecil Roth, “The House of Nasi: Dona Gracia”)

No matter what tests and trials are in store for the Muslims of the UK, ultimately there is khair (good) in them because Allah سبحانه وتعالى tests the believers out of mercy not hatred. A future Caliphate needs the wealth and skills of Muslims in the west in order to build itself back to a world superpower. Any plans for an ‘edict of expulsion’ or lesser measures will simply accelerate this.

Allah سبحانه وتعالى says:

 وَيَمْكُرُونَ وَيَمْكُرُ اللّهُ وَاللّهُ خَيْرُ الْمَاكِرِينَ 

“They were planning and Allah was planning, but Allah is the Best of planners.”

 (Al-Anfal, 8:30)

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