Dr Haneef and Terrorism

When I heard that Dr Haneef had been arrested on terrorism charges, linked to the series of failed terrorism activities in the UK, my politically liberal antennas went up and began receiving warning signals.

However, given the fact that even political liberals hate terrorism and want peace, I was willing to place my fears into a jar for awhile in the hope that a thorough investigation into the guy would produce the correct evidence.

As far as I can tell, the only evidence that has linked the guy with the terrorists is that he gave them his SIM card. The terrorists were his cousins - which is, of course, problematic - but there doesn't appear to be anything else to link the guy to them.

So. A man is now imprisoned because he lent someone a SIM card.

Of course, the extent of Dr Haneef's involvement in the terrorism case may not be as simple as that. He may have been deeply involved but nothing, as yet, has been proven.

So the question is - should he be locked up based upon an unproven potential threat? And if that is justifiable, how many others should be locked up as well?

One of the cornerstones of western justice is that a person is assumed to be innocent until his guilt is proven. So far the only thing Haneef has been guilty of is providing a SIM card to his cousins (whom he may or may not have known to be terrorists). From a Christian perspective, the Old Testament says that the testimony of at least two witnesses is needed to put someone to death. Dr Haneef is not being put to death, of course, but the requirement of definite proof in order for any crime to be convicted is a legal theory that is backed up by Judeo-Christian belief.

There are plenty of people out there in our society who have committed crimes that have not been punished. Is it right to round up potential troublemakers and imprison them based upon nothing but the potential for crime?

Let me say yet again - Dr Haneef may still prove to be more than just a SIM card donor. He may well be involved in a plan to bring death and destruction to thousands of Australians. But without proof we cannot do anything. He must be let go. By all means subject him to continual surveillance. Monitor his phone calls and trail him wherever he goes. The police do this all the time to people they suspect of being major criminals. But let him go.

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