By Kafir Kate
The University of Westminster has refused a freedom of information request to release their information on notorious British supporter of and fighter for ISIS and supposedly dead man, Mohammed Emwazi , also known as ‘Jihadi John’, as it would be ‘unfair’ and an ‘unwarranted intrusion’ of his private life. They have also revelled in their stupidity because it was supported by a bunch of transparency-opposed lunatics at the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
Of course, unfair and unwarranted intrusion of people’s throats as they have their heads removed is, apparently, not a sufficient justification to release a person’s university records.
The university also believe the release of the information could cause ‘distress and upset’ to the man who is allegedly dead. They dispute this claim, saying there is insufficient evidence of his death and therefore they must do their best to protect his welfare.
It might have been a better idea to protect his welfare by not giving him an environment in which to become radicalised, travel to a war-torn hellhole and engage in a nightmarish conflict for a group of people with some of the most violent and extreme beliefs on this planet and killing completely innocent journalists and aid workers. A measure that could be made easier in future for other organisations if they had this information. But at least they are doing their best now, I suppose.
The move has, probably quite justifiably, sparked heavy criticism because the protection of a man who glories in removing the heads of ISIS opponents and ‘kafirs’, a slur used for those who do not follow Islam and are considered infidels, is apparently frowned upon. This must have come as quite a shock to the university.
The ICO has supported the move, because apparently they are also absolutely ridiculous.
In this writer’s opinion, at a time in which huge ideological divides are creating home grown radicalised individuals who seek to do harm to the general populace, with terrorist attacks in Europe and worldwide being a very real and very dangerous phenomenon, and increased right-wing extremism aiming to meet Islamic extremism in the middle regardless of collateral damage, any information is a valuable tool.
In order to assist in the reduction of radicalisation and thus reduce harm to all persons, from all communities, it is vital we have an understanding of the complex and intricate twists and turns of a person’s life that turn them to violence. Protecting such an individual under the assumption that harm could be caused to a young man with no qualms about causing harm to others because they disagree with him, and is most likely dead, is quite possibly the stupidest thing I have ever heard. It makes Noel Edmond’s recent outbursts look like Einstein’s annus mirabilis.
The protection of innocent members of the public always takes precedence over the protection of the privacy of known murderers, in all circumstances. Regardless of whether the person is dead or not. Especially when such information can help prevent radicalisation, increasing far-right extremism, Islamophobia and people getting their damn heads cut off. A university should know more than any other institution that any data is good data and can help provide clues to how best to solve problems. Or maybe not, because apparently protecting one young student from an invasion of his privacy is better than protecting any potential enemies of his from invasion of their necks and lives.
Lead image courtesy of corpus.quran.com – For a translation, visit their website.