The Suspect: Counterterrorism, Islam, and the Security State (Paperback)
What impact has two decades' worth of policing and counterterrorism had on the state of mind of Muslims in Britain? The Suspect draws on the author's lived experiences of being suspected of terrorism to take the reader on a journey through British counterterrorism practices and the policing of Muslims.
Rizwaan Sabir describes what led to his arrest for suspected terrorism, his time in detention, and the surveillance he was subjected to on release from custody, including stop and frisk on the roadside, detentions at the border, and monitoring by police and government departments throughout his research.
Writing publicly for the first time about the traumatizing mental health effects of these experiences, he argues that these harmful outcomes are not the result of errors in government planning, but the consequences of using a counterinsurgency warfare approach to surveillance. If we are to break this injustice, we need to resist counterterrorism policy and practice.
Rizwaan Sabir is a Lecturer in Criminology at Liverpool John Moores University in the UK. His research, which is focused on examining British counterterrorism, was motivated by his wrongful arrest and detention for suspected terrorism when he was found in possession of the Al-Qaeda Training Manual he downloaded for his postgraduate research. In addition to briefing policymakers such as the Shadow Home Secretary, the United Nations, civil society and community groups as well as lawyers, he offers analysis and commentary in the broadcast and written media including BBC News, Sky News, and Al-Jazeera.
Hicham Yezza is a writer, editor and researcher based in Britain. He is the founder of Ceasefire Magazine, and is a contributor to outlets including the Guardian, Le Monde Diplomatique and openDemocracy.
Aamer Anwar is an award-winning lawyer who has worked on some of Scotland's highest profile cases, including an appeal on the Lockerbie conviction, and defends victims and their families from police violence and discrimination. He is the Rector at the University of Glasgow.
Lowkey, poet and rapper
'An instant classic. No other book portrays the traumatising effects of British state violence with more power or lucidity. Sabir's struggle to resist and overcome injustice is an inspiration'
Arun Kundnani, author of 'The Muslims are Coming! Islamophobia, Extremism, and the Domestic War on Terror'
'Discussions of Islamophobia are greatly deficient when they fail to tackle the ways in which the Muslim community has been perpetually securitised in uniquely nefarious ways. Rizwaan offers a compelling breakdown of what that has looked like through his own tragic experience'
Omar Suleiman, scholar, civil rights leader, writer and public speaker
'Rizwaan Sabir's captivating recollection of his Kafkaesque experiences with the British counterterrorism apparatus illustrates with devastating clarity the long-term consequences of the Prevent program'
Lisa Stampnitzky, Lecturer in Politics at the University of Sheffield and author of 'Disciplining Terror: How Experts Invented Terrorism'
'A raw, compelling account of the profound trauma, social harms and human costs generated by counter-terrorism policy'
Professor Joe Sim, Liverpool John Moores University
'A story as gripping as a thriller, a powerful account of the mechanisms and dangers of our highly dysfunctional counter-terrorism regime'
Professor Karma Nabulsi, University of Oxford
'A tour de force, unique in its combination of rigorous scholarship and the knowledge that comes from personal experience'
Deepa Kumar, Professor of Media Studies, Rutgers University
'Sabir's forensic examination of counter-terrorism sheds light on a troubling set of laws and policies that should be challenged and resisted by those who value human rights'
Imran Khan QC, Solicitor and Higher Rights Advocate
'Among countless books about the harms and damage of the global war on terror, 'The Suspect' stands out for its searing honesty, its courage and its powerful insights into the inner workings of contemporary counterterrorism'
Richard Jackson, University of Otago, New Zealand
‘Brave ... through personal testimony, The Suspect reveals in gripping detail the destructive cost of the War on Terror for Muslims around the world’
‘The New Arab’
‘Fascinating … this is a frightening eyeopener of a book that reveals the systemic flaws and racism in the UK’s security services’