BBC Radio 4, 14 June 2013
This final entry in the trilogy
Behind Closed Doors had barrister turned Special Advocate Rebecca Nyman (Claire Rushbrook) defending Akmed Hammen
(Amerjit Deu), whose life has been blighted by a Home Office curfew in the belief that he represents a "clear and present
danger" to national security. He has been placed under a TPIM - Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measure
- that severely restricts his movement and forces him to telephone his whereabouts on a regular basis.
This was perhaps the most powerful of Clara Glynn's trilogy, particularly in the light of
recent events, where the major powers in the West have alleged that chemical weapons have been used in Syria, providing
them with the justification to supply weapons. It's the WMD syndrome all over again, with decisions being made on the
basis of supposition, implication and conclusions rather than hard evidence. Akmed is placed in a similar
situation: because he frequents Finsbury Park Mosque; drinks in a local pub and flirts with an office colleague (even
though he claims to be a good Muslim); associates with people who might or might not be known terrorists; and has downloaded
a terrorist journal from the Internet, then it follows that he "must" be a terrorist himself.
What the play vividly dramatized
is how anti-Muslim prejudice, held by those who pretend to be otherwise, immediately brands all of those who embrace that
faith. The idea that Islam embraces many different notions, just like Christianity, seemed to elude all of those
charged with making the decision or whether or whether or not to clear Akmed's name. Rebecca tried her best to stand
up for his interests, but she was continually frustrated. Perhaps people ought to think less in terms of stereotypes
and look at individuals instead.