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A Student Was Accused of Being a Terrorist for Reading a Book About How to Counter Terrorism

Because if you want to find a terrorist, all you need to do is go to your local library.

This is not where you will find terrorists hanging out. Image via Wiki.

Just a week after a Muslim kid got arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school, The Guardian reports that a student of counter-terrorism has been accused of being a terrorist for reading a book in his university library about how to… counter terrorism.

Mohammed Umar Farooq, a student on the terrorism, crime and global security master's degree at Staffordshire University, was questioned by the university authorities after being seen reading a textbook called Terrorism Studies in the college library.

The incident took place back in March, but has come to light after the university apologised to Farooq, stating that the official who questioned him in the university library had only been trained for a few hours. Farooq was asked for his views on ISIS throwing gay men out of buildings, as well as his general opinion on Islam and Al-Qaeda.

Cage, the UK advocacy group, claims this is part of a broader problem. "Since October 2014, Cage has received almost 100 cases [like this]. What this case displays is something we have seen frequently: most notably the over-reporting of normative behaviour, and a fear-based approach that alienates and antagonises communities."

A spokesperson for the university said, "We have apologised to Mr Farooq and are in dialogue with him on how we can support him to continue his studies with us. In light of recent legislation, we are ensuring all staff at the university have the right guidance and training."