British police display racist credentials
It was only a joke and it was only to be seen by police officers. The Police Federation magazine featured a cartoon depicting officers outside a mosque having to remove their shoes before gaining entry. The intended message: that respect for religion can get in the way of efficient policing. The sublime message: that mosques harbour criminals or terrorists and should not be off-limits for the police.
Bedfordshire’s Chief Constable Gillian Parker complained to the editor saying: “We have worked hard to achieve relationships and I feel that the stereotypical portrayal of Muslims as terrorists has jeopardised this”. The Editor, Metin Enver, apologised and stated that no offence was intended. But the damage is done.
It could just be a bit of fun, but Muslims remember serious cases of biased policing. Take the case of Barbar Ahmed, for example, who alleges that when he was arrested by police in a dawn raid anti-terrorism officers he was severely beaten and then forced to kneel in the prayer position whilst one of the officers asked him: "Where is your God now?" Six days later he was released without charge. If Tony Blair has his way, he would have been held for 90 days.
Barbar Ahmed has since been re-arrested under an extradition warrant from the United States although there is not a shred of evidence against him. In January 2005, the Independent Police Complaints Commission recommended that one of the police officers accused of beating Babar have proceedings initiated against him for "excessive force". Supposedly all the other officers looked the other way at the time and were entirely blameless.
Ignoring those facts the Police Misconduct Tribunal found in April 2005 that there was "no case to answer" and that the officer in question had acted "professionally" with "great bravery" and that "he should be commended and not castigated".
Cases like this, and there are many others, mean that Muslims don’t see the funny side of this cartoon at all. To them it rather looks like the police are showing their real colour in a magazine thought to be only for their eyes.