Monday, November 07, 2005

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.


At 7 November 2005 at 11:12, Anonymous Anonymous said...

why do you have to try to dig deep to try to find so called 'hidden messages' all the time??? You have to much time on your hands-how can you enjoy life when you must take up all your time trying to discredit everyone else other than yourself. You seem a sad and angry person-try getting a life before criticising our brave police who work hard trying to stop weirdo fanatics who wreck peoples lives.

At 9 November 2005 at 19:02, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the 'anonymous' poster. It seems you are the one who is sad and angry! Why do you assume that those who don't hold your rose-colored glasses view of British police are sad and angry? And, should one not be angry at the very chief of Police lying about EVERYTHING to do with the shooting of Menezes in London? I really think one does not have to 'dig deep' to find that these things add up to a worrying state of Briths democracy and police institutional behavior.

At 10 November 2005 at 10:50, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Anonymous is such a joker. After spouting so much hate he then turns on the Imam accusing him of the same. Oh and the bit about our brave police working hard, does anyone still believe that ? Some would know them as thugs in uniform who are above the law and go about abusing their powers.


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