Thursday, October 05, 2006

update on Muslim cop who refused to guard Israel embassy.

UK: Here is the latest summary from the Guardian lead.

The Sun reported yesterday that PC Alexander Omar Basha, a Muslim, was excused from guarding the Israeli embassy after he objected on moral grounds to the bombing of Lebanon. PC Basha, whose wife is Lebanese, is a member of the Diplomatic Protection Group, the armed police responsible for guarding the 150-plus embassies and high commissions in London. As the day progressed and the uproar grew, the debate became more complex. The police said the decision not to deploy PC Basha, who never served outside the embassy, had been made on "risk and safety" grounds rather than moral. These included his apparent fear he might be targeted by Islamist extremists in Britain if spotted outside the embassy.
The Telegraph is having none of this explanation which ties into my thinking at this new reasoning.
What a contrast to the supine behaviour of the Metropolitan Police when Pc Alexander Omar Basha sought to be excused duty outside the Israeli embassy – and was allowed to do so. It appears that Pc Basha feared that a two-hour stint of duty outside the embassy could jeopardise the safety of members of his family, who are Lebanese. Leave aside the fact that this suggests a worryingly high level of paranoia on his part. What is truly alarming is that so suffused is the Metropolitan Police with political correctness that it undertook a "risk assessment" and granted Pc Basha his wish, rather than telling him briskly to get on with the job for which he is paid. Where could such pick-and-mix policing end? Are risk assessments undertaken before the police go out and quell a riot, or foil a bank raid, or pursue a violent criminal? If so, policing would simply grind to a halt. The Met's protestation that this is simply a health and safety issue is risible. Once again, ultra-sensitivity to Muslim sensibilities appears to be warping the judgment of senior officers and could jeopardise the cohesion of the force. As David Davis trenchantly argues on the facing page, if officers are to be excused duty on the grounds of religion, race, politics or nationality "it would be a disaster for our attempts to achieve diversity in the police force". The Metropolitan Police should take note. It's time it displayed the same sort of gumption in this area as the Leader of the House of Commons.
The first explanation of him having moral objection to the duty was better because at least it may have been some personal issue, still should have kicked him off the force. The second is worse and more worrying because if he is truly paranoid that some islamic extremist could go after him. What other operations would he and others on the force object too in the future?

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