Thursday, August 10, 2006

Explosives on airplanes? Quick, get me the Muslim Council!

When faced with convincing evidence of a plot to destroy a dozen airliners in flight, British police knew they had a frightening problem to deal with. The risk to community relations was unthinkable.

The Times of London reports:
Muslim community leaders were contacted by the police and Government officials early this morning as the first statements were released to the press.

Khurshid Ahmed, leader of the British Muslim Forum was rung by a chief superintendent from the Metropolitan Police and a senior official from the Department for Communities and Local Government just before 7am to be told the arrests had taken place.

The police also contacted Dr Muhammed Abdul Bari, General Secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain, at 6.54am. He was told that a number of arrests had taken place "for the public’s safety" but given few details.
I must confess to having misunderstood this news on a quick first reading. I thought that the Muslim leaders had been informed before the arrests. Not this morning. That will probably be the story next time.
Ali Miraj, member of the Conservative’s policy commission on international and national security said he would personally support the police action to ensure public safety. But he said that the mood amongst the Muslim community at present was very antagonistic. He also said current events in the Middle East would only encourage radicalism among disaffected young Muslims. …

Mr Miraj said there was huge anger amongst the grass roots and he was not surprised that some were prepared to take drastic action. Many would not help the police with information about suspicious behaviour, he said. "One Muslim said to me recently outside a mosque: 'What is grassing [informing] on our Muslim brothers going to achieve?'"
Fahad Ansari of the Islamic Human Rights Commission said that many Muslims wouldn't wear it. “I think you will get cynicism from the community,” he said.
“There has been so much pressure on the Government, it could be a way of diverting attention away from its policy on the Middle East,” he said.

He accused Tony Blair of being in a “persistent state of denial” on the impact Britain’s foreign policy - from Afghanistan and Iraq to the Middle East - was having on Muslims in Britain.

“He has to realise that there was a relationship between 7/7 and British foreign policy,” he said.
"Red Ken" Livingstone, London's mayor, "warned against any attempt to blame the Muslim community at large. 'Only a united London can help defeat terrorism, which means that all London’s communities have their part to play,' he said. 'No community in London can or should be targeted or blamed because of the actions of people who are pure criminals.'"

Attaboy, Ken. You tell 'em. Hardly a day goes by when some criminal gang or other doesn't try to blow up themselves and a few hundred passengers times twelve. They'll do anything to fiddle the insurance companies, these hardened criminals. I don't call it fair that the Met failed to reach out to the criminal community to let them know about the arrests within 30 seconds after they'd been made.

"'Ello?"

"Good morning. Chief Inspector Doddle here. Is that you, Mr Skullthorpe?"

"'Ey? I di'n't do nuffink."

"I wonder if you'd just pass the word to your colleagues — "

"Doddle? That you again? Look, mate, you already banged me up for that Bogdown caper, what're you on about now? I got an alibi, I was at the Hound and Flea 'avin' a pint wiv me mates till gone two — "

"Of course, of course. Look, Mr Skullthorpe, I know relations are a bit strained between us at the Met and your criminal community. I just wanted to put a quiet word in your ear, so there'll be no misunderstanding. I'm afraid we've had to arrest 24 quite unrepresentative members of your group for plotting to blow up a dozen airliners. We've known each other a long time, haven't we, and I quite realise it was all in the line of collecting insurance settlements on some unused relatives. I understand, I'm a family man myself. Eh? Oh, yes, that was a joke. Anyway, if you could put the word about to the members of your community that we haven't even toyed with the thought that the criminal community as an integral part of cool, multi-cultural Britain is in any way to be associated with, er, criminality, the Secretary of the Council on the Rights of the Law-challenged would greatly appreciate it."

"Oh, okay, guv'nor, we'll give you this one. But listen to me and no mistake, you coppers keep up this carry-on and my community's likely to get cynical, know wot I mean? If a little bird pops through the window and tells us you're bashing our lot to keep people's minds off British policy in the Middle East and suchlike, we just might swing by Trafalgar Square with signs calling for you to be — well, I don't need to spell it out, do I? Cheers, mate."

1 comment:

Bill Cooper said...

You say it so much better than I can. I too thought they had told the 'community' beforehand. I saw the police chief interviewed and that is what he seemed to be saying, but I will take your word for it.