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Equal protection under the law?

A Muslim police officer has been allowed to refuse to guard the Israeli embassy in London.

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said Sir Ian had ordered a rethink of the service’s policy to consider special dispensations on moral grounds

A ‘rethink’? When ordered to carry out his job and protect a location within the United Kingdom from unlawful attack, PC Alexander Omar Basha took the view that it would be immoral to protect that place (in other words, he refused to enforce British law regarding possible acts of violence because of who the potential target was). The only ‘rethink’ needed is why was he not fired on the spot? I wonder… has a Jewish policeman in the UK attached to the Diplomatic Protection Group ever refused to guard the embassy of a Muslim country in Britain?

So tell me, if a policeman who was a member of the BNP refused to protect an African embassy, do you think the Metropolitan Police would need even ten seconds for a ‘rethink’?

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51 comments to Equal protection under the law?

  • Nick M

    April 1st already?

    Words fail.

  • ian

    Perhaps the Israelis will feel a bit happier that someone with those views isn’t standing at their front door with a fully loaded autoimatic weapon…

  • Looks like the slippery slope is getting steeper.
    And I would guess that it’s not far from ‘refuses to guard’ to ‘joins in an attack’. Maybe I’m just cynical…

  • Rob

    So tell me, if a policeman who was a member of the BNP refused to protect an African embassy, do you think the Metropolitan Police would need even ten seconds for a ‘rethink’?

    Members of the British National Party are unable to hold civil service positions, so I would imagine that they are unable to serve in the Police force.

  • Members of the British National Party are unable to hold civil service positions, so I would imagine that they are unable to serve in the Police force.

    In that case, surely if that precedent already exists for banning based on group membership, that should apply to members of all bigoted intolerant groups who are likely to discriminate against other groups, no?

  • Freeman

    This man has a gun?

    But seriously, his “action” demonstrates my conviction that (for good or bad) this country can never again have a military draft; the Muslim population would surely revolt if it were ever tried.

  • nwd

    Of course there may be another side to the story that is less readily reported in the press. I don’t agree with all the writers conclusions, but it is worth at least considering that there could be other reasons for the officer not wishing to gaurd that particular embassy.

  • Nick M

    Is it possible that this is a stunt being backed by one of Hizbollah’s many UK front groups?

    Rather like that nonsense over that Luton schoolgirl.

    It’s the thin end of a slippery slope I tells ya!

    They’ll be wanting segregated seating on buses next.

  • Nick M

    Interesting link nwd.

    Mr Bartlett starts out making a reasoned point but it soon degenerates into moonbattery.

    One thing amused me…

    Abu Izzadine is a well know violent Islamic extremist. The security services will have known all about this man. How did this man get within a few feet of the Home Secretary and take a place among in a small, controlled audience? The only reasonable explanation, excepting such fantastic levels of incompetence…

    Fantastic levels of incompetence from the Met and the Home Office… Who ever would believe that?

  • Nick

    Its worth pointing out that there are subtle differences in the reporting of this story in the press. Compare Perry’s link with this from The Times. In this article, the officer requested a transfer on moral grounds and it was granted.

    In other articles (the links escape me), the officer requested a transfer on welfare grounds (he felt his family would be in danger) and it was granted.

    I’m perfectly comfortable with an officer making a request that he not work in a particular place, provided he’s prepared to serve if he’s told to go. Equally I’m aghast at the notion of an officer demanding to be reassigned. And as to what the case is here, well, that depends on who you read.

  • James

    I’m inclined to look at the rest of the story that wasn’t published in this post.

    My understanding of this instance was that it was a ‘request’ and not a ‘refusal’ by the officer concerned and that it was made on the basis of concerns for his own personal safety (whatever those concerns may be- obviously we are not fully privy to them at the moment, are we?).

    The fact that the officer returned to his duties seems to reflect on the possibility that he does not bear a personal grudge whilst carrying out his professional duties.

    I’d have expected a rather more broad analysis in this article, to be honest.

  • Brendan Halfweeg

    But seriously, his “action” demonstrates my conviction that (for good or bad) this country can never again have a military draft; the Muslim population would surely revolt if it were ever tried.

    Not having a draft is a good thing, I would have thought from a liberty minded perspective?

    Not that I would welcome Islamic support in opposition to the draft if it were centred around dictating foreign and military intervention policies.

  • Samsung

    I for one am not surprised that some Koranic piece of shit in a police uniform has refused to guard the Israeli Embassy. Neither am I in the least bit surprised that our multi-culti politically correct riddled police force has kowtowed, Dhimmi style to this bastard’s refusal on the grounds of him being a typical run-of-the-mill Islamic Jew-Hater.

    A recent UK poll found that 37% of Muslims in Britain think British Jews are a “legitimate target”.

    Out of the mouths of babes.

    This incident reminds me of something Theo Van Gogh said, “There is a Fifth Column of goatfuckers in this country, who despise and spit at its native people. They hate our freedom.”

    Nuff said.

  • J

    I think Samsung deserves bonus points for posting that after numerous other people pointed out the complete lack of information on who actually did what and why.

    In general, I’m pleased to see the police showing flexibility and taking individual circumstances into account – a pleasant change from the impersonal beaurocratic approach so many large employers take on these matters.

    A policeman who asks to be let off guarding an anti-war march because he’s pro-war, should be told to shut up and do his job. A policeman who asks to be let off guarding an anti-war march because one of his children was recently killed in that war, might reasonably be left back at the station to catch up on paperwork.

    We do not, and probably never will, and probably never should, know the personal details of this case. So there’s nothing to suggest the senior officer acted unreasonably in granting an exception here.

  • nic

    “I’m perfectly comfortable with an officer making a request that he not work in a particular place, provided he’s prepared to serve if he’s told to go. Equally I’m aghast at the notion of an officer demanding to be reassigned. And as to what the case is here, well, that depends on who you read.”

    I agree. Actually I think it is not too dissimilar a situation to those firemen who refused to attend the gay pride parade to hand out flyers. Obviously one seems slightly more tangental to normal work than the other, but as long as the guy was prepared to make up his shifts in some other capacity, I don’t see in principle why he should HAVE to be the specific person outside the Israeli Embassy – if only in terms of taste preference. So long as it isn’t an excuse for laziness, I am not bothered with an attitude that allows employees to have some choice over where they work.

  • Nick Timms

    Couldn’t agree less. When a person voluntarily decides to work in a position of public service they put aside their personal views when they are at work.

    A policeman’s job is to enforce the law, whatever those laws are, even if he personally thinks some of those laws are asinine.

    Yes this officer can request a reassignment but it should only have been granted if there was a realistic threat to his, or his family’s, safety. If his request was motivated by personal antipathy towards jews and the state of Israel he should have been disciplined.

  • Brad

    He’s afraid for his family and personal safety? So he won’t do X?

    Haven’t the Baddies already won, and these people are putting on a show to remain connected to the government tit?

    And doesn’t this bring the debate in libertarian circles for privatized protection to the fore? Why have one supposed resource for protection if it’s going to fracture to pieces? It will be at cross purposes, negating its own actions ( leaving the public effectively on its own) sucking up tax dollars all the while.

    And the thought that someone is relieved of duties based on particular circumstances and can simply go “push paper” as a solution seems pro-bureaucracy to me.

  • So there’s nothing to suggest the senior officer acted unreasonably in granting an exception here.

    In that case why is Boss Hog having a ‘rethink’ if he is happy with this? As Sir Ian Blair is hardly a reactionary reflexive Islamophobe like me, I think there must indeed be ‘evidence’ that someone has indeed acted unreasonably.

    If PC Basha does not want to do the job, he has no business taking The Shilling.

  • nic:Actually I think it is not too dissimilar a situation to those firemen who refused to attend the gay pride parade to hand out flyers.

    Then, nic, I think you have had a temporary critical reasoning failure. If you want to compare it, it would be as if firemen refused to enter a burning gay club.

    I would not object if the Muslim Policeman (that term rapidly becoming an oxymoron?) was asked to hand out material at a gay pride event. That is the comparison that fits.

  • nic

    “Then, nic, I think you have had a temporary critical reasoning failure. If you want to compare it, it would be as if firemen refused to enter a burning gay club.”

    The Muslim policeman did not make his request while the Israeli Embassy was under attack. It is clear that SOMEONE has to attend the gay pride event just as SOMEONE has to be willing to stand guard outside the Israeli Embassy. But who it is doesn’t matter all that much – so long as in an emergency situation, whoever is available does whatever is necessary.

    I am not saying this guy might not be a closet Islamist about to abandon a bunch of jooos to his bomb toting compatrioits; all that I am saying is that he hasn’t demonstrated that he is a bad character simply be expressing his preference about where to be stationed.

  • The reporting of this is all over the place. Even the Beeb can’t agree with itself. Radio 4 reports it as being at the officers request while radio 2 reports it as being the result of the officer informing his employers of his lebanese descent and the existence of family in Lebanon during the fraca with Israel (sensible, if the officer is involved in diplomatic protection) and the police doing a risk assessment on the basis of this and deciding not to post him outside the israeli embassy. The way radio 2 reports it its a non-story, the way radio 4 reports it fills ten minutes in P.M.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if the facts are close to radio 2’s reporting and have been spun out of all reality to make a story, for what purpose though I can’t fathom.

  • andymo

    “Actually I think it is not too dissimilar a situation to those firemen who refused to attend the gay pride parade to hand out flyers.”

    You are spot on Nic, my exact thoughts when I first read the article.

    Remember that the Samizdata crowd is big on Israel, little bit icky on gays.

  • veryretired

    It’s not a rethink, it’s a retreat. All the rest is PC, multi-culti double talk.

    The police are a para-military organization. An officer gets his orders and is required to do his duty, even if it’s guarding someone who just confessed to raping and murdering several little children, to pick the most unsavory example I could think of.

    Whether it’s for moral reasons, fear, convenience, or anything else other than actual incapacity, if he refused orders he should be gone. End of story.

  • Julian Taylor

    I do hope the chap got transferred to guarding the Danish Embassy instead – would be so ironic to hear, and somewhat typical of the Met’s humour.

  • Jacob

    “Perhaps the Israelis will feel a bit happier that someone with those views isn’t standing at their front door with a fully loaded autoimatic weapon…”

    It’s indeed best not to post Muslim officers for guard at the Israeli embassy, for security reasons.
    If the police commanders had any sense in their heads, they would have arranged for some other guy to get this assignment.

    If the policeman was honest enough to suggest to his superiors that maybe he should be reassigned – he deserves praise.

  • Tuscan Tony

    Like the firmen at the gay pride march? Disagree. If said firepeople had been asked to be there solely in a professional capacity, I would agree. Instead they were asked to leaflet, which seems somewhat removed fomr their fire-bashing remit. I think this whole “watch out for them Koran-ists, Lads” should be encouraged. Makes the next logical move, keeping our Muslim cousins WELL away from baggage handling duties, all the more justifiable, I reckon .

  • Remember that the Samizdata crowd is big on Israel, little bit icky on gays.

    Really? That is news to me. Personally I am not so much pro-Israel as anti-Islamist. One of these days I need to start publishing Samizdata’s hate mail… I get more of that when I write something critical of Israel than any other subject.

    And what makes you think all our contributors are straight? Moreover one of the sticks we frequently like to beat the apologists for the Islamists with is the treatment of gays in Muslim countries.

  • Samsung

    As a kid, living through the Miners’ Strike in the early eighties, I vividly remember how it split whole communities apart. I had members of my family (uncles, cousins) who were either coal miners of worked for the NCB. I also had members of my family who were in the police force at the time and had to attend the picket lines and had to arrest people in some of the violent clashes outside working coal mines. These coppers had neighbours, friends and family who coal miners. A lot of them actually came from coal mining families. They lived cheek by jowl with pitmen in these northern coal mining communities. Times were hard and I remember threats being made against policemen, their wives and children by the very people they shared a community with. Often by people they knew. I recall one local copper got his house windows “bricked” at night, not once but half a dozen times over a period of several months. There was a lot of bad feeling in those coalmining communities towards the local bobbies, and the bad feeling persisted for YEARS afterwards. If a policeman were to go to his superiors and say he wanted to be excused from policing the miners’ strike for personal reasons, he would probably be serverely reprimanded or threatened with the sack. No multi-culti political correctness for these local lads. It was a case of, “do your job, or collect your UB40”.

    Apparently PC Alexander Omar Basha wished to be excused from his duties outside the Israeli Embassy on the grounds that he’s afraid for his family and personal safety? Big f*ckin’ deal. So were a lot of the coppers during the miner’s strike, but caving in and pathetically bending over backwards in order not to offend anything Islamic wasn’t an issue back then. It’s kid gloves for these f*ckers.

  • If he’s worried about his personal safety the police should assign him a bodyguard to make a point. It is cowardly in the extreme for Islamofascists to threaten a citizen for guarding the Israeli Embassy as part of the normal course of his duties. If they’re so anti-Israel, shouldn’t they just cut to the chase and attack the Embassy directly? After all, it’s Israel they don’t like, right? But of course not, because that would involve actually risking arrest. So much easier to just pick on one of the guards and his defenseless family off the clock. Disgusting.

    If the reason is family killed in Lebanon recently, however, I think he has more of a case. Of course, if ordered to serve anyway, he should do so with all the dedication he would show to defending any other post. But I don’t think filing a request in such circumstances is unreasonable.

    If, however, he has no better reason than “I’m a Muslim, they’re Jews,” he should be fired without further thought.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Nick Timms hits the nail on the head. When a person joins the police, he or she swears an oath to uphold the law without fear or favour. If any officer, for whatever reason, refuses to carry out that oath because they are frightened, they should leave. If, say, a Greek-Cypriot officer refused to protect the Turkish embassy in London out of fear of the consequences, then such an officer should be dimissed.

    The moment that officers can pick and choose the jobs they do due to fears or dislike of certain groups, then the role of the police as impartial guardians of the law is finished.

  • It’s very shameful that this police officer picked and chose for himself. He should protect equally. I feel a great deal of sadness that my country has come down to this, and even worse that the Met has allowed this ‘police officer’ to pick and choose.

  • I am not bothered with an attitude that allows employees to have some choice over where they work

    I’m perfectly comfortable with an officer making a request that he not work in a particular place

    In general, I’m pleased to see the police showing flexibility

    That so many commenters cannot seem to see the wood for the trees on this issue reminds why libertarianism taken to its extremes is as barmy as any other -ism.

    A police officer simply does not have right to choose which duties he carries out.

    As veryretired succintly points out, the police have to provide protection for some truly gruesome individuals. It would be chaos if officers had the right to “choose” assignments.

  • libertarianism taken to its extremes is as barmy as any other -ism

    How is this a ‘libertarian’ issue? The guy signed on to do a job that requires even-handedness and a non-sectarian approach to dealing with people as a prerequisite. He is clearly not able to do that. If he worked for a hypothetical ‘libertarian protection agency’ he would be booted out of his job so fast it would take a week for his arse to catch up with him.

  • Perry

    For that you need to ask those commenters who are banging on about police officers’ ‘right to choose’ and ‘flexibility’.

  • That may be their strange view, but I do not see how it is a libertarian issue.

    I do not see how sensible lefties, reasonable conservatives, rational libertarians or any one with some understanding of history could not be disturbed by the idea of cops who cannot do their jobs based on their sectarian allegiances. People who cannot see why cops who an unable to rise above sectarian loyalties are an incredibly bad thing, are moonbats regardless of their position on the political spectrum.

  • Uain

    Umm,
    So if a policeman can decide who he want to protect, then why can’t a doctor then have the same rights? So the moonbats above would be OK with that?

    There is an example right now of what happens when police decide not to protect certain people. It happens in Iraq when death squads make a daylight mass kidnapping and certain sympathetic police just don’t seem to get around to responding in a timely manner.

    Britains possible future?

  • Now if it was Man Utd-supporting police officers refusing to police the travelling scum from Leeds Utd, i would understand.

  • Tuscan Tony

    This just in.

  • nic

    “As veryretired succintly points out, the police have to provide protection for some truly gruesome individuals. It would be chaos if officers had the right to “choose” assignments.”

    You are misrepresenting my position. I did not say that police officers had a right to choose (and it would be a grotesque misconception of libertarianism to say that they had anything more than a “right” to either do as their told or leave the job).

    What I was saying instead was that they have a right to request an assignment- based on preference. Senior officers have every right to refuse that request, but in this case it happened to be granted.

    Why? Because it hurts no one when there are plenty of other people available to do the assignment. I am not saying it has any ethical value to it, it is just good people management – in exactly the same way as a salesperson might request to represent his business branch at a conference held near his parent’s home so that he had an opportunity to see his family while one the trip. Their boss has every right to say “actually we need you at the office this week, sorry” but the request still seems valid.

  • Fraser

    Here’s an interesting take: how do you reckon the Muslim Police Association would have reacted if the Met had pulled said cop off Israeli embassy duties because they couldn’t trust him?

  • Johnathan Pearce

    nic makes a half-decent point, but it is only half-decent. Of course officers can – and no doubt do – request certain assignments or request not to take other jobs, but the reaction of their superiors is the crucial thing. What bothers me, and others on this thread is that the superior officers regarded this in the sort of PC way they have. That’s not good enough.

    BTW, go and read Tory shadow home affairs spokesman David Davis in the Telegraph today. Glad to see that party has not gone completely mushy on at least this topic. (I wonder what Davis really thinks about Cameron. Bet it would make for xxx-rated viewing).

  • TD

    Davis piece was very good.

    The worrying aspect for me is that there are extremist muslims in the police force, full stop. For saying that here I will of course be shot down in flames. However I have absolutely no doubt that with these people, Britain comes a distant second to islam, islamism and the local mosque. Therefore you couldn’t have someone less able to apply the community’s laws, especially if it involves protecting enemies of islam (including at last count, jews, gays, women, men – basically anyone who is not islamic).

    The guy is clearly a virulently anti-semitic islamic fundamentalist who is in breach of the oath he gave at appointment. We all know that in islam it is OK to lie to the infidel, so in that respect this latest version is not unique to the jihadists. What’s annoying in the extreme is the fact that he was not immediately dismissed, in fact that he was indulged.

    It was probably a good thing that he was nowhere near the israeli embassy; the overall point is that he should be nowhere near a police uniform.

  • TD

    Other point – would this ‘police officer’ protect a jewish family being harrassed in their home? Would he protect a group of people whom he knew contained jews? what about if he saw a hasidic jew being beaten up by a yob in a train?

    I suspect that the answer is no. I also suspect that the idiot in charge, Sir Ian Blair, also must acknowledge this.

    And yet he still permits this fellow to wear the uniform.

  • The Elohim

    To bad the police could not protect this boy from…

    MURDERED schoolboy Kriss Donald pleaded: “I’m only 15. What did I do?” as he was beaten up and dragged into the back of a car by his abductors, a court heard yesterday.
    He was forced face down into the back of a silver Mercedes, threatened with a knife and told there was a gun in the car as he was driven off after being snatched from the street “because he was white”.

    http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1478452006

  • Another Expat

    Did anyone catch the names of all those aresholes in the Scotsman story? Amazing – who would have thought it?

  • nic

    “Of course officers can – and no doubt do – request certain assignments or request not to take other jobs, but the reaction of their superiors is the crucial thing. What bothers me, and others on this thread is that the superior officers regarded this in the sort of PC way they have.”

    Just remember we still don’t know for sure how the senior officers did come to that decision. If the real reason was “I cannot in all good conscience prevent Israelis from getting firebombed” then obviously he should be out of the force.

    If it was more “it is going to create a lot of tension within my family/friends which any other equally capable officer given this assignment would not suffer from” then I don’t think any particular principle has been broken. So long as he would have been willing to take the assignment if no one else had been available, then once again, it was just about expressing a preference that happened to be indulged.

  • nic, I agree that is pretty much the core of the issue. If the former, he has no business being a cop in any shape or form and MUST be fired without delay and without apology… if the later, it is more of an administrative issue and not unequivocally a sacking matter if there is no more to it than that.

  • I dare say I am too late with this, but the firemen in Glasgow were of course disciplined and sent to a re-education camp.

    (Link)

    (I have quickly scrolled through the comments re. firemen, above, but maybe I missed someone pointing out that part)

  • Paul Marks

    As I write this I am listening to B.B.C. Radio 4’s “Any Questions”.

    The panel in this question and answer show made various comments about this incident:

    One panel member said that in Northern Ireland Catholic Policemen were kept out of Protestant areas because of threats to them and their families – actually it was the I.R.A. who offered “double points” to people who killed Catholic members of the R.U.C.

    The panel (not just one member) agreed that this was a “personal” matter and that it was terrible that it was “leaked”.

    In short the fact that members of the police force consider the police oath a joke and will not protect people from attack if they do not approve of them, is to be COVERED UP.

    The panel of the show is made up of mainstream politicians (Labour, Lib Dem and “Conservative”) and a journalist (a Guardian type).

    What a bunch of scum.

    Of course the policeman in question choose to join the Diplomatic Protection Unit (so the idea that he will not protect “anti Muslim” diplomats is not acceptable) – indeed no policeman has the right to pick who he will protect (otherwise the police oath is a farce).

    The policeman in question should be dismissed from the force at once.

    As I finish this the panel on “Any Questions” (the journalist at the moment) are going on about how wonderful Mr Cameron is – because he does not “go on about Europe” and want to be “liked”.

    Anyone this panel likes is someone I would not cross the road to spit on – even if they were on fire.

  • Kim du Toit

    Fire the sumbitch.

  • Hey

    This chap shouldn’t BE a copper! He’s connected to some seriously nasty Islamists and was actually married by Bakri Mohammed, who is related to his father-in-law! See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=TPOSEVF0GZBJBQFIQMFSFFOAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2006/10/06/npc06.xml

    No one with these kinds of connections should be in the police (the security services as an informant, as long as they are watched intently and bugged 24/7, but not the police). The West was successfully infiltrated by the communists thanks to vast armies of fellow travellers here (who are still walking around), so it should be no surprise that we are suffering from the same thing with the Salafis. No one with serious salafi connections should be allowed in critical security roles (pilot, baggae handler, waste hauler, nuclear technician, police constable…). Further, all salafi groups need to be suverted and watched 24/7, for they are enemy encampents and need to be treated as such.