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Saturday, 14 June 2008

Disturbing On So Many Levels

Earlier this month I sent an email to West Midlands Police in respect of a very disturbing incident that was reported in our national newspapers (Daily Mail link here:)

I have a particular interest as this is my home town and this event was so outrageous I couldn't let it pass without comment. The questions I asked of West Midlands Police were - was it true? Were the PCSO and police officer who were involved tasked with upholding British law, or with upholding Sharia law? If the former, were they likely to be disciplined? I didn't necessarily expect an answer, but I did receive one - from Darren Miles, Chief Inspector Staff Officer to the Chief Constable, West Midlands Police. It was illuminating:

Dear Freedom Loving Infidel:

As a result of correspondence received on behalf of Mr Cunningham and Mr Abraham appealing our decision in relation to their complaint the matter is now subject of an internal review by West Midlands Police.

West Midlands Police would like to reassure all communities that there are not any 'no go' areas in the West Midlands Police area and we will defend the rights of the individual to freedom of expression and religious faiths.

Yours sincerely etc.

Now call me old Mr. Cynical, but for some reason my concerns were not immediately assuaged. This is the same West Midlands Police that pursued Channel 4 following the Dispatches documentary "Undercover Mosque." (link here.) The documentary exposed the activities of imams in a Birmingham mosque inciting the faithful to hatred and violence against Jews, Christians and homosexuals. Instead of arresting and prosecuting those imams, West Midlands Police went after Channel 4 for "breaching community cohesion."

What nobody in a position of authority seems to understand is that the problem will not go away by removing the rights of Freedom Loving Infidels like myself to practice freedom of expression, freedom of religion, including the right to proselytise to others if I so wish, and freedom of speech, including the freedom to criticise Islam if I so wish. If, through the exercise of those rights, I were to incite others to hatred and violence, then I would expect to be arrested and prosecuted, and quite rightly too. But merely putting forward one's point of view, even though it may offend others, should not be a criminal offence.

So why are Muslims feeling that they can get away with the aggressive, threatening and anti-social behaviour that they display all too often? Answer: because they can. They have been led to believe that they can do what they want. After all, the Islamic texts tell them that they are here to be dominant, and the people who should be upholding our laws are encouraging them in this belief. It will take a lot more than soothing platitudes from West Midlands Police to solve the problem.

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