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Muslim Bobby Moved From Israel Embassy

From the UK’s Press Association, via the terrorist loving folks at the Guardian:

An armed British police officer stands guard near a police sign on a barrier outside a back entrance to the Israeli Embassy in London Thursday Oct. 5, 2006.

Muslim PC ‘moved on safety grounds’

Thursday October 5, 2006 2:23 PM

The decision to excuse a Muslim police officer from guarding the Israeli embassy was "not about political correctness" but was based on "risk and safety", Scotland Yard has said.

Deputy Commissioner Paul Stephenson said the decision not to deploy, temporarily, Pc Alexander Omar Basha to the central London embassy was taken as a result of a risk assessment.

"It was not because of his personal views, Mr Stephenson said. "This is not about political correctness," he insisted. "I want to make it clear that this decision was taken on the basis of risk and safety."

Pc Basha, who is attached to the Metropolitan Police’s Diplomatic Protection Group, was said to have asked for permission not to work at the embassy in London because he objected to the bombing of Lebanon.

Mr Stephenson said the impartial policing of all communities was "fundamental" to policing the UK and "non negotiable".

"Every day Metropolitan Police officers put their duties above their political, religious or ideological views," he said.

The force had a "long history" of policing demonstrations, marches and events, no matter what the personal views of its officers, he said. It would be "wholly improper" if any officers broke their oath of allegiance which says that they serve "without fear or favour".

However, he continued: "At the height of the Israeli/Lebanon conflict in August this year, the officer made his managers aware of his personal concerns, which included that he had Lebanese family members. Whilst the Israeli Embassy is not his normal posting, in view of the possibility that he could be deployed there, a risk assessment was undertaken, which is normal practice.

"It was as a result of this risk assessment – and not because of the officer’s personal views whatever they might have been – that the decision was taken temporarily not to deploy him to the embassy. The public would expect us to conduct such a risk assessment and review the suitability of any firearms officer undertaking such duties."

Commissioner Sir Ian Blair had earlier announced an "urgent review" of the decision, while the Metropolitan Police Authority also demanded an explanation. Scotland Yard said the review remained ongoing. Sources said the officer had not refused the posting on "moral grounds" or because he objected to the bombing of Lebanon. He was apparently willing to take up the posting but was concerned about the safety implications for his family in the region if he was spotted guarding the embassy. He reportedly has a Syrian father and a Lebanese wife.

This is an interesting development especially in view of the ongoing recruitment drive by the British police to try to hire more Muslim officers.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, October 5th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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