Literature Essay

685 WordsJan 1, 20133 Pages
Robert Verkaik: Case exposes Britain's multicultural tensions Published: 07 November 2006 in the Independent Claims by an experienced policeman that he has been victimised in his work because of his children's religion will fuel growing concern about the treatment of all Muslim officers who are serving in the Metropolitan Police. It follows the case of another Muslim firearms officer who, at the height of the conflict in southern Lebanon, was excused from guarding the Israeli embassy in Kensington Palace Gardens, because of a possible conflict of interest over his family links with Lebanon. Many will say that those cases can be used to support the view that the Metropolitan Police remains racist. But those cases open up a much wider debate about the underlying tensions in the role of Muslims who hold public office, particularly when their jobs have implications for public safety. The overall context may be counter-terrorism but the debate touches all walks of life. Last week, London Underground's decision to allow the son of jailed Islamic cleric Abu Hamza to work on the tube system drew criticism from many quarters. Mohammed Kamel Mostafa, 25, who was jailed for three years in Yemen in 1999 for plotting a bombing campaign, worked for a sub-contractor of the network's maintenance company Tube Lines. London Mayor, Ken Livingstone, said at the time that no one should be held responsible for the actions of their parents, but he added that the failure to pick up on Mr Mostafa's convictions in Yemen needed to be investigated properly. Mr Livingstone's words were contrasted somewhat to those of the shadow home secretary, David Davis, who said that anyone convicted of terrorism should not be allowed access to our public transport infrastructure. The case of a Muslim teaching assistant has helped to widen the

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