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Jacqui Smith pressured to intervene in police (Muslim) race row
Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, is being pressured to intervene in a race row after chief constables were accused of ignoring an inquiry into discrimination against Muslim officers.
It was conducted jointly by the National Association of Muslim Police and the think-tank Demos, and questioned the 43 police forces in England and Wales on the promotional prospects, rank and number of Muslim and black officers employed.
After only 23 forces responded, the president of the association, Zaheer Ahmad, urged the Home Secretary to order a "critical review" of racism in the police.
In a letter written to Miss Smith and all chief constables, he said: "Why were some forces unable or unwilling to co-operate, while others completed in full and on time? Why did some forces refuse to complete on grounds of the pretext of the Data Protection Act, (that’s actually a valid concern; an officer's promotion prospects are supposed to be confidential; his or her religious beliefs are personal as well) while others said they did not have the time to take part?
"If the police are serious about ensuring that Muslim officers are able to rise through the ranks at the same speed as their fellow white officers, and ensuring that Muslims are deployed to counter-terrorism duties at a time of heightened national security, we must have reliable data to track progress and measure success." The audit includes figures which show that Muslim officers were almost "entirely absent" from specialist operations, such as counter-terrorism.
I understand that in certain specific cases a Muslim officer's affiliation to a particular mosque or iman has resulted in that officer not receiving sufficient higher security clearance. In my opinion all police officers should be cleared to that standard, not just the specialists.
Tarique Ghaffur, Britain's most senior Muslim officer, (who) is planning to sue for alleged discrimination. Mr Ghaffur has compiled a dossier of at least 30 allegations of discrimination and political in-fighting at the top of the Metropolitan police and the Home Office. Meanwhile, Simon Humphrey, the recently retired chairman of the Met's Superintendents' Association, has criticised three senior Asian officers: Mr Ghaffur, Ali Dizaei, the president of the National Black Police Association who backed his complaint, and Commander Shabir Hussain, who launched a discrimination claim last week.
"Sir Ian had been extremely fair and consistent in his approach towards diversity. The people I do criticise are those three who have benefited from positive action and have been elevated through the ranks," he said.
As I (and I am not alone) keep saying Islam is not a race. It is an ideology. Zaheer Ahmed is concerned about the progress of Muslim officers against white officers thus defining his Muslim protégées as non white. How are non white Christian officers faring? Hindu and Sikhs?
Membership of some ideologies is banned in the police, eg racism as evidenced by membership of the BNP.