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Totally agree with DD and the good Archbishop ! Whoever allowed this policeman to choose his assignments should lose their job. The police should be required to police any event or location without fear or favour.

Totally agree with David Davis. This sort of thing sets a dreadful precendent not just in the police service but potentially across the whole public sector. Developing this theme on a little, and it being quite topical, could a Muslim doctor/nurse refuse to treat a British soldier in an NHS hospital.

This is an absolute disgrace and a reflection of the intolerance of Muslims and the spineless behaviour and reaction of the Met Police.
The apologists who have supported this officer are the same spokespeople who support the Jihadi movement and praised the 7/7 bombers. This sort of situation acts as a magnet for the extremists to promote their sedition and disinformation and to attempt to create a schism in our society.
This officer has clearly shown that he is not prepared to carry out his duties in accordance with his contract and his oath of duty and loyalty to the Queen, or was he excused the latter on the basis of his muslim faith. In any event he has proved himself unsuitable and demonstrated an amazing level of political and religious bigotry which is incompatable with his position in the Met Police.
We must insist that this officer be sacked for gross misconduct. We must insist that the Met face up the extremists of the left and those of the radical muslim faith and not allow themselves to be manipulated into abject surrender.
We cannot allow the moslem radicals to dictate what is right or wrong in our western Christian society, our rights and principals are paramount whilst those of Islam must take second, third, fourth or fifth place, as its concepts run counter to our history and expectations and indeed our democratic process.

Would you want to be treated by one anyway?

PT 14:22

I have no problems with believers of any religion being in the police service, provided that they always accept that their duty as a police officer always takes precendence over their personal beliefs, and if they can't do that, and maybe they have to confirm that in advance of joining, then they shouldn't be allowed to join.

As I have said in an earlier post, this has set a dreadful and indeed very worrying precendent.

Im against racism but not discrimation against muslims.

These people are potential suicide bombers

If someone joins the Police or armed forces they have to understand that they are effectively giving up their right to express their personal views whilst they are on duty. Where would it end? A Police Officer who voted Labour being excused standing outside the BIC in Bournemouth? A Conservative-voting Special Branch officer not having to guard ministers of this Labour government? This man may have found his duties unpalatable but he should have been made to obey orders.

Welcome back Sally! It's been a long time.

"political and religious bigotry which is incompatable with his position in the Met Police." 14:23

Alas I sense that such things are an integral part of the workings of the Met and indeed probably many if not all public sector organisations and will require a massive amount of work and will power to sort out by an incoming Conservative Government, and the sooner the better.

PS They could start by, "relieving them of their responsibility", any person whose job title is or implies any connection with, diversity, ethnicity, equality etc etc.

"This man may have found his duties unpalatable but he should have been made to obey orders." 14:40

Or done the honourable thing, resigned.

"These people are potential suicide bombers"

Everyone is a potential criminal so on your theory, PT, everyone is disbarred from joining the police! Clearly all people, regardless of background, race or religion should be entitled and encouraged to join the police. However all should be aware that the same rules apply equally to all, and that all officers are required to do the same duties upholding the same laws.

Thank you Malcolm!

I'm afraid that by following unquestioningly the Sun's lead you have all got this story completely wrong. The officer request arises because his family back in Lebanon will be subject to muslim violence if word gets out that he is guarding the Israeli Embassy. This a story not about morals but rather about muslim violence which is all too prevalent in this day and age.

The phrase 'death by a thousand cuts' comes to mind.

While agreeing with DD as a general principle, I can see that circumstances could quite often arise where a particular constable would not be a good choice for a particular duty or would have good reasons for preferring to be excused that particular duty. Although the police are a disciplined force, the officers are still individual human beings not interchangeable machines. As long as it's a request based on reasonable grounds, which does appear to be the case here, and not a preremptory or fractious demand, I wouldn't see it as being a big problem.

Its not about bending principles! Surely it is about the individual saftey of the officer in question.

I think the excuse given that Gordon Bennett has referred to above is stretching things in the extreme. For PC Basha to be putting his family at risk in Lebanon by doing his job at the Israeli Embassy in London, people in the Muslim community who would be prepared to resort to violence would need to know:

* PC Basha
* PC Basha's job
* What duties he has been assigned to
* Where he is carrying out his duties
* That he actually has family in Lebanon
* The names of his family members
* The location of his family members

I think the explanation offered is no more than a poor excuse, not least because policemen in this country are very cautious about giving out family details to people outside immediate family and close trusted friends.

No concerns seem to have stopped PC Basha from taking part in anti war rallies. The explanation does not deal with questions I have posed on This Scepter'd Isle or address the allegation made by a 'senior source' that PC Basha objected to the posting on moral grounds — because of the Israeli bombing of Lebanon and the resulting civilian casualties of fellow Muslims.

Posted by: Paul Kennedy | October 05, 2006 at 14:43

PS They could start by, "relieving them of their responsibility", any person whose job title is or implies any connection with, diversity, ethnicity, equality etc etc.

All an incoming Conservative Government has to do is for every Secretary of State in every Government Department to issue an instruction to their Permanent Secretary to reassign all Equality and Diversity Unit Staff to Post Room or toilet cleaning duty, or accept their immediate resignation if any refuse.

Better still, give the green light for us oppressed white, middle-aged, heterosexual men to hang them all from the nearest lamppost. After nine years of NuLabour there will be no shortage of volunteers waiting to get their own back on these Neo-Communist bastards.

"PS They could start by, "relieving them of their responsibility", any person whose job title is or implies any connection with, diversity, ethnicity, equality etc etc."

When I hear the words "equality and diversity" I want to reach for my revolver.

I suppose he could have been posted to the embassy and then we could have granted his Lebanese family asylum when they were threatened for this...

Ultimately a bit of a non-story Muslim bashing when there are plenty of real stories asking for serious questioning of the attitudes of Muslims here.

I blame his superior officer - "get back to work and do your duty".

Monty, thank you for taking the matter seriously rather than indulging in misplaced high flown rhetoric.

I don't myself know exactly how that information would get back to Lebanon but I'm sure there is a chance that it could and that this is what worried the officer.

If hizbollah got hold of the info I'm sure that they would exploit it to put pressure on the officer and we know that muslims are prone to using violence to get their own way.

He declines to do his job.

So fire him without compensation.

I am surprised at the near universal condemnation here. As I understand it, PC Basha requested another assignment. He didn’t demand one and he didn’t refuse one. He did not break his Oath of Allegiance.

His line manager considered a reasonable request and, because it was easy to accommodate, agreed to it. Any of us would expect our employers to be similarly understanding and I see no reason why the Police should be unnecessarily draconian.

As the Fed Rep said this morning, there are plenty of other circumstances where an officer’s personal circumstances are taken into account in their assignments. For example, it’s not unusual for a police officer to request that their beat doesn’t include their own street. I fear that the only reason this is attracting any attention is because PC Basha is a muslim.

What odds are on offer that the conscience-stricken PC is soon on extended sick-leave for stress, before bringing a suit for constructive dismissal because the Met didn't prevent the Sun from publishing the story?

It's hard to see the point of Gloucestershire Constabulary randomly deselecting white candidates if the muslim officers they recruit instead start randomly deselecting the assignments they'll accept.

I agree with Mark Fulford. There is a whole lot of over reaction on this blog. People need to gen up on the full story before scribing.

This could set a worrying precedent. When a Policeman or Policewoman are on duty, their No.1 priority should be to their duties.

I back David Davis and Archbishop Cramer's comments, and if a Jewish Policeman/ Policewoman expressed the same concerns about a mosque, I would say the same thing.

I am an atheist, but that does not stop me from enhtusiasticly attending family gatherings, rememberance services, etc.

PC Basha's religion is a complete red herring.

His request was made on the grounds that Israel was at war with his wife’s people. PC Basha has made it clear that now the war is over, he’s happy to resume that assignment. Mountains and molehills!

Nice to see Mark Fulford and Fred Baker lining up together.

There's an anti-Israel subtext to the Cameroon "tendency" which I for one find frankly disturbing.

It's nothing to do with Israel. I would say the same regardless of the nationalities or religions involved.

Catholic officers in the RUC weren't excused their duties, notwithstanding that the risk the IRA posed to them was far greater than any which PC Basha might face.

As ever, I am in agreement with Mark F. There's something more than a little bit unpleasant about the way the usual suspects in the media have whipped this up into such a controversy.

I think the police were totally right in this case. The police officer concerned was frightened for his families safety and I don`t think it would be in anyone`s interest to have a nervous and frightened officer out on the streets with a gun
This seems to be a story that as been wipped up by people with there own agenda.

"Nice to see Mark Fulford and Fred Baker lining up together"

To speak for myself, I am against those who through their own selfishness helped Labour win a third General Election!

Nine Scottish firefighters were recently disciplined for refusing to offer safety advice (which was part of their duty) to people attending a gay pride march. So why was no disciplinary action taken against PC Basha for refusing to do his duty?

Quoting from the BBC news article on the topic:

"The fire service spokesman said: Firefighters cannot, and will not, pick and choose to whom they offer fire safety advice. Strathclyde Fire and Rescue has a responsibility to protect every one of the 2.3m people it serves, irrespective of race, religion or sexuality."

The same should hold for the police.

"So why was no disciplinary action taken against PC Basha for refusing to do his duty?"

For the very simple reason that he didn't refuse to do his duty. He made a request, through the proper channels, to be re-assigned. That request was considered by his superiors and granted.

I hope the US and Israeli Embassies increase their own protection squads knowing that the local police force is substandard.

Why wasn't the Foreign Office informed of this policeman's political action, and how can someone married to a Lebanese relation of Omar Bakri and with a Syrian father, be armed in the DPG ?

This is criminal neglect of duty of care to foreign embassies and typical of Britain's declining professionalism

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