For those not aware of the political nature of Islam, it might come across as just a cultural amusement to see Islam still deeper entrenched in the British police force. Other countries, like Denmark and France, insist that religion has no role to play in policing. Not so in Britain.
On September 24th 2011, the Mayor of London sponsored an Eid festival at Trafalgar Square. One of the exhibitions was of how Islam is being integrated into the British police force, a banner presenting key elements of this. Since the police (by definition) is a security force for all British citizens, formally having the objective of upholding British law equally for all citizens, it is meaningful to put the mission statement of the Association of Muslim Police (AMP) under some scrutiny:
First the classical
band used on
police uniforms, now laced with classical Islamic green. A symbolic way
of saying that the intention of AMP is to change the police force. This
is corroborated by the first line of the banner, which reads:
“Muslims making a difference to policing”
That's clear enough, and anyone able to parse a straight English sentence will get the meaning of this. The intention is to change policing as such, not merely to protect the rights of police officers who happen to be Muslims.
The mission statement
banner reads on:
The Association of Muslim Police (AMP) aims to:
Assist Muslims in the police force to observe their faith and to promote the understanding of Islam within the police force and the wider community.
That's clear enough: The want police officers who happen to be Muslims to be more observant of their faith, to promote Islam within the force – as well as outside. This is also known as 'enforcing' and 'proselytizing'. This is not about furthering the self-determination of the individual officers, it is about making them more observant of Islam and follow Islamic practices while on duty.
Provide a forum for Muslims in the police and support their religious and welfare needs, with a view to improving their immediate working environment and retaining them in service.
Put more bluntly, this
pressure group working to introduce Islamic rules into the police
force, promoting the strange concept of “religious needs”, changing the
working environment to be in line with Islamic demands, with an
implicit threat that Muslims should not work as police officers unless
these demands are met by the force.
Assist in the recruitment and retention of Muslim staff [...]
Now, one might wonder what this discrimination on religious grounds is all about, since usually discrimination is considered a major Evil. But it is surprisingly simple to come across a plausible explanation:
Since the police is an important force in society, having a strong Muslim presence there is an enabler of Islamic codes of conduct, also known as Islamic law, within the force and in the community. How to better implement and protect Islamic law in society than through the very organization that is created to enforce the law? Islamist infiltration of the British police force would be a serious matter indeed. Hopefully the force and the politicians have enforced suitable measures to make sure that this can under no circumstances be the case.
The last line of text
[...] and to assist in the creation of a fair and just working environment for all cultural minorities.
While sounding friendly, this line implies that the working environment for “cultural minorities” is not fair or just at present, a subtle accusation of what would be called 'racism' – so subtly worded that few would identify it and yet fewer object to it.
The 'assisting' would constitute of advice on how to change the police force in order not to offend “cultural minorities”, also known as “sensitivity training”. This, unfortunately, tends to render the police force ineffective in cases where normal police procedure – like the use of sniffer dogs – violates religious law stating that dogs are 'unclean', and the like. Whenever there is a clash between secular and religious law, it is easy to make a qualified guess as to which side AMP will be on.
Before writing this off as 'speculative', it is instructive to see this conflict of interest play out in practice. The National Association of Muslim Police in 2010 rejected the claim that Islam can be blamed for terror attacks. This statement not only constitutes a mockery of available documentation, the stated motivation of the terrorists, and the plight of the victims of Islamic terrorism. It also casts doubt over the ability or willingness of the Muslim police to honestly investigate cases of Islamic terrorism.
Integration of Islamic symbols into the British police uniform
AMP, as stated above, consists of Muslims bent on making a difference to policing. This is an ambitious goal which requires resources, and fortunately for AMP, the Home Office is gladly underwriting the project by granting the Muslim police group 15 times more funding than the equivalent Christian group.
Details like having a page on the Metropolitan Police web site as well as an official Metropolitan Police email address endows the Association of Muslim Police with a legitimacy quite surprising to citizens of more secular countries.
There is one more item on the banner worth commenting upon, namely the photo of the Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem. This has become a banner image for Islamists desiring to regain control of Jerusalem. A rather strange choice for an organization officially only interested in changing the policing in Britain. Then, would anyone seriously expect a Muslim organization to fly the Union Jack on their banner? That would, after all, signal loyalty to secular law and Great Britain, potentially problematic for pious Muslims.
Other hypothetical problems, such as the conflicts of interest between Shariah and secular British law, or the risk that the Muslim police might later turn into an actual Islamic police force, are left as exercises for the reader to ponder. He might also ask his politicians a critical question or two on the subject, including the funding and other issues mentioned above.