17 September 2002
Islamic Human Rights Commission
16 September 2002
Muslim Profiling: Questions Regarding Police Strategy and Policy With Regard to the Pro-Israel Rally and Counter-demonstrations on 6th May 2002
The Islamic Human Rights Commission is launching the above titled report on Tuesday 17 September. The report focuses on police strategies with specific regards to the official counter demonstration organised by the IHRC on 6th May 2002. The counter demonstration was organised after calls from campaigners from all sectors of society to protest against the pro-Israel rally taking place during some of the worst incursions against Palestinians and Palestinian territory this year.
The purpose of the report is to make public the stark range of blatant discriminatory practices used by the Metropolitan Police Service against members of the Muslim community. Most notable was the racial and religious profiling used against people perceived to be openly Muslim as well as the ‘containment’ of those participating in the counter rally, leaving them vulnerable to physical attacks from Zionists. In addition MPS’s willingness to allow and accommodate the Community Security Trust to not only police the streets of London, but effectively create an exclusion zone on a public highway is both a dangerous and an unacceptable precedent.
As this is the first historic case of the MPS using racial and religious profiling against any particular group in society the implications of this controversial move are grave. Further this has been the first time that the GLA has also allowed the use of heavy machinery and equipment including the use of large screens to section off parts of the public square, denying both the public and tourists alike the right to access. Again the extraordinary acts that took place on May 6th have done so at the predominant expense of Muslims.
IHRC chairman Massoud Shadjareh states that:
‘It is sad to see, despite the very good relations between the Metropolitan Police and the Muslim community that we have witnessed such visible discrimination in the upholding of rights of different communities’.
‘I hope that the balance can be redressed before further damage occurs against an already maligned Muslim community.’
The report can be downloaded at http://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=402