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Britain’s Huge Problem

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You have got to be kidding. The British police are going to seek the approval of Muslim groups before performing any anti-terrorism raids: Police to brief Muslims before terror raids. (Hat tip: LGF readers.)

This is completely insane.

POLICE have agreed to consult a panel of Muslim leaders before mounting counter-terrorist raids or arrests. Members of the panel will offer their assessment of whether information police have on a suspect is too flimsy and will also consider the consequences on community relations of a raid.

Members will be security vetted and will have to promise not to reveal any intelligence they are shown. They will not have to sign the Official Secrets Act.

The first panel, expected to consist of four people, will be set up initially in London. Tomorrow representatives from police forces across England and Wales will decide whether to make the scheme national.

Muslim groups have welcomed the move, which is understood to be backed by Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan police commissioner.

This week the Association of Chief Police Officers will discuss with MI5 and the Home Office whether to reveal to the panel intelligence information from the security service.

The idea came from the Metropolitan police and the Muslim Safety Forum (MSF), which works for better police-Muslim relations. It has been under discussion for two years and came to the top of the agenda after a police raid in Forest Gate, London, in June, in which a man was shot. Police were acting on a tip-off about a bomb. None was found.

Azad Ali, chairman of the MSF, said: “The major concern that came to us from Muslims was that the intelligence was flawed — the raid was on assumption and nothing else. This will allow independent scrutiny of intelligence.”

Here is the Muslim Safety Forum web site.

The Muslim Safety Forum (MSF) was formed by some leading concerned Muslim organisation following 9/11 and the subsequent unfair focus on the Muslim community when it came to policing activities and enforcement of anti-terror policing legislations. This decision was taken as the Muslim community will not suffer in silence and allow misconceptions, prejudice and ignorance to influence the policing activities in the UK. Consequently, the MSF came into existence in the year 2000 and had been scrutinizing police activities that have been particularly affecting the Muslim community.

In 2004 the MSF developed its own constitution, held election for chair and the executive committee. It now has a dedicated office with two employed staff, a voluntary executive body, and a membership of over 30 national and regional Muslim organisations.

The MSF is now the key advisory body for the Police Service and has signed a working protocol with the Metropolitan Police to build better police / community relations. It has been advising the police on matters of safety and security from the Muslim perspective.

It meets on a monthly basis with senior representatives of ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) and the MPS (Metropolitan Police Service), the MPA (Metropolitan Police Authority), Home Office and the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) amongst others.

The MSF has been sitting on the strategic Stop and Search group, as per the MPA scrutiny panel recommendation, and has raised issues concerning stop and search and in particular the use of S.44 powers under the 2005 Terrorism Act.

Furthermore, MSF have undertaken significant TV, Radio and Press interviews covering local, national and international media. The messages have been of unity, justice, safety, security and a ’zero tolerance’ response from the police against Islamophobic crimes.

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