An update to this story: British officials rush to do damage control, and to explain that Omar Basha was not excused from guarding the Israeli Embassy for reasons of conscience. All right — but why is a man who was married by Omar Bakri, the notorious imam who openly supports Osama bin Laden and the subjugation of Britain under Islamic law, a constable in the first place? What effort was made, if any, to make sure he was loyal to the Crown? Or was arriving at the proper politically correct quota of Muslim policemen the paramount consideration?
“Embassy constable was redeployed ‘to safeguard family,'” by Daniel McGrory in the TimesOnline, with thanks to Jerusalem Posts:
SCOTLAND YARD commanders insisted last night that the decision to remove a Muslim policeman from guard duty at the Israeli Embassy was taken to protect the safety of his family and was “not about political correctness”.
Senior officers moved swiftly to defuse the furore over PC Alexander Omar Basha, who is attached to the Diplomatic Protection Group, after reports that he had been excused from guarding Israeli diplomats on “moral grounds”.
Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, ordered an urgent review into why PC Basha, who is of Syrian origin and has a Lebanese wife, was allowed to switch duties at the time of the Israeli conflict with Hezbollah, in August.
Last night it emerged that PC Basha was married by the extremist cleric Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammad at the officer’s family home in London. Mr Bakri “” who in 2005 was excluded by the Home Secretary from returning to Britain after he left for Lebanon “” said last night that he was related to the officer’s father-in-law. The cleric said that because of his own “radical views” he did not have a good relationship with the father-in-law. Mr Bakri added that he had tried to persuade PC Basha to leave the police….
The inquiry is continuing, but aides of Sir Ian rushed out their initial findings, which exonerate the commissioner and the Muslim officer of blame. Paul Stephenson, the Deputy Commissioner, said that the decision had nothing to do with PC Basha’s views. He had simply told his managers that he was worried for relatives trapped in Lebanon were he to be photographed at the embassy.
“It was as a result of this risk assessment, and not because of the officer’s personal views, that the decision was taken temporarily not to deploy him to the embassy.”