“We take this issue seriously and are well aware of cultural sensitivities … We do not tolerate inappropriate behavior,” said Joe Gavaghan, a spokesman for Garda World. That’s good: it is heartening to see that at least one company is going to stand up to this thuggishness and brutality — what’s that? He meant the alleged insult to Islam? He is going to punish the poor devil who got beaten up even further, for his blasphemy of Islam? Well, it isn’t really surprising, given that it’s a British company.
“British contractor beaten in Iraq over alleged insult to Islam,” by Jomana Karadsheh and Mohammed Tawfeeq for CNN, November 13:
(CNN) — A Western security contractor was brutally assaulted in southern Iraq this week by a Shiite mob after he reportedly insulted their sect of Islam.
A 10-minute video circulating on social media sites showed an angry mob of men carrying metal rods, a pickax and other sharp objects attacking the car the man was in, smashing the glass and dragging him out.
More than a dozen men are seen beating the man, who pleaded for the attackers to stop as blood streamed down his face. The security contractor’s condition was unclear on Wednesday.
According to local media reports, the man was identified as a British security consultant from the UK-based private security firm G4S contracted by the oil services company Schlumberger at Iraq’s Rumeilah oil field, the country’s largest.
The man reportedly tore down flags with the images of two of Shiite Islam’s most revered imams — Imam Ali and Imam Hussein — that Iraqi staff had placed on a company car on Monday.
The security contractor appeared to be wearing a G4S T-shirt in the video.
Neither G4S nor Schlumberger has responded to CNN’s requests for comment on the incident.
Among the attackers were Iraqi guards from the Canada-based security company Garda World, which has an office in the United States.
A spokesman for Garda World confirmed to CNN that some of its employees were involved in the incident.
“Garda World employees were not involved in the initial incident,” Joe Gavaghan, a company spokesman, told CNN on Wednesday. “But during subsequent disturbance a small number of local national employees took part.”
Gavaghan said Garda World was working with “the client” and local authorities to investigate the incident.
“We take this issue seriously and are well aware of cultural sensitivities … We do not tolerate inappropriate behavior,” he said.
A number of Iraqi men, including Garda World guards, are seen later in the video trying to stop the assault by the mob that at times chanted Shiite slogans.
Amid the chaos at the end of the video, a member of the Iraqi security forces appears on the scene as the man was dragged away before the clip ended.
The British Foreign Office told CNN on Wednesday they were aware of “an incident” and “are providing consular assistance.”
According to a statement by the Basra local government, Gov. Majed al-Nasrawi met with senior local security and oil officials on Tuesday about the incident.
In that meeting, according to the statement, the governor stated that religious symbols are a “red line that cannot be crossed.”…