If 150 Bibles had been found in the canal, would the police have dived into the canal to rescue them and investigated the possibility of a hate crime? What do you think? But the London police know very well who has the power in contemporary Britain.
Police dived into an east London canal to retrieve 150 Islamic books – only to discover they had been dumped there deliberately.
It is thought a “well meaning” believer had put the books in the Limehouse Cut after misunderstanding the rules for proper disposal of the Koran.
Traditionally, people who need to dispose of Islamic texts are expected to put them in water to disintegrate, or to burn them – they should not be simply thrown away.
But this does not, of course, eliminate the need to comply with fly-tipping legislation.
Salman Farsi, a spokesman for the nearby East London Mosque, told the Standard the person who dumped the books would be “admonished” for breaking the law – if they could be identified.
“You can put books in water and hope the text kind of fades away and disintegrates,” he explained, “or burn them and put the ashes in water.
“I think it’s someone from our community who’s basically taken the wrong guidance on how to dispose of these.
“I would just say it’s a harmless misunderstanding.
“Although there is an explanation as to why you would put 150 text books into a canal, there’s obviously environmental concerns – so we’re very grateful to the police for fishing them out and making contact with us.”
The books will now be disposed of by a local cemetery.
“If they’re put in an industrial grade incinerator I don’t think they’ll need to be dried out first,” Mr Farsi added.
He dismissed suggestions the books may have been dumped as some sort of hate crime.
“If someone wanted to make a statement they’d have set the whole pile alight in the middle of a park,” he reasoned.
“For someone to put it in water, I think they had the understanding you couldn’t just throw religious texts away.”
A spokesman for Scotland Yard said there was “no evidence of any hate crime”….