Wednesday, August 03, 2005

One Way Traffic

When looking at this article from the point of view of bias analysis I don't know where to start- but that's because there's a de facto conspiracy involved in it.

For a start the Police's frontman for the story is the deliciously token 'Met Police Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur', who obligingly offered the kind of personal comment we very rarely get from our technocrat constabulary these days, that 'he had never seen so much anger among young Muslims. '

So, it's the police as community race relations officers again.

But taking a step back, the very term 'religious hate crimes' is an immensely and distastefully Orwellian one, which the BBC choose to lede with. It's just one of those pieces of routinely intimidatory language that now shapes public discourse.

They then claim authoritatively that 'There were 269 religious hate crimes in the three weeks after 7 July, compared with 40 in the same period of 2004.'

Why is this wrong? Because, as they then admit, most were 'verbal abuse and minor assaults'.
It's barely possible to register such 'crimes', let alone verify them. I remember minding my own business one day some years ago, drinking a can of coke. A stranger on a bike cycled slowly past, and very casually, spat directly at me and at my can, scoring what to me was a humiliating bullseye by hitting squarely the opening from two or three feet away. Needless to say I did not report this incident- but was it a hate crime? Heaven knows, to be honest. Or, if the above case seems freakish, I know many elderly people who have been verbally abused and had property damaged just for being old and ageing- these have included my own Grandmother.

But what no one seems to question in this reporting is whether there has actually been the dramatic rise in so-called ' religious hatred crimes' or whether the sensitivity of muslims is somehow so heightened in the wake of the bombings that every possible thing, which previously often went unremarked, is now being reported.

Needless to say the policeman plays ball (and why wouldn't he, being from an ethnic minority and a muslim himself):

'Communities were particularly frustrated by the increased use of stop-and-search and the new "shoot-to-kill to protect" policy of dealing with suicide bombers, he said.'

Cue then the BBC to start editorialising: 'The alarming figures emerged as Home Office minister Hazel Blears held the first in a series of meetings on Tuesday with Muslim community groups across the country. '

Naturally, no-one, especially the BBC, is asking a further, even more sensitive question: whether there is any concerted effort among muslims to push their grievances to the fore as a way of putting politicians in this country on the defensive, as clearly Hazel Blears is seen to be in this article. Undoubtedly there are enough radicals out there, and their sympathisers, to keep many a police complaints officer busy with false testimonies. As the muslims always tell us that there is more than one way to fight jihad I can't help wondering, myself.

RottyPup has more.

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