Having been assigned to guard the Israeli Embassy, Mr Basha objected on ‘moral grounds’, citing Israel’s actions in Lebanon. His request for reassignment was considered, and (since his wife is Lebanese), granted. It appears that if you are a Muslim police officer and don’t want to protect Jews, you can object on ‘moral grounds’ and be excused. It seems that such moral grounds may include having a spouse that happens to object because of ethnic affinity. The Association of Muslim Police Officers are supporting him in this, insisting that it is a ‘welfare issue’.
But whose welfare?
If police officers may pick and choose to which assignments they are posted, based solely on their individual consciences rather than any sense of corporate responsibility, where will this lead? Should Jewish officers be excused working at an Islamic national embassy? Will Catholic officers be excused assignments to Protestant churches? Should Christian officers be permitted to decline an order to police a Gay Pride march? Should Muslim officers be excused entering mosques to search them for guns or fake passports, on the grounds that it demeans their place of worship? Should Christians be permitted to object to entering mosques because they consider them to be dedicated to an evil cult worship? Should the Hindus and Sikhs be permitted to object because of the actions of Pakistani Muslims in Kashmir against their co-religionists? Who will this leave to search Britain’s mosques? The atheists? Must we now urgently recruit a disproportionate number of atheists into HM Police Force to ensure that there are always a sufficient number of officers who may not object on ‘moral grounds’? And what if the atheists object because they happen to think they can’t be bothered to protect the worshippers of any god, because they all deserve whatever bombs and bullets come their way?
Lord Mackenzie has stated: ‘If officers have political, religious, ideological or moral views about things then they've got to put their duties above that because their service is to the public.’ Yet Cranmer suggests that no Christian would have been granted such preferential treatment. Indeed, they are likely to have been suspended and ordered to attend a ‘minority support’ course or ‘diversity’ training.