After the film circulated last week, of officers trying to keep order in a brawl being obstructed by worshippers more concerned about uniform shoes than the fighing within and without, some of us predicted that the result would be diversity training for the junior officers and grovelling apologies from the senior officers. However, during the inevitable 'meeting with community leaders' I get the impression that the opposite happened. This is the BBC, an organ which will always uphold diversity and PC against English custom and common sense.
A police force criticised for wearing shoes when attending a disturbance in a mosque "may well have no choice" but to do so again, a police commander said.
Thames Valley Police was called out to Townfield Mosque, High Wycombe, during Friday prayers on 15 September. In their haste to stop the disturbance officers said they did not remove their shoes, as is required in a mosque.
Supt Kevin Brown said officers will observe the custom "other than to intervene immediately to prevent harm". Mr Brown said his officers acted "positively" and entered the building "endeavouring to protect the sanctity of the mosque whilst trying to prevent serious injuries".
Following the reaction, Mr Brown said he had a meeting with current and former mosque committee members where it was agreed the police "acted as would be expected by any member of the public calling them to respond to an emergency".
The old-fashioned English custom is that a man (but not a woman) should remove their hat when entering any building but definitely will when entering a church. But NOT when that person is a police officer dealing with a current incident in which he might need his helmet as protection. I suggest this is the same principle in a mosque, but for footwear, and I interpret this as being what Mr Brown is saying. On a courtesy call his officers will remove shoes; when policing an incident they will wear their full uniform as necessary.
One eyewitness, Murtaza Ahmed, spoke to the BBC on Wednesday and said: "Everybody knows you don't come with shoes in to a mosque, but as somebody called the police they had to come."
As a result of the disturbances, police are currently investigating a report of an assault.
Murder, rape, and mayhem are acceptable, but wearing shoes at a mosque is a terrible sin -- what a good example of straining at gnats and swallowing camels! Many mosques are ammo and weapon dumps. No problem, but don't dare to wear shoes in a mosque.
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