Accusations of Islamophobia and Christianophobia: Double standards in the UK


Amid recent turmoil in the UK after police failed in their duty to protect a teenager on death row who accidentally dropped a copy of the Koran, authorities chose not to prosecute an Islamist who planned to urinate on the Bible and threatened a Christian of Muslim origin. 

On February 22, the purchase of a Bible by a 14-year-old autistic boy sparked ridicule from his schoolmates at Kettlethorpe High in Wakefield, Yorkshire, England. They had told him that if he lost at the Call of Duty video game, he should buy a copy of the Koran and bring it to school. The pupil returned with a copy of the holy book of Muslims which his friends had started to read aloud in the yard, but the work fell in a moment of heckling, and one page was lightly stained. From then on, everything got carried away, even though the students did not intend to desecrate the Koran.

Adult feelings before child safety

After reviewing CCTV footage and interviewing around XNUMX people, the school decided to suspend the four students involved for a week and call the police. Still, the facility's director, Tudor Griffith, said there was "no bad intention" on their part. In the aftermath, rumors spread rapidly on social media that high school students had spat on the Koran, torn it up or burned it. 

As death threats swirled against the teenagers, police opened a "hateful" incident investigation into the alleged desecration of the Koran. Interior Minister Suella Braverman denounced the attitude of the police and school authorities: “The education department and the police have a duty to put the physical safety of children before the hurt feelings of adults. . »

After the family received threats that their home would be burned down, the 'absolutely petrified' autistic boy had to move to a secret location. Her mother contacted the police to ask her not to press charges so as not to escalate the situation, but the latter replied that she would "work with the school to move forward". Desperate, the mother went to a meeting at the mosque to beg forgiveness on behalf of her son. She explained that her son "doesn't always realize what's appropriate and what's not." His pleas were shared on social media: 

“Thank you very much for allowing me to come here today to talk to you. I know what my son did is disrespectful. He had no malicious intent, but he is a very, very stupid 14-year-old boy... He hasn't eaten since Wednesday afternoon, when it happened, because with his has taken his anxiety to such a level that he is no longer himself. He's really, really sorry. »

During this meeting, the headmaster of the school assured the audience of his sadness regarding the damage caused to the copy of the Quran and said that the matter was taken seriously. Chief Inspector of Police Andy Thornton criticized the students for a 'lack of understanding' of their actions and told the imam: 'I thank you most sincerely for the tolerance and understanding you have shown. proof,” according to the Daily Mail. 

The school then hosted a meeting where the Imam of the Wakefield Mosque, Jamia Masjid Swafia, and two other people including an Independent Councillor, Akef Akbbar, reviewed the copy of the Quran to make sure that it had not been desecrated. The imam then appealed for calm. 

The four teenagers, however, risk being on file for life unless the police erase the files, marking a stark contrast to a case where a Muslim man threatened to desecrate a copy of the Bible.

Police inert in the face of threats to desecrate the Bible

Last January, the British Asian Christian Association (BACA), an NGO that works to support Christians in some Asian countries, became aware of a TikTok video in which a Muslim man announced that he would urinate on a copy of the Bible at an important crossroads. Blasphemy is not illegal in the UK, but the law prohibits incitement to hatred. Juliet Chowdhry, Head of BACA, warned the Metropolitan Police in London, after being requested by hundreds of people. Several Christians have also contacted the police on their side to report the man who introduces himself as Master Kalyogi Rafidhi.

London police initially showed interest in the case and found after investigation that the video was genuine, and also obtained the TikTok user's phone number after he threatened a Briton who had left Islam for Christianity. This convert, however, chose not to press charges. However, the Metropolitan Police chose to forward the case to Essex on the grounds that that is where Ms Chowdhry lives, while BACA has its address in London. But while London told Essex Police that the man resides in the Kingdom and gave him his number, they now claim the threat actor lives in Pakistan and therefore cannot investigate.

Pointing out that Master Kalyogi Rafidhi defied the British and Christians to arrest him and that the police did not use his phone number, the BACA official quips by highlighting the large Urdu-speaking population across the Channel:

“Weirdly, Essex Police assumed the incident happened in Pakistan, possibly because the man speaks Urdu and because everyone in the UK speaks English all the time. »

Legislation against incitement to hatred is often unenforced, as in 2008 when a Muslim threatened to sodomize a former co-religionist who had become a Christian. Despite the video evidence, the police investigation had not resulted in any charges at the risk of suggesting deliberate unequal treatment.

Jean Sarpedon

Image: godongphoto | Shutterstock

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