Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Muslim brothers

The red cross of St George flies on Lansdowne Road in Forest Gate and around the Emmanuel Church in the London borough of Newham, where an extraordinary media conference took place today.

Mohammed Kahar, visibly taumatised, and uncomfortable in the constant flash camera flicker, told for the first time how he was awakened by the sound of his brother screaming.

Thinking their home was under attack from armed robbers, he got out of bed to investigate and, as he descended the stairs, was shot in the chest at close range (not the shoulder, as has hitherto been reported) by a policeman who gave no warning and had not identified himself.

He was then told to “Shut the f**k up” and kicked and slapped in the face as he lay wounded, before being dragged downstairs by his feet, handcuffed, and thrown to the pavement outside his front door.

His brother, Abdul Koyair, was also beaten and dragged outside, where he too was cuffed and made to lie face down in the road as his mother and other members of the family were taken screaming and crying from the house.

Until they saw the police van they had no idea that they were the subject of a police operation; they all thought they had been attacked by armed robbers and were going to be killed.

“It’s ruined my life from that day, from the time they entered my house,” said Mr Kahar, “I have lived there for 20 years, I was crawling up and down that staircase when I was a baby, and that night I thought I was going to die there.”

At one point breaking down in tears, he described some of what occurred later.

He told how he was taken to the London Hospital under armed guard to be treated for the gunshot wound to his chest, and how police officers put pressure on medical staff to discharge him.

They complied within less than 24 hours and he was transferred to Paddington Green police station, where he and his brother were held under the anti-terrorism act and interrogated over a period of 8 days.

During that time he was questioned about his family and connections to extremist organisations.
Interrogating officers suggested the names of various illegal organisations to him and asked if he was a member or whether he knew anything about them.

When he told them he had heard of al Qaida he was asked if his name was Abu Hamza, despite the fact that the officers must have been aware that that person is currently serving a prison sentence.

On several occasions, incongruously, he was questioned about membership of the Klu Klux Klan.

The brothers, who both have short cropped hair and sport long Islamic style beards, insisted that reports of a struggle at the scene of the raid were fictional.

Neither man was present at the Islamic protest marches against the publication of cartoons depicting Muhammad as a suicide bomber, and neither has a criminal record, as had been previously alleged.

“We are English,” said Abdul, who recently applied to be a community police officer, “we were born in Newham, went to school here, everything.”

A spokesman for their solicitors said the brothers are honest, ordinary and hardworking citizens and that the only grounds the authorities had for the raid were unchecked intelligence and their outwardly Islamic appearance.

After the operation, which involved 250 officers and a no-fly zone around the area, the house at Lansdowne Road was thoroughly searched; every item was gone through minutely and bagged up; holes were drilled in walls to check for cavities and all that remains of the garden is a mound of freshly dug earth.

No trace of an alleged chemical device has been found.

In Newham’s racially mixed community there exists now a climate of fear and apprehension: Muslim residents fear that what happened to the brothers’ family could happen to theirs; the others fear a backlash; and relations between the police and the community are in danger of breaking down.

In that sense Islamic terrorism is succeeding at its main task, which is to spread alienation and mistrust, to cause upheaval and turn society against itself.

Of course the police and MI5 must react to “specific intelligence”. That is why they exist.

However, there must be another way; and in the meantime the police must either deny the brothers’ version of events or confirm and apologise.

Comments:
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Bob Higgins
Worldwide Sawdust
 
I wish that I could spend all of my time reading the excellent articles on the net that I run across every day.

Thanks Don

Bob Higgins
Worldwide Sawdust
 
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