Relief from Duties On Grounds of Intolerance?
I think this is a terrible idea:
London's police chief on Thursday launched an urgent review of a decision not to post a Muslim officer at the Israeli embassy after a newspaper reported that he had been excused on moral grounds.Sorry, but how does this policy make any sense at all? The question here is not whether the police officer in question agrees with the political views of the people he protects, but simply whether the parties need his protection. To set a precedent of excusing an officer from his job because his views are divergent with his charges is very dangerous indeed. Where would the line be drawn? Would an US police officer who holds anti-war views be allowed to opt off motorcade duty during a visit to his city by President Bush? I can't imagine one even making such a request, much less it being entertained. More poignantly and less hypothetically, who can forget the tears running down the faces of the Chayalim who were forced by duty's call to evacuate settlers from Gaza last summer, even if some of the soldiers disagreed with the entire disengagement process? Or, in the words of a former British police officer:
PC Alexander Omar Basha, who is attached to the force's Diplomatic Protection Group, objected to being posted to protect Israel's embassy in central London from possible terrorist attack because he disagreed with the country's bombing of Lebanon during the recent war.
According to British newspaper 'the Guardian', the officer had reportedly attended a recent anti-war protest.
Police chiefs excused Basha last week but critics said they feared it would open the floodgates for officers of any religion or belief to refuse to carry out certain duties.
John O'Connor, a former Metropolitan Police flying squad commander, told the London-based Sun newspaper: "This is the beginning of the end for British policing."I completely agree. To allow one such special dispensation out of concern for an officer's intolerance (or, to put it euphemistically, his "political views") is clearing the road for all sorts of intolerant (or politically motivated) requests to be considered. Not a direction I would want to see any police force heading in the year 2006.
"If they can allow this, surely they'll have to accept a Jewish officer not wanting to work at an Islamic national embassy. Will Catholic cops be let off working at Protestant churches? Where will it end? This decision is going to allow officers to work in a discriminating and racist way," he added.