Socialist Worker

Police chief’s attack on Somalis

Issue No. 1964

Tarique Ghaffur, an assistant commissioner for London’s Metropolitan Police and the man responsible for community policing, launched an attack on the Somali community last week.

He also claimed that Muslims were unable to distinguish “the tipping point between right and wrong where hate becomes a criminal offence”.

“The Somali community, they have got no ­established roots, no sense of citizenship, no active youth diversion,” he told the Financial Times newspaper.

Yusef, a Somali community worker in north London, responded furiously. He said, “It’s a ridiculous statement. There’s no link between the bombers and Somali society. Whatever developed in them developed here in Britain.

“The last thing we need at the moment is a Muslim policeman attacking us.

“Every day I hear about verbal or physical assaults on Somalis. But the police seem to be blaming our supposed lack of roots, rather than blaming those attacking us.”

According to Ayan from Southall, west London, “Even though we are united in our condemnation of the London bombings, there is a real feeling of tension. We want to change that — we need to create a feeling of unity.”

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Sat 20 Aug 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1964
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