Reported today that the brother of a man convicted for the killing of PC Sharon Beshenivsky escaped back to his home in Somalia by dressing up as a Muslim woman.
Yusuf Abdillh Jamma was found guilty of murder, and Faisal Razzaq and his brother Hassan of manslaughter after they gunned down the 38-year-old mother of three during a bungled robbery in Bradford. The gang had gone to the travel agency armed with a number of guns. The dead WPC and her colleague who was also shot but survived, were on routine patrol and, of course, unarmed when they went to investigate the incident which had been called in by a traffic warden.
But Yusuf Jamma's brother Mustaf, who is still wanted by the police for his involvement in the murder, is said to be back in Somalia. It is claimed he walked through security checks at Heathrow and onto a plane dressed as a Muslim woman complete with veil, and using his sister's passport.
If any of us were still unsure what to think about the Muslim veil issue, this news should settle it once and for all, shouldn't it? Mere months have passed since Jack Straw first began the debate about Muslim women wearing masks in public, and already the practice has borne its sinister fruit - it has enabled a wanted man, an alleged cop-killer, a man who went to Bradford to carry out a robbery and carrying firearms with every intention of using them on innocent, unarmed people, to sail unchallenged through our borders and vanish back into the noisome stink he came from. Nice.
And what does this say about our security measures and, in particular, the people who enforce them? Security at our airports since the recent alleged bomb plot (funny that there hasn't exactly been a rash of prosecutions in connection with that, isn't it?) has made and is making travellers' lives a misery. Tired and elderly people are forced to wait for hours in long queues, respectable English people have their belongings searched and their motives questioned, holidaymakers are worried and confused about what they're allowed to carry and what they aren't mainly because the rules seem to change inexplicably from airport to airport and from country to country, and once again the law-abiding heart of middle England are treated like criminals on those tired, flimsy old stand-by excuses "just in case", "better safe than sorry", and "it's our responsibility".
Yet the real responsibility of these guardians of our safety (pardon my snigger) - identifying and apprehending wrong-doers - well, that's a bit hard for them, isn't it? Spotting some big black bloke wearing a mask and waving his sister's passport … wow, tough call. I don't think. Unless, of course, his sister is a big black bloke.
But it's much easier, isn't it, to make yourself look important and efficient by bearing down on the innocent and law-abiding? Whereas if you challenged men wearing women's clothes and masks, well, they might be offended, and we can't have that, can we? I mean, it was only one little 38-year-old mother with three small kids and a husband who loved her. Whereas there's an old lady in the queue over there who's got a bottle of water and she hasn't put it in the right size of plastic bag …
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