In an article titled "Muslims decry rise in police searches," the Guardian reports that British Muslim groups
accused the police of harassment after Home Office figures showed a 300% rise [in 2002-03] in the number of Asians subjected to stop and search techniques under anti-terror laws. … Muslim leaders immediately decried the figures as proof of "Islamophobia" in the wake of the September 11 2001 attacks. The government admitted the figures were "frustrating" as they suggested that changes in procedures had not addressed racial imbalances.
Home Office minister Hazel Blears said that the government was launching an action group to look at the way stop and search powers were used by police, and that from next April forces would be required to record the reason for all stop and searches. "We do think that the disproportionality is too high and we need to make sure that our police forces are using these powers properly."
An independent member of the Metropolitan police authority, Abdal Ullah, commented: "The Muslim community have become a scapegoat. … What this is doing is alienating the Muslim youth."
Not to belabor the obvious, but is it irate Anglicans, extremist Buddhists, and frustrated Catholics who are engaged in a worldwide jihad? Or is it Muslims of a radical disposition? And if it is the latter, is it not right and necessary that this element of society should have to endure more "stop and searches" than the rest of the population?
Incidentally, the same Home Office figures find that 13 percent of stop and searches in 2002-03 resulted in an arrest, the same level as in 2001-02, when just one third the number of apprehensions were made. So, clearly, law enforcement has some idea of what it's doing. (July 2, 2004)