The Revival has been asking young Muslims fro across the UK whether or not they have faith in the police:
Rabia Shah, 20. Stanmore (North West London)
The image of the police has deteriorated over the years; it may be due to the lack of patrol officers, flaws within the system or simply because what they refer to as ‘protecting the people’ maybe seen as injustice in the eyes of others. Their aim has been to ‘make London a safer place’ but how much progress has been seen? The police force has now been set targets to seek out and identify any potential terrorist plans or activities, but it has now become hunt for prey. Muslims have now been stereotyped and it seems to be that more Muslims are now stopped, questioned or perhaps even searched according to their appearance.
Since the attacks on London and 9/11 I believe that Muslims have been forced into the limelight of scrutiny which has affected the perception of the police forces on the communities. I believe that due to such implications, the Muslim community feels threatened or even intimidated by the police, which discourages them to have confidence or turn to them in times of need. Personally, I have not had any experiences with the police but I know that I would not turn to them as a natural instinct. This may be due to the fact that I have little knowledge about my rights, but also because I now have a lack of faith in the justice system.
Aleesha Hussain, 22 Derby
After the recent Forest Gate incident I can safely say I no longer have any faith in the police at all. They are racist and don’t seem to be ashamed about it anymore. Shooting Jean Charles de Menezes 7 times in the head revealed this and then the Forest Gate raid just proved it. The apologies delivered by the police after both incidents were degrading, offensive, insulting and unashamedly insincere. I feel embarrassed by the actions of our police in the UK. They say they acted on intelligence, well then I also have no faith in the intelligence they use and it makes me question every other action of theirs also.
Ya'qub Bell, 21 North West London
Personally, I lost all the faith that I had in the equality of the police force a couple of years ago, when me and my friends were sitting in a car parked by the side of the road, just chatting to each other. Three unmarked police cars screeched to a halt and plain clothed offices literally dragged my two friends out of the front seats (one of whom was black, the other was Asian). They carried out full-body searches on my friends and left me (an innocent looking white guy) sitting safely in the back seat. I could have had cocaine, heroin, or even an AK-47 machine gun on me and they never would have known. They let my friends go (barely apologising for the inconvenience or even giving an explanation as to why they approached us in the first place), said 'good evening sir' to me and went on their merry way.
When I was younger, I was stopped for 'random searches' a few times, but only ever if I was in a group of friends who were predominately non-white. Another black friend of mine was once stopped rudely and searched while he waited for me outside a POLICE STATION, but as soon as the police officers saw me they immediately started speaking to him as if he WAS a complete human being.
So, while I haven't been affected by this directly, I have seen first-hand how racial-profiling etc can GREATLY harm a community's relationship with the police force.
Irfan Jaleel 22 Birmingham
The police are there to do a job - they are protecting all of us from being bombed. But they shouldn't be given too much powers. The British justice works fine as it is - it's already illegal to blow people up. There's no need for more restrictive laws. Even when the laws are tightened the terrorists find ways of getting around them. But whenever police make 'anti-terror' arrests the media will always big things up beyond recognition and get people frightened. We should wait for the evidence to be presented in a court of law before we judge anyone - be it fellow Muslims or the police.
Farzana Akhtar 19, Liverpool
Yes and no. Yes because in general, they are doing their job properly. You can depend on them to be at your house if you’ve been robbed and you know that they’ll investigate it. In some areas where crimes such as burglary are regularly occurring, police go door to door with advice on how to keep your house safe. But then again, how often is it that they actually find the person who robbed you? Also, racism does occur within the police force. Young ethnic minorities are more likely to be stopped than white youths and most of the time they haven’t done anything wrong! So where is the justice in that and how can you have faith in such an institution?
Humaira Shabir 21, Glasgow
Do I have faith in the police? I cannot answer with certainty yes or no. It’s good to have the police keeping people in check and looking out for us but you do hear about racism and how the police abuse this, so how is it possible to trust such people? There should be some sort of system in force to make sure this doesn’t happen. You also hear Muslims going missing in the news and that the police had some involvement with it, you cannot help but think what have the police done to them?! Having said that not all of the police are bad and we do need someone to control our society. Everyday you see criminals getting locked up for crimes so I guess the police cannot be all that bad!
Naheem Zafar 24, Oldham
As an institution I am thankful that the police exists. If they shot me dead willy-nilly, I would probably have some concerns, but lets face it, no establishment is perfect. We have to realise there is a murderous threat coming from some Muslims. It needs to be dealt with. It's not easy infiltrating a Muslim group, so undoubtedly there will be situations where the Police has bad intelligence and get things wrong. Like in Forest Gate. But at other times they will get things right.
Shabana Ahmed 20, Newcastle
I know that the police have a very difficult job to do, and I accept as humans we all make mistakes. However, it is the arrogance the police display in admitting their errors and their inability and reluctance to learn from them that has made me lose faith in the police. I know their attitude is because the police in the UK are institutionally racist. I think that if more Muslims joined the police force and represented us, things would be a lot better, but I also think change can be made now within the force, starting at the top with the resignation of Sir Ian Blair.
Maryam Khan 26, Warwickshire
Isn’t it ironic that the vast majority of Muslim’s these days seem to think the police are corrupt? Well let's be blunt would you rather go through the legal system here or say Bangladesh or Pakistan or the Middle East? Unfortunately Muslim countries are not synonymous with the term "justice". They're just Muslim by name yet we Muslims wax lyrical about them forgetting their legal system has serious problems, and as for cops they are easily played off if you're rich.