Anacrho Akbar: "Clearly, someone in the Met thought Basha’s beef was justified. Ian Blair doesn’t, and we know why. This story would have never made the papers has brother Alexander been a Christian, or an atheist. The PC’s objection was based on opprobrium against the State of Israel shared by people of many faiths and none. What strikes me as a minor issue in terms of police discipline has been blown out of proportion, no doubt with the large assistance of one of the most politicised Chief Constables in modern times."
Andrew Barlett: "The news sources are full of the story that a ‘Muslim’ officer was excused from guarding the Israeli embassy during the recent Israeli invasion of Lebanon [...] I have two questions [...] First, who leaked this story to the press, and what effect did they hope to produce? [...] Second, why are news sources concentrating on the fact that the officer was a Muslim? [...] It seems to me that the important feature of this officer’s identity was not that he was a Muslim, as did not ask to be excused from guarding the Israeli embassy prior to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, and once the Israeli bombing of Lebanon ceased he returned to full duties. He was excused from guarding the Israeli embassy during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon because his wife is Lebanese."
Not Saussure: "As Andrew Bartlett asks, why report the incidental fact that he’s a Muslim? [...] I doubt, after all, it would have been reported as ‘Christian excused from guarding Israeli Embassy’ to had he been married to one of the 39% of the Lebanese population who’s Christian."
This appears story appears to be one of those that are unduly 'Islamised' in order to manufacture hysteria. What if the officier had been someone who was just extremely stressed?
Update 6/10: A good point raised last night on Question Time by someone in the audience who said he was a 'public servant who handled confidential material everyday'. Even if the officer had made such a request (which it now appears he did not), it was a confidential issue between the officer and his superiors. The more pressing should now be, as Andrew Bartlett has raised, as to who and why leaked this confidential material? And, as Yusuf alludes, imagine the hysteria the usual suspects would have generated if the Pc in question had been deployed at the Israeli embassy during the conflict. I'm sure The Scum, and the various assortment of bigots lining up to have a pop at Alexander Omar Bashar, would have been frothing at the mouth over a "Lebanese sympathiser" being stationed at the Israeli embassy with a gun.