A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

"He Just Got Religion!"

That seems to be the innocent remark most people give to enquiring TV reporters on the subject of Islamic terrorists. So a guy gets a beard and goes back to the mosque. Does that make him a terrorist? Seems to be a common thread in the minds of the media and the intelligence services at the moment. But hold on a minute! What about people from other faith communities? Do those embarking on the Alpha course raise suspicions in the Christian world. They do the Alpha course in prisons. So are the authorities concerned? Why should someone returning to his faith roots be a suspect?

We live in a topsy-turvey world. John Stevens, the former Met Commissioner, has been talking about "passenger profiling". He said: "I'm a white 62-year-old 6ft 4in suit-wearing ex-cop - I fly often, but do I really fit the profile of suicide bomber? Does the young mum with three tots? The gay couple, the rugby team, the middle-aged businessman?" I don't suppose they do, really. He has a point, but I can't see it happening. Much more favoured by the powers-that-be is the heavy-handed approach. Do everyone equally. Imagine Elton John and his partner coming through security. Would, could or should they look like terrorists. "Sorry for the trouble, Mr.John, but you do appreciate......"

Lipstick, make-up in bottles, and all dodgy cosmetics are banned in the cabin. So no make-up for the ladies or Mr.John. Imagine again, a hollywood starlet coming over for Jonathan Ross' show. She gets snapped at Heathrow before she can get to the VIP lounge. "See you got done over by the Express, Tiffany! Gotta say you look great now, though!" I don't think any of this is going to endear the authorities to those wanting to look their best!

Whatever happens, we must not let the terrorists win by making our lives more miserable. What if they have to let the 24 go because one gun and a rifle are insufficient evidence? Tomorrow is when a judge decides. It's one thing grubbing around in a wood near High Wycombe; it's quite another getting stuff that sticks. And that could be the achilles heel.


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