24.05.2011, 26.05.2011, 27.05.2011
A group of four Muslim men have been jailed for attacking Gary Smith, a religious education teacher, on his way to work at a Girls’ School in East London in July last year. According to media reports about the trial, the four men assaulted Smith, as they did not approve of him (a non-Muslim) teaching Muslim girls; furthermore, they perceived his religious teaching to “mock Islam”.
Smith, who was severely injured in the attack and did not regain consciousness for two days, has lost his sense of smell and still suffers from long- and short-term memory loss as well as depression and anxiety.
The judge ordered the young men to serve jail sentences of four to ten years. He believes that they remain a danger to the public due to their extremist beliefs. The Telegraph even reports that the four had been terrorist suspects.
Windsor’s police chief has made a public apology to the local Muslim community for the “embarrassment” caused by his tactical officers when they conducted an arrest operation. The head of the city’s police union is unrepentant.
“In my belief, this isn’t a cultural issue,” said Constable Ed Parent, president of the Windsor Police Association. “These officers had a warrant to arrest someone. They went in, and they arrested this person.”
The controversy stems from arrests made by the Windsor police tactical team last month. On Oct. 31, the team acted on a request by the RCMP and FBI to arrest Windsor residents Mohammad Al-Sahli, 33, and Yassir Ali Khan, 30, in connection with a radical Islamic group based in Detroit.
According to Patrick Ducharme, the lawyer for the two accused, the officers “patted down” a Muslim woman –Mr. Khan’s wife — who was not a part of the arrest warrant. “It was never the intention for Windsor police officers to offend or embarrass the families of our Islamic community,” wrote Police Chief Gary Smith yesterday. “The actions taken did cause embarrassment and did offend their religious beliefs. I sincerely apologize to the families and the Islamic community.”
A review of the incident highlighted the need for additional “cultural sensitivity training,” a news release said.