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Sharia law lessons for UK police

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    Sharia law lessons for police By Jimmy Burns and Alex Barker February 28 2008 The Financial Times
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 7, 2008
      Sharia law lessons for police
      By Jimmy Burns and Alex Barker
      February 28 2008
      The Financial Times

      British "bobbies" will be taught about the Koran and Sharia law under
      secret plans agreed by police chiefs to ensure every officer is
      prepared to play a counter-terrorism role, the Financial Times has

      The initiative to add faith and cultural lessons to training for
      officers serving communities as different as Bradford and Banbury
      forms part of a new policing strategy to prevent violent extremism.
      Measures include extending Operation Delphinus - piloted in London to
      make counter-terrorism a central objective of policing at local
      level - across the nation from spring next year, according to the
      strategy paper seen by the FT.

      Other proposals include sharing intelligence with local authorities
      and schools, profiling Muslim communities and "vulnerable"
      individuals, increased police intervention in prisons, and assigning
      liaison officers to the families of terrorists. Some £240m has been
      set aside for police counterterrorism work over the next three years.

      The proposals' focus on local communities and local government is
      likely to be seen as one of the most controversial aspects of the
      shake-up of policing undertaken to tackle the home-grown terrorist
      threat. Several local authorities have already resisted initiatives
      to engage and "understand" the Muslim community because they believe
      the measures are either irrelevant or pose a threat to "community
      cohesion". This suggests some local officials are concerned about
      teachers and other public servants becoming the eyes and ears of
      counter-terrorism efforts.

      "This presents a dilemma for the police service," the document
      states. "We must be resolute in the proposition that doing 'community
      cohesion' is not the same thing as 'preventing violent extremism'."

      Research cited in the document shows that officers are some of the
      last people members of the Muslim community will turn to if they
      harbour concerns about an individual. The strategy says the police
      service "has a long way to go in building a relationship of trust
      around these issues". The plan is to use existing neighbourhood
      policing efforts as the bedrock for counter-terrorist work that takes
      a "bespoke" approach to Muslim communities. Intelligence gathered
      will help to build "comprehensive neighbourhood profiles", including
      a "vulnerability index", in order to allocate resources more

      A separate initiative will target those seen as vulnerable to
      extremist messages. By gathering data from schools, prisons and
      community groups, it will identify individuals and intervene to stop
      them turning to terrorism.

      To aid discussion of contentious issues with young Muslims, priority
      areas will introduce Operation Nicole - a group exercise involving
      Muslims role-playing as counter-terrorist police.

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