A Muslim police officer who refused to guard the Israeli embassy in London was reassigned to another post and is under investigation for being excused from his assignment.
According to British news reports, Police Constable Alexander Omar Basha, a member of the Metropolitan Police's Diplomatic Protection Group, refused to guard Israel's embassy in West London. Basha told his superiors he objected to the Israeli bombing campaign against Hizballah in Lebanon that caused the deaths of over a 1,000 Muslims, and had participated in anti-war protests, The Sun reported.
The reassignment has created a furor among police. Former Flying Squad commander John O'Connor said this was "the beginning of the end for British policing."
"The Metropolitan Police are setting a precedent they will come to bitterly regret. Top brass granted his wish, as they were probably frightened of being accused of racism. But what they've done is an insult to the Jewish community," he told The Sun.
In a statement to the BBC however, the Association of Muslim Police stated PC Basha was concerned over Lebanese family members and did not want to guard the embassy during this summer's 34-day war in south Lebanon.
"This is an issue around the welfare of a particular officer," AMP spokesman Superintendent Dal Babu said on behalf of the constable, and was not religiously motivated.