British police have been slammed for using public resources to produce a 12-minute video promoting Islam in the UK.
“Muslims have a long, shared history with Britain. It stretches back over a thousand years,” claims Hafez Abdusammad Mulla of the Al-Imdaad Foundation at the opening of the “educational” film.
Released by Lincolnshire Police on YouTube for Hate Crime Awareness Week, the video is ostensibly designed to fight “hate crime” and seeks to show Islam and Islamic culture in an attractive light.
“Islam is all about virtues and values of charity, doing noble deeds, helping those less fortunate than you,” claims Mac Chishty, a police commander for “community engagement” with London’s Metropolitan Police.
Members of the public took to social media to question why the force is using taxpayers’ money to proselytize for Islam, asking if police will also be promoting other religions and ideologies.
“Perhaps your officers could tour schools, telling pupils about the wonderful work that the Church does all year, every year, and how hard its members work for their communities? And then you can do the same for the Jews, the Sikhs, and everybody else,” suggested Penny Bunn on Facebook.
“I’d like to know how much this propaganda piece cost to produce,” added Nicholas Street.
“[The police are] always pleading poverty when it comes to actually policing the streets and reducing crime but seem to have money to promote Islam.”
An Office for National Statistics (ONS) bulletin reported this week revealed a 13 per cent increase in recorded crime in the year ending June 2017, with the total number of offences surpassing five million for the first time a decade.
The Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police, Bill Skelly, admitted on the same day as the video’s release that they are facing a “serious challenge” over funding as figures show a double-digit rise in violent crimes in the area.
Reports in the Daily Mail this weekend suggest some UK forces are so short of cash that some Remembrance Day parades might be cancelled this year, because the police can’t afford to meet health and safety standards.
— Shaun West (@T_ACCShaunWest) October 19, 2017
Despite cutbacks and surging levels of crime, Lincolnshire Police defended the video and hit out its critics. Deputy Chief Constable Craig Naylor told the Lincolnite: “I am really disappointed in some of these comments.
“I am very committed to reducing hate crime and what we aimed to do, during hate crime awareness week, is to show a different side to Islam and tackle misconceptions and myths.
“A person who is Muslim can also be a British citizen, entitled to the same respect and protection of the law as everyone else.
“Our job is to engage with communities and this video is a method of overcoming barriers to getting information across.”