6/14/06

London Security Panic

If you have friends in London, please pass this on to them. I have two lectures June 16+17 (7:30 pm) for the PERFORMANCE STUDIES INTERNATIONAL conference, speaking on the theme of post 9/11 security panic.

Arrived in London this morning. All of today's papers are reporting yesterday's press conference by the Forest Gate British-Bangladeshi family. The issue of security panic is brought to life with the botched Forest Gate raid on a Bangladeshi family, which has turned into a major fiasco for the British police. 11 days after the raid, Scotland Yard has cleared both British-Bangladeshi brothers who were held for almost two weeks. This is after police practically ripped their house apart, drilling into walls and dismantling the floor trying to find "terrorist equipment".

During the raid, one brother Mohammed Abdulkayar was shot in the chest and shoulder. According to press reports, he narrowly missed being shot in the heart, avoiding a repetition of the tragic police shooting of Jean Charles Menezes. At an emotional press conference, Abdulkayar said "I was begging the police, 'please, please, I can't breathe'. He just kicked me in my face and kept on saying 'shut the fuck up.'"

He also added, "Violence is not in my nature. It is not in my religion. Islam has got nothing to do with that, Islam is peace."

Here are two short pieces I wrote last year after the London bombings:

Welcome To The Terrordome

Western Muslims as "Collateral Damage"