A breath of fresh air in a conversation rife with foulness. The clarity of David Anderson's words should be a wake-up call to those in charge with making the decisions affecting airport security, but we know that the end result will be to not offend Muslims, but to keep offending everyone else, including the grandmothers in their 90s, 6-year old boys and Carmalite Nuns.
From the London Evening Standard July 18 by Martin Bentham
Police 'should ignore racial balance in stop and searches'
Police conducting counter-terrorism stop and searches at airports should abandon efforts to achieve a "racial balance" in the numbers they frisk, an official report says today.
Islam is not a race.
The Government's terrorism watchdog, David Anderson, QC, says that it is the "antithesis of intelligence-led policing" for officers to ensure that the numbers of each ethnic group searched are proportionate to their presence in the population.
He says that instead checks should be targeted at those groups most likely to carry out a terrorist attack.
Mr Anderson's comments come in his annual report to Parliament on the operation of terrorism laws.
They follow complaints that some travellers, such as elderly white women, are subjected to unnecessary searches to ensure that statistics do not appear "disproportionately" focused on Muslims.
Muslims do the "disproportionate" number of attacks globally, over 17,000 since 9-11. Is it not disproportionate to then focus on Muslims and those adherents of Islam at the airport?
Today, however, Mr Anderson says that the "schedule 7" powers, which allow searches to be conducted at airports and ports without the need to prove suspicion, have been "instrumental" in catching terrorists.
He cites examples such as Sohail Anjum Qureshi, 30, who was jailed at the Old Bailey in 2008 for four and half years for terrorism offences after being stopped at Heathrow en route to Pakistan to carry out a "two-to-three week" terrorist operation.
Another was Yassin Nassari, 28, from Ealing, who was sentenced to three and a half years in 2007 for possessing rocket-making instructions, after being detained at Luton airport.
Mr Anderson's report says that the value of such searches is "therefore scarcely in doubt". The report states: "To use schedule 7 in such a way as to reflect the ethnic balance of the population would be the antithesis of intelligence-led policing.
The proportionate application of schedule 7 is surely achieved by matching its application to the terrorist threat, rather than to the population as a whole."
Read it all