A police officer in the UK has threatened a young woman that he will pressure her university to withdraw her acceptance over a comment she made on social media about Islamist terrorism. He has also threatened her with charges of harassment.
The young woman, named Jonaya English and who is set to enter Newcastle University, engaged with a former high school acquaintance on Twitter after the attack at the Finsbury Mosque.
The acquaintance, who tweets under the handle of @mariamiwaseem posted a tweet stating that UK’s anti-radicalization program Prevent is tainted because it created suspicion about Muslims being terrorists; moreover, the Finsbury Mosque attack proves that Muslims are victims, not perpetrators.
In response, English tweeted back that, while the attack on the mosque was wrong, one attack on a mosque proved nothing and that the majority of the time, Muslims were the perpetrators of attacks. “Where do they learn it?” English asked. “The Quran.”
Due to the tweet, the Muslim girl – whom English says bullied her in high school – filed a complaint against English with the police.
English subsequently received an email from Police Constable Mohammed Khan, saying that if she didn’t engage with him, he would ask Newcastle University to withdraw its offer to her as a “safeguarding measure.”
The officer’s communications to English appear below in a tweet by UK media personality Katie Hopkins who asks the officer’s Northumbria Police Department: “Who is the head of your force please? Are you guys sharia?”
“I was stating a fact,” English states in a video (below) she made to explain the incident. “Muslims are the perpetrators most of the time, and they get these ideas from the Quran.”
English continued, “The thing that made this disgusting was that the officer, who was also a Muslim, said that he will try to get the university to withdraw my [acceptance]. I wrote a tweet about a political opinion which is all over the political forum which is Twitter. Somebody [who] clearly doesn’t like this decides to report me for ‘harassment.’ It’s … simply an allegation (and a false one at that) and the officer says he’s going to get my offer withdrawn.”
As English later tweeted, “One tweet expressing my opinion is NOT harassment! This is bullying and an attempt to shut me up because they don’t like my views.”
As one former police officer said: “This officer has exceeded his power and abused his position.”
While the saga of this story continues, it is worth contrasting it to statements made by the president of the UK’s Salford University’s Student Union. Zamzam Ibrahim, a Muslim of Somali decent who was elected president of the union in March, recently made headlines with her responses to questions posed on AskFM (a question and answer-based social media network).
When asked, “What’s the one book you think everyone should be required to read?” she answered, “The Quran, We would have an Islamic takeover!”
Ibrahim, who recently completely a bachelor’s degree in business and financial management, also opposes the UK government’s Prevent program, calling it “disastrous” and “racist.”
Writing under the hashtag #IfIwasPresident, Ibrahim tweeted, “I’d oppress
white people just to give them a taste of what they put us through! #LMFAO [Laughing my f—king ass off] ”
Yet, no complaints of harassment or threats from the police have been brought against Ibrahim.
The stifling of conversation – including the chilling effect on free speech caused by members of the UK police force – set a dangerous precedent for democratic societies worldwide. Officers, whose job it is to uphold the law – which includes the guarantee of free speech — are becoming self-appointed (or worse, are directed to become) enforcers of political correctness (i.e., whatever values happen to be in style at the moment).
Preventing the free exchange of ideas and, in this case, pushing the narrative that Islamists are not the main perpetrators of terror attacks, not only defies the facts, but it creates an atmosphere that breeds violence such as the revenge attack on the Finsbury Mosque.
If we not allowed to talk about Islamism, the driving force behind the world’s current blight of terrorism, it will be left to the far-right extremists to defend their countries in the only language they are convinced will be effective.