Imagine the scene, you get out of the masajid after taraweh to hear the whooping of helicopter blades and five police riot vans with full crew parked in front of the gates. The Police doing their best to save face are keeping a visible presence where ever a group of people congregate, in this case the congregation was nothing other then people leaving the masajid after Isha & Taraweh prayers.
Thames Valley Police have over the last few days doing their utmost to ensure that what has happened around the UK does not happen in High Wycombe. This has mainly consisted of a rapid deployment of a detachment of riot vans and air support in the forms of the “ghetto bird” helicopter.
The Akh has no problem with the police doing their jobs, but sending such an overwhelming use of intimidating force to the masajid is a major over reaction, with the police twitter feed stating:
I’m sure the police are reading this, so let The Akh break it down for you.
We’re in the month of Ramadan, where in Muslims spend increased amounts of time in the Masajid/Mosque, especially between 2200-2330. The extended evening prayers – Taraweh – are attended in force, with parents often dragging their kids along. Once inside the Masajid, the men run for the main hall and a position amongst the front lines (obviously because they own the place, more on that here) while the kids are ushered upstairs, so the adults can pray in relative peace.
Most of the kids can’t stand still for 20 seconds, let alone having the discipline for an entire set of Taraweh, so they leave one by one (so not to arouse suspicion) and will hang around the front of the Masajid, a bit like schoolboys hanging around the bike sheds trying to have a crafty cigarette.
Thames Valley Police have been going great guns via twitter (@TVP_Wycombe) & phone lines to act as intel gathering apparatus from the gen pop.
What some residents may see as a “disturbance” is nothing but kids bunking off Taraweh & has been going on since time immemorial. Maybe the parents shouldn’t drag their kids out to the Masajid knowing they’re going to do a bunk, maybe the parents should keep their kids next to them whilst praying.
There’s been no trouble in H/W, yet the intimidating nature of the police presence was drawing more people out onto the street, and as the video shows, the police are on edge, all it would take is for one of these kids to say the wrong thing and get a slap from a riot cop, and all hell would break loose.
Using a sledgehammer to crack an imaginary walnut is the wrong approach to take.
What an oxymoron