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Sunday, October 01, 2006


Forgot National Police Memorial Day, Remembered New Carpet

This BBC report on this years' National Police Memorial Day in Belfast caused my jaw to drop. Seemingly someone did a no show.

The President of the Belfast Islamic Society, Yaqub Joya, had been due to play a part but did not arrive at the ceremony.

But Mr Joya later insisted he had wanted to go to the service, indicating that he had simply forgotten to attend.

When contacted, he said: "Oh my God! We've been so busy with Ramadan. We had a meeting which finished at 12.30am last night.

"We've just had a new carpet fitted and all these things are going on and stressed me. I really wanted to go. All the words that I wanted to say had been prepared."

Dishonouring the memory of 4000 fallen police officers because of Ramadan is perhaps understandable if not forgivable. However, the new carpet line is just beyond the pale. Given how touchy Islam is collectively when it is subject to a perceived slight I trust this insult is dealt with quickly by Mr Joyas' community.

UPDATE Seemingly the PSNI Chief Constable was also not in attendance. He was running the Great North Run to raise funds for the RUC GC Foundation. Good for him.

Criticism of Sir Hugh does, in the circumstances, seem churlish.

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