Fallout from a raid on fundamentalist Islamic separatists confirms that police officials take no back seat to politicians and the media when it comes to appeasement.
The Ummah, a violent fundamentalist Sunni Islamic group in Detroit, advocates a separate Islamic state that would be controlled by Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, also known as H. Rap Brown, a veteran of the black power movement now in prison for gunning down two police officers. According to the U.S. Department of justice the Ummah group “is alleged to have engaged in violent activity over a period of many years, and known to be armed.”
Last month, as the result of a two-year investigation, the FBI raided the Michigan headquarters of the group, now headed by Luqman Ameen Abdullah, sought by the FBI for providing firearms and ammunition to a person known to be a convicted felon, sale or receipt of stolen goods, and other violations. Luqman Ameen Abdullah fired at federal officers, who returned fire and killed him.
Other members of the group remained at large, including Yassir Ali Khan and Mohammad Al-Sahli, also known as Mohammad Palestine, both wanted for conspiracy to commit federal crimes. The pair were arrested across the border in Windsor, Ontario, by local police cooperating with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
In the course of the arrest, Windsor police patted down one of the suspect’s wives. This sparked complaints about police insensitivity. Gary Smith, Windsor’s chief of police, promptly issued a public apology.
“It was never the intention for Windsor police officers to offend or embarrass the families of our Islamic community,” said Smith’s press release. “The actions taken did cause embarrassment and did offend their religious beliefs. I sincerely apologize to the families and the Islamic community.” The police chief further called for more “cultural sensitivity training.”
Arrests are generally embarrassing events for those being arrested and their families. It did not emerge which religious “belief” the officers had violated, but the police rank and file were at odds with their boss over the need for any apology.
“Usually, when you make an apology, that means something was wrong,” Ed Parent of the Windsor Police Association told reporters. “In my opinion, nothing went wrong here… I believe the officers were doing everything they’re entitled to do under the law. I believe they did it professionally. I don’t see an issue here.” The RCMP agreed.
Sgt. Marc LaPorte told reporters that officers have the right to determine whether or not there is a threat. “If they deemed it was necessary to pat her down, then the officers do have the authority to do that,” LaPorte said.
U.S. authorities wanted Yassir Ali Khan and Mohammad Al-Sahli to be denied bail. Canadian authorities released them on bail. Dr. Murad Aktas of the Windsor Islamic Association is slated to provide the training in cultural sensitivity for Windsor police officers. The sensitivity quality seems lacking in the Ummah group.
One of the FBI’s sources said that Luqman Ameen Abdullah would beat children with sticks until they couldn’t walk. And in a recorded 2004 sermon, Abdullah said, “Do not carry a pistol if you’re going to give it up to police. You give them a bullet!”