Muslim woman police officer files racism charge in UK

October 19th, 2008 - 2:42 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Oct 19 (IANS) After three senior Asian officers recently filed racism charges against the London Metropolitan Police, a Muslim woman officer has taken her department (Met) to the employment tribunal saying she was bullied because of her colour and sex. The complainant, Yasmin Rehman, 42, is the Met’s director of partnerships and diversity. She is responsible for upholding racial and religious diversity within the Met.

A copy of Rehman’s employment tribunal claim, lodged with the tribunal and the Met and passed to The Sunday Times, reads: “[A senior detective] stated she did not want the claimant to touch her coffee cup or ever make her coffee. This was soon after the July 2005 bombings and [the detective's] reasons for saying this were apparently connected to the bombings.”

Rehman, who joined the Met in March 2004, is a civilian and the most senior Muslim woman within the force, with a rank equivalent to chief superintendent. The documents say her treatment at the hands of her white colleagues became so unbearable she is off work with stress and has considered suicide.

According to the documents, she says one female detective told her not even to touch her coffee cup because she was Muslim. At every turn her colour, religion and sex caused her to be “undermined, marginalised and excluded”, she claims.

A spokeswoman for the Met said: “We are keen to work with Ms Rehman to reach a resolution and find a way forward outside of the ET process.”
Her case is the latest in a series of disputes about the treatment of racial minorities within the ranks of Britain’s constabularies, and particularly the Met. Previous cases include that of Tarique |Ghaffur, the seniormost Asian officer of the Met.

Two weeks ago, Jacqui Smith, the home secretary, ordered a race review following a decision by Boris Johnson, the London mayor, to launch an inquiry into “racism” concerns voiced by some ethnic officers and staff at the Met.

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