A senior Muslim policeman has said the Metropolitan Police's (Met) recruitment process is putting off young Muslims.
National Black Police Association President and Met Police Commander Ali Dizaei said the process should be "non- biased and fair".
He said some recruits were discouraged because they come under suspicion if they frequently visited some countries.
A Met Police spokesman said all staff regardless of background underwent the same vigorous security procedures.
Speaking to BBC London, Commander Dizaei said: "Just because someone visits a country several times does not necessarily make them a risk.
"We have to be quite careful to ensure our vetting process is non-biased and are fair and get the best people for the jobs without compromising national security."
BBC London's Home Affairs Correspondent Guy Smith said the National Association of Muslim Police told him another concern was that Muslim officers found it difficult to join SO15, the Met's counter-terrorism command, for which you need to be a detective.
Of the 300 current Muslim officers serving in the Met, half have less than three years experience.
This figure suggests that rather a lot of Muslims have been joining up recently, doesn't it? Or at least, that they've been joining up at a faster rate in the last couple of years than they had done previously. Which somewhat undermines Dizaei's claim that young Muslims are being discouraged from joining the force.
One should also note that the alleged "discrimination" consists, not in Muslims receiving inferior treatment, but rather, in the fact that all potential recruits are treated exactly the same. Dizaei claims that Muslim applicants are more likely to come under suspicion because of the countries they visit. But, had I been in the habit of making regular journeys to, say, Afghanistan, then, were I to apply for a job with the police, it is likely that they would look rather askance at me too. Perhaps Dizaei feels that visiting dodgy countries run or populated by large numbers of terrorists or terrorist supporters should not count against an individual's application to join the Met. But if this is what he thinks, then he should come out and make that case, rather than throwing around unsubstantiated accusations of discrimination. Still, I suppose he's just doing what he does best.
In a similar vein, the National Association of Muslim Police (NAMP) appears, from this BBC report, to be complaining that Muslim officers are not being recruited into SO15, because they are not meeting a requirement that applies to all applicants equally - i.e. being detectives. This is clearly related to the fact that Muslim officers are disproportionately likely to be new or recent recruits. In order to demonstrate actual discrimination, it would need to be shown that Muslim detectives were being denied positions in SO15, wholly or partly because of their religion. The NAMP has not done this. Of course, certain recent stories suggest that it is not unreasonable to question whether it would be wholly desirable to put large numbers of Muslims in a counter-(Islamic) terrorism force anyway.
When Ali Dizaei talks about making the recruitment process "non-biased and fair", he, like most race hustlers, actually means that it should be unfair and biased in favour of his special interest group - in this case, Muslims. He seems to believe that police vetting procedures should be relaxed in cases where the applicant is a Muslim, while his allies in the NAMP apparently feel that it should be easier for Muslims to enter SO15 than for the rest of us. Either that, or they're both in favour of a general lowering of standards for entry to both the police, and SO15, which might help some Muslim, career-wise, but which certainly won't make the police more effective. Either way, they're wrong.
Of course, while there is no evidence whatsoever that Muslims are being discriminated against, one should not imagine that police recruitment procedures are entirely fair. Members of that entirely legal political party, the BNP, are subject to an absolute ban on joining the police. But they're thought criminals, so it doesn't matter, right?