Reading of the arrests in the Northwest of the United Kingdom of twelve men. Details of the arrested men are sketchy to say the least, but you can place large sums of money on a bet that they will never be referred to as MUSLIM TERROR SUSPECTS! They have been described as possibly Pakistani nationals on ‘student visas’ and resident in the UK.


One witness, Bushra Majid, 33, a mother of four and Urdu speaker, said that she recognised the men as speaking Pashtun, a dialect from Afghanistan, and that the men arrested were “darker and had longer beards” than the predominantly Pakistani population in the area.


She said: “Six or seven men used to live there and every day they went to the al-Falah mosque [an Islamic centre on Haywood Street].” She said that there were many people coming and going all the time at the flat.


Two were working as security guards at Homebase, and the question again must be asked if their documentation had been checked out as per those ridiculously pompous adverts on the radio and t.v. where the voice of (presumably a copper) says ‘you are arrested for illegally working without documentation, and you ( the premises owner) are arrested for employing them’.


Afzal Khan, a Labour councillor for Cheetham Hill, said that the men arrested on Goldsworthy Avenue appeared to have been living there for only a few months. He said that he supported the police actions but added: “The difficulty could come if they get it wrong and, in the past, they do indeed have a bit of a bad record.” As Mandy Rice-Davies said so memorably, “Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?”


The headline I’d like to see, but probably won’t is one which says, “Twelve Muslim Terror Suspects die in custody from Natural Causes” (shortage of breath). The Sub-headline should be something along the lines of ‘Manchester Police Custody Sergeant is given BAFTA award for services to the stage’

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