Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hicham Yezza: "He looked funny at me"

Wanted to post this the other day, but life, as always, gets in the way.

Anyone that hasn't read the story of Rizwaan Sabir and Hicham Yezza should do so. Now. Right now.

For those to lazy to click... Hicham is being deported to Algeria. On Sunday. The problem? Rizwaa was looking at some al-Qaeda training manual. Now wait, this isn't about guilt-by-association. No, Rizwaa is a Masters student at Nottingham Uni. (Or was - I'd be having second thoughts about staying there if I were him. Or if I were me. Which I am.) Rizwaa coulnd't afford to print the document, so passed it to Hicham, a member of the IT staff, to print it off. Someone found the document on Hicham's computer, informed the Uni. The Uni informed the Police. The Police arrested both Rizwaa and Hicham and detained them for 6 days.

Eventually, they were both released. But then Hicham was immediately re-arrested, "on unrelated immigration charges".

Hicham was originally arrested on May 16th. 2 weeks and 2 days later, he may well be flying back home, after his ten year stint at the Uni. There is a campaign of sorts to have this stopped.

The entire story is preposterous. "Our" approach not just to foreigners, but to education and social understanding too, is equally preposterous. Things are getting worse still, but people get away with it because it only happens to, you know, "the others". The dark-skinned. The funny-accented. The people that look and act a bit suspicious - or "differently", as some might say. Tut.

The government want us to learn, so they deny us knowledge. The government want us to show respect, so they throw dignity in the gutter. The government want us to engage, so they ignore us. The government want us to be safe, so they instill paranoia into our every action.

This government, this attitude, is leading us into a place where only the weak and dirty are "respected". Hurrah.

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