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British Museum guard mocks Muslim visitors about bomb

29th Jul 2022
British Museum guard mocks Muslim visitors about bomb

(Photo: British Museum/CC)

Harun Nasrullah

The British Museum was forced to issue an apology after two Muslim visitors from Birmingham were asked about bombs by a security guard.

Altaf Kazi, 37, and his colleague from Blood Transfusion Service, Umar Malik, were on a work “away day” to London on June 30 when the incident occurred. Kazi and Malik were having their bags checked when the security guard asked them about “bombs.”

“Four colleagues were waiting in a line. Two of my colleagues went before me and checked their bags in, with no questions asked,” said Kazi.

“When it was my time to put my bag on the table, the security man opened my bag and said, “Where’s the ticker?””
“He then said, “You shouldn’t be killing all of humanity but saving all of humanity”.
Malik then walked up for his security check and was asked: “Where’s the stick of dynamite?”

In a post on his LinkedIn profile, Kazi said he was stunned to be quizzed like this. “Both of us walked away totally shocked at what had been said. We laughed and discussed “Did that just happen?”

“Once we got over that shock, we reported it to the information desk and spoke to management. They were mortified about what we had just experienced and acted on it immediately.”

He added, “Another colleague saw how we responded and then told us how, on a stall yesterday, he was told to go back to where he belonged, same s**t, different day.”

Kazi said, “After the incident, we discussed whether we should raise this as an issue or not. Then we remembered this quote: ‘What you’re willing to walk past is the standard you accept’”.

“This made us speak to the information desk and raise our voices. Even the lady at the desk was mortified by what she was hearing. Our first reaction was disbelief, and then it settled in. We need to make sure we are always reporting these incidents, no matter who you are and what you do.”

The British Museum apologised for the incident. A spokesperson for the museum said the men had “inappropriate behaviour at our search facility. They immediately reported the incident and a senior security manager swiftly attended and discussed the matter with them, apologising on behalf of the Museum.

“Whilst they chose not to make a formal complaint, we took the matter seriously as we do not tolerate inappropriate behaviour and took rapid steps to address the situation with the employee concerned. The Museum is an inclusive space for all communities, and we would like to reiterate our sincere apologies for their experience.”

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Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

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