In case anyone doubts that the War on Terror creates situations straight out of Kafka, reading this article from The Guardian is in order. Sabbir Ahmed, a British citizen, was held in a detention centre for nearly two months because officials thought he was Pakistani and wanted to deport him there. He couldn’t prove that he was British because his passport was in his London flat and they offered him no other means by which to prove that he was, in fact, born in Blackburn as the son of two other British citizens.
He ought to be receiving some pretty heavy compensation, and high level apologies and/or sackings, for this kind of massive incompetence. Of course, this also speaks of institutional racism. Frances Pilling, chairwoman of the charity Bail for Immigration Detainees, said: “They chose not to pursue any avenue of investigation at all.” If he had been white and named John Brown, they might have accepted that he was from Blackburn after calling the Passport Office, or even some people there who would vouch for him.
It goes to show, yet again, that we have more to fear from government than from terrorists.