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David Halpin considers the hypocrisy of British Minister for International Development Shahid Malik, who whinges at being held by the US authorities while on a trip to the USA but condones state-sponsored Anglo-American aggression.

This minister in the Department of International Development was delayed for 40 minutes at Washington's Dulles airport by security officials whilst his luggage was searched for traces of explosive. He had been at meetings to do with tackling “terrorism”.

The same happened at New York's JFK airport last November when two other Muslims were held aside. On that visit he had been a keynote speaker at an event organized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), alongside the FBI and Muslim organizations, to talk about tackling extremism and defeating terrorism. The Register of Member's Interests records that his flights and accommodation were paid for by the Pakistan Cultural Association (?where), the FBI and Homeland Security.
The abusive attitude I endured last November I forgot about and I forgave, but I really do believe that British ministers and parliamentarians should be afforded the same respect and dignity at USA airports that we would bestow upon our colleagues in the Senate and Congress.” – Shalid Malik, quoted by the BBC News website

Is everyone equal before the law? Mr Malik rightly abhors discrimination by race or religion, but then claims privilege through his membership of Parliament and the government. Any privilege of his might be underlined by his total expenses for last year – 185,421 pounds sterling these being the largest of all 645 MPs. He might feel that this figure is excessive when compared with the pittance of less than one dollar per day that 85 per cent of people in Gaza now attempt to live on. He is aware that the residents in the remnants of Palestine are Department of International Development responsibilities.

Would he be “deeply disappointed” if he was held up for over two hours as he left his responsibilities in Gaza through the Erez Israeli checkpoint? Or if he found that his DVDs and videotapes had been corrupted so as to make them unusable? Would he be just a trifle disappointed if the contents of his baggage had been jumbled up and left in that state? A similar delay would be his due at Tel Aviv but with more courtesy and tidy packing. Flying into Tel Aviv might risk the loss of luggage if a “Palestinian” destination was plain. He would be deeply disappointed in having to spend at least a day making phone calls to unobtainable numbers for the return of his luggage. If he was a Palestinian, he would need to be within very special categories to get into his homeland.

Mr Malik is heard pouring scorn on fellow Muslims who express their anger at the current genocidal policies and actions of the UK in Palestine and Iraq. Make no mistake, they are genocidal. He often speaks of “terrorism” and “extremism” as he was doing in the US. He will tell us whether the massive assault by the “coalition of the willing” was a supreme war crime as defined by the Nuremberg Tribunal and whether that is within the ambit of “terrorism”. If not the latter, perhaps it was just a little “extreme”. But it is recorded he voted “very strongly” against an investigation of the Iraq invasion and as strongly for replacement of the Britain’s US-made nuclear missile-carrying Trident submarines. Threatening the incineration of some millions of humans is not “terrorism”, of course.

The need for his present department mostly arises out of war and neglect of international law. Might he be less deeply disappointed by his small delays at Dulles and JFK and consumed instead with cause? Meanwhile, he is hoisted by his own petard, so “serve him right”.