During a training exercise in Manchester, England where police simulated a terrorist attack, a man dressed in black garb acting as a suicide bomber yelled, “Allahu Akbar” before he “detonated” a mock explosive device. The use of the common Islamic religious phrase offended many people, leading the Greater Manchester police to apologize.
The popular Islamic declaration “Allahu Akbar” is Arabic for “God is great.” It is often exclaimed before, during, or after terrorist attacks, beheadings, and other havoc-wreaking by Muslim terrorists.
The Independent reported that community groups were offended by the religious stereotypes used in the training exercise, and that it would only serve to fuel anti-Islam prejudice. As one community group put it, “A terrorist can be anyone.” Critics claim this training exercise unfairly linked terrorism with Islam.
Here’s video of the training exercise where many volunteers acted as victims. They wore protective coverings for their ears and eyes, and also used fake blood:
The Greater Manchester police’s assistant chief constable Gary Shewan offered this statement:
“The scenario for this exercise is based on a suicide attack by an extremist Daesh [Isis] style organisation and the scenario writers have centred the circumstances around previous similar attacks of this nature, mirroring details of past events to make the situation as real life as possible for all those involved. However, on reflection we acknowledge that it was unacceptable to use this religious phrase immediately before the mock suicide bombing, which so vocally linked this exercise with Islam. We recognise and apologise for the offence that this has caused.”
In other news, a man near Munich, Germany went on a stabbing spree early on Tuesday, attacking four people and killing one. He reportedly yelled, “Allahu Akbar!” and “You infidels!” during his rampage. Even so, police don’t believe the man’s attack had any links to Islamic terrorism. They believe that the attacker is mentally ill.