Let's weigh the pros and cons of the actor playing the suicide bomber shouting "Allahu Akbar" before the simulated bomb explosion.
- The Greater Manchester Police says it is to make the simulation more "realistic".
(A questionable pro at best, and I can't think of ANY other advantages.)
Cons:- using a phrase Muslims say in prayer everyday, associating it with an act of terror,
- legitimises - makes "realistic" - the narrative that extremist groups promote: that killing innocent lives is an act of worship in Islam.
- it makes explicit the implicit idea that Islam, at best, predisposes to terrorist acts; and at worst, actively encourages it
- all in all, alienating the very community, Muslims, that the police should be reaching out to and working together with in order to combat terrorism
Ironic that a counter-terrorism exercise contributes to the very terrorism it plans to counter.
I congratulate the GMP for admitting their mistake and apologizing for it.