A policeman, who is attached to the Mandeville Police Station in Manchester, is claiming that the Jamaica Constabulary Force is discriminating against him because of his religious beliefs after his service pistol was revoked because he was seen reading a Quran, the holy book for the religion of Islam.
The cop, who asked for his name to be withheld, said that he was called into a meeting with his superintendent after another officer saw him reading the Quran. He said his service pistol was taken away pending a psychiatric evaluation to determine whether he has been radicalised.
“Dem say mi radicalised, and Muslims are evil, violent, cold-blooded extremists and they do not recommend that I should be armed until a full psychiatric evaluation is done to find out if mi radicalised or not,” the policeman said.
Peeved by the situation, the policeman said that he requested a meeting with the Commissioner of Police, George Quallo.
After many delays, the cop said he got a chance to sit down with Quallo after he hired a lawyer who threatened to take legal actions.
He said it has been two months since he has seen the commissioner, but nothing has changed.
“I am still not armed, and mi a do front line duty,” the cop said.
Commissioner Quallo admitted to meeting with the policeman, but said that from what he understands, the firearm was not revoked because he was Muslim.
"You have a freedom of religion, and nobody would penalise anybody for deciding which faith he wants to associate himself with," Quallo said. "My information is that’s not the reason why his firearm was taken away."
The commissioner refused to explain why the young policeman's service pistol was revoked.
"I can't go in that," Quallo said.
The cop explained that he has been drawn to Islam since he started learning about the religion in high school.
“I have always been enquiring about that religion because it mek more sense to me, so someone from the Islamic Council provided me with some reading material,” he said.