It has become increasingly common for the people of the UK to be monitored in public places by security cameras that watch their every move in public. Indeed, one article a few years back noted the development of a "surveillance society" in the country and said that at the time there were over 4.2 million security cameras -- one for every 14 people -- in the country, many set up by government authorities to monitor goings on in public places, and that the average Briton was picked up on a CCTV camera 300 times a day.
The number of such cameras can only have grown in that time, and with them the level of surveillance. I'll concede that I find such monitoring of people in their day-to-day lives to be disturbing, but I think this development is even more troublesome in terms of where such surveillance is being thwarted.
Bags are to be put over scores of surveillance cameras in parts of Birmingham after allegations residents were not properly consulted.
Safer Birmingham Partnerships (SBP) said 200 cameras had been put up in Washwood Heath and Sparkbrook, where there are large Muslim populations.
There were allegations they were for monitoring extremists, but SBP said they were intended to tackle all crime.
The cameras will not be used until consultation has been carried out.
Now a couple of observations here.
First, you can't tell me that extensive consultations have happened with all those other government cameras being placed, so why do Muslims get special consideration with these cameras? Would such deference be shown to the residents of a non-Muslim neighborhood?
Second, given the festering of Islamist hatred in the British Muslim community, why shouldn't there be such cameras for the detection of terrorism related activity when similar cameras are already used to detect and punish significantly less serious petty street crime? And what if the local community doesn't "buy in" to the program? Will the cameras be removed, despite the logical basis for their placement as a matter of counter-terrorism policy?
Lastly, does this constitute simply one more example of government authorities in the secular West ceding control of portions of its territory (especially in large urban areas) to the clutches of the Islamist leaders whose strategy includes the establishment of Muslim-majority sharia enclaves -- as documented by Andrew McCarthy in his new book, The Grand Jihad?