Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Terrorist, M.D.?

It's interesting but predictable that the arrests of several doctors in relation to the attempted car bombings in Britain have reignited the debate over immigration once again - even as far away as Australia as well where another suspected doctor was arrested.

As for Britain, I find the immigration debate interesting because one of England's worst serial killers was a homegrown man - Dr Harold Shipman.

Dr. Harold Frederick Shipman (14 January 1946–13 January 2004) was an English general practitioner who was one of the most prolific known serial killers in modern history. Whilst the world knows him as Harold Shipman following the publicity surrounding his crimes, he was better known, prior to his arrest as Fred Shipman.

He was convicted on 15 sample charges in 2000 and sentenced to 15 consecutive life sentences. He committed suicide in 2004 at HMP Wakefield, West Riding of Yorkshire, without admitting or explaining his crimes.

After his trial, an inquest decided that there was enough evidence to suggest that Shipman had killed a total of 215 people, mostly women. His youngest victim was a 41-year-old woman. Some sources have suggested that Shipman may have killed over 400 people.

Now that is domestic terrorism.

Who would you have dubbed as "Dr Evil"?

And was there an outcry against all British doctors as a result? Of course not. But because foreign doctors are accused of potential terrorists attacks, it's suddenly open season on Britain's immigration policies and foreign doctors.

It's a strange world that we live in indeed - where fear of foreigners and others who don't look like us (the white "us") has risen to a fever pitch, especially since 9/11 when those who knew they could use that bigotry for political gain exploited it for all it was worth. In the meantime, domestic terror incidents involving your average Caucasian barely cause a stir. Then again, xenophobes can't exactly scream about sending people "back where they come from" when the offender actually lived down their street his entire life, can they?

It all makes for a very skewed view of what justice is supposed to look like.

Related: The Telegraph reports that M15 already had files on the bomb suspects.

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