As part of Operation Clueless Mayhem on Sunday, the Hong Kong Police sprayed Kowloon Mosque a fetching blue. It was a fairly typical deployment of the water cannon: truck prowls along street looking for a target; driver steers up to roadside, stops, and sprays small group of people who are doing nothing; truck trundles away again. But, unlike dozens of other incidents in which the cops have doused bystanders and buildings with the chemical-laced blue-dyed liquid for no obvious reason, this occasion triggered Horrified Panic in the law-enforcement hierarchy and government.
Why does a mosque warrant special post-spraying commiserations, when the cops have never shown any remorse after firing rubber bullets at reporters, pulling a mentally disabled bystander to the ground, tear-gassing old people’s homes and pigeons, invading MTR trains, chasing schoolkids, etc? The only explanation can be… Muslims.
Someone in the police management must have dimly remembered a connection between mosques and Muslims, and vaguely recalled that Muslims might mean something ultra-sensitive.
So the cops hurried round to pretend to clean the place up, and held some painfully embarrassing press conferences. These involved a claim that it was an accident, and another that the idea had been to nobly protect the mosque (a five-year-old caught with hand in cookie jar could do better). The police PR experts added awkward assurances about how much we respect ethnic minorities. Most gruesome of all was the appearance of a real live Mohameddan officer who regaled the media with tales of how much all his infidel fellow constables love him. Then the Chief Executive herself emerged from her bunker to visit the centre and hobnob with turban-wearing elders, who accepted her whiny and hollow apologies with good grace.
Having set this precedent, the cops and officials than had to go and say sorry to St Andrews Church across the road, because they had given that place a spraying as well (a blue-rinse looks better on an elderly Protestand lady). The cops also assure everyone they respect freedom of religion – as if that has anything to do with this.
Watch for a water-cannon truck to be struck by a lightning bolt next weekend.