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Islam and the West ( 13 Jan 2009, NewAgeIslam.Com)

British Army to grill Harry over ‘Paki’ remark

London—Prince Harry faces a stern army dressing drown as political criticism grew Monday after the young British Royal filmed himself calling an Asian fellow-cadet ‘Paki’.

The defence ministry indicated that the prince, who is third in line to the British throne, could face disciplinary action, though the inquiry will not be a formal one as no complaint has been filed over the comments that were made three years ago.

“The army does not tolerate inappropriate behaviour in any shape or form,” an army spokesman said. “The army takes all allegations of inappropriate behaviour very seriously and all substantive allegations are investigated. This specific case will be dealt with in line with normal army procedures.”

Harry has already apologised for calling decorated Pakistani soldier Ahmed Raza Khan a ‘Paki’ and another comrade ‘raghead’ - a derogatory term for Arabs - while filming fellow-cadets of his Sandhurst military school. Harry, 24, is likely to be summoned by Col. Fullerton, Commanding Officer of his Household Cavalry Regiment at Combermere Barracks in Windsor for a dressing down that is known as ‘interview without coffee’, the Sun reported.

A source told the paper: “The worst that could then happen would be that he would get a letter of displeasure from the Army which would go on his record and might slightly affect future promotion prospects. If he had made the remarks last week, or addressed them to a private soldier, that would be a much more serious matter.”

“Harry will be hauled before the top brass over this, just as any other young officer would. His commanding officer will certainly give him a stern telling off. But as there has been no formal complaint, it will probably not go any further than that,” the Mirror quoted an unnamed insider as saying.

Meanwhile, leading British politicians from all parties described Harry’s remarks as irresponsible and unacceptable in modern Britain. Universities and Skills Minister John Denham said: “This sort of language can be seen as offensive, is offensive, is gradually going out of use in our society, and he’s apologised for it.” Opposition Conservative party leader David Cameron called Harry’s use of the racist term “completely unacceptable” and urged the army to “root out” such attitudes. Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said the prince’s words would cause “considerable offence”.

Asked if he would sack a member of his own front bench team who used phrases like that uttered by the prince, Clegg replied: “Almost certainly I would have to. Yes.”

Keith Vaz, Britain’s longest-serving MP of South Asian origin, said: “I can’t think of any circumstances in the House of Commons where I or anyone else has been called a Paki. This word is unacceptable, wounding and ought to be - as it has been - widely condemned.”

Lawmakers, Muslim groups and the Pakistani public criticized Prince Harry Sunday after a British newspaper published video footage of him using offensive and racist language.

Harry, third in line to the British throne and an army lieutenant, issued an apology on Saturday after the News of The World reported that he had used offensive terms to refer to people from Pakistan and people of Arab descent.

Britain’s opposition Conservative Party leader David Cameron said Harry’s comments undermined work to root out racism from the country’s armed forces. “It is obviously a completely unacceptable thing to say,” Cameron told the BBC.

Harry is purported to have made the remarks in 2006 during a visit to Cyprus to carry out training exercises with fellow military cadets. In the video, Harry is heard to refer to one colleague as “our little paki friend” — using a derogatory term for people of Pakistani origin.

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Earlier report

 

RACIST SLANG?

Prince Harry says "Paki" gaffe was not malicious

11.January 2009, 13:29

Prince Harry apologized Saturday after News of the World tabloid website posted footage of him referring to army colleagues using derogatory slang. The 24 year old British prince called one Asian comrade "Paki" and another a "raghead" on a different occasion. The footage containing the remarks was made in 2006.

 

Britain's Prince Harry apologised on Saturday after a newspaper website published video footage showing him calling an Asian army colleague a "Paki", but he said he had used the term without malice. The recording was originally made in 2006. Here are a few details on the life of Prince Harry:

 

Britain's Prince Harry apologised on Saturday after a newspaper website published video footage showing him calling an Asian army colleague a "Paki", but he said he had used the term without malice.

 

The top-selling News of the World tabloid said the recording was made in 2006, a year after Harry was pilloried for wearing a Nazi uniform at a costume party, a gaffe that sparked an international outcry.

 

"Anyone else here ... ah, our little Paki friend ... Ahmed," Harry says as he zooms onto the face of an Asian officer cadet while waiting at an airport to fly to Cyprus.

 

The word "Paki" is derogatory slang for an immigrant or descendant of an immigrant from Pakistan.

 

Harry was also shown telling another officer cadet wearing a camouflage veil during a night manoeuvre in Cyprus, "You look like a raghead" -- an offensive term for an Arab.

 

A spokesman for Britain's royal family said there had been no racist intent in Harry's words.

 

"Prince Harry fully understands how offensive this term (Paki) can be, and is extremely sorry for any offence his words might cause," the spokesman said.

 

"However, on this occasion three years ago, Prince Harry used the term without any malice and as a nickname about a highly popular member of his platoon.

 

"There is no question that Prince Harry was in any way seeking to insult his friend."

 

The spokesman said Harry had used "raghead" to mean a Taliban or Iraqi insurgent.

 

ARMY'S STANCE

 

The Defence Ministry said it was not aware of any complaint being made by the two soldiers.

 

"The army takes all allegations of inappropriate behaviour very seriously and all substantive allegations are investigated," it said in a statement.

 

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), an umbrella group for British Muslim organisations, said Harry's language had been unacceptable and had harmed the image of the army, which has been trying to recruit more widely from minorities.

 

But MCB spokesman Inayat Bunglawala said Harry had done the right thing by apologising. "It's now time to move on," he said.

 

In May, Harry was awarded a military service medal for 10 weeks of frontline service in Afghanistan.

 

His tour of duty in Afghanistan with the Household Cavalry Regiment was cut short after a media blackout collapsed, sparking fears worldwide coverage of his deployment could make him a target for pro-Taliban insurgents.

 

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islam-and-the-west/british-army-to-grill-harry-over-‘paki’-remark--/d/1116

 

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