Banged Up

by Adham Smart

There once was a man from Kashmir,

Who was Muslim and lived over here,

When he went to the mosque,

Some youths shouted, “Get lost!”

And hurled a bottle of beer.

 

This rather depressed the Kashmiri,

As he set off home, munching a sarnie

(Halal, of course,

With a sheep as its source)

And he thought about the British army

 

The government, army and police,

Who, oiled by New Labour’s grease,

Had cracked down on Islam,

Just like in Vietnam,

When the Americans cracked down on commies.

 

After watching a bit of TV,

To bed went our friend the Kashmiri,

But his sleep was cut short,

By a knock at the door,

Very early, at just after three.

 

The officer said, “Sir, we suspect you,

“Even though we have never met you.

“Of what we suspect you,

“We don’t have to tell you,

“And on this suspicion I arrest you.”

 

They bundled him into a car,

The police station wasn’t that far,

They then bundled him out,

And, with a shout,

Locked the poor man behind bars

 

As our friend the Kashmiri sat down,

In his long flowing white Muslim gown,

He pondered and pondered,

And wondered and wondered,

Was all this because of his skin colour: brown?

 

Racism in Britain, surely not?

Racism in the police force, maybe not?

But if they weren’t racist,

Then on what basis

Did they arrest our poor friend on the spot?

 

They held him for twenty-eight days,

They explored a variety of ways

To keep him locked up,

But then they gave up,

And let him go free in a daze

 

Let not the authorities strangle

Our right to dispute and to wrangle

Or even to hold

Our beliefs loud and bold,

Let it over the monster’s mouth dangle