Badger Asks: Why a Pakistani family is being deported from Belgium over a cricket bat?

The family of Assim Abassi, a young Pakistani cricket player, are to be deported from Belgium after he was identified as a terrorist for carrying a cricket bat on public transport.

In a world where terrorism, suffering and misery all too often blight our existence, one would think a young man playing sport would be encouraged. But no, his life, and that of his family, has been turned upside down after an innocent trip to a net session.

22-year-old Abassi, was carrying his cricket bat to practice but had it shielded from the bad weather inside a sweatshirt. A photograph of Abassi, carrying what looked like a weapon, was subsequently circulated by police.

Belgium is on high alert for terrorism after an attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels earlier this year in which four people died.

Abassi, who saw the photographs in the newspaper, came forward to inform the police that the suspected weapon was a cricket bat. Yet, despite his innocence and honesty, his entire family of seven are being forced out of Belgium after the Pakistani Embassy sacked his diplomat father for damaging his native country’s reputation.

“I wrapped my bat in my sweatshirt because it was raining and if it is wet I can’t play the ball properly,” Abassi admitted. “We got a call from the embassy saying give us your passports.

“We’ve lost the privilege of living in Belgium. I’ve lost my education. I’ve lost everything.”

According to local reports, MPs have taken up the case, the Pakistani embassy has refused to comment and the police are being criticised for failing to apologise for their mistake.

Badger Answers: Reconsider, let this man and his family stay in Belgium and let the police concentrate on the real villains!

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