Hazel Blears, the minister responsible for counter-terrorism, said yesterday that Muslims will have to accept as a “reality” that they will be stopped and searched by the police more often than the rest of the public.
Ms Blears told MPs that “there was no getting away from it”, because the terrorist threat came from people “falsely hiding behind Islam”.
Her comments, on the day when leading British Muslim groups met to hammer out a strategy on maximising the Islamic vote for the election, provoked immediate condemnation from Islamic leaders.
Massoud Shadjareh, chair of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, said: “She is demonising and alienating our community. It is a legitimisation for a backlash and for racists to have an onslaught on our community.”
See also “Muslim police stops ‘more likely'”, BBC News, 2 March 2005