Muslims fear hate attacks in wake of bombings

A backlash against British Muslims began almost immediately as news of the bomb explosions spread. The Muslim Council of Britain received more than 1,000 emails containing threats and messages of hate, several reading: “It’s now war on Muslims throughout Britain.”

Government planning for how to cope with a terrorist attack has included how police and the authorities will calm community tensions and crack down on any surge in hate crimes directed at British Muslims.

Last night an emergency meeting was held of the Muslim Safety Forum, where top police officers and representatives of Muslim communities meet to discuss the policing of terrorism and other issues.

Azad Ali, chair of the MSF, said: “This is the biggest test for community relations. The years of planning, of ifs and buts – now the time has come. Our concern is of the potential backlash. We have already received numerous reports of spitting, verbal abuse and attacks.”

Guardian, 8 July 2005

See also ‘Religion has no part in this’, by Sher Khan of the MCB: Guardian, 8 July 2005

And Tariq Ali, who argues that “The principal cause of this violence is the violence being inflicted on the people of the Muslim world. And unless this is recognised, the horrors will continue.” Also in the Guardian, 8 July 2005