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– Twenty-First Century Crusades?
Continued tension and backlash against
Muslims in Europe.
backlash after hate mail deluge
London (Reuters): Muslim leaders called on worshippers to pray today for
the victims of the London bombings blamed on radical Islamists, as fears
of an anti-Muslim backlash were fuelled by a deluge of abusive messages.
The Muslim Council of Britain said it had received 30,000 messages of
hate via e-mail, jamming its computers.
The Islamic Human Rights Commission warned London Muslims to stay at
home to avoid retaliation. London police chief Ian Blair said the
authorities were in touch with Muslim leaders and those of other faiths
to protect symbolic buildings.
|The Muslim Council of
Britain said it had received 30,000 messages of hate via e-mail,
jamming its computers.
“We are aware of one or two very minor incidents across the country but
so far, as I would expect, Britain, with its liberal and welcoming
approach to people, is taking it in its stride,” Blair said.
Prime Minister Tony Blair condemned bombers who “act in the name of
Islam” but said the majority of Muslims, both in Britain and abroad,
were decent people who hated terrorism.
Many in London’s Edgware Road — close to one of the underground stations
that was attacked and home to scores of Lebanese, Iraqi and Egyptian
businesses — condemned yesterday’s attacks but feared there would be a
knee-jerk revenge reaction.
“The whole world now will point at me and say I am an Arab and Muslim
terrorist,” said Zakaria Koubissi, a 29-year-old manager of a Lebanese
“We expect to be harassed. It is a natural reaction, but people should
know that Islam does not tell or allow us to kill innocent people,” he
A previously unknown group, “Secret Group of al Qaida’s Jihad in
Europe,” claimed responsibility for the attacks that targeted a bus and
three underground stations.
Despite the appeal for solidarity from moderate Muslims, Imran Waheed of
Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain, a radical Muslim group dedicated to building an
Islamic caliphate worldwide, said it would continue to speak out against
“Despite the intense scrutiny that our community will find itself under
after these attacks, it is imperative that the Muslim community is not
silenced about the colonialism of western governments,” the group said.
The group that claimed responsibility said in a website posting the
attacks were in response to what it described as the “massacre carried
out by Great Britain in Iraq and Afghanistan”.
Many Muslims regard the US-led 2003 invasion of Iraq, where Britain has
troops despite broad public opposition, as a campaign against their
faith. They also accuse the West of supporting Israel in the dispute
with the Palestinians.
Speaking of the London bombers, Ahmed al-Merri, a 27-year-old government
employee visiting from the United Arab Emirates, said: “They want to
stop the killing of people in Iraq and Afghanistan, so they come to kill
innocent people here and ruin ordinary Muslims’ lives.”