War on terror ‘threatens’ UK Muslims

BBC, Dec. 23, 2002

A large majority of Muslims living in the UK consider the war on terror to be a war on Islam, according to a BBC survey.

And more than half of those questioned for BBC Radio 4’s Today programme believed Osama Bin Laden and his al-Qaeda terrorist network should not have been blamed for the 11 September attacks.

While 11% believe further attacks on America by al-Qaeda would be justified and 8% said such an attack on Britain would be justified.

But, more than two thirds of the 500 Muslims polled by telephone over the weekend said they felt patriotic about Britain.

Of those surveyed by ICM, 37% said they had suffered more hostility and abuse since 11 September.

‘West’s bogeymen’

Many fear war with Iraq will bring more of the same.

Some 84% wanted the government to have the approval of the United Nations and Parliament before any action.

Multi-culturalism expert Anshuman Mondal, from Leicester University, told BBC News the poll showed Islam – “within a global context” – was now seen to mean solidarity with Muslims in Palestine and Iraq.

“Muslims have replaced communists as the West’s bogeymen,” he added.

Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed, head of the London-based radical Islamic group Source

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