‘Muslims In Britain Won’t Face Police Discrimination’

    LONDON – Muslims in Britain will not suffer discrimination at the hands of the police in the wake of the London bombings, Home Office minister Hazel Blears said on Tuesday. Counter-terrorism powers are not targeting any community in particular, but are targeting terrorists, said Blears during a day of talks with Muslim community leaders in northwest England. That is why they have got to be intelligence-led and used proportionally, fairly, and in a non-discriminatory way. Blears travelled to Oldham, a mill town near Manchester with a large Muslim community of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin, on a bridge-building mission nearly a month after the July 7 attacks on London’s transport system killed 56 people including four suicide bombers. Her message followed the admission by British Transport Police that its officers would carry out anti-terrorist spot-checks on minority groups, rather than waste time searching old white ladies. The specialised force polices London’s Underground subway — the target of three of the four July 7 bombings, plus as many attempted bombings two weeks later — as well as the national rail network. Blears, echoing a message issued by Prime Minister Tony Blair, said the 1.6 million strong Muslim community in Britain could play a vital role in tackling terrorism. These people who are extremists are a tiny, tiny minority, said the junior minister, in charge of public security while Home Secretary Charles Clarke is away on a summer break. We have got to make sure that the mainstream feel strong enough to take them on, and as a government we will work with them to do that, she said. These people are criminals, they are terrorists, they are extremists, but they are seeking to justify what they do in a perverted interpretation of Islam. What we have discussed today is the need to teach the true nature of Islam, which is about peace and love.

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