Hate crimes ‘rise after UK bombs’

The number of attacks on Asians has risen significantly since the London bombings, police and Muslim groups say. The number reported to the Islamic Human Rights Commission – not including those reported to police – has risen more than 13-fold, its chairman said. The total number of “faith-related” attacks reported across London rose 500% compared with the same period last year, the Muslim Safety Forum says.

This “backlash” is “exactly what those who promote terrorism want” police say. Association of Chief Police Officers community and counter-terrorism head Assistant Chief Constable Rob Beckley told BBC News the police would protect Asians and Muslims. “We have to, and we will, sustain a response to this.”

The police have gone to great lengths to stress those suspected of involvement in the bombings are not from any single ethnic group.

But the Muslim Safety Forum, which works closely with the police monitoring the total number of incidents reported, blames “prominent people within our society” and the media for saying all British Muslims share something in common with the bombers. A spokesman told BBC News “bigots” now felt they had the “right to commit these atrocities”. The 7 July bombings were “a single criminal act” and all British Muslims could not be held responsible, he added.

British Muslims would not continue to allow themselves to be victimised and criminalised without a further “backlash” from them, the spokesman told BBC News.

BBC News, 28 July 2005