‘The State is saying that all Muslims are complicit in acts of terrorism’

imran khan with neville lawrenceImran Khan, lawyer for Stephen Lawrence’s family, speaks to the Independent Lawyer journal:

“The police and the Government are saying that all Muslims – and this generality is clear in some quarters – are all complicit in acts of terrorism either by not condemning or not revealing those who do it, or you’re planning it. In some way, you’re all complicit…. Senior government ministers simply don’t accept when I tell them what’s happening in Bradford, Leeds and elsewhere. When they talk about Muslims and terrorism, they don’t understand what impact that has. As one minister said, it is those communities committing those acts, so they’ve got to expect to be stopped and searched disproportionately. That sort of statement produces a self-defence mechanism. At meetings in Bradford, two or three hundred people are absolutely petrified. They don’t know what they can speak about, what they can publish, what sermons they can give at mosques. It gives comfort to white racists who want to attack them. I draw a parallel with Lawrence. Those who killed him did so in an environment where they knew they could get away with it. That’s what happening in the Muslim community.”

Times, 5 September 2006