Virulent Islamophobia experienced among UK Muslim communities

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has completed a tour of the UK, during which it found a further rise in Islamophobia among the country’s Muslim communities. “One concern that was voiced repeatedly throughout the cities visited was the specter of a still virulent Islamophobia which was raising its head still higher in the wake of the alleged plane plot of recent weeks,” the MCB reported Wednesday.

The five-week tour covered 22 cities, traveling from Glasgow and Edinburgh in Scotland to Batley, Bradford, Burnley, Dewsbury, Leeds, Blackburn, Wakefield, Manchester and Newcastle in northern England. It also visited Muslim communities in Birmingham, Coventry, Leicester, Walsall and Wolverhampton in the Midlands, Bristol, Gloucester in the southwest, Cardiff in Wales and Brighton, Luton and London in the southeast.

“The Muslim community fully shares the need to deal firmly with any plot against national security but as partner-citizens and not as a ‘generic suspect’ to be administered mass medication or collective punishment,” said MCB Secretary General Abdul Bari.

Bari said the tour was a welcome opportunity to listen to British Muslims from many different backgrounds all across the country speaking about their aspirations and concerns. He said that he was also delighted that following discussions many additional organizations have now agreed to affiliate to the MCB, which already embraces over 400 national and local Muslim organizations, charities, mosques and schools.

The MCB, which has been under criticizing from both politicians and the media to help the government counter-terrorism concerns, said that it would be producing a report about the tour to its Central Working Committee this month to consider recommendations.

IRNA, 6 September 2006