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Last Update: Wed., Mar. 22, 2006- Safar 22 - 16:45 GMT

UK Creates "Climate of Fear": British Muslim Leader

A file photo of Prince Charles with British Muslim students

LONDON, December 5 (IslamOnline.net) - A prominent British Muslim leader has accused the British government of creating a climate of fear among its sizable Muslim community to justify its policies on Iraq and fighting terrorism.

“I think there is a lot of suspicion, not only among Muslims but among the population at large, that all this is creating a climate of fear,” Assam Tamimi, president of the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB ), told the independent GMTV channel, Agence France Presse (AFP) reported.

“When you arrest Muslims early in the morning in their hundreds and end up releasing them without charge you are creating an atmosphere of horror and fear.”

British Muslims, estimated at two million people, have repeatedly complained of maltreatment by the police and the stop-and-search operations  under the Terrorism Act for no apparent reason other than being Muslims.

More than 35,000 Muslims were stopped and searched last year without reason, with fewer than 50 charged, whereas before the 9/11 attacks only around 2,000 Muslims were stopped and searched.

Some 80 per cent of the Muslim community said they experienced various forms of Islamophobia  and racial discrimination, The Independent reported Monday, November 22, citing a report by the Open Society Institute.

Senior British parliamentarians admitted last August that anti-terrorism laws are being used “disproportionately”  against Muslims.

False Democracy

The Muslim leader also accused the government of violating democracy standards under claims of combating terrorism.

“If a government cries wolf the first time, then a second time, the third time nobody will believe it,” Tamimi was quoted by the Scotsman newspaper on its Web site.

“This government has cried wolf tens of times.”

The remarks came a few days after a Guardian opinion poll showed British Muslims are turning their back  to British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his Labor Party.

Home Secretary David Blunkett said Sunday, November 21, that his government will adopt a set of tighter anti-terror laws  in case the Labour wins the general elections, due next year.

Political support for Labour among the Muslim community has halved  since the 2001 general election due to the occupation of Iraq.

British lawmaker and anti-war advocate George Galloway said the defeat of the ruling Labour in the EU parliamentary elections was a victory  for anti-war parties and his nascent Respect  Party, which did not make it to the pan-Europe legislature.

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