Muslims Bracing for, Trying to Prevent Backlash, in an "Ambivalent" Relationship with Gov't

July 8, 2005

Source: Yahoo! News/Los Angeles Times;_ylt=AvNcaBhE.KLQq3LKxHqM4DxbbBAF;_ylu=X3oDMTA3b3JuZGZhBHNlYwM3MjE-

On July 8, 2005 the Los Angeles Times reported, "Thursday's attacks at the Liverpool Street Station and three other sites touched off fear in London's down-at-the-heels eastern districts, where the city's most recent and poorest immigrants have always settled. With suspicion in the attacks quickly focused on Al Qaeda, Muslims in the area were bracing for a backlash � and trying to prevent one...

More than 2 million Muslims live in Britain, making up nearly 4% of the population. London has long welcomed migrants from the Arab world... Many in the Islamic community here pride themselves on being more integrated into British life than immigrants in other European countries. The Muslim Council of Britain, an umbrella movement of hundreds of smaller organizations, has spoken out in favor of cooperation with police against terrorism.

Since late 2001 though, ambivalence has crept into the relationship.

Muslim leaders who were persuaded by Prime Minister Tony Blair to endorse the American-led attack on Afghanistan found they lost credibility on the street... Blair's backing of the Iraq war and his sending troops to the country have also created a strain. The Respect party, an antiwar political splinter group appealing to disaffected Muslims, won electoral victories in East London in May."