Socialist Worker

Anger at Birmingham terror raids

by Assed Baig, Respect candidate for NUS national secretary and a Birmingham resident
Issue No. 2037

The terror raids carried out in Birmingham last week highlight once again the manner in which the Muslim community is being victimised.

The way police raids are carried out implies the guilt of those arrested.

The media portray allegations as fact, so suspects are seen as guilty even before charges are brought forward. Yet of the 1,113 people arrested under the Terrorism Bill just 38 have been convicted – and only 12 of those are Muslim.

Many in the Muslim community feel that if they show any objection to recent events, such as the war in Iraq, then they run the risk of being branded terrorists, extremists or even having their homes raided.

The government has once again, in an attempt to take attention away from its failures in Iraq, used the Muslim community as a scapegoat.

We must all stand shoulder to shoulder with the Muslim community so that they feel confident to speak out against what is taking place in their communities.

Around 50 people went to a meeting in Sparkhill, called by a local vicar, to discuss how local people should respond to the raids.

At the meeting, which included Christians, Muslims, members of Respect and the Lib Dems, and other local residents, the overwhelming feeling was anger at how the high profile raids helped fuel the current climate of suspicion.

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Sat 10 Feb 2007, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2037
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