Socialist Worker

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Issue No. 1961

Signs of a racist backlash

POLICE FIGURES record that one in five Muslims say they or their family have faced abuse or hostility in the wake of the bomb attacks on London. Muhammed Babrul Haque, the Imam of Dulwich mosque in South London, was attacked on 16 July.

“I was cycling to the mosque for prayers when I was attacked,” he told Socialist Worker. “A man in a van was swearing at me but I didn’t respond. When I went past his van he got out and blocked my way. He hit me when I got off my bike. My cheek bone was broken in the attack.”

Muhammed Babrul Haque says many Muslims he knows have faced attacks in recent weeks. “Women wearing the hijab (headscarf) are facing particular problems, with people trying to remove their hijabs in the street,” he said. Local members of Respect visited the Dulwich mosque to condemn the attack.

Galloway calls for inquiry

George Galloway, Respect MP for Bethnal Green & Bow, has asked for a public inquiry into the police shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes.

George Galloway said, ‘We are all concerned about public safety in the wake of the attacks on London, but the police must act within the law and when they kill an innocent man they must be held to account.

“That process must be open and transparent and that means that the inquiry must command full public support. It must be a public inquiry and not an internal police affair.

“Many Londoners, including Muslims, have been fearful that the government was encouraging the police to adopt a shoot to kill policy. Within hours of the latest London bombing attack we see the tragic result of such a policy.”

Who is paying the price?

The Stop the War Coalition released this statement after last Friday’s shooting:

“Jean Charles de Menezes had nothing to do with the London bombing campaign. He was unlucky enough to be wearing the wrong clothes and his skin was the wrong colour.

“It has been revealed that the police have been operating a secret shoot to kill policy. Armed officers have been undergoing training with the Israeli defence forces. This is the result.

“Police now regret this ‘tragic mistake’. The real tragic mistake has been the illegal, immoral and barbaric invasion of Iraq. Londoners are now paying the price of this war, both in the suicide bombings and in this public killing. We send our condolences to this man’s family.”

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Sat 30 Jul 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1961
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