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Why UK's Muslims are turning radical

By H S Rao in London
August 07, 2006 16:55 IST
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Britain's senior-most Muslim police officer on Monday claimed the country's anti-terrorism laws and enforcement agencies run the 'real risk of criminalising' minority communities.

Assistant Commissioner, London's Metropolitan Police, Tarique Ghaffur also advocated an independent judicial review to find out why young Muslims are becoming increasingly radicalised.

Addressing the National Black Police Association conference in Manchester, Ghaffur said stop-and-search powers and profiling tended to be based more on physical appearance than intelligence reports.

"Not only has anti-terrorism and security legislation been tightened across many European countries with the effect of indirectly discriminating against Muslims. But other equally unwanted practices have also emerged, including passenger profiling as well as increased stop-and-search and arrest under terrorism legislation," he said.

"The impact of this will be that just at the time we need the confidence and trust of these communities, they may retreat," he said.

Metropolitan Police Chief Superintendent Ali Dizaei said he supported Ghaffur's call for an inquiry into Muslim extremism.

Muslims, particularly young members of the community, were concerned about the situation in the Middle East, he said.

"They're increasingly concerned about the disproportionate impact of anti-terror laws, not just by the police but by other law enforcement agencies," Dizaei said.

However, he said, it was anybody's guess whether perceived discrimination was likely to cause extremism.

"We don't know at the moment what the extent of that discrimination is, and that's why Ghaffur is saying, 'Let's look at an inquiry, let's find out whether this is actually taking place - and if it is, what we can do about it'," Dizaei told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

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H S Rao in London
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