Terror in London: Blacks, Asians and Jews on attack alert

IN MINORITY communities across Britain the question on everybody's lips after Friday's attack is: will we be next?

"For all we know there could be 50 more bombs stored in a garage somewhere, just waiting to be planted," one Scotland Yard source said yesterday.

The orthodox Jewish population of Stamford Hill, north London, has been on a state of high alert all week amid concern that as one of the country's best-known Jewish communities it could be the next target.

"People are scared," said Loz Meyer, 19, who works at the kosher Moses supermarket. "The young people more than the old ones. The old ones say 'we beat the Nazis once, we will beat them again'. But the young people are terrified. My 21-year-old friend told me she felt she was too young too die."

The 50-odd synagogues in north London have tightened security after last week's Brick Lane bomb. Religious restrictions on using technological equipment such as mobile telephones during the sabbath - Saturday - have been lifted so people can act promptly.

"We discourage panic. We encourage people to carry on as normal and keep their eyes and their ears open. The key is vigilance," said Joe Lobenstein, mayor of Hackney and vice-president of the Orthodox Hebrew Congregation. He has been meeting police all week to discuss community security. There were some 40 bomb scares in Hackney last week.

The picture is similar in Southall, west London, home to one of the largest Asian communities in the UK. Kultar Kapoor, 34, owner of a roadside stall in the Broadway, migrated to the UK from Afghanistan three years ago to escape the Taliban. "Those old feelings of fear and apprehension which haunted us in Kabul have been revived over the past week. Now, I worry constantly about my children, and my wife."

Volunteers recruited by the anti-racist Southall Monitoring Group were planning to patrol the streets, but the move has been criticised by some. "These efforts could divert the police's attention from the real issue - the activities of right-wing groups. The police force does not have the complete trust of the Asian community at the moment. It would be better to build a genuine partnership to tackle this problem," said Virendra Sharma, a local councillor.

Mohammed Iqbal, 35, runs a discount shop in Ladypool Street in Sparkbrook, one of Birmingham's oldest Asian communities. "Are we worried? It's all we've been talking about."

At the police station, Sergeant Steven Bruton said: "We're trying to reassure and emphasise that we need to work together to be more vigilant. I haven't noticed any tension or anxiety."

Locals disagree. They want to see an increase in security, in particular closed circuit television. Mainly, though, they talk about how depressing it is that after living here for many years, they still feel persecuted. "When I was a taxi driver the verbal abuse was common," said Iqbal. Restaurant owner Hussain Saghir, 30, described a recent incident when five men carrying baseball bats drove a van around throwing eggs at people. "That's quite rare. But what can you do except hope it will go away? With these bombs you worry there's more widespread support."

There are also concerns that neo-Nazi activity has increased under Labour with the far right feeling more alienated. "When Labour was in power last we had the skinheads and National Front marches," said Mohammed, a Kashmiri in his sixties.

Even so, many people believe the bombings will serve to stren-gthen anti-racist feelings in the country's multicultural areas, triggered by the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence.

"We believe we're on the crest of an anti-racist wave. If something was to happen it would only increase the anti-racist feeling in Bradford," said Ateeq Siddique, of the Bradford Com- mission for Racial Equality.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
Ronaldinho signs the t-shirt of a pitch invader
footballProof they are getting bolder
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
William Hague
people... when he called Hague the county's greatest
voicesBy the man who has
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
newsFloyd 'Creeky' Creekmore still performed regularly to raise money for local hospitals
indybestKeep extra warm this year with our 10 best bedspreads
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Year 6 Teacher (interventions)

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...

PMLD Teacher

Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...

Real Estate Solicitor 2+PQE - City

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - HIGH VALUE REAL ESTATE / RESID...

General Cover Teacher

£120 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Are you looking for part time/ ...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?