Muslims told not to travel as retaliation fears grow

"Everyone is subdued and people are wondering what has happened," he said, surveying his depleted customer base. "People are asking how will it affect us, are we going to be treated in a nice way after this? We have nothing to do with this."

The explosions prompted the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) to issue the extraordinary advice yesterday that no Muslim should travel or go out unless strictly necessary, for fear of reprisals. The Muslim Association of Britain said women in headscarves were at particular risk, asked police to consider extra protection for mosques and Islamic schools, and also warned Muslims against unnecessary journeys.

"It is scary. A tiny element of the community will make use of this," said the Muslim Association's president Ahmed Sheikh. "In the event of being attacked, [do] not to retaliate and report the matter to the police and authorities," said the IHRC.

The first hint of the aggression both groups feared came in a threatening e-mail about the explosions to Ahmed Versi, editor of Muslim News. "Visible aspects of Islam, such as mosques, community centres and women with headscarves" may be attacked, he said.

Dr Mohammed Naseem, chairman of the Birmingham central mosque, questioned the IHRC's advice and said it was "a bit over the top". But the anxieties voiced by most Muslim groups provided a depressing reminder of how individuals of non-British extraction have found themselves blamed for events such as the 11 September terrorist attacks and the Madrid train bombings last year.

Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Brian Paddick disassociated Islam and terrorism. "The words Islam and terrorist do not go together," he said. "These acts go totally against what I understand is the Muslim faith."

Muslim groups also issued swift condemnations of the attacks. The Muslim Council of Britain said it "utterly condemns the perpetrators of what appears to be a series of co-ordinated attacks". It added: "These evil deeds makes victims of us all. The evil people who planned and carried out these series of explosions in London want to demoralise us as a nation and divide us as a people. All of us must unite in helping the police to capture these murderers."

The churches also came to the help of community relations. On a visit to Yorkshire, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams stressed that he had spent the morning with Muslims. "We are all as one in our condemnation of this evil and in our shared sense of compassion."

The Hindu Forum of Britain also appealed to faith communities to not allow themselves to be divided. Secretary general Ramesh Kallidai said one of the most "shameful fall-outs of terrorism" was that it "aims to divide communities by creating fear and suspicion". He added: "Britain is a good example of a multicultural society where all faith communities live together peacefully. It is now more important than ever to ensure we do not succumb to terrorism by allowing ourselves to be divided."

The Bishop of Stepney, who made a joint appearance with the chairman of the East London mosque spoke together outside the Royal London Hospital, warned that "speculation without knowledge" (as to the perpetrators) was "a very dangerous thing" and added: "We do not want people to divide communities because they are either angry or afraid. We are all caught up in this together irrespective of our religions." The Bishop of London also condemned the "indiscriminate slaughter of Londoners, Christians and Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, all without distinction."

The IHRC's fears of reprisals against Muslims are borne of an intimate knowledge of how life for many British Muslims was changed after 11 September, 2001. In just the first four months after the terrorist hijackings in the US, the organisation logged details of more than 400 attacks on Muslims in Britain - four times the number it had received in an entire year since it was established in 1998.

Despite yesterday's warning, Karim Mohammed ventured out across London from his restaurant. "I will not become a prisoner in my own home," he said. "That kind of advice is frightening people who have to go to work. We have to believe that the Government will protect us."

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Sport
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
football
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
News
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Life and Style
fashionLatex dresses hit the catwalk to raise awareness for HIV and Aids
Travel
travel
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

Service Delivery Manager (Software Development, Testing)

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform