The cat i' the adage

"The growth of knowledge depends entirely on disagreement" Karl Popper (1902 - 1994)

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Muslims facing increased stop and search

Counter-terrorism minister Hazel Bears has said that muslims will have to accept as a "reality" that they will be stopped and searched by the police more often than the rest of the public.

Quite a brave thing to say, though very necessary. Unsurprisingly, spokesmen for the Islamic community take a different view:

Massoud Shadjareh, chair of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, said: "She is demonising and alienating our community. It is a legitimisation for a backlash and for racists to have an onslaught on our community."

Statistics showed that of the 17 people found guilty of terrorist acts since 9/11 in the UK, only four of the 12 whose ethnic backgrounds were known were Muslim, Mr Shadjareh said.

For the sake of argument I shall accept these figures. So, a third of convicted terrorists of known ethnic backgrounds since 9/11 are Muslim. According to the CIA world factbook, there are 1.5 million Muslims in the UK out of a population of 60 million. By my calculations that is 2.5%. Even accepting that "only" 33.3% of terrorist acts are committed by Muslims, it would be unreasonable to deny that terrorism in the UK is disproportionately an Islamic problem. If the Islamic community refuses to see this they risk the deep suspicion of those of other ethnic backgrounds in this country.


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