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Last Updated: Monday, 18 July, 2005, 14:52 GMT 15:52 UK
How can communities be drawn together?
British Muslims perform their traditional Friday prayers
A delegation of senior Muslims is visiting Leeds to discuss the London bomb attacks with police and residents.

Sir Iqbal Sacranie, will visit mosques, youth groups and schools across West Yorkshire to listen to concerns of the Muslim community in order to better understand what led to the attacks.

The head of the Muslim Council of Britain said Muslims had a "special responsibility" to help root out "nefarious elements" in their community.

How important is the visit? What will it achieve? How can our communities unite?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

I am part of a large Irish Catholic community which, I will freely admit, pretty much sticks together, as do the local Muslim, Jewish and other communities. Sadly it has taken the events of the past few days for me to really think about this properly. I think it would be a great idea if a group of local Muslims and their religious leaders came to some of our local church services and simply talked to people like myself about their religion and what it stands for etc. Then people like me and our priests could go to the mosques and talk about our beliefs and share with the Muslim community about how the Catholic people have been through a similar problem in the past, when terrorists used our religion as an excuse for killing innocent people. I know this won't stop these maniacs, but wouldn't it be wonderful if one result of these attacks was seeing real people of all religions, races and backgrounds simply talking as a whole community!
Claire, Harrow, Middlesex

Why do we hear only about Muslims being so disillusioned with our society?
Pooja, London, UK
Though I welcome the initiative taken by the Muslim Council, why do we hear only about Muslims being so disillusioned with our society? What about Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, etc? Don't they get disillusioned and if yes, then why don't we hear about them being suicide bombers?
Pooja, London, UK

Much more openness and honesty on both sides. An increased level of responsibility by the national press, in respect of some of the biased reporting they undertake, and an acceptance by the minority communities that some accommodation with the values of the wider society is vital for them.
Dave, England

Muslims have lived in UK for more than four decades and were never involved in an act of violence, these handful of people who carried out the bombings do not represent the Muslim community in the UK, I urge every one to realise that we are hurt the same way as every other person.
Nadeem Tabani, Luton, UK

How about the Muslim people who live near me and who go to a Muslim school start going to the school everyone else does? This is how I met one of my best friends (a Muslim) and was welcomed into her home by her family. Segregation, of any kind, is wrong. Also, perhaps we could all have a 'lets go to your place of worship' once a week, compulsory to all at schools. See how the 'others' live, breath and think. There can only be integration when people see people as people, and friends are made throughout 'communities'.
Ena, Dundee, Scotland

The Muslim community needs to look to itself, it's time to take stock and realise that this is not some far away misrepresentation of their faith, it's a radicalism that is being bred into the boy next door through the channels of their faith. Islam, like all other religions before it, needs to adapt, to become a lot more open and flexible alongside Western culture. The responsibility now rests firmly on the shoulders of those who preach and teach the faith, to introduce a more relaxed and accepting approach. If this opportunity is missed, then many people died in vain.
Carl, Manchester, UK

It is not just up to Muslims to assimilate. The elites in Western countries need to re-emphasize assimilation of immigrants in mainstream societies. Muslim clerics should be required to renounce violent Jihad in writing or leave UK.
Arun Khanna, Indianapolis, USA

The divide between communities by race colour and creed has gone on long enough. We all need to bind together as one if we are to root out terrorism. More needs to be done to deport radical Muslim clerics who are warping the minds of impressionable young British Muslims, and causing them to carry out such acts of hatred.
Ghazanfar Ali, Birmingham, England

Cultures do not merge, they find accommodations to each other for their mutual benefit
Jamie Taylor, Soho, London
In reference to multiculturalism, this dodo is absolutely dead. The idea that differing cultures merge is political naivety. Cultures do not merge, they find accommodations to each other for their mutual benefit. British society has been trying to do this for many years against an Islamic culture that sees itself as a special case and a world nation above the laws and customs of any host nation that they happen to inhabit and which does not hold to Sharia law.
Jamie Taylor, Soho, London

Britain is, like it or not, a country built on the principles of Christianity, its landscapes are dotted with Christian buildings, its laws and quirks are based on some aspect of the country's main religion. People need to be more aware of Christian beliefs so that they too can integrate more and so that they can understand the native's ways and traits.
Craig, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire

Multi-cultural and integration are basically opposites. One leads to ghettos and the other to an amalgam of the races and cultures, hopefully taking the best of each.
BrianW, Chelmsford, England

If we want to build communities, we have to rediscover doing things together again
Richard, UK
I live in a 9000 population commuter 'village'. Though I know the people who live either side of me, they could be doing anything as far as I am concerned. You can walk down the main road in our community and not see anyone. Everyone retreats behind their door and comes out only for work or school or occasionally recreation, virtually all of which is done in cars. If we want to build communities, we have to rediscover doing things together again. We may cringe at the old-fashioned 'village/church fete' but, by golly, they got people together. Faith communities can be a part of this, just as schools and businesses can. Are we prepared to leave our houses and meet people?
Richard, UK

It seems with more and more single faith schools communities are being drawn further and further apart. With the examples of Northern Ireland and Scotland where children of different faiths are separated from each other at school, hatred has festered. Only when this trend of segregation by faith at school is reversed will communities integrate better.
James Paley, Oxford, UK

I find myself increasingly uncomfortable with this chorus of demands that Muslims must do this-or-that. How exactly are they supposed to know who is a potential terrorist, any more than any of us could - since when did faith in Islam bestow special terrorist-detecting powers? Similarly I feel it's unjust to blame people who live, work and contribute to our community but have faced increasing prejudice, for being marginalised as though it was their choice. There's a serious danger of indulging in holier-than-thou finger-wagging, and that won't help. Better that we follow the example set in the London vigils - all of us of all faiths (and none) stand united, and we all act together against hatred and violence and for peace and understanding.
Ben Drake, York, UK

This is a problem for Islam that only Muslims can solve.
Ferdinand Moe, Telford
I'm all for drawing communities together, but with the following caveats: in a population of 60 million, 1.6 million Muslims should not expect to dictate UK foreign policy; Muslims may well believe that extremists do not represent them, but the extremists do believe that they represent Islam, therefore, ultimately, this is a problem for Islam that only Muslims can solve. Extremist rage is not necessarily our fault - there is a lot of hypocrisy in Islamic thought about issues such as Iraq. When Western powers intervene in Afghanistan or Iraq, it is immediately interpreted as a war against Islam, yet when Muslim countries fight each other, this is passed off without comment. Start addressing these and other issues, and then talk to me about drawing our communities together.
Ferdinand Moe, Telford

How can communities be drawn together? We have been drawn together. The attacks on London last week targeted innocent civilians, regardless of their faith, colour, ethnic origin, age. We, as British citizens, faced this together. And we, as British Citizens, are grieving together. I have never felt a stronger sense of loyalty and belonging than I do today.
M Ahmed, London

I believe most of these problems have been caused by numerous previous governments unwillingness to address the issue of citizenship and what it entail within this country. To often in the past, both general and local government have been to keen to accommodate other peoples cultures at the cost of our own.
Scott, Sussex

In Britain we have bent over backwards to accommodate the needs of 'communities' hence mosques and temples proliferating, talk of faith schools and leaders of the communities being consulted on unparalleled scales. It is now time for the communities to integrate with the rest of us instead of creating mini replicas of their country of origin in Britain. I can see no peaceful future unless this happens.
Sandra, Sheffield

As an ex-pat I think that Britain puts much more emphasis on integrating into its culture than any other nation. If a Muslim is willing to change their name, drink and love football - they face little antagonism. Should they choose to remain true to their faith - they face immense an immense struggle. Brits need to be more accepting of differences and lose all the stereotypes which they wrap ethnic groups into. A bit more respect from the British public would go a long way.
Salik Rafiq, Blackburn

In a free society, the only thing we should be intolerant of is intolerance. Positive appreciation of our diversity is the key to uniting us as communities. It's time to put our similarities first, and our differences last.
Dave, Nottingham, UK

As an observer I always get the impression from the media and personal contact that the Muslim community needs to be more tolerant of other religions and races. I feel that at times we bend over backwards to "not offend muslims" be it taking bibles out of hospitals, removal of Christian symbols in public places etc. I don't see how these actions can help to integrate faiths and communities; in fact I think it has the reverse effect and drives us further apart.
Tim, Leeds

We are all not so dissimilar, we should be looking at the positive things which unite our communities. Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths all believe in the same God but follow different teachings. All too often people tend to focus (often negatively) on the differences. Diversity is something to celebrate! It is instinctive for people to stick within their individual spheres of experience, which causes segregation and breeds ignorance. Communities need to open up more and embrace differences rather than fear them.
Simon, Bristol

Sadly the Muslim community has not integrated into British society whereas other ethnic groups have. If you live in Britain you must respect British values. Sadly I feel the Muslim community take so much from the Britain without putting much back into it.
Sunil, Slough/Berkshire

'Do not fight those that do not fight you, befriend them for God loves the equitable'
Ismail Amaan, London
As a practising Muslim (with beard and cap) I am so disappointed that many still remain so ignorant about my faith my community. In London I co-founded the Muslim Jewish Forum long before 9/11 or the recent London bombings, and I did this because my faith encourages utmost respect for your neighbours be they Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Hindu or Sikh. The Quran gives a message of peace and tolerance, including the message "do not fight those that do not fight you, befriend them for God loves the equitable". As long as people do not separate these crazed individuals from my faith, barriers and walls will continue to be built and true integration of just people hindered.
Ismail Amaan, London

The visit will achieve nothing. Islamic culture teaches followers to call themselves Muslims first instead of British, Pakistani, Indian etc. The governance belongs to Allah and Prophet. Every Muslim must obey without question the Fatwa or the edicts issued by the religious leaders based on their interpretation of religious books. Therefore, it should not come as surprise that a non Arab Muslim has weakened sense of national identity.
N.G. Krishnan, Bangalore, India

I can understand why many Muslims in GB have become insular and self-reliant. There are many people in this country who would rather they weren't here at all. Muslims are exposed to varying degrees of intolerance in their everyday lives so can we blame them if they create their own communities cut off from others? The onus is on all members of society to accept them as equals and initiate new ways of breaking down barriers between us all.
Jarl, Manchester, UK

I see ultra-radical organisations distributing leaflets at the mosque gates.
Arshad, UK
I appreciate the community needs to look within and ask some tough questions but all this introspection seems irrelevant when I see ultra-radical organisations distributing leaflets at the mosque gates. I ask you, we have barred them from our mosques but why can't the government do its bit and drive these hate filled zealots out of the country? I urge you to pick up a (sensible) translation of the Quran and you will find it filled with stories of compassion and love and at many times referring to Jesus and Moses.
Arshad, UK

Other faiths open up their prayer halls openly to the local society for leisure and sports. Perhaps if the Mosques opened their doors to the local community then their neighbours would consider them part of our open society.
Paul Collier, London UK

Jobs. Real jobs where workmates get to see that people from different cultural backgrounds are real people with the same concerns and the same sense of humour. Many of the areas where the BNP have done well are areas where there have been big job losses, especially full time work for young men.
Jane, Basingstoke, UK

My view is that this requires agreement on what multiculturalism actually means. It is not about fragmentation or denying British identity but about inclusiveness. I prefer the term extended culturalism. It means an inclusive and expansive British identity but also equal acknowledgement across all societies of the rights of free expression, integration with not against the host culture.
Steven, MK

I think the best way to draw communities together in such a diverse society is the better understanding of the religious beliefs that each community carries and with a political, social and cultural dialogue to help prevent the occurrence of such heinous acts in the future.
Muhammad, Nottingham

The answer to this problem can only come from the Muslim community
DF, London
This is not a situation where one community has 'grievances' which can be dealt with by white Britons - such as where 70s racism against West Indians existed, and was largely destroyed. The answer to this problem can only come from the Muslim community. When a so-called 'moderate' Muslim leader can say things like 'Britons do not have to become Muslims, just so long as they don't criticise Islam', one realises what a long way the community is from understanding western liberal democratic values.
DF, London

I have had a number of friends that are Muslims for well over 10 years. It seems to me that much of the problems with integration come from their parents and the fact that integration into a so-called Western society is frowned upon. The parents still refer to white people with the derogatory word of Gori. Whilst my friends stayed with their parents, if I telephoned and their parents answered then I was just hung up on without a even a word. It appears to me, I'm sad to say, that much of the integration problems with Muslims in Western society originate from the older generation and it is not surprising that this has filtered down in to the younger generation.
Adrian, Glasgow

Senior Muslims need to spend time with the young and impressionable who are being targeted and recruited by the extremist groups
Jaygee, Letchworth, Herts
I would hope that the visit to Leeds will send a very clear and positive message to all communities in the area shocked and outraged at the recent atrocities in London. However, it is clear that the senior Muslims need to spend time with the young and impressionable who are being targeted and recruited by the extremist groups.
Jaygee, Letchworth, Herts

Having been to the Malaysia on holiday on 5 different occasions, it is one country that embraces all religions. Unlike the Arab nations which seem to think that Islam is the only religion in the world.
Brian, Wigan

Much of the public debate has pertained to the responsibility of the Muslim community to make an active stand against such appalling acts. The reality of the situation, however, is that until integration occurs between communities, there will always be s secular tension, which in turn will be interpreted in numerous ways be it religion, poverty, race. Such integration is the responsibility of everyone and not just the Muslim community, and to that end the effectiveness of such delegations can only be questioned, good as their intentions are.
Anil, London, UK

I've read one comment where someone has said that Muslims describe themselves as Muslim first and then English and that is a bad thing. I am a Christian and I think of myself as a Christian first which goes across borders and boundaries. There is nothing wrong with that at all.
Phil, UK

We can't simply demand that the Muslim community must do all the work of integration and change
Geoff, Westerham
If we are to be a truly multi-cultural society then we can't simply demand that the Muslim community must do all the work of integration and change. The non-Muslims among us also have to make some effort. If we understood a bit more about the teachings of Islam, we might understand what it is we do that so stirs up hatred of us. Sir Iqbal is taking the first steps towards understanding within the Muslim community - who is doing it for the rest of us?
Geoff, Westerham

We could start by discouraging the term 'British Muslim', which is divisive. Catholics, Jews, Buddhists and Atheists don't constantly refer to themselves in this way. Keep your religion to yourself please - that's part of what being British is all about.
Douglas, Milton Keynes, UK

It seems to me that at its root Islam is a separatist movement causing exclusiveness. If you are not in (dress code, diet code, prayer duties, language) then it is very difficult to integrate. Christianity suffered from this in the past and clearly still does in some quarters - but black and white views have no place in a modern society that wishes to be inclusive. Absolutism breeds fundamentalism which breeds fanatics.
James, Nottingham

Perhaps some sorts of community can never be successfully drawn together and it's time that we admitted this uncomfortable truth.
Jamie Shepherd, UK

We haven't learnt a single thing from history
David, Dublin, Ireland
This year we are celebrating the sixtieth of anniversary of the liberation of Europe from a cruel and evil tyrant called Adolf Hitler, who also brainwashed an entire generation of young men and women to commit unspeakably horrific crimes against the fabric of humanity and civilisation. We haven't learnt a single thing from history and people like him are still able to tap into innocent and vulnerable minds.
David, Dublin, Ireland

The very basic tenets of Islam do not make Muslims accommodate any new thoughts. The Muslims consider their religion and way of life to be the best and they are obliged to 'help' their fellow Muslims if they are attacked. The policies of the West isolate and encourage them to behave the way they do. No amount of dialogue or discussions is going to change this reality in the foreseeable future. It is sad and unfortunate, but true.
Srinivasan Toft, Denmark

I'd be interested to hear what "concerns of the Muslim community" in Leeds will give Sir Iqbal a better understanding of why those young men committed acts of mass murder in London last week. Are levels of deprivation and despair in Burley and Beeston of such a profound nature that they justify the slaughter of innocent people? I fully expect Sir Iqbal to come away saying that he cannot for the life of him find any good cause for those attacks. Anything short of that will leave me very suspicious of his true motive.
Barry, Chichester, UK

We British are expected to respect other people's religion and culture; in fact it is demanded of us. Do people of other nations give us British the same respect in our own country? How can we be drawn together with other communities when we have to give up our way in preference to others?
Brian M Keith, Ellesmere, England

Education is the key to drawing the communities together, not just within schools, but across all ages, young and old. It is the duty of all Muslims to become more open about Islam and the writings of the Koran. It is the duty of all non-Muslims to listen and become more informed about Islam and the Koran. Understanding is the key to tolerance. Tolerance is the only weapon against violence.
Vincent Shaw-Morton, West Sussex

People need to feel they are being listened to, are understood and empathised with
Reena, Londo
It is very important for the cross section of communities to dialogue. People need to feel they are being listened to, are understood and empathised with. It is not the time to isolate any particular community, especially those who practise Islam. We all need to look within ourselves at our values and morals and the quality of our thoughts, as that ultimately leads us to perform actions, be they good or bad.
Reena, London

I feel it is the duty of every Muslim in this country to ensure that the very tiny minority that exist are exposed and reported to the appropriate authorities. I knew there was a danger of terrorism, but never in my worst nightmares did I think it would be kids born and bred in the UK.
Qadeer Ahmed, Bucks, England

I never voted for Iqbal Sacranie to be my representative, nor indeed did any of the other 1.5m+ Muslims of the UK. I am sad for the victims of last Thursday's bombings but am even sadder for the hundreds of thousands of innocent victims of US/UK foreign policy!
Imran Siddique, Southend-on-Sea, Essex

Well done to the MCB for reaching out to the faith and no faith community in Leeds and Dewsbury. This is long overdue and I fully support what they are doing. I just hope people in the community take on what they have to say and don't become ostracised or marginalised.
Hanif Rehman, UK

As a Muslim, I am sick and tired of having my religion hijacked
Imtiaz, UK
True Islam rather than the crazy ideology spouted by radical clerics can co-exist with modern Western values. The problem is that some Muslims have twisted the meaning of Islam to suit their personal agenda. Acts of atrocity committed in the name of any religion is wrong. As a Muslim, I am sick and tired of having my religion hijacked. There is a need and a willingness from Muslims to integrate. My father does not have non Muslim friends but I do, as do all my other friends. Therefore to suggest we don't integrate is wrong.
Imtiaz, UK

Tony Blair needs to introduce the ID card that so many, including myself, do not want forced onto us. Every person who receives a card should be required to declare their allegiance to the country, but not necessarily the monarch (this is another bone of contention for many!). Any person not willing to do this should be detained for enquiries to be carried out as to their suitability to call themselves UK citizens.
Geoff, Kent, UK

Having a more secular outlook in our country would help. What are we doing encouraging faith schools? How can a faithful Muslim ever feel he/she belongs to a Western society when its values are not compatible with what they are taught?
Owen , Wales

Any society that emphasises the differences between people rather than the similarities is heading for trouble. People should be free to believe whatever they wish so as long as they accept that freedom applies to all. Individuals should realise that it is up to them to fit in with society and not the other way round. I have definite views on a whole range of subjects which are not necessarily mainstream, but I know I have to adapt those ideas to fit in with reality. Adaptation does not mean compromising those beliefs.
Karen, Warwick, UK

Any chance of a reduction in the number of dirty looks my Bangladeshi girlfriend receives because she is a with a white man?
Darren, Dudley, UK

Young Muslims need to be taught the fundamental belief of their religion: Peace
Vicki, Harrow, UK
Young Muslims need to be taught the fundamental belief of their religion: Peace. Yes, there are sections in the Koran that can be interpreted to mean that killing in the name of Allah or Islam is honourable. But most Muslims would not interpret them this way. There are passages in the Bible that can equally be interpreted in such a way, by people who would want to use it as an excuse to kill. What Muslim elders and teachers should be hammering home to the youth in their community is that anyone who tries brainwashing them to kill in the name of Allah or Islam is not a true follower of the Muslim faith, whatever they might say to the contrary.
Vicki, Harrow, UK

From All bombings of innocent people everywhere, and for whatever reason, are to be condemned. The London bombings however beg a pause to think. They were not committed by Arab Muslims from our region, but by Muslims born and bred in Britain, and educated in British colleges. What prompted them to do such acts? Is it the alienation they suffer? Why has British society, and perhaps European societies as a whole, failed to absorb and integrate these people? A lot can be said about UK foreign policy, Blair's political performance, and his choice to fully tie himself to the US sphere of power due to Britain's economic deficiency and its isolation within the EU.
Mohamed Al-Harbi, Dubai, UAE

From To the murderers and terrorists, I say Islam washes its hands of you. My message to the British government is: Kick out the extremists and the terrorist cells. Shut down any mosques linked to them.
Ali Al-Kaabi, Nasiriya, Iraq

From Evil is a reality and it has to be fought. It is clear to Bush and Blair that there is a link between extremism and the defunct dictatorial regimes in the Middle East, trying to hang on to power by all means, including abetting terror. Repressive regimes have to be ousted, Muslim countries freed and democratised, and poverty irradiated. All this should help wipe out terror.
Mudhaffar, Babel, Iraq

The suicide bombers were ordinary members of the Muslim community, with no previous criminal records. I feel only increased integration of communities will help in understanding and better relations, but Muslim communities cannot be forced to integrate with the rest of society - like minded people group together. Therefore the Muslim community must root out these extremists themselves - or further alienation and misunderstanding of their society will result.
John M., London

I think the a multicultural Britain is a bad idea. There should be one culture, British, and it should be a culture of tolerance and freedom, irrespective of creed, colour or gender
Anon, Ealing

First let me say that I'm not white, but I was born here. I think the a multicultural Britain is a bad idea. There should be one culture, British, and it should be a culture of tolerance and freedom, irrespective of creed, colour or gender. A mono cultural country is what we need.
Anon, Ealing

I am quite concerned that recently UK Muslim scholar Zaki Badawi was denied entry in the US. This follows the denial of Tariq Ramadan and Yusuf Islam. These men are moderate, peaceful, humanitarians. The "Muslim community" is often criticised for not doing enough to have moderate leaders but this is often because they are excluded. This hypocrisy and double-talk is what can drive Muslim youth in the West to extreme measures.
Layla Mohamed, London, UK

I immigrated to Britain from Pakistan eight years ago and I actually mingle and mix with the community at large (i.e. non-Muslims) much more than most Muslims I know who have been born and brought up here. It seems to me that the Muslim areas of the north have evolved into insular ghettos (maybe due to fear of racism or misunderstanding) but this has to change so that communities can understand each other and the Muslim youth in particular feel part of a greater whole. Only then will they feel it their duty to root out these "nefarious elements".
Abid, Bradford. UK

I am a Muslim and most of my friends are not. I've always gotten on well with most people I meet. But I do know some Muslims who refuse to socially interact with non Muslims. I don't think people realise how difficult it can be, given that most UK social life revolves around alcohol and most Muslims don't want to go anywhere near a pub or bar. If people don't interact socially outside of work, then it's difficult for them to become good friends who care for one another - and that's the only way that hate and misunderstanding can be eliminated.
Nadeem Shaikh, London UK

I hope this visit will help. We can't deal with the roots of terrorism with bombs and armies, we need to tackle ignorance and racism. Islam is not the enemy; terrorists are. If people realise this and the Muslim community can finally feel that it's not being unfairly targeted then no-one will listen to the few remaining extremists. Unfortunately, as usual, the US is not helping by banning the head of the Muslim College from travelling to America. The sooner the US realises that not all problems can be solved with guns and rash actions, the sooner we might be able to make some progress.
Ross, Hertfordshire

My vicar has involved the local Muslim community in our services for next Sunday. This initiative builds trusts and understanding between faith communities. It is exactly the opposite of what the bombers hoped to achieve.
Andrew Smith (church organist), Epsom, UK

It is not down to Muslim groups to stop this terrorism, it is down to all of us
Graham, London
It is not down to Muslim groups to stop this terrorism, it is down to all of us. These people are not trying to promote a religion, they are misguided in their belief that murder will help. The more the media keep talking about Muslim this and Islamic that, the worse things will get. I don't recall calls to the Catholic or Protestant communities to resolve the Irish conflicts.
Graham, London

Remove the segregation that exists in our schools. We now have schools run only for Catholics, CofE, Muslims, and others. If our children are divided the conflict of religion will continue. Start with the children and show them that we are all the same no matter our creed or colour.
Paul Robinson, Grimsby, England

This action should have been taken over a decade ago. Knowing full well extremists were entering local mosques and preaching violence and their own barbaric interpretation of Islam, why weren't they stopped in their tracks then? This has brought shame on our Muslim communities who wholeheartedly condone these barbaric acts of violence. We need to root out these extremists and make this country a safer happier place for all colours and creeds. I truly hope the Muslim Council of Britain can send out the message to all the youth and hopefully make the difference.
anon, anon

All these steps are being taken to emphasise that we are all together and united and against Terrorism. The fact of the matter is regardless of what race or religion we belong to, we are all part of humanity and whilst living in this country we are British. This is our mother land and we should love it and respect it. Together United we stand!
Mudassar, Banbury, Oxfordshire

The Muslim Council has taken a bold but necessary first step. This is an encouraging sign to engage the Muslim community and collaborate with it instead of isolating, fearing and branding it as a terrorist community.
Prashanth Parameswaran, Malaysia

Can't we just have one community in our country, the community of people who live in the UK? The insular mentality of some sections of our society, whether forced or chosen is clearly not a good thing. The positive sentiments expressed in the aftermath of last week's evil could the basis of a starting point of something better.
Colin, Twickenham

The way to unite communities is to get rid of the idea of separate "communities". We should see ourselves as part of one single community. If people fitted in a bit more, they wouldn't feel so alienated.
Brendan Fernandes, London, UK

The Muslim Council are behaving in a highly commendable manner, by offering the hand of friendship, to the wider community by engaging in dialogue with relevant groupings. Mutual respect between religions is the way forward, which can only be ascertained by allaying fears and listening to the concerns of local people. Wicked elements in society do not belong in the domain of only one religion. We all have a responsibility to create a better and safer society, understanding through education will go a long way to achieving this objective.
Eddie Espie, Cookstown

I applaud the Muslim Council of Britain's comment that Muslims had a "special responsibility" to help root out "nefarious elements" in their community. Unfortunately, had a more proactive stance to this issue had been taken these bombings may have been avoided.
Andy, Croydon

The Muslim community is one of the least integrated sections of our society
Jim, Birmingham, UK
Whereas a multi-cultural society is a wonderful thing, it is entirely meaningless without integration of peoples and faiths. Sadly, the Muslim community is one of the least integrated sections of our society. More openness from the Muslim community coupled with greater understanding of Islam from those outside of that faith is vital to integrate Muslims into British society.
Jim, Birmingham, UK

I am not sure how much it will achieve but I think it is a good idea. If we can at least try to understand what was going on in the bomber's minds and what led them to take their own lives and the lives of so many others then it may, just may, help us to prevent such attacks from happening in the future. So many people in Britain are understandably confused as to why this act took place and this visit may help to alleviate the confusion a little. I hope something positive comes out of this.
Karen, Paisley, Scotland

We were always taught to respect the words of our elders. Unfortunately too many Muslim leaders are preaching an extreme message to the young who are searching for a sense of direction.
Lee Wilson, London UK

9/11, Bali, Beslan, Madrid, London. After each atrocity we hear moderate Muslims declare 'not in my name'. That is fine. But isn't it time they did something about their disgust? We still seem to see extremism everywhere - perhaps it's not so far from the mainstream after all? If the moderates are genuinely sickened by the London bombs then I for one, want more than words. It's time for action.
Ben Marks, London

By remembering we are human beings first. All religious beliefs must be a personal choice and should not be compulsory just because you were born into a specific family or country. The London bombing showed that it didn't matter what faith you believed in. How can we march for peace or poverty when there is this kind of hate.
Tom, Scotland

It all depends on how every individual defines themselves. We can never live in a truly secular society if people put their religion before their humanity and nationality.
Griff, Cardiff, Wales

Britain is a nation of tolerance and simply by spreading the truth I believe that the British people will understand and not discriminate. Individuals killed last Thursday, not a community or religion, and when people understand I believe that our communities will not be divided.
Michael Joslin, New Malden, UK

The teachings of the Koran are at variance with our (Western) way of life
George, Twickenham, Middlesex
This delegation needs to address the basic fault-line of Islam and its inter-relationship with the Western secular democracies. It appears that the teachings of the Koran are at variance with our (Western) way of life. This causes Islamic youth to be distanced and alienated from Western society causing resentment and raising the spectre of the suicide bomber. Perhaps we need to make Islam more suited to the western concepts of freedom and democracy and more pragmatic, and reformist in its outlook and relationships with others. Unless we have this change then I fear that the words of Muslim youths interviewed on Channel 4 News last night, 14th July, in which they intimated that further acts may be carried out will only come too true. Now is the time for change and understanding - carpe diem.
George Hinton, Twickenham, Middlesex

The focus is, once again, on "understanding" the Muslim community's "issues". You only have to listen to the four young Muslim men interviewed by the BBC in Leeds on Thursday to see the problem. Although they claimed to be shocked and disgusted at the bombings it was not too long until they referred to "American and English" actions against "our brothers and sisters in our countries" (presumably Iraq and Afghanistan). Clearly for these guys Britain is simply the place they live in, their first consideration is their fellow Muslims, there appears to be no wider sense of belonging or loyalty either to their fellow citizens or country. As long as Muslims put religious loyalty before all else then unity cannot be achieved. Those who are unable to integrate fully and peacefully into a multi-cultural environment with mutual respect should have the courage and honour to choose to leave to whichever Muslim state is prepared to accept them.
Andy D, Oxford UK



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