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Last Updated: Monday, 25 July, 2005, 11:52 GMT 12:52 UK
UK Muslims feel 'under suspicion'
Exclusive picture of Jean Charles de Menezes (BBC)
Some Muslims are afraid after the shooting of Mr Menezes (far right)
Senior members of the UK's Muslim community have voiced fears the London bombing hunt is making innocent people feel they are under suspicion.

Labour peer Lord Ahmed said many Muslims in the north of England believed they could become victims of mistaken identity by armed police.

And Azad Ali, chairman of the Muslim Safety Forum, said many young Muslims were reluctant to leave their homes.

"They fear that they're all suspected bombers," he told BBC Radio Five Live.

"We've received many emails, we've received telephone calls, about how young Muslims don't want to use the Tube now."

I've been to Bradford, Birmingham and Sheffield during the weekend and [Muslim] people are very concerned
Lord Ahmed

Police have called on the whole community to be vigilant when travelling on public transport and report anything they think to be suspicious.

But the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, has stressed no section of society should be singled out.

The shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, the Brazilian man police wrongly suspected of being a suicide bomber, has heightened fears that innocent people could be caught up in the investigation.

Lord Ahmed said some sections of the Muslim community were afraid they could also become a victim of mistaken identity.

How do I know I won't just be picked up and labelled as a terrorist?
Abid Khan, Manchester

"I've been to Bradford, Birmingham and Sheffield during the weekend and people are very concerned," he said.

They fear they could, like Mr Menezes, be victims of the shoot-to-kill policy or be mistakenly arrested as the police gather intelligence on the Muslim community.

Lord Ahmed also said it was possible illegal immigrants would run if challenged by the police.

"We know that there are many thousands or hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants and if they're challenged by the police, they're not going to stand there and produce their ID, they obviously will try and run.

"And whilst we need to catch those illegal immigrants or asylum seekers, nevertheless we can't shoot them because they're not terrorists."

Anyone with dark skin who was running for a bus or Tube could be thought to be about to detonate a bomb, he said.




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