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Wednesday, 3 October, 2001, 07:26 GMT 08:26 UK
Faith leaders unite against intolerance
Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Muslim leader Dr Zaki Badawi, George Carey and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor
Religious leaders have already condemned the attacks
Muslim leaders are to join representatives of other faiths to launch a drive against intolerance in the UK.

As the government outlines new measures to combat anti-Muslim hate crimes, religious leaders will meet at the London Civic Forum to announce the joint stand against violence.

They will sign a public statement condemning attacks in the wake of the terrorist strikes on the United States.

Everyone has extremists in their society - to say extremism only comes from Muslims and Islam is unfortunate

Ajmal Masroor
Muslim Council of Britain
President Bush and Tony Blair have gone out of their way to emphasise that the terrorists were not representative of Islam and call for calm.

But politicians' condemnation has not prevented a number of hate crimes in the UK linked with anger at the World Trade Center attacks.

Ajmal Masroor, a spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain, said it was hoped the meeting would help tackle the "actions, behaviour and attitude" which had made life uncomfortable for UK Muslims.

Many victims

"It can show to the masses that whatever faith you come from, you still stand for harmony, peace and justice and you don't tolerate anyone being intolerant.

"Unfortunately, [intolerance] has happened to many people around the UK.

"If America and Britain or the allies decide to bomb Afghanistan it may repeat itself and it may become worse."

Mr Masroor said his own family had suffered abuse.

Global extremism

"My sister has been called a terrorist as she was going to school.

"Everyone has extremists in their society. To say extremism only comes from Muslims and Islam is unfortunate.

"We have seen extremists in the Irish conflict.

"Not only do we see religious extremists, we have secular extremists.

"It is unacceptable in any civilised society."

Mahammmed Yunnis, Pakistani Professionals Assoc.
"It's naive to think we're only talking about cultural aspects"
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