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Friday, 26 October, 2001, 11:38 GMT 12:38 UK
Muslims 'leaving UK' over war
Muslim praying
Some Muslims are re-considering their life in Britain
Military action in Afghanistan has convinced some British Muslims to leave the UK.

Reports suggest some have travelled to Afghanistan to fight with the Taleban, while others have returned to Muslim countries to pursue a purer Islamic life.

Among them is 'Abdul', who left London for Pakistan a month ago, taking his wife and young child with him.

He told the BBC he wants his family to be brought up in a "decent" society, adding: "I see Britain as a decadent society, full of pornography, full of crime."


I think we're alienating a vast majority of second generation Muslims

Ajmol Masroor
Islamic Society of Britain
Abdul is convinced the war on terror is a war on Islam, with innocent Afghan civilians being bombed indiscriminately.

He said: "I believe it's an action that shows the hypocrisy of Britain and America when on one hand to avenge the deaths of innocent civilians they're bombing yet more innocent civilians.

"Yet if I was to stand up and support the Taleban I'm seen as a terrorist. If I stand up and support Osama bin Laden I'm seen as a terrorist."

'People are angry'

Abdul says he is against those who attacked the United States, but remains convinced that bin Laden was not responsible.

The possibility of British Muslims being alienated by the attacks in Afghanistan is a danger also highlighted by Ajmol Masroor, of the Islamic Society of Britain.

He said: "Right now, with the current policy of attacking innocent Afghanis, I think we're alienating a vast majority of second generation Muslims."

Labour MP Khalid Mahmood
MP Mahmood: 'No need to leave Britain'
Mr Masroor told BBC News Online that many people are angry that Muslims face attack in Afghanistan while little is being done to protect Palestinians from Israeli military action.

He said: "It's giving people a real reason to re-consider their life in Britain and that's not what we want. We want a multicultural, tolerant Britain."

Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Perry Barr, said Muslims should not feel they have to leave Britain.

He said: "There's a tremendous amount of work being done...the fact the government is now looking even to bring in incitement to religious hatred gives a bit more protection to Muslims."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
British Muslim 'Abdul' on Today
"I see Britain as a hypocritical state"

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See also:

09 Oct 01 | Briefing
Muslim Brits 'concerned'
22 Oct 01 | Scotland
Police pledge to Muslim community
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