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Friday, 5 October, 2001, 17:59 GMT 18:59 UK
Blunkett offers support to Muslims
David Blunkett at the Markazi mosque
Blunkett met Muslims offering prayers for US victims
Home Secretary David Blunkett has condemned recent "revenge" attacks on Muslims during a visit to a mosque.

Mr Blunkett met local Muslims and community leaders at the Markazi Jamia Mosque and Islamic Centre in his Sheffield constituency on Friday.

They had gathered to offer special prayers for the victims of the 11 September terror attacks in the United States.

Speaking at the mosque, the home secretary said: "It is vital that at times like this we stand together and unite around the values we share."


Christians and Jews, Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus are committed together to a world of peace and to living in harmony in our own communities

Home Secretary David Blunkett

"I am here to indicate solidarity with the leaders of the Muslim communities across the whole of this region, all of whom are wholly committed to the work that we are doing to combat terrorism."

Mr Blunkett said he "utterly condemned" attacks on Muslim people in Britain following the US tragedy.

He urged people not to react with "hate in their hearts".

"The sick people who have spat at women wearing the hijab, attacked taxi drivers or committed other attacks on ethnic minorities supposedly in revenge have no place in this country," he said.

Confidence boost

"It is vital that at times like this we stand together and unite around the values we share.

"Christians and Jews, Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus are committed together to a world of peace and to living in harmony in our own communities."

Local councillors and members of the Sheffield Racial Equality Council heard Mr Blunkett's speech.

Peter Moore, director of the REC, said the home secretary's visit would have boosted the local Asian community's confidence in light of the recent attacks on the US.

"It shows the concern that he has got as home secretary and also as a local MP that he took the time to come today and it has been very much appreciated by the local community."


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See also:

03 Oct 01 | Scotland
Shock after 'fire attack' on mosque
24 Sep 01 | Asia-Pacific
Australian Muslims attacked
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