Page last updated at 09:23 GMT, Friday, 7 July 2006 10:23 UK

Plea to Muslims to use politics

Shabbir Dastgir
Mr Dastgir says Muslims must use politics to air their grievances

The Muslim community needs to do more to encourage members to channel their disaffection in a constructive way in the wake of 7/7, a group has said.

Huddersfield Student Shabbir Dastgir, a member of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee, said he had not seen any change in the actions of the community.

He said young Muslims must be encouraged to express their discontent through politics.

Three of the four London bombers grew up in Mr Dastgir's home county.

He said Muslim leaders expressed "sincere remorse" in the aftermath of the London bombings.

Unless these issues are addressed we are unfortunately going to see more innocent people dying
Shabbir Dastgir

But he added: "Where the failure has been is that the Muslim community has not sat down and looked at itself and said 'Where did we go wrong and how do we take responsibility for what we do to make sure that something like that does not happen again?'

"I have not seen any programme, any initiative, any project in the Islamic community that tries to address this through education and raising awareness.

"I feel saddened to say that it is just a matter of time. It will happen again. Unless these issues are addressed we are unfortunately going to see more innocent people dying.

"The perception I am getting from mosques, community centres and the Muslim establishment in general is that they have sincere remorse but they do not have any practical measures.

"We [the Muslim Public Affairs Committee] are pushing one major agenda and that is every mosque, every Muslim organisation, every community group must develop a syllabus of education about the UK political system.

"Every single Muslim must be taught that it is perfectly fine to have views of what the British government is doing in Iraq or Afghanistan, but what you must do is learn to channel that in a constructive way.

"There are policymakers who represent your views; it is critical you hold these people, your MPs, to account.

Irshad Hussain and Shehzad Tanweer [pictured on screen]
Mr Hussain believes someone from Beeston holds vital information

"If you are not happy with what is happening make sure the people in power get that signal by not voting for them.

"It's only by engaging with politics in Britain that your voice can be heard."

Irshad Hussain lives in Beeston, Leeds, and is a friend and neighbour of Aldgate bomber Shehzad Tanweer's family.

He also fears another atrocity will happen because the police and security services have so far failed to trace the mastermind behind 7/7.

He is convinced the bombings were carried out "by four normal boys who were brainwashed".

"The most amazing thing was that they were just normal people, there wasn't the slightest hint of what they were going to do," said Mr Hussain.

He believes someone in the local community still holds vital evidence which could lead the police to whoever planned the 7/7 attacks.

'Whose motivation?'

"I still believe there are people who know what went on but they are not coming forward and helping the police, " he said. "They should be coming forward, not hiding.

"How do we stop this happening again when we know we could be next?

"To stop that you have to find out who motivated these British kids.

"I strongly believe that it could happen anywhere. When I am travelling or shopping I am very, very careful, looking around at people, which I never used to do.

"Unless somebody comes forward and we find out who planned this terrible thing, God knows what they will be planning next."

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