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Friday, 27 October, 2000, 11:20 GMT 12:20 UK
Straw briefed on mosque attacks
Jack Straw
Jack Straw promises action over racist violence
Leaders of the UK's Muslim community have held talks with Home Secretary Jack Straw in the wake of allegations of attacks by vandals on mosques.

Muslim community leaders urged the government to condemn Israeli action against Palestinians and told Mr Straw that 20 mosques had been vandalised since the resurgence of violence in the Middle East.

Mr Straw pledged an investigation into the allegations, saying the UK Government would act to prevent attacks on either the Muslim or Jewish communities.

Thursday's 90-minute meeting followed similar talks with members of the Board of Deputies of British Jews on Tuesday.

Board members outlined to Mr Straw evidence of a catalogue of incidents, including attacks on synagogues.

That meeting came after the multiple stabbing of Orthodox Jew David Myers in Stamford Hill, north London, last week.

Mr Myers was stabbed repeatedly while travelling on a bus in the heart of the Jewish community.

An Algerian, Nabil Ould Eddine, has since been charged with attempted murder.

Stabbing condemned

Mr Straw condemned the stabbing, saying there was no "excuse or justification for such violence".

And he acknowledged that racist and anti-Semitic incidents had increased in recent days, following the escalation of violence in the Middle East.

He said on Tuesday: "The government and the police are aware of the increased tensions affecting Jewish and Muslim communities related to events in the Middle East.

Police are making regular contact with community groups and are "ready to respond," Mr Straw said.

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See also:

27 Oct 00 | Middle East
Israel braced for violence
24 Oct 00 | Middle East
Barak pushes for coalition deal
23 Oct 00 | Middle East
Anger and disappoinment over Arab summit
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