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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 July, 2005, 15:30 GMT 16:30 UK
Faith groups in talks with police
Glasgow mosque
Fears have been voiced about attacks on Muslims
Police have stepped up efforts to reassure Scotland's ethnic communities following the London bomb attacks.

Lothian and Borders police held their own gathering of faith groups, following a meeting between the prime minister and the UK's Muslim leaders.

As well as regular meetings, new measures include more security around "vulnerable" places of worship, and daily reviews of suspected race crimes.

Strathclyde Police have said they are also monitoring the situation closely.

Speaking after the meeting in Edinburgh, Deputy Chief Constable Malcolm Dickson said: "We felt it was vitally important following the bombings in London to pull together community leaders to discuss ways in which we can all help each other through this difficult time."

Scene of bus explosion
The London bombings claimed 56 lives

The Edinburgh force said it was investigating racist verbal threats and graffiti on local mosques, but there had been no reported increase in racist hate crime in Scotland following the suicide bombings in London.

Mr Dickson added: "My message is clear: we will not tolerate racism and we will pursue racists as a priority using all of the resources we have and using the full force of the laws available to us."

Yasir Suleiman, professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Edinburgh University, addressed Tuesday night's gathering.

He said: "Fears were expressed about what members of the fringe element might do, such as attack Muslim businesses and that kind of thing.

"They wanted to be reassured that enough is being done by police to try and stop this from happening. On the whole people left with a fairly positive outlook about what the police want to do."

The police response should be measured, and should not result in panic stations
Professor Suleiman
Edinburgh University

Professor Suleiman said that Muslim representatives were calling for a long term approach by the community.

He said: "They believe there is a need to deal with the disaffected youth so they are calling for resources to create outlets for young Muslims in Edinburgh and East Lothian to involve them in sport activities and clubs."

He said that the police needed to remain vigilant but that "the response should be measured, and should not result in panic stations".

Representatives of the Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Jewish communities were invited to the meeting, along with various business, council and transport leaders.


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