Muslims call for more protection

By Liz Stephens

Muslim groups are demanding a stronger response to the wave of anti-Islamic violence they say is sweeping Europe and the UK.

The call follows the fire-bombing of the Glasgow premises of charity Islamic Relief last Thursday, which is the latest in a series of attacks on Muslim properties and places of worship in recent weeks.

Earlier in the week, Metropolitan police commander Shaun Sawyer told a meeting of British Muslims that police were responding to a growing threat of far-right extremist violence.

The MCB is calling on the Commons home affairs committee to look into the issue.

MCB secretary general Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari said: “There is absolutely no justification for these unprovoked attacks. We are gravely concerned at the muted official response to these developments and are seeking clarification.”

Dr Abdul Bari also claimed that demonisation of British Muslims in the media had led to the creation of “a favourable climate for racist fanatics to operate and make cheap political gains”.

“We eagerly await the outcome of police investigations into these attacks and trust the authorities will assume their full responsibility to ensure that Muslim property and places of worship do not become the soft targets of racist bigots and Islamophobes,” he added.

Habib Malik, head of Islamic Relief Scotland, said the fire at the charity shop in Glasgow was “a huge blow for the local community”.

“Unfortunately, due to the fact we have the word ‘Islamic’ in our name we are often an easy target for certain racist and Islamaphobic groups and individuals,” he added.

Police are looking for two white males, aged between 18 and 25, in connection with the incident.