Paris attacks: Clayhall Muslim ‘terrified’ of reprisals
- Credit: AP
In the wake of the Paris attacks on Friday, a Muslim member of East London Three Faiths Forum has said she is “terrified” travelling into central London.
Khola Hasan, an executive member of the group from Clayhall, who wears a hijab, said she feared anti-Muslim reprisals.
“I think Paris was absolutely dreadful – it’s horrible, it disgusts me that these people do it in the name of Islam,” she said.
The terrorist attacks, carried out by Islamic State supporters, killed 129 people – a death toll which could increase, with many victims critically injured.
She explained: “Muslims get the long end of the stick, I was really scared going into the city this week – I was absolutely terrified.
“I’ve heard of attacks taking place on women in London since Friday and it’s really scary.
“This is not a Muslim problem – we all need to stand together now more than ever.”
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Mankamal Singh, of gurdwara Singh Sabha London East, High Road, Seven Kings, said Sikhs were “very aware” of the threat of Islamophobic attacks on the community.
“Sikhs stand out as a community, we have been the target of retaliation attacks before,” he said. “We have to stand in solidarity, we have to come together to make sure these things don’t happen.”
Redbridge borough commander Det Ch Supt Sue Williams told the Recorder there had been several reports of hate crime on Wednesday morning, which were mainly road rage.
“In terms of affecting the Muslim community there are very few,” she said.
“If any get reported they are being reviewed at our management meetings, just to make sure we have an appropriate response.
“We will take seriously any racial hate crime that comes through and they will be fully investigated.”
Det Ch Supt Williams explained Redbridge Police’s faiths officer had already made contact with religious organisations in the borough. Most of the Paris terrorists were home grown from France and Belgium, but Bashir Chaudhry, of the Ilford Islamic Centre, believes radicalisation is not a major issue in Ilford.
Speaking about the deradicalisation policies in Redbridge, he said: “We have programmes for the young people, getting more engagement with education, to respect other peoples.
“The best way is the example of your own life – if you conduct a good life people will follow you.”
Mr Chaudhry, also chairman of the League of British Muslims, added: “We whole heartedly condemn this incident which is barbaric and Muslims do not support this in any way.
“The people who did this horrible act are not true Muslims, they are using Islam for their own motives.”