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Friday, July 07, 2006

7/7 Anniversary: How London Carried On

When four bombs exploded in London a year ago today, for a moment it seemed as if life would never be the same again. But what's really changed? The city quickly got back to normal; the government didn't get the support it wanted for its clampdown on terror suspects; our multiracial society is still thriving....

[F]ears of a dramatic change in non-Muslim attitudes to Muslims [did not] materialise. A recent survey by the Pew Global Attitudes Project found that 63% of non-Muslim Britons have a favourable opinion of Muslims, barely down on the 2004 figure. Those attitudes were more positive than in the US, Germany or Spain. To illustrate the contrast, two years after the Madrid bombings, only 29% of Spaniards have a benign view of Muslims. In Britain, less than a third said they viewed Muslims as violent, compared to 60% in Spain and 45% in the US.

That may not be how it feels. British Muslims, indeed British Asians generally, speak of extra tension in their lives, to add to the anxiety caused after September 11. Many say they are eyed suspiciously, especially on trains and buses. Young Asian men joke that they know better than to travel with a rucksack. [Link]

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