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Friday, August 18, 2006

For London's Muslims, Fear Of a Backlash: Many Say They Feel Alienated In Wake of Foiled Airliner Plot

Kashif Rashid keeps his chin shaved clean, his T-shirt loose over his blue jeans, his words lilting with a strong London accent. But the 28-year-old educator was just as Muslim as the old bearded men in the flowing robes sitting next to him Thursday night. And being Muslim, Rashid said, means something different now.

His relatives and friends have already heard hints of it while walking London's melting-pot streets.

"Stuff like, 'Why don't you go back to your own country?' and, 'I'm staying away from you.' That type of thing," said Rashid, who runs an adult education center. "Things have definitely changed. . . . You subconsciously fear that people will treat you different. You prepare yourself for what you would say if anyone says something to you, and you never felt like that before." [Link]

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