U.K. Muslims and South Asians suffered several reprisal attacks after terrorists tried to explode car bombs in London and murder people at Glasgow International Airport, the Muslim Council of Britain said yesterday.
Over the past week, a Muslim man was stabbed in Manchester, northwest England, a Pakistani-run convenience store was attacked in Glasgow and a premises next to an Islamic center in the Scottish city had an explosive device thrown through the window.
``We've already had some in Scotland, Muslim businesses have been attacked,'' Muslim Council of Britain spokesman Inayat Bunglawala said in a telephone interview. Muslims in the U.K. number 1.6 million, or about 2.8 percent of the population, according to the 2001 population census. The Muslim Council of Britain is an umbrella group founded in 1997 by more than 250 Muslim organizations.
On June 29, police officers dismantled two car bombs made from gas canisters, gasoline and nails parked in London's theater and shopping district. A day later, two men rammed a Jeep Cherokee, filled with flammable material, into a terminal entrance at Glasgow airport. Eight people have been arrested in connection with the plot. All are Muslims who worked in the state-run National Health Service.
Ghulam Mustafa Naz, 47, a Pakistani-Syrian, was stabbed in Manchester's Blackley district on June 30 in a brutal assault, a Greater Manchester Police spokeswoman said. No motive has yet been established, the spokeswoman said. He was dressed in a track suit at the time, a police spokeswoman said.
Convenience Store Rammed
In Glasgow, a driver repeatedly reversed a car into the convenience store on July 3, before setting fire to it, a Strathclyde Police spokesman said.
In another attack, a Century 21 real estate agency was targeted with an incendiary device on July 1. The office is next to the Sarajia Islamic Studies center and its back windows are adjacent, John Darrock an agent at Century 21 said.
``Some sort of device was thrown through the upstairs toilet window.'' Darrock said. The intense heat melted the water pipes in the rest room so the fire was extinguished before it was discovered, Darrock said.
The real estate agents was attacked ``by mistake'' and the Sarajia Center next door was probably the intended target, Bunglawala said.
There hasn't been an increase in racial attacks in Glasgow following the terrorist attacks, Strathclyde Police said.
``Individuals are responsible for their actions -- not communities,'' Alex Salmond, Scotland's first minister and head of the Scottish Parliament, told reporters on June 30. ``No community in Scotland should feel threatened or under suspicion because of this incident.'' [Link]
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