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July 26, 2005

Israeli-style tactics ‘counterproductive,’ Muslim leaders tell police

Muslim leaders remain critical of certain aspects of the way the community is being used to help future terrorist attacks in Britain following their summit with the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair on Monday night.

In particular, concern is being expressed about the adoption of Israeli-style tactics that has prompted fears about Muslim youths that they could become the next victim of mistaken identity after last Friday’s armed police killing of an innocent Brazilian at Stockwell Tube station.

At the meeting, which was described as “open and frank,” Muslim leaders warned that the disclosure of a shoot-to-kill policy was undermining the confidence and trust the police were trying to build with the community, The Muslim News has learnt.

“Israeli tactics were counterproductive and provoked the situation,” the police were told. “If lessons were to be learnt from the occupied territories, it was rather the political process that stemmed the violence,” one of the Muslim leaders said.

Like the previous summits with Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, last week, several expressed their disenchantment about the way the onus was being placed upon the Muslim community to identity so-called suicide bombers. “It is the police job, we are not detectives or spies,” the police were told. However, the Muslims said the community would continue to cooperate with the police.

During the meeting, it was understood that the police spoke of difficulties in the investigations, saying that people were not coming forward with information even though it was believed that it was a parent who identified one of last week’s suspects.

Muslim leaders also repeated their demand for a full judicial inquiry into the bombings. Added to this, it was proposed that that there should be a McPherson-type inquiry into last week’s police killing.

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