British Muslims claim being terrorized by police
Regional-UK, Politics, 6/7/2006
British journalist Yvonne Ridley urged Muslims on Wednesday to end cooperation with the police following the latest anti-terrorist raid that led to the shooting of 23-year-old Mohammed Abdul Kahar.
Ridley, a Muslim convert, said police were "terrorizing" the country's 1.8 million community and that Muslims should adopt a "zero tolerance" policy of withholding cooperation.
"I don't think they should communicate with the police until they show respect to the community," she said in an interview with BBC Radio Four's Today program.
Her call comes after 250 officers carried out a pre-dawn raid on Abdul Kahar's family house in east London last Friday, but have so far not been able to find any evidence of chemical weapons as alleged in the justification for the intelligence-led operation.
Ridley, who is a member of the anti-war Respect Party, said that the operation was "way over the top." If the police thought there were any chemical weapons, they should have "evacuated" the area first, she said.
The police, she said, were "unfairly" targeting the Muslim community. There had been more than 3,000 arrests which had led to less than a dozen convictions, she said.
Muslim community leaders who met with senior police officers believed that they were getting access and influence when in fact they were "getting neither," the journalist said.
The Muslim community in east London have voiced anger at the behavior of the police and plan to hold a protest this weekend about the latest raid.
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