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United Kingdom
Ministers Meet with Muslim Community Leaders
September 24, 2001

Home Secretary David Blunkett met with representatives of the Muslim faith with each party reaffirming their condemnation of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington D.C.

The meeting was also attended Tessa Jowell, Secretary of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport and John Denham, Home Office Minister with responsibility for policing and community safety.

Mr Blunkett reassured representatives from the Muslim Community that the Government and the police will do everything in their power to prevent the Muslim or any other faith communities from being abused for the heinous acts carried out in the United States last week.

David Blunkett said:

"I unreservedly condemn any attacks on Muslims or Muslim communities. Every right thinking person in our country are united in our defence of democracy."

"This is not a question of east versus west, it is about protecting the freedoms our democracy enshrines. These are values shared and upheld by Muslims throughout Britain. I particularly wish to echo the Foreign Secretary's praise for the leader of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf."

"I have made it absolutely clear to the police that protecting those under threat or attack is an absolute priority and I will continue to monitor this closely. I welcome wholeheartedly the message of solidarity with our Government that I have received from members of the Muslim community today which reflects their absolute condemnation of the events of Tuesday September 11th."

"Now is a time to strengthen our democracy by drawing on the participation and commitment in society of all our citizens, from all faiths and communities."

"The Government welcomes the response of the representatives of the Muslim community over the last week. Their condemnation - and that of other faith communities - of events in the USA is shared by the whole country. In these testing times it is important we are vigilant against racist elements in society who see an opportunity to stir up tensions in our communities. We must stand firm against them."

Home Office Minister John Denham said that the Government was looking at practical ways of supporting communities and in particular, have had initial discussions about a possible helpline number being set up for communities at risk.

END


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Crown copyright material reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO.