Despite efforts to protect British muslims amid fears of a backlash, a higher than usual level of abuse has been reported. This includes hate mail and a number of attacks on mosques, but scenes ofcriminal damage do not tell the whole story. Muslims say they have also received many messages of support from outside their community from those who realize they have no sympathy for the bombers behind the suspected al-Qaeda attack.
Nonetheless traders in London’s famous Brick Lane were not taking any chances. Usually a bustling centre for the Asian community, on Monday, many shops remained closed.
One shopkeeper said: “Normally, it is not this quiet at all. As you see, I have got a lot of stuff out there. It is very very quiet. It is still a tense situation at the moment. I mean, business has declined so it is terrible news for the business community here. It is terrible.” Amid fears of further attacks, Britain’s interior minister has met leaders of several faiths to devise a plan to protect minorites. Despite scenes like this, Britain’s leading campaigner for racial equality,Trevor Phillips, says the country has been spared a major backlash.