Monday, February 05, 2007

Slights and suspicions

Roy Hattersley"I strongly favour homicidal fanatics being caught, prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned for long periods. So do most residents of Sparkbrook and Sparkhill, districts of Birmingham that I used to represent in parliament. But I fear that the events of last week - arrests without charge and off-the-record briefings about abduction and decapitation - will make them less enthusiastic about seeing all forms of extremism stamped out. Press has combined with police to make them feel that the whole Islamic community is under suspicion. And they resent it. Although very few of them will ever feel any sympathy for suicide bombers, their alienation from the forces of law and order creates a hinterland of sorts. The terrorists will shelter in the emotional comfort that comes from seeing the gulf widened between Muslims and the criminal justice system." —Lord Hattersley

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