Following the Brussels attacks, anti-racist campaigners issued the following statements:
Sabby Dhalu, Stand up to Racism Co-Convenor said:
“We send heartfelt condolences to those that have lost loved ones and wish a speedy recovery to those injured in yesterday’s horrific attacks in Brussels. We must root out such hatred. We hope the surviving perpetrators are brought to justice.
“We must also stand up to those that seek to portray all Muslims, refugees and immigrants as terrorists. The majority of terrorist attacks occur in the Arab world and Africa with very little column inches and coverage in comparison, and it is precisely atrocities such as these that refugees are fleeing.
“Too often there is a tendency to place an equals sign between Islam and terrorism. #StopIslam is already trending on social media. This narrative is leading to an increase in anti-Muslim hate crime. After the Paris attacks in November last year, anti-Muslim hate crime increased by 300 per cent. Such hatred must also be rooted out.”
Maz Saleem, Daughter of the late Mohammed Saleem who was murdered in an Islamophobic attack said:
“My deepest sympathies and condolences go to all those that lost loved ones and were injured in the attacks in Brussels. I feel very strongly about such incidents because my father was murdered by a Ukranian fascist terrorist and I am still struggling to cope with this tragic loss in my family.
“My father was a Muslim and he was murdered by the same fascist terrorist who bombed Mosques in the West Midlands and became known as “The Tipton Bomber”. Quite rightly we do not equate all white people with this terrorist, but why are all Muslims treated as potential terrorists?
“My father and my family are Muslims and the victims of terrorism. In August Mushin Ahmed an 81 year old Muslim pensioner was murdered in Rotherham. I fear there could be more similar attacks if the approach of depicting all Muslims as terrorists continues.”
Weyman Bennett, Unite Against Fascism Joint Secretary said:
“Our thoughts are with all those affected by the recent terrorist attacks. It is crucial that politicians and the media do not concede to a narrative that portrays all Muslims as terrorists. Firstly because it is not true. Secondly because we do not adopt the same approach when the perpetrators are white racists and fascists. Scapegoating all white people for Anders Breivik’s attacks in Norway seems ridiculous, but this is exactly the response when terrorist attacks occur in the name of Islam. Thirdly this is the climate in which far right and fascist organisations grow.”