PRESS RELEASE: IHRC issues precautionary advice for UK Muslims on eve of war on Iraq


Islamic Human Rights Commission

PRESS RELEASE: IHRC issues precautionary advice for UK Muslims on eve of war on Iraq

19 March 2003

In preparation for the inevitable and ominous war on Iraq, IHRC issues an overview of security advice for the UK Muslim community. The IHRC fears a heavy backlash, especially from the far-right, against the British Muslim community, in both the run-up to and whilst the war against the Iraqi people is in full swing.

In anticipation of the expected backlash, IHRC has taken steps to compile security and precautionary advice for UK Muslims, covering the following areas:

• Services provided by the police
• Harassment by Police and Security Services
• Precautionary Measures for the Community and Community Institutions
• 24 Safety Tips for Muslim Women

IHRC fears that the potential backlash over Iraq war may eclipse the levels of violence and harassment experienced by British Muslims post-September 11 and -1991 Gulf War. IHRC advises Muslims residing in the United Kingdom and elsewhere to remain extra vigilant and adopt security precautions to safeguard themselves and their properties as America and Britain prepare to attack Iraq.

Despite statements from the Prime Minister and other party leaders that the war on “terrorism” and Iraq is not a war on Islam, the IHRC and other Muslim monitoring groups have record an increase in harassment by British security apparatus.

IHRC Chairman Massoud Shadjareh stated:

“British Muslims are pondering the serious implications the war on Iraq will have for them. This unpopular war should not be used as an excuse or smokescreen for a return to arbitrary arrests and internment of Muslims as witnessed during the 1991 Gulf War or the violence experienced post-9/11. We are extremely concerned at the possibility of this. All of this will have the effect of little more than promoting a ‘siege mentality’ amongst UK Muslims and we wish to avoid this. We hope that IHRC’s precautionary advice will allow British Muslims to temper the awaited backlash and enable them to respond effectively to any harassment”.

To read the ‘Precautionary advice for UK Muslims on the eve of war’, visit:

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Islamic Human Rights Commission
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