From the UK’s Independent Online:
The family of one of the London suicide bombers has revealed how it has become “criminalised, persecuted and vilified” amid growing fears of a racial backlash in the wake of the atrocities.
The despair expressed by Mohammed Sidique Khan’s family is the first tangible evidence of how the blasts have affected those close to the bombers.
Sir Iqbal Sacranie, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, revealed the experiences of Khan’s family after meeting the bomber’s mother-in-law, Farida Patel, 65, at her request. “Not only do they have to face the loss and what has happened,” Sir Iqbal said, “but they now feel utterly vilified. The son-in law might be a criminal but they feel the family has been criminalised. [Mrs Patel] is afraid to go home. [It’s] an area where the BNP exist in big numbers.”
Hasina Khan, estranged wife of the bomber, and her mother- a former secondary school teacher – are both too frightened to return to their homes in Dewsbury for fear of retribution in a community where racial tensions have been tangible in the past 48 hours.
The family’s fears were revealed as a clearer picture emerged of Khan’s transition from respected family man to the suicide bomber responsible for the Edgware Road blast that left seven people dead. The Independent has learnt that Khan separated from Hasina late last year, around the time she fell pregnant with their second child, because they had so many disagreements about his “approach to life”. A source said a critical factor in the separation was his growing religious fervour…
Sir Iqbal visited Leeds yesterday to begin an investigation into radicalism among Muslim youths. He visited four youth centres in 24 hours and said he had found no evidence of extremism. But he said many youths had expressed their frustration over issues including British foreign policy and the political conflict in the Middle East, and felt that their opinions were not being heard…
It is interesting to note that the bombers themselves claim they do it for Islam, but Muslim representatives claim they do it out of political frustration.