Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Afraid to Sit Next to a Muslim on a Bus? Londoner's Admit That, Yes, They Are

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Afraid to Sit Next to a Muslim on a Bus? Londoner's Admit That, Yes, They Are

Article excerpt


ONE in six Londoners admits moving seats on the bus or Tube to get away from a passenger they believe may be Muslim.

The figure, revealing how people's fears of terrorism have damaged the city's community relations, is laid bare in an exclusive Evening Standard/YouGov poll. More than a third admit that in the past 12 months they have felt nervous or uncomfortable while travelling near a person of Asian or north African appearance.

Of these, half say they have moved seats or deliberately sat away from them.

Almost 80 per cent confess to such behaviour two, three or more times. The findings suggest the capital has become a less trusting and more divided city since the 7/7 bombings by Islamist extremists last year.

Londoners back tough measures to catch terrorists. Some 62 per cent endorse police demands for powers to detain suspected terrorists for up to 90 days without charge.

Only 26 per cent say the current limit of 28 days is right and just six would revert to the old limit of 14 days.

Among nonwhites, support for detentions is only slightly lower at 55 per cent.

Ministers who are planning to put the proposal to a vote will be pleased that the biggest supporters are Conservative - 72 per cent of them - despite leader David Cameron being against 90 days.

Labour's plans for ID cards get a thumbsdown as Londoners think they would not work in the battle against terrorism. Some 59 per cent say the cards would probably or definitely not help, compared with 35 per cent who think they would.

Most Londoners, however, want to be fair to everybody. Despite long queues at airports since the latest terror alert, they are mostly opposed to special checks only for men who fit the profile of suicide bombers.

Only five per cent would support such a policy. Another 45 per cent back random checks where special attention is paid to men of Asian or north African origin. But the biggest number, 46 per cent, say there should only be random checks.

. Police have been given more time to question 14 men arrested in anti-terror raids in London.

The Met were granted warrants to further detain three of the suspects until Wednesday. …

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