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Post 7/7 Govt efforts bred only hatred and alienation: report

Written by: Staff
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London, Dec 4 (UNI) The British government's efforts to engage the Muslim community since the 7/7 bombings have bred ''resentment and alienation'' and driven people into the arms of violent extremists, an official report said.

The report - partly funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government accused ministers of failing to engage with Muslims over ''reasonable'' grievances including British foreign policy in Iraq and elsewhere.

The report also criticised the attempts to involve Muslims in policy-making as being ''rushed'' and conducted on Government's terms.

''In the meeting rooms of Whitehall, ministers were assuring Muslim leaders of the need for partnership, but in press briefings they were talking of the need for Muslims to 'get serious' about terrorism, spy on their children, and put up with inconveniences in the greater good of national security,'' the report said.

''Despite some commendable attempts at engagement, the Government's actions continue to drive a wedge between the majority of British Muslims and the rest of society, rather than isolating the violent few,'' according to the report by think-tank Demos.

Communities Minister Phil Woolas dismissed the report as ''flawed'' and ''out of date'' and accused Demos of trying to sensationalise the issue.

''Good community relations are already at the heart of our approach to tackle extremism and we are building strong, positive partnerships to isolate and defeat those who are seeking to harm us,'' Mr Woolas said.

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