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VOICE OF THE PEOPLE: Challenge that is facing our nation.

EACH one of us is a potential victim of terrorism, whether Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jew or Sikh.

Which is why each one of us has a public duty to do all in our power to combat it.

And that means pulling together. To unite against this evil. To act as one nation. And to be tolerant and understanding of all communities within it.

Which is why Cabinet minister Ruth Kelly is right to call in Britain's Muslim religious leaders tomorrow to ask their followers to be our eyes and ears in the war against terror.

If more innocent lives are not to be lost they, most of all, must be included. Not excluded.

This newspaper will have no truck with the bigots who blame 9/11, 7/7 and last week's near tragedy on Islam.

Self-evidently not all Muslims are suicide bombers, or support them.

But all suicide bombers to date are Muslims.

A recent poll shows that one-in-ten young Muslims hail the 7/7 mass murderers as heroes.

More see the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as attacks on their faith.

It is up to all of us, of all religions and none, to heal these deep divisions.

But Muslim teachers and parents and their Imams have the biggest part to play.

Because tolerance and understanding is a two-way street, to be practised by minorities and majorities alike.

So Britain remains the harmonious nation we are all proud of.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Aug 13, 2006
Words:240
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