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Terror attack survivors condemn anti-Muslim hatred in joint letter

More than 50 victims of Islamist-inspired terror attacks, including the Manchester Arena bombing and Bataclan shooting, have joined together to call for an end to anti-Muslim hate.

In a joint letter, they warn that it is the “height of irresponsibility” for unnamed politicians to equate “being Muslim with being an extremist” and say some have been “facilitating anti-Muslim hate or failing to challenge it”.

They added: “The single most important thing we can do is to isolate the extremists and the terrorists from the vast majority of British Muslims who deplore such violence.”

The 58 people who have signed the letter include terror attack survivors and relatives of people who have been killed by extremists.

They include Justine Merton-Scott, a survivor of the attack on the Bataclan theatre in Paris in November 2015, and Michelle Hussain, who survived the Manchester Arena bombing in May 2017.

Rebecca Rigby – the wife of soldier Lee Rigby, who was killed by extremists in London in May 2013 – and Magen Inon, whose parents were killed in Hamas’s attack on Israel on 7 October 2023, also signed.

Rebecca Rigby is one of the 58 signatories. File pic: Reuters /Toby Melville
Image: Rebecca Rigby is one of the 58 signatories. File pic: Reuters/Toby Melville
Lee Rigby
Image: Lee Rigby was killed in a street near his south London barracks in 2013. Pic: Family handout

They say they are “only too aware” of the threat of “Islamist extremism” but highlight that it is wrong to equate being Muslim with being an extremist.

“This is not only wrong in itself, it makes the job of the Islamist extremists easier and plays into the hands of terrorists,” the letter reads.

“While Islamist inspired extremism is our country’s most pressing terror threat, it is not our only one – and responding to it by feeding far right extremism, dividing our communities and exaggerating the risk will feed a cycle of extremism that will put more people at risk. It is the height of irresponsibility,” it added.

The letter comes as Communities Secretary Michael Gove is set to produce a new, official definition of extremism.

More from Sky News:
Met chief warns of ‘unprecedented’ rise in terror threat
Inside the camp where Shamima Begum was held

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Health secretary defends plan for new definition of extremism

Mr Gove today said the new definition will help protesters decide whether to attend events and called for pro-Palestinian marchers to question whether extremist groups are behind some protests.

“That doesn’t mean that people who have gone on them are extremist, quite the opposite,” he told the Sunday Telegraph.

“But it means that you can begin to question: do you really want to be lending credence to this organisation?”

Sky News Source