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Letters to the editor
07 Jan 2010

Dear editor,

Following the media frenzy about the proposed march in Wootton Bassett by an insignificant and marginal group, the Muslim community has rallied to distance itself from any association with its activities.

We are disillusioned by the oxygen of publicity which has been given to this group and its proposed activities.

Muslims deeply regret loss of life whether it is civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan or soldiers of our British armed forces. Popular opposition by many UK citizens to the war is well known, but our energies should be directed through peaceful means to our Government and not targeted at our soldiers or their families. Instead our thoughts and sympathies should be extended to everyone affected by both conflicts and we should all reflect on the value and sanctity of human life.

An estimated 2.5 million Muslims served Britain during the first and second world wars and still remain the second highest represented faith in the UK armed forces. We should not let this proposed march distract us from dividing our communities because we all know that there are numerous extremist and racist groups waiting to damage our society.
Suleman Nagdi, Public Relations Officer for the Federation of Muslim Organisations (FMO)

Dear editor,

Regarding the failed attack on an aircraft over Detroit on Christmas Day; the UK is a world-leader in the hi-tech security field, given past experience in combating terrorism plus the innovative excellence of the industry in meeting these challenges.

It is a trusted supplier globally, protecting citizens around the world and with the right Government advocacy and support this expertise can be exported to also boost the UK economy. Furthermore, provided with the right levels of investment, new technology will be more effective while becoming less intrusive.

It must be remembered that full body scanners are only part of the solution.

The detection of suicide bombers from distance using technology, blast mitigation engineering and behavioural science are also important elements of airport security.

Intelligence will still be crucial, as will the right systems that can be provided by industry to process the information gathered quickly and accurately.

We also fully recognise that privacy issues must be addressed and it is right that new security solutions that protect people’s lives should be developed with these in mind.

Ian Godden, Chairman ADS, the UK’s AeroSpace, Defence and Security trade organisation


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