Muslim woman confirmed among the dead


SHAHARA Akhter Islam yesterday became the first Muslim victim to be confirmed dead in last week's suicide bombings.

The 20-year-old bank cashier, from Plaistow, east London, was described as a devout Muslim who loved London.

She had a dental appointment before going to work at the Co-operative Bank last Thursday and called her uncle at 9.45am. She was among 13 people killed on the No 30 bus. Shamsul Islam, her father, said yesterday: "She would have been filled with anger towards the bombers. She loves London and Britain."

Mr Islam and Naznul Hasan, her uncle, spent Tuesday searching London hospitals in the hope that they might find her.

She was among seven people named as inquests opened at St Pancras coroner's court yesterday. The total number identified is now 11.

In the House of Commons, Tony Blair appealed to the Muslim community to help marginalise Islamic extremists as he unveiled a four-point plan to tackle the threat of terrorism.

The prime minister also said he had met four Muslim MPs, including Mohammed Sarwar, of Glasgow Central, to discuss ways of working with the moderate majority of British Muslims. His spokesman said any measures introduced would seek to "harness moderates and marginalise extremists".

The sentiment was echoed by Bashir Maan, Scottish spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain.

Writing in The Herald today, he says Muslims are obliged, under Islamic law, to be loyal to Britain and defend its values.

Mr Maan calls the suicide bombers "misled, misinformed and deluded young men with no faith, no human values and no concern for humanity".


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