The roles of Muslims and ethnic minorities in the Grenfell Tower tragedy

The fire at Grenfell Tower killed more than 80 people. Many Muslims lived in and nearby the tower. Muslims residents and neighbours were instrumental in saving lives. The fire occurred after midnight. While many in the area were asleep, Muslims were often awake for the observances of Ramadan. Muslim residents awoke people in other flats and Muslim neighbours were among the first on the scene to assist. Muslim organisations, such as Muslim Aid, continued to be active in relief efforts.

The next evening volunteers held an iftar to allow Muslim victims and volunteers to break their fast. Many were working hard to support each other despite their fast.

Racial and economic discrimination may have contributed to the causes of the fire, as “it’s difficult to imagine this disaster–caused by a huge dereliction of duty and refusal to listen to residents’ concerns–befalling a community of white Britons.” Grenfell Tower was social housing provided by the government for people who require housing assistance.

Black and South Asian survivors felt that the government did not act as though they had a right to complain about the terrible safety conditions of the building prior to the fire.

Six Britons arrested in Belgium as UK hate preachers linked to Paris attacks mastermind

Six Pakistani-born British men have been arrested in Belgium after being spotted in old ambulances near Brussels while the capital was in lock down amid fears of a Paris-style terror attack.

A heavily-armed anti-terror unit swooped on the group near a petrol station which is regularly used by Salah Abdeslam – the fugitive terrorist still at large eight days after 130 people were killed in the French capital. Six armoured trucks and a police car rushed in after the old ambulances were parked in a rest area beside the E411 highway in Bierges, south-east of Brussels, at around 2pm local time on Saturday. One of the men is understood to be known to British police who are assisting Belgian authorities.

Police are investigating any link to Islamic State (ISIS) after it was revealed using old ambulances was a hallmark cover tactic used by the terror group.

The British men were said to be co-operating with detectives and have been fingerprinted to check for possible matching.  The arrests came as it was revealed the alleged mastermind behind the Paris attacks was part of an extremist network linked to at least six hate preachers from Britain.

Paris ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud – who was killed in an anti-terror raid by French authorities in Saint-Denis after the atrocities in the French capital on November 13 – was associated with a banned terrorist group called Sharia4Belgium.  The militant group, which has sent more than 50 Belgian fighters to join ISIS in Syria, was founded by in 2010 by Fouad Belkacem after he travelled to London to seek inspiration from a radical British cleric. Members of the group also approached Omar Bakri Muhammad, the former London-based hate preacher who was banned from Britain in 2005, while he was living in exile in Lebanon to help gain access to jihadis in Syria.