Asian retailers are worried that the recent terrorist attacks in London could lead to a backlash against them.

Muslim businesses and religious sites across the country have suffered actual and threatened damage, and there have been many cases of individuals wearing Islamic dress being abused in public. One retailer, who preferred not to be named, said: “We suffer racist abuse almost every day as it is, but I am concerned it will intensify, or even lead to something worse.”

C-store owners in Edinburgh have experienced such intense racism that they have considered hiring private security guards to protect themselves (C-Store April 22, 2005). These fears were confirmed by recent figures from the Scottish Executive which showed that racially-aggravated offences in Scotland have increased by 33% in the past two years.