Fear of reprisals spreads amongst Muslims in Moscow
In Moscow’s oldest mosque members of the Muslim community gather. They share a common uneasy feeling following the double suicide bombings in the city on Monday with a terrorist group from the North Caucasus linked to the attacks.
Suspicion amongst Muscovites, say many of the Muslims, has increased and they fear they could become the target for reprisals.
Oumar, resident of Moscow: “My wife is veiled, she wears the hijab and today I won’t let her go outside, because when she does go out in our neighbourhood, people give her strange looks, as though she is suspicious.”
At the mosque these men believe their appearance puts them under the spotlight of suspicion.
“The mere fact of having a beard, that’s enough to be carted off, now after the attacks it will be even worse, already two Muslim sisters have been beaten up.”
And on the metro where two female suicide bombers struck on Monday there have been reports of Muslim women being abused.
Along with the thousands of policemen more than 3,000 members of the special forces are in Moscow. Reassuring for some, while many Muslims believe the security forces increased presence has heightened tensions.