The Philippine Muslim community is growing increasingly resentful of the terrorist label being pinned on it following deadly bomb attacks in Bali, Manila and the south of the Philippines. Community leaders have warned that making Muslims scapegoats could induce moderates to take extreme measures. Lawyer Benjamin Lanto complained that 'whenever an act of terrorism is committed, they [the authorities and public] always look for a Muslim to blame'. 'That worries us a lot,' said Mr Lanto, a member of the growing Islamic sect called the Tabligh, whose members try to emulate the prophet Mohammed in their daily lives. 'We have the feeling we are being alluded to at present and we believe if this continues, it will lead to a holy war, eventually.' The fear is not unjustified, especially after National Security Adviser Roilo Golez said the bomb that killed two passengers in a bus on Friday night, was of similar make to the bomb that exploded in a carriage of the overhead Light Rail Transit on December 30, 2000, killing 11 people. Four other bombs exploded that day - in a passenger bus, near a hotel, in front of the US Embassy in Manila and near Manila's international airport. Dozens of Muslim men were arrested, paraded before the media, jailed for weeks then later quietly released. 'Not one was convicted of the bombings,' said lawyer Fidel Macauyag. Muslims fear another crackdown, and if that happens, Mr Macauyag feared, 'we can only expect these bombings would continue. These will not stop'. Mr Macauyag, who has defended such cases in court, said some relatives of the men arrested over the bombings two years ago resented the government to the extent of volunteering to join Muslim extremists. He believed one of his clients, Omar Racman, was wrongly arrested for a bombing. He quoted Racman as saying: 'I am now suffering for something I did not do . . . jihad should be declared for this kind of injustice.' Mr Macauyag said: 'These are people more furious than members of the Abu Sayyaf and the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front because they are victims of injustice. We are multiplying the number of rebels.' Abhoud Syed Lingga, head of the Bangsa Moro People's Consultative Assembly, shares concern on injustice. 'I think government must be responsible enough that if they arrest people, there should be some evidence against these people,' said Mr Lingga, whose movement seeks independence through a peaceful referendum. However, to Omar Ali, mayor of the southern city of Marawi, Muslim extremists 'must be one of the suspects'. Mr Ali earned a fearsome reputation as Commander Solitario of the Moro National Liberation Front, which made peace with the government in 1996. 'You know there is always a very, very small percentage of the Muslim population who are desperate, and would resort to the effective, less costly, but high impact method of terrorism,' he said. 'This doesn't mean most Muslims like what they are doing.' Mr Lanto said Muslims had asked the Abu Sayyaf 'not to bomb in Manila because the branding of the Muslim would worsen'. Mr Ali said Muslim extremists should be suspected in the latest Manila bus bombing, but only among a long list of possible culprits. 'Many are angry at President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, many want her to fail, and some elements within the political system and the military have their own interests,' he said. The government seems to have acknowledged this in the latest bombing. Last Saturday, Mrs Arroyo urged the public to 'fully protect ourselves from these secretive and determined extremists' but did not identify them as Muslim. Police director-general Hermogenes Ebdane said all angles were being investigated, including destabilisation attempts by anti-government groups.