While Muslims in Britain face a backlash from other Britons outraged by the two series of bombing attacks in London, the Islamic community in Hong Kong came together to condemn the terror attacks. Although there appears to be little political or terror-related antagonism towards South Asian Muslims in Hong Kong, the Islamic community in the SAR reports ongoing low-level racial abuse and 'cultural misunderstandings' in a city that doesn't have any anti-racial discrimination laws. Declaring the harming of another human being as 'un-Islamic', Muhammad Arshad, chief imam of Kowloon Mosque in Nathan Road said: 'Islam does not allow it. We have condemned all terrorist attacks, all terrorism in the world, especially most recently in Britain. We have condemned it in the congregation.' Imam Arshad has also written to the British consulate to give his and the Muslim community's condolences and offers of help. 'This was an un-Islamic, inhumane act,' he said. 'No great scholar is behind them. It may be very few people. The fanatic has been created to create problems among the community. I don't think their actions are based on the Koran.' Saeed Uddin, honorary secretary of the Incorporated Trustees of Islamic Community Fund in Hong Kong, which oversees many of Hong Kong's mosques, worries that the terrorism acts blamed on al-Qaeda and Muslim radical groups is staining the reputation of Muslims in Hong Kong and worldwide. 'There are 1.25 billion Muslims today in the world, there may be a few hundred or at most a few thousand, not more than that, who do such things,' he said. 'It has nothing to do with Islam. Suicide is not allowed in Islam, it is a sin, and killing others is unthinkable. 'They don't understand the philosophy of Islam. They are making us so disturbed. Every society has good and bad people. In every country there are some criminals, but now if anything bad happens in any part of the world, it is related to the Muslims. It is very damaging.' Both men, and other Islamic leaders in Hong Kong, insist there are no radical Muslim groups in Hong Kong, or at least none that they have encountered. They say the good relations with police and the local community means there's little strife. But those relations can at times be fractious. A social welfare group, Unison Hong Kong for Ethnic Equality, receives up to 50 calls a month from Muslims who say they have been discriminated against or been subject to verbal racial abuse. Muslim youths contact them to complain of living daily with local people calling them Ah Cha, a racist term for Indians or Pakistanis. Unison social worker Edmond Leung Pak-hei said Chinese people often regarded the beards and clothes of some Muslims as dirty. 'There is very often some misunderstanding about the culture,' he said. A Pakistani volunteer at Unison, Arif Abbas, added: 'Many Chinese think our beards are dirty, or that our clothes are too big. Our culture involves males and females putting some oil on their hair and the Chinese say it's quite smelly. Because our skin colour is brown or black, they say that is dirty.' He said there were often fights and arguments in parks, schools and basketball courts between local and Muslim youths. 'Sometimes the police come and some Pakistanis cannot speak good English or Cantonese and cannot tell their side of the story, so the others tell what happened first. Some policemen are good and some are bad. Even if you tell them you did not fight, some of them will say: 'I do not care who started it'.' Police say relations with the Muslim society in Hong Kong have strengthened and improved since 9/11, when local authorities decided to keep closer tabs on the Islamic community. Muslim leaders see this as a positive development. 'After 9/11, the interaction increased and relations grew because the media was focusing on Muslims and Islam,' Imam Arshad said. 'People were eager to know about Muslims and Islam and who is living here in Hong Kong. It was probably the only positive thing to come out of 9/11.' He said police did not see local Muslim as terror suspects, a view backed up by senior police officers in the area who have been assigned as local community officers. Mark Foster, divisional commander of Yau Tsim, which covers Yau Ma Tei and Tsim Sha Tsui, has been the designated ethnic minorities liaison officer in the area for the past two months. 'We hold quarterly meetings with main community leaders in this area in Yau Tsim, mostly Nepalese, Pakistani, and Indian,' he said. 'About 10 to 15 community leaders attend.' His predecessor, Peter Barnes, said closer liaison with Muslims in Hong Kong seemed necessary after the attacks on New York. 'After 9/11, there was some concern and that is why we wanted the meetings,' he said. 'We wanted to hear their views. There are many ethnic minorities in Tsim Sha Tsui, and obviously there are some crimes being committed by some ethnic minorities. They were as concerned about it as we were. 'We decided to get together and meet regularly. We had a good response from them and it's still continuing. We don't see any racially motivated incidents. During 9/11, they had banners at the mosques saying they did not support terrorism.' Imam Arshad said there were instances of 'cultural misunderstanding' between the Chinese and Muslim communities in Hong Kong. Pulling a large white T-shirt from a shelf behind him in his temporary office at the Kowloon Mosque and pointing at the purple Arabic characters on it, he said: 'These are from the Koran. It is not right to put this on a T-shirt.' He bought the shirt and several like it from a shop in Mirador Mansions after members of his congregation told him a local shopkeeper was selling them. 'I bought his supply about three months ago,' Imam Arshad said. 'He just thought they were nice designs, but we explained to him why [it was inappropriate] and he hasn't restocked.' He also told of another shop near the mosque that had floor tiles spelling out the word 'Allah'. He said the tiles were meant to be used on walls and it was disrespectful to walk on them. In that instance, police were called and the tiles were removed. Like many expats in Hong Kong, the language barrier creates a major problem for some Muslims. Because many children cannot speak Cantonese and their families cannot afford to send them to international schools, they find themselves struggling in local schools and later for admission to university. Mr Uddin, the only non-Chinese on the Equal Opportunities Commission board, said many South Asian Muslims experienced racism in Hong Kong. He strongly supported the introduction of an anti-racial discrimination legislation. 'Some Chinese landlords do not want to rent them flats,' he said. 'We have isolated incidents like this, but it is the same in every society. One should not take it too seriously. As a whole, we find the Chinese community quite good, quite co-operative.' But he added: 'Of course we need anti-racial discrimination legislation. They call this a cosmopolitan city. There are cosmopolitan people living here, with big investments, holding down jobs, they are with their families and bringing up their children here. There should be no discrimination. 'I think an anti-racial discrimination law is very necessary. I hope very soon they will send it to Legco for approval or discussion. They have to protect the ethnic groups. They are contributing to the future and prosperity of Hong Kong and they deserve to be better treated.' Despite dealing with some racist attitudes here, Mr Uddin said his community remained committed to Hong Kong. 'We are a very peace-loving people here in Hong Kong. I don't think there are any extremists or radicals here. Mostly our people here are liberals. They come here to work and make some money.' Hong Kong has had a South Asian Muslim community for almost 150 years, since the first arrived as part of the British Army. Two mosques, in Shelley Street and in Nathan Road, were built by them. The Kowloon Mosque in Nathan Road was built about 100 years ago, and rebuilt in 1984. It is currently undergoing extensive renovation to accommodate hundreds more worshippers. Plans to build another mosque in Sheung Shui in the New Territories are underway, once the necessary funding is established. Hong Kong's Muslim population is rapidly rising, with the increasing number of Indonesian domestic helpers entering the SAR. It is estimated there are between 100,000 and 250,000 Muslims currently living in the city.