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Noon lauds Indian Muslim response to Mumbai attacks

world Updated: Nov 29, 2009 14:18 IST
Indian-origin businessman

Sir Gulam Noon, the Indian-origin businessman known as the Curry King, has lauded India's Muslim community for its response to the Mumbai attacks of November 2008.

"Indian Muslims have refused to bury the nine dead terrorists. They are still in the mortuary. It is a good symbolic message for the rest of secular India."

"Now Britain needs to get tough with the radical imams. We have the power to do something," Noon said.

Calling for Britain to toughen measures against extremist Muslim preachers, Noon, 73, said that the door was open for foreign imams to radicalise young Muslims in mosques across Britain.

Mumbai-born Noon, who was trapped in the Taj Hotel on the day of the attacks, said: "Having seen what I saw at close quarters, the indiscriminate violence and pain inflicted in the name of my religion.

I am astounded that I hear from friends in the community that radical preachers are still coming to this country and praising attacks by al-Qaeda and suicide missions."

He added in an interview to The Observer: "There is a limit to free speech. Extremists who preach their approval of suicide bombers should be sent back to their country of origin".

Noon has been a prominent donor to the Labour party, recalled his ordeal that began as he stepped into the lift of the five-star hotel to go up to his third-floor suite to meet his brother and four colleagues for dinner.

He said that behind him he heard a few sharp cracks, but thought nothing of it. "I heard what I believed were firecrackers from a wedding party.

But a minute later a member of staff ran over and told me it was gunfire," he said. Noon and his friends were told by staff to barricade themselves in.

It was 9.30pm, and they remained barricaded until 7am the next morning. He said the experience has left him less tolerant of foreign Islamist preachers, who he believes are indoctrinating young British Muslims.